Ernie Powell has been involved in public policy, progressive campaigns and grassroots efforts since the mid 1960’s. He worked as a boycott organizer with the United Farm Workers from 1968 until 1973. He then became a community organizer in Santa Monica, California involved in affordable housing advocacy while working with others in laying the foundation for one of the most progressive local rent control measures in the country. He organized on behalf of environmental and coastal access and preservation issues in California as well.
Beginning in 1993 he served as Advocacy Representative and later as Manager of Advocacy for AARP in California working on national and state issues. He left AARP in 2012 to work as Field Director for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare in Washington D.C. In late 2013 he returned to California. He is a consultant with Social Security Works and is organizing groups nationally to fight for the protection and expansion of Social Security. Ernie is the co-founder of the California Institute for Organizing and Policy and is available statewide to train progressive organizations on how to plan and organize winning campaigns. He also consults with the California Long Term Care Ombudsman Association on issue impacting nursing home reform.
Ernie has hosted two radio shows – the “Grassroots Corner” on “We Act Radio” in Washington D.C.and “the Campaign with Ernie Powell” at Radio Titans in Los Angeles. He looks forward to the publication of his first book via Strong Arm Press which will be a collection of his organizing stories, policy views and other progressive writings relevant to our current efforts.
Ernie’s focus for over 40 years has been on public policy issues impacting older Americans. He is a nationally recognized expert on grassroots organizing and campaigns. He is 70 years old and resides in Los Angeles, CA.