How We Got Started
When we founded Grassroots Change in 2009, we were moved by the need to nurture authentic public health movements. We also recognized the growing threat of preemption to grassroots movements on issues such as nutrition, tobacco control, agriculture, gun violence, and environmental justice. We’ve worked at the intersection of grassroots power and preemption by providing deep expertise on how grassroots leaders can overcome these obstacles to build effective movements for change.
What We Do
Grassroots Change empowers grassroots leaders to successfully build and sustain movements that improve health and safety at the community, state, and national levels.
How We Help You
We connect dedicated grassroots leaders with the training, research, and tools they need to advance their efforts on diverse public health issues, including food policy, agriculture, violence prevention, and sustainability. Through our e-communications and partner network, we share the latest news about successful movement strategies and threats such as preemption.
Grassroots Movement Building
Grassroots Change provides movement leaders with evidence-based research and technical assistance, as well as customized training to help advance authentic and effective movements and counter state and federal preemption.Learn More
Preemption Watch helps advocates understand, track and counter preemption. We provide tools, research, and case studies, based on decades of real-world experience, to help grassroots leaders develop effective strategies and tactics to further their goals. Our bi-weekly Preemption Watch newsletter provides timely coverage of federal and state preemption threats.Learn More
Who We Are
Mark is the former President & Executive Director of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (1986–2007). In 1995, Mark co-founded, and served as Executive Director of, Californians for Responsible Gun Laws to mobilize grassroots support for 40 local gun control ordinances and three statewide gun laws. Today, California has the strongest gun laws in the nation.
Senior Strategy & Planning Consultant
Patricia (Patty) Sullivan has over three decades of experience in executive management, sales, operations, solutions, and marketing with IBM. During her time with IBM, Sullivan developed extensive knowledge of business and technical solutions for the education industry globally. While serving as solutions executive of IBM’s Global Education Industry, she oversaw a portfolio of academic, administrative and research solutions that generated over $1B in revenues. Since retiring from IBM in 2013, she has devoted herself to her long-standing efforts to support community-based organizations. She consults with not-for-profit organizations on sustainable business models and leadership and volunteers with community wellness programs and on community boards.
Senior Legal & Policy Consultant
Leslie Zellers is an attorney with more than 20 years experience in public health. Leslie was Vice President for Programs at ChangeLab Solutions (formerly Public Health Law & Policy), a nonprofit organization that works with local governments and the community to create environments where healthy options and lifestyles are available to all residents. Prior to working with ChangeLab Solutions, Leslie conducted legal and policy work on tobacco prevention and childhood lead poisoning prevention for Contra Costa County and several nonprofit organizations. Leslie is a member of the Alameda County Tobacco Control Coalition and serves on the Board of Directors of The Shanti Project and Counter Tools (a tobacco control nonprofit). Leslie is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and a graduate of the UC Hastings College of the Law.
Communications & Legislative Affairs Consultant
Prior to joining the Grassroots Change team, Mahmoud worked with the Arab American Institute as their Government Relations intern in Washington D.C. He worked on tracking legislation concerning the Arab-American community and researched and wrote blog posts. He received his graduate degree in Public Affairs from the University of San Francisco, where he had the opportunity to learn extensively about public policy, communications and social change.
Daniel N. Abrahamson
DirectorOffice of Legal Affairs, Drug Policy Institute
Edith D. Balbach
Professor and DirectorCommunity Health Program, Tufts University
Director of Nutrition Policy and Early Childhood ProgramsFood Research and Action Center
Founder and Executive DirectorOhio Coalition Against Gun Violence
Chief Tonya Hoover
State Fire MarshalState of California
Letetia Daniels Jackson
President and CEOTandeka LLC
Assistant Vice PresidentRobert Wood Johnson Foundation
Princeton, New Jersey
Senior Policy Advisor, Senior Program OfficerRobert Wood Johnson Foundation
Princeton, New Jersey
Co-Founder, Director of Network CommunicationChildren & Nature Network
Project ManagerAmericans for Nonsmokers' Rights