Allie’s story: From volunteer to community advocate

Senior Community Organizer Allie Christianson on her journey into community with Collective Impact Lincoln.

by
My journey with Collective Impact Lincoln began in 2017 as a volunteer. The partnership was just beginning, and we were spending a lot of our time deep canvassing – going door-to-door and asking neighbors what they like about their neighborhood and what they would like to improve. We learned not only what issues they were facing but also the many spectacular things they were already doing by and for themselves.
As a community organizer for Collective Impact Lincoln, I get to surround myself with incredible neighbors, residents, local small business owners and employees, housing advocates, service providers, and more. I get to spend my time serving the folks who make Lincoln feel like home to me, and I get to work alongside them to make the change that we want to see. 
That can mean lots of things, from advocating for affordable, quality, and safe housing, painting a street mural to keep pedestrians safe in a busy intersection, or organizing gathering spaces and events for neighbors to just be.
It’s also not something that I do alone. I am part of a small and mighty team of community organizers, neighborhood leaders, and advocates. We all do this work together, leaning in where we can, uplifting the cool stuff that’s already happening, and working toward the change our neighbors want to see. 
Really, we are no saviors and we are no gatekeepers of change. Rather, we follow the lead of our neighbors and those affected by policy decisions to center their expertise and lived experience.
Our work is continually evolving. While I no longer knock on my neighbors’ doors as a stranger asking them survey questions, I now gather with my neighbors on front porches and in coffee shops to do this work together for our shared community. 
– Allie Christianson

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