April 23, 2020 Blog

Volunteer Spotlight: Paula Barnes

Paula Barnes has been working tirelessly for gun responsibility since the Alliance’s earliest days. She started volunteering on the Initiative 594 campaign in 2014 and is currently the Olympic Peninsula Chapter Team Leader. 

Whether we are recruiting volunteers to lobby in Olympia, gather signatures, or write a letter to the editor, we know we can count on Paula. As proof of her dedication: Paula regularly leaves her house in Sequim at 3:00 or 4:00am to come to our hearing days in Olympia. She is eager to not only support our work but also share her invaluable advice and our jobs are easier because of it. 

Paula’s generosity knows no bounds. She deserves more than just a glowing blog post in recognition of her contribution to the gun responsibility movement in Washington, but for now, this will have to do. 

Here are Paula’s own words about her experience with the Alliance: 

Each year our results show how the Alliance is becoming increasingly effective as a force for gun violence prevention. However, from my vantage point, this past year was a standout, because strengthening chapter teams was made a priority, and it paid off. 

The Alliance recognizes that we need to maintain a relationship with grassroots volunteers and supporters throughout the year, rather than just activating them when we need them during a legislative session or an initiative campaign. By keeping people informed, involved and engaged year-round, we keep our existing volunteers and we grow their ranks. 

This year, communication between the volunteers and the Alliance was improved with more information coming more frequently via email, as well as helpful conference calls, one-on-one calls, and in-person meetings. The coordination and support for all of us during the legislative session, when there were lots of trips to the state capitol, was the best yet. All the necessary information on bills, legislators’ positions and priorities was provided, along with snacks, folding stools and other creature comforts. This level of support makes volunteers feel valued and it makes it that much easier to recruit people to show up for committee hearings, gallery watches, and lobby day. The staff produced a practical, easy-to-use chapter team manual this year. They helped the various team leaders around the state to connect, get to know each other, and share best practices. 

Thanks to my fellow chapter team leaders for their inspiration and hard work, and kudos to Logan, Dylan and the rest of the Alliance staff for encouraging, occasionally nudging and always supporting us. It was a great year.

— Logan Rysemus is the Chapter Team Advocacy Coordinator with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility.