“MWV’s mission is important to me because I believe we can create a just and equitable society for all people – and the work we do at MWV is an important part of that vision.  I believe that low-income women can and must have full participation in decisions that affect their lives.” – SJ Howell

 

Iko’tsimiskimaki “Ekoo” Beck, Organizer: Medicaid Expansion Story Collection

Ekoo grew up in Missoula and is enrolled in the Blackfeet Nation, so she’s been around for a while. Prior to working for Montana Women Vote Ekoo worked as an organizer for Western Native Voice/ Montana Native Vote, as a conservation technician, and as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) through various organizations. Ekoo grew up in Missoula and graduated from Harvard University with an honors degree in Social Studies. She wrote her senior thesis “The Black Robes must be to them in the place of their wise woman” on the forcible reformation of gender and Blackfeet cosmology at the Holy Family Mission Boarding School on the Blackfeet Reservation. In her free time Ekoo likes to hike, bead, hang out with her dog, and watch Netflix.  Contact Ekoo: (406) 274-3651, Ekoo@MontanaWomenVote.org

 

Kylie Gursky, Deputy Director

Originally from Polson, MT, Kylie has worked in fundriasing, philanthropy, and community organizing for the past ten years. Most recently, she was the Development Director of Social Justice Fund NW in Seattle, organizing donors to support community organizing across the Northwest. Kylie began her work with Montana Women Vote during the summer of 2016 as the Helena Community Coordinator and became the Development Director that winter. Kylie is thrilled to be on the Montana Women Vote team and back at home in Montana.  Contact Kylie: (406) 317-1504 Kylie@MontanaWomenVote.org

 

sarahSJ Howell, Executive Director

Over the last few years, Howell has worked on a successful campaign to pass Medicaid expansion, managed two cycles of civic engagement with low-income women, and served on a ballot initiative campaign committees on several diverse issues. Before coming to MWV, Howell worked as a field organizer at the Western States Center, a regional social justice non-profit, in Portland. While not working, Howell brings their community organizer skills to outdoor recreation, enjoying a stiff drink, and parenthood.  Contact Howell: (406) 317-1505, Sarah@MontanaWomenVote.Org

 

Eleanor Smith, Program Director

Eleanor (Ella) Smith was born in Helena, MT. As a Grandstreet Theatre kid, she developed a taste for the stage at a young age. Ella studied jazz performance and composition at the University of North Texas, where she began to get involved in activism and politics. Passionate about getting good folks elected and promoting progressive values in her home state, Ella moved back to Helena to work as an organizer with the Democratic Party and then with Northern Plains Resource Council. Since then, she has worked on numerous political campaigns and recently joined Montana Women Vote and the Montana Human Rights Network as their Civic Engagement Director. In her free time, Ella plays piano and sings as often as she can.  Contact Ella: Ella@MontanaWomenVote.org

 

Danielle Vazquez, Community Organizer

Danielle is Mexican American, as well as an enrolled member of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe. Danielle grew up primarily on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation in north-central Montana. Prior to joining Montana Women Vote, Danielle worked at the ACLU of Montana, in both the legal and development departments. Danielle graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in social work. During her last year at UM, Danielle served as a research assistant, working primarily on projects regarding the disproportionate rates of American Indians being incarcerated in Montana. In her free time, Danielle enjoys traveling, watching Wes Anderson films, and laughing at memes.  Contact Danielle: (406) 830-1825, Danielle@MontanaWomenVote.org

 

Are you interested in an internship or practicum staff position with Montana Women Vote? We have those! Email Kylie at kylie@montanawomenvote.org for more information!