Organizing Uber

Our Approach

Multiracial, Multigenerational Organizing

Our multiracial and multigenerational membership engages in campaigns that directly affect our lives. Organizing for economic and education justice in the South is fundamentally a fight against structural racism. This power analysis is essential to our work. We do the long term base-building work we need to win and are flexible to respond in times of crisis.

Organizing Committees are the vehicle for how we decide campaigns and strategies. Step Up members have formed an Economic Justice Committee and a Parent Union in New Orleans.

Training and Leadership Development, including new member political orientations and ongoing skills training, strengthen and grow our membership.

Statewide work, including convening the Louisiana Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (LAROS) table and working with the Louisiana Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival we will work to improve public policy at the state level.

Clear Political Vision and Electoral Strategy, including on the local New Orleans level our Economic Justice 3-Point Platform and work on School Transportation with the Orleans Parish School Board will have an immediate impact on municipal policy. We also make endorsements and hold elected officials accountable on the state and local level by campaigning in our communities and at the ballot box.

Meet the Team

We come from faith and labor organizing backgrounds and are excited to grow a membership based community organization in Louisiana.

Co-Director Maria Harmon

Maria Harmon

Co-Director and Co-Founder

Maria is from Lake Charles, LA and is a fierce education advocate and social justice organizer. Her experiences working with parents, congregations and on political campaigns drive the work of Step Up Louisiana. Maria has her MPA from Southern University in Baton Rouge. You can reach Maria at

Co-Director Ben Zucker

Ben Zucker

Co-Director and Co-Founder

Ben is a labor and community organizer who is passionate about ending poverty. He is looking forward to brining new leaders to the table and build a sustainable scalable membership throughout the state of Louisiana. Ben did shop floor and coalition organizing for the Fight for 15 campaign before co-founding Step Up. You can reach Ben at

Board Member Willie Calhoun

Rev Willie Calhoun

Founding Board Member

Reverend Calhoun was born and raised in New Orleans and has been a preacher, political organizer and advocate in the city and state for decades. His lifetime of work to fight for education justice and economic justice informs the strategy and vision of Step Up Louisiana.

National Partners

Nationally we are affiliated with the Journey for Justice Alliance and the Center for Popular Democracy who connect us to other groups aligned with our fight for education and economic justice.