A photo of Ernie Powell.Ernie Powell

Lead Staff, Social Security Works

Organizer and Advocate, AARP California

[email protected]





I am an Organizer and Advocate. I have spent 19 years with AARP California including five years as manager of Advocacy as well as 14 years as advocacy representative; Two years with the National Committee to preserve Social Security and Medicare as advocacy manager in D.C. ; Six years with Social Security Works as lead staff in CA (current). I am a published author in the Huffington Post, Zocalo Public Square, covering social and economic policy. I am considered a leader on senior issues in California and Nationally.

Keywords: connecting social work and safety net programs to advocacy as a necessity, building strong grassroot organizations via direct action organizing, helping grassroots participants to be leaders, and the occasional conflict between staff and volunteers in advocacy organizations.