LeeAnn Hall is the executive director of the Alliance for A Just Society (AJS), founded in 1993 as the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations.   AJS is a national center for innovative organizing and strategy that builds powerful organizations and communities and fights for racial, social, and economic justice.  She has been on the leading edge of social and racial justice organizing for 30 years, influencing and affecting national reform in health care, immigration and fair pay. 

Hall is widely recognized as one of the most disciplined, thoughtful, and strategic change makers in the United States.  She has guided and inspired hundreds of younger people into social justice careers.  Her legacy transcends issue victories, residing in the resilience of communities she has aided in power building designed to wield lasting influence. 

LeeAnn is the daughter of educators; her Dad was a first-generation immigrant, and at an early age she internalized a sensibility regarding the dignity of all people and common sense justice.    LeeAnn’s movement work began with grassroots organizing in Oregon and Washington state, where helped low-income residents stop winter utility shut-offs and where organizing efforts put an end to the Washington Public Power Supply System’s (WPPSS pronounced “Whoops.”) use of utility rate hikes to pay for the construction of future projects, most significantly four of five planned nuclear plants.  Transitioning into community organizing in Portland’s black neighborhood, she collaborated with local leaders to combat land speculation and housing inequalities. 

For decades, LeeAnn has linked door-to-door outreach to real organizing that gives people the skills and opportunities to take on meaningful roles in efforts to change the laws and regulations that affect the circumstances of their own lives.   By 1978, Hall had mastered door-to-door canvassing and door-knocking. Supervising 13 offices of the Citizen Labor Energy Coalition (CLEC), Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, she oversaw large-scale door-to-door efforts that raised money, registered voters, and mobilized letter-writing and calling campaigns.  Long before the term “narrative shift” came into currency, this repetitive outreach at scale battled for the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of middle and working class voters.  Moving from canvassing to organizing meant slowing down and deeply engaging people on the doors.  The model allowed organizers to link people’s experiences of neighborhood problems with large policy choices.  This work provided opportunities for deep political education and gave people a way to situate and define, their own experience with systems of oppression. Organizers were taught to build meaningful relationships, allowing them to bring individuals whom they had met on the doors into organizations’ planning and decision-making groups.  

In the 1980s Hall worked with the Campaign California, campaigning for progressive economic and environmental initiatives. She played a pivotal role in landmark victories, including a 1989 referendum that shut down the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant.  Rancho Seco, located just SE of Sacramento, was a first-generation plant, similar in design to the Three Mile Island.  It had experienced multiple incidents, including an “overcooling” event in 1985 when operators lost control of the plant.  Emblematic of the larger crisis with environmental health and safety, Campaign California linked Rancho Seco and other efforts to close nuclear power plants to efforts to protect consumers and farm workers from pesticides and reduce air pollution.  Collectively, this effort known as “Big Green” involved many rounds of fraught state legislative fights and laid the foundation for significant advances in public health and environmental policy.  

Hall went on to build and support large, democratic people’s organizations in Montana, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington State and, in 1993, founded the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations (NWFCO).

When the Executive Director of the Idaho affiliate committed suicide, LeeAnn stepped in to manage day-to-day campaigning and leadership development.  During this period, she orchestrated successful campaigns to extend minimum wage and protections to farmworkers, combat wage theft, and get the state to accept the federal “CHIP dollars”.  She pioneered the application of fair housing testing models to public benefits, which became a blueprint for addressing racialized systemic injustices. 

LeeAnn next formed a close working relationship with the Center for Community Change.  Working together with Deepak Bhargava, and other CCC team members, she played definitive leadership roles in the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), and the Health Rights Organizing Project (HROP.)  HROP was a grassroots precursor to the creation of Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and played a significant role in winning an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in early 2009.   

LeeAnn became a major architect of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), serving on the coalition’s executive team.  HCAN is widely acknowledged as the driving force behind the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA.)   A key part of why HCAN was successful, where other efforts had failed, was the early decision to form a small business constellation that would be able to make authentic arguments as to why health care reform would help, not hurt, ethical small businesses.  LeeAnn was the strategist and instigator for the Main Street Alliance, the entity formed to undertake this critical role. 

By the mid-2000s, NWFCO’s name no longer fit the network’s geography, which included powerful organizations in Maine, Minnesota, New York, Virginia and other states.  NWFCO rebranded as the Alliance for A Just Society in 2011.  LeeAnn has a long history of looking for ways to reduce silos and competition between movement organizations.  In 2014, to build the community organizing sector’s power and internal solidarity, she spearheaded the merger of three organizing networks to form People’s Action.  

In early 2020, when the COVID pandemic threatened the very existence of US public transportation, a group of long-term transit and environmental advocates asked LeeAnn to undertake management of an emergency federal funding campaign.  Building trust with national and local organizations, LeeAnn spearheaded the creation of the National Campaign for Transit Justice, a new national network operating at the intersection of mobility-climate and racial justice.  NCTJ is widely credited with securing billions of dollars in COVID relief funds and significantly influencing the content of the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act as well as the public transportation elements of the Inflation Reduction Act.  At present, the campaign is supporting a multi-state effort to reform state transportation policy, including the use of federal highway funds.  

Throughout her career, she has centered race, gender, and class analysis in organizing efforts. Her long partnership with public intellect and hellraiser Gary Delgado  pioneered training programs with the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO), the Applied Research Center and Race Forward.  In these roles she has played an invaluable role in moving comprehensive approaches to addressing racism and inequality from the sidelines to the center of contemporary change work.

Recognized for her visionary leadership, she has received prestigious awards and accolades, including the Leadership for a Changing World Award Leadership from the Ford Foundation, the Advocacy Institute, and NYU’s Wagner School and the Prime Movers Fellowship of the Swanee Hunt foundation. A strategic thinker and relentless advocate for the common good, LeeAnn continues to make an indelible impact, demonstrating that with determination and tenacity, meaningful change is not merely a possibility but a reality.

LeeAnn has served on the boards of the Applied Research Center, the Center for Third World Organizing, ONE AMERICA, RACE FORWARD, and the Women’s March. She has also managed and/or served on the leadership committee of innumerable coalitions and initiatives, including the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Health Care For America Now (HCAN), and the National Campaign for Transit Justice (NCTJ).