Joining Forces would like to welcome our advocacy team’s second Community Organizer, Max Seeley. Max is a Stevenson fellow in Applied Community and Economic Development. He is starting an eleven-month internship here at Connections and Joining Forces for his political science master’s program at Illinois State University with an emphasis on public policy and state-legislative elections.
Max was born in Uptown, Chicago, then moved and went to school in Evanston from kindergarten to high school, graduating from Evanston Township High School. He got his bachelor’s degree in political science from Bowling Green State University in 2019, then served in AmeriCorps for a year in the Justice for Montanans (JFM) project for the Montana Office of Consumer Protection and Victim Services (OCPVS). In this role, Max managed consumer complaints through this organization’s mediation process and recovered over $200,000 for these consumers.
As a member of our advocacy team, Max will help determine how Joining Forces can cultivate relationships with elected officials in order to pass legislation that would make housing more affordable, as well as assist with our equitable zoning advocacy efforts. When asked what interested him about working with us, Max said that he was drawn to how this role provides the opportunity to work with different community partners, as well as political officials, to address affordable housing issues in the area. In this role, he hopes to learn more about the practice of lobbying for affordable housing, as well as observing how the actual legislative process looks when it comes to affordable housing advocacy.
Over the coming year, Max would like to help build a more structured advocacy program that involves reaching state and federal legislators, as well as community partners, to make some kind of a difference in how people understand and approach affordable housing and homelessness. After completing this current fellowship and earning his master’s degree, Max would like to find work in policy advocacy and development at a nonprofit organization that could potentially be in the affordable housing sector.