Julia Strasser

Edward Rawson Fellow
202-546-3950 x 110

Julia Strasser recently graduated from the University of Miami, where she earned her degree in International Studies with minors in History, English, and Anthropology.  She began working with Citizens for Global Solutions as the Outreach Intern in September, and is now the Edward Rawson Outreach Fellow.  Julia is responsible for representing and educating Citizen’s for Global Solutions large grassroots base. She has experience working for ConnPIRG, and a passion for social justice and non-profit work.  Julia misses the Miami sunshine although she is loving the politics and diversity of Washington DC!

Our Messages Were Heard!

My task for the Syria Valentine project was to figure out how to get in touch with "the Syrian Revolution."  Needless to say I was a little intimidated. Locating and connecting with activists, conveying the project's sentiments, and finding a way to get our words of support to people on the ground was challenging. A week and a half ago, I never would have dreamed we would be able to make such a human connection purely though the internet, social media and email.  But just since Amanda's blog was posted yesterday, we have received even more feedback from Syrian activists about our Valentine!  The words are so heartfelt that I just had to share it with you.  

The following comes from Mariya, who has her own blog that you can view here, and who is also involved with the Syrian Revolution Statistics Facebook Group.

"Hi Julia... Thanks a lot for all your efforts as well! It was a great experience to go through all those comments of all those great souls. I'm sorry I couldn't contact you earlier than this, but it was difficult for me to send the card yesterday as the internet was really bad and we experienced a 12-hour power cut, believe it or not! As for me, I loved the whole experience and as I mentioned in my blog 'I just want to thank the global spirits who initiated and signed the card.  I'm proud of them just as much as they are proud of the Syrian people. I'm also proud of all who can support the Syrian with a feeling, a prayer, a piece of action, or more!' and I want to add that I feel that this is what it's all about as the big word here is COMPASSION...Thanks again Julia, from my heart."

Obama Stands Up for International Affairs Funding at Google+ Hangout

Monday night President Obama participated in the first Presidential virtual interview ever!  This Google+ Hangout event was part of the White House's continued public outreach following the State of the Union Address last Tuesday.  Since the president's address last week, the White House has been requesting that people send in questions via all forms of social media, and has been holding Twitter interviews with many of the senior administration officials. This Hangout  was the culmination of that week, and it turned out to be a great moment for foreign policy!

Steve Grove moderated the discussion from Google Headquarters in San Francisco, California, and there were five different people on Google+ in the virtual "room," with the President, who were able to speak out at any time.  The event was broadcast on YouTube and the White House website so those of us who haven't stepped into the social media realm of Google+ yet could still hear questions asked and answered.  You can watch the recording here.  Mr. Grove also had some pre-recorded questions that had been sent in via YouTube either by video or comment earlier in the week. 

Two Julias Tweet-Up at the White House

Just six months ago I was not a huge social media user, and never dreamed that Twitter would turn out to be my ticket to the White House.   My coworker Julia Bunting and I were invited to watch the State of the Union address at the White House in a room full of advocacy tweeters, and then participated in a live discussion with senior Administration officials afterwards.  The live “Tweet-Up” was an amazing experience and I wanted to give you a glimpse of the action.

We had to arrive at White House at 7:45 to allow for enough time to go through security checkpoints.  It was an exciting feeling, to be inside a place that is so instrumental in history and current events.  We received a mini-tour on the way to the South Court Auditorium, where the Tweet-Up was held.  We got to see (from afar) the Vice President’s office, the Situation Room, and the garage that usually holds the motorcade.  There was some construction going on inside, which made the whole place feel a bit more normal - even the President has to deal with the hassle of renovations apparently!

We were ushered into the Tweet-Up room, where all the social media reporting was taking place.  Check out the pictures of us tweeting and the room set-up. During President Obama’s address, the “enhanced version” of the speech was playing on a large screen, which had statistics and funny graphics to supplement his speech.  My favorite visual aid was the Pac-Man styled “maze of job training programs,” that President Obama pledged to get rid of.   If you didn’t get a chance to see the enhanced version you can watch it here.

Me tweeting during the State of the Union!