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Heather Booth  

American Civil Rights Activist, Feminist & Political Strategist

Heather Booth is an American civil rights activist, feminist, and political strategist who has been frequently cited for her effective activism in progressive causes. During her student years, she was committed to both the civil rights movement and feminist causes. Since then she has devoted her career to feminism, community organization, and progressive politics.

She has been an organizer starting in the civil rights, anti-Vietnam war and women's movements of the 1960s and continuing through today. She created JANE, an underground abortion service started before Roe.

Booth was the founding Director and is now President of the Midwest Academy, training social change leaders and organizers. She has been involved in and managed political campaigns and was the Training Director of the Democratic National Committee. In 2000, she was the Director of the NAACP National Voter Fund, which helped to increase African American election turnout by nearly 2 million voters. She was the lead consultant, directing the founding of the Campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2005.

In 2008, Booth was the director of the Health Care Campaign for the AFL-CIO. In 2009, she directed the campaign passing President Obama’s first budget. In 2010 she was the founding director of Americans for Financial Reform, fighting to regulate the financial industry. She was the national coordinator for the coalition around marriage equality and the 2013 Supreme Court decision. She was strategic advisor to the Alliance for Citizenship (the largest coalition of the immigration reform campaign). She was Field Director for Americans for Tax Fairness to stop the tax cuts for millionaires that may lead to cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, education. She is a member of the consulting group Democracy Partners.

Booth was the subject of the film Heather Booth: Changing the World, directed, written, and produced by Lilly Rivlin and released in 2016, which explores Booth's life as an organizer. Booth is also the subject of the HBO Documentary, The Janes which details her work as founder of the Jane Collective, an underground network of young women who provided safe abortions in pre–Roe v. Wade Chicago.

During the Biden/Harris presidential campaign of 2020, Booth served as director of senior and progressive engagement and on December 15 of that year was quoted as saying "President-elect Joe Biden’s team has always focused on older voters and their concerns will be top-of-mind in his upcoming term."


The abortion underground and what lessons can be learned from the Jane Collective
In the likelihood that Roe v. Wade is overturned, Heather Booth, the founder of the Jane Collective, has two pieces of advice: "We need to come together. We need to organize."

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