As Director of Advocacy and Civic Engagement, Vivian Topping works with state-based LGBTQ organizations to craft smart, effective legislative and electoral campaigns that build political power and allow supporters to take action in their communities. Most recently Vivian was the Field Director for the historic, winning Yes on 3 campaign in Massachusetts, Vivian previously led electoral and legislative advocacy programs in Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas, and Illinois. Their work in Massachusetts was a groundbreaking success, building the leadership of transgender people, having more than 100,000 conversations with voters, and ultimately winning the first statewide referendum on transgender rights in the nation.
Vivian, whose pronouns are she/her or they/them, hails from Michigan and currently lives in Washington, D.C.
1. Who inspires you?
Field organizers. If you work a field organizing job, you are on the front lines of your movement. You’re the one talking to voters, building the bench, and moving people towards change. Anyone who has ever been in a field organizer role has my utmost respect. It’s inspiring to see people jump into that role, take it head on, and work towards progress.
2. What’s the last book you read?
Right now I’m re-reading a collection of short stories called Self Help by Lorrie Moore. It was one of the first collections I read that made me want to write. I tend to have at least three or four different books on my nightstand that I’m working through at a time.
3. What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
Project Game Changer! The Federation is partnering with 6 states right now to help build integrated voter engagement programs that bring together their entire organization. Basically, I get to work with really smart organizers to help our members do better work advocating for LGBTQ people.
4. What’s the best concert you ever attended?
100%, Adele, her 21 tour at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Nothing else compares.
5. What drew you to the Equality Federation?
I really believe in the power of local communities to organize and defend themselves. Our members are the entry point for so many people in the movement. We are truly creating the pipeline of LGBTQ leaders across the country. I love being part of that work and helping our members develop awesome organizing plans.
6. Last question, how can people get in touch with you?
Email for quick things, Calendly if you need to chat! Calendly is a website that’s linked to my Google Calendar, and you can schedule a meeting with me without having to call me first. Folks should contact me about anything to do with advocacy – legislative work, lobbying, elections, municipal or administrative work, volunteers, organizing, or even VAN questions!