Erika West brings more than 14 years of experience in progressive politics and issue advocacy, and a keen awareness of the relationship between policy-makers and the public engagement that awakens them to the need for change. At The Raben Group, Erika works with clients whose interests address opportunity gaps, ranging from reproductive freedom to diversity to economic justice. Erika has assisted these clients with messaging, stakeholder engagement, and communications strategies to earn media and intensify public awareness. Erika has worked on Capitol Hill, spent four years on the road electing Democrats to governorships and Congress, and served as political director at a national advocacy organization overseeing a federal PAC, ballot measure campaigns, and electoral strategy.
Erika currently co-leads Raben engagements with Democracy In Color and Green 2.0, campaigns that push for increased diversity among the national Democratic Party and environmental movement leadership, respectively. Erika has also helped a major veterans services organization (VSO) secure new federal funding for wounded veterans whose service injuries resulted in infertility. In this capacity, Erika organized a coalition of over 15 VSOs and partners for bipartisan advocacy efforts targeting congressional committees on Veterans’ Affairs. The year-long campaign resulted in a 2017 appropriation for in-vitro fertilization treatment, a service that had been denied as a matter of policy to veterans for the past 25 years.
Erika’s talent for framing issue campaigns and organizing the right voices to shift public and policymakers’ opinions was honed as political director at NARAL Pro-Choice America, working where she worked to protect and expand access to legal abortion. In 2013, Erika forged new partnerships for NARAL with national and local organizations led by women of color to defeat an abortion ban in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in 2014, led ground-breaking message research demonstrating broad support for abortion access, which NARAL still uses to organize and grow its membership.
Erika earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a master’s in Political Management from George Washington University. Erika serves as vice chair of the Advisory Council for the Women’s Information Network, a professional development organization for young Democratic women beginning their careers in Washington, D.C. She was born and raised in Detroit.
- Political Director, NARAL Pro-Choice America
- Regional Director, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
- Organizer, 2006 Michigan Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign to reelect Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Sen. Debbie Stabenow
- Legislative Assistant, U.S. Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan