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John Martinez-De Jesús



John is an Engagement and Mobilization Strategist at The Connecticut Project. His role in TCP is to drive social change and build community power by managing regional outreach, recruitment, training, and leadership development, along with assembling and leading local canvassing teams for direct neighbor engagement and input. In addition to community organizing and development, John serves as a liaison between The Connecticut Project and lower-income and asset-limited households to ensure our agency’s strategies, communications, and policy solutions continues to represent the interests of the communities we engage with.  

John brings experience in community engagement and equity to The Connecticut Project. He has worked for the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence and as an advocate leading engagement and access strategies to increase connections with underserved communities across Connecticut through his work with various organizations such as: The Institute for Community Research, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Apex Community Care and as a founding member of the Waterbury Puerto Rican Day Parade & Festival cultural movement.  

Why do you do “the work?”    

Progress. If we really want to create a better community and a sustainable future for all of us, we must have everyone sitting at the table. As an activist I’ve done everything from chatting with community members, to intercity high school students and teachers, to talking with drug dealers and folks dealing with substance misuse, communicated with sex workers, connected with non-profits, befriended local pastors and community leaders; and the only thing they all have in common is that they all think they have the answer, and no one is listening to them. See, I do not think any one person has the solution. Power is distributed among all of us, we each have a piece of the answer; all we must do is come together to build the puzzle. I have seen it done.  

What are some specific places or things you love in Connecticut?    

Can I be honest? Although I love humanity, I also love doing a lot of things ALONE. I enjoy going on my GPS and setting it somewhere far, just so I can click the “No Highway” option, go on a long drive, enjoy the backroad scenery and rock out with my radio on high.  

Aside from liking to drive around the state for fun, I also love Puerto Rican and Brazilian food. I am lucky that in Connecticut every large city has a Brazilian and/or Puerto Rican restaurants. Most of the time that GPS is set to a far restaurant, and I am most likely munching on something on the way back.  

Professional Background: LinkedIn