August 26, 2022



New team will help UPO address how policy impacts opportunity for District residents

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, the United Planning Organization (UPO) announced the addition of Ed Lazere as Legislative Advocacy Director, a new position.


“Ed Lazere has an extraordinary commitment to the plight of people with low incomes and is fearless in voicing how policy impacts opportunity,” said Andrea Thomas, President and CEO of UPO. “Ed will help our agency tackle the causes and conditions of poverty because he knows the legislative landscape and how to ask the hard questions.”

Ed Lazere’s career has been at the intersection of policy and practice, primarily as a public policy researcher and advocate. He was Executive Director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (2001 – 2020), ran for the DC Council in 2018 and 2020 (unsuccessfully), and sees his new role at UPO as a way to remain engaged at the forefront of DC policy.

“I’m excited about this inspiring new direction for UPO and the opportunity to build a team from scratch,” said Ed Lazere. “I’ve always respected UPO for its role in our community through its array of critical programs. Now this deeply connected organization will fight for systemic changes by amplifying the voices of our customers to address the District’s economic and racial inequities.”

Adding a Legislative Advocacy team is a return to UPO’s roots because it was born in the 1960s as part of the wave of legislation that launched the War on Poverty. UPO’s blend of policy innovations and frontline responses to residents’ needs have sometimes launched nationwide movements such as free legal services programs and food banks. Also, UPO ran a pilot program for Head Start in 1965, and today UPO is the District’s largest Early Head Start provider.


About United Planning Organization
Many people throughout Washington, DC face financial insecurity. They turn to United Planning Organization for the tools that help them reach their full potential.

A nonprofit community development organization, UPO is the Community Action Agency that serves District residents with low incomes — we Unite People with Opportunities so they can overcome barriers and lift themselves into the middle class.

A staff of 400 helps 50,000 DC residents each year with programs including education, job training and placement, health, housing counseling, and strengthening families and communities (including partnering with developers to create new affordable housing).


PRESS CONTACT: Zohar Rom   (202) 238-4664   Cell: (202) 812-4001

By |2022-08-25T20:45:18-04:00August 25, 2022|
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