Exciting News for RYH and RYHA!

Over the last nine years Raise Your Hand has grown into a mighty force of empowered parents fighting to protect and strengthen public education!

Recognizing the need for systemic change via legislative advocacy, our sister organization Raise Your Hand Action was formed in 2016. RYHA has been tremendously effective with an expanding in-person presence in Springfield and in City Hall.

Under Wendy Katten’s leadership, the joint efforts of RYH and RYHA were critical last year, as we coordinated a rapid response on Special Education and the CPS’ nursing shortage, which are ongoing campaigns. In 2018, with leadership from Communications Director Jennie Biggs and Managing Director Joy Clendenning, RYH has been building its infrastructure and internal capacity, while staying on top of key CPS issues such as budget, facilities and LSCs. We thank you for your support and involvement - the impact of our joint efforts has been transformational!

In order to continue achieving legislative and policy wins for public education, RYH Founder and Strategic Director, Wendy Katten, is transitioning to be full time at RYHA. This is an exciting time of growth for our organizations; with Wendy full time at RYHA she, along with co-director Cassie Creswell and part time organizer Huu Nguyen, will be able to organize and push for policy solutions that lead to the strong, well-resourced public schools that all children deserve. Check in with RYHA if you’re interested in working on legislation for an elected school board, student data privacy, special education, progressive revenue, and more, and join them ASAP in the movement to #DelaytheMegaTIFs.

Continuing in their RYH leadership roles, Managing Director Joy Clendenning is the new Interim Executive Director and Communications Director Jennie Biggs will expand her role to be Communications & Outreach Director. We're also excited to welcome Mary Hughes as a consultant to serve as parent liaison for special education. Wendy will still be involved in special education at the state level working on legislation and serving on the Attorney General’s advisory committee on special education.

It’s amazing how you’ve all helped build this organization and that we’re still going strong after nine years! Thanks for all you’ve done to create a community of people who care about the lives of young people across this city and state, and the work you’ve done to push for policies that ensure that all children get the education they deserve to reach their full potential.

We always welcome your questions and input. If you have questions about this communication or anything RYH-related, please contact Jennie Biggs at [email protected]


Stay in touch with each of our organizations!


Raise Your Hand




Email newsletter

Joy ([email protected]), Jennie ([email protected], Mary ([email protected])


Raise Your Hand Action




Email newsletter & Action Alerts- please include your mailing address so we can connect you with other parents in your district.

Wendy ([email protected]), Cassie ([email protected]), Huu ([email protected])

Donate Volunteer Legislative Agenda