Cira headshot

Emerson Fellow

Allegra Cira

10th Class, 2003-2004

Field Placement:  Center for Economic Progress (Chicago, IL)

Allegra served as the Local Community Liaison with the Center for Economic Progress, which works to increase economic opportunities for low-income families, children and individuals, and offers nationally recognized free tax-preparation services. Allegra worked to link anti-hunger and other programs to the Center’s free tax preparation services and the Earned Income Tax Credit by collaborating with local organizations to develop and implement successful methods and materials for incorporating public benefits screening, voter registration and other programs at existing tax sites.   Allegra also led various training sessions to prepare volunteers for the 2004 tax season.

Hunger Free Community Report:

Coordinating Complementary Services: Intake Training Manual is a curriculum for use in training volunteers to direct the new network of complementary services at the Center’s tax sites.  The manual educates volunteers and directs clients to various on-site complementary services, including screenings for food stamps and children’s health insurance.

Policy Site:  Center for Community Change (Washington, DC)

Allegra focused her work on transportation and voting issues affecting low-income communities and communities of color.  She tracked issues related to reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act, and conducted interviews with member groups of CCC’s Transportation Equity Network—a coalition of grassroots organizations working on transportation issues in communities around the U.S.  Allegra also provided support to local grassroots grantees of the Community Voting Project, which trains and funds local groups to design voter registration, education, and get-out-the-vote projects based on their community needs and perspectives.

Pre-Fellowship Education/Experience:

Allegra earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of Miami, where she double-majored in Motion Pictures and English.  After participating in alternative break trips focused on worker rights, Allegra co-founded and co-facilitated the campus Living Wage Coalition, which was instrumental in establishing health benefits for maintenance staff at UM.  Allegra has also worked as a community organizer with public awareness and social justice campaigns in south Florida.