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Organizing Specialist - Pima County

Ryan Kelly

After 15 years of working extremely exploitative retail jobs, flipping burgers, mopping floors, and cleaning toilets, Ryan, a father of two, worked his way through college and reentered the workforce as a middle school history teacher. There he spent six years cutting his teeth, shaping young minds, and sharing his contagious passion for building a better world. Arizona’s REDforED revolt was his final push out of the classroom and into the streets, where he came to the difficult decision to leave one calling for another.

Ryan is a well-known and accomplished community organizer in the Tucson area, who’s helped shape and lead multiple grassroots organizations. He’s a policy and direct action expert, and has helped lead the charge to end multiple anti-immigrant law enforcement practices across Pima County.  He, along with members of his respective organizations, is a former recipient of the Pima Area Labor Federation’s Community Partnership Award. In late 2018 he took a chance on an internship with the Arizona AFL-CIO, and he’s been working for the workers ever since.

Ryan is a freelance writer, and a proud member of the National Writers Union. He’s the father of genius twins, Si:bañ and Annachtéira, and husband to Gabriella, who all happily join him on picket lines and at actions across Southern Arizona.