Julie Schwam Harris, b. 1952

Julie Schwam Harris has a long history of activism, with a focus on the rights of women. She worked in the New Orleans Mayor’s Office from 1994 to 2010 in several capacities, beginning with the Office of Public Advocacy, helping connect people with problems to government officials or outside non-profit resources. Later she served as a leader in Intergovernmental Relations, supervising the day-to-day operations of several offices and special projects, including work with the Justice Department regarding compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. She helped establish and then staffed a task force on domestic violence that set the framework for the first domestic violence policy for the New Orleans Police Department and continued as a permanent Advisory Committee. She also coordinated lobbying for hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild the City of New Orleans from the early post-Katrina days when some leaders in Washington were still questioning why it should be rebuilt at all.

In 2013 she helped organize a coalition called LAW, the Legislative Agenda for Women, which advocates for access to the full range of health care for women, including protecting Medicaid; financial equity through equal pay for women, raising the minimum wage; requiring paid sick and family leave and affordable quality child care; comprehensive sex education; and better prevention of and response to domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment. She remains active in these and other endeavors such as support of LGBT rights, voting rights, and criminal justice reform, as well as in working for the nominations and elections of progressive leaders in local, state, and national government.

Julie Schwam Harris. Photograph Collection, Newcomb Archives, Tulane University.


Julie Schwam Harris: Judaism

Julie Schwam Harris: Family

Julie Schwam Harris: Love of NOLA, Office of Public Advocacy

Julie Schwam Harris: Activism


Return to Social Justice