Other Group

SPARC (Sparking Political Action, Response, and Change)


Santa Barbara, CA


Political action and voter mobilization group




Erinn Lynch, Meredith Reeback, Jill Rushing Fonte

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SPARC (Sparking Political Action, Response, and Change) is a left-of-center political action and voter mobilization group. Located in Santa Barbara, California, SPARC was founded in 2016 by three Santa Barbara women, purportedly as a response to the 2016 election of President Donald Trump. This organization later went on to host a live speaker series and sponsored get-out-the-vote “virtual happy hours.” It is a financial supporter of the left-of-center voter mobilization group Field Team 6. SPARC contributed fundraising and canvassing support to former Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) in her 2018 run for Congress. 1

Katie Hill Campaign and Resignation

During the 2018 mid-term elections, Katie Hill, an Abilene, Texas native and executive director of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating the Republican incumbent Steve Knight (R-CA). As part of a larger strategy to obtain Democratic control of the House, SPARC had previously scouted then-Rep. Knight’s seat as “flippable,” and SPARC members raised $5,000, went door-to-door, and mailed over 1,500 handwritten postcards in support of Hill. 2

In October 2019, Hill’s estranged husband, Kenneth Heslep, posted an accusation (later deleted) on Facebook accusing her of an affair, which was denied by then-Rep. Hill. This was later accompanied by leaked private photos of Hill and a campaign aide, and revelations that Heslep and Hill had an open relationship. In an interview with the Cut, Hill stated that her initial plan was to simply lie about the relationship with the aide. 3

The three co-founders of SPARC, Erinn Lynch, Jill Rushing Fonte, and Meredith Reeback, took to Hill’s defense, co-authoring an op-ed that attempted to present the scandal from more nuanced angles. The authors suggested that “throuple” relationships are more common among millennials, then asserted that Hill was simply the target of a “politically motivated him” and a victim of “homophobic tropes” because she is bisexual before acknowledging that Hill may have violated House rules and “used poor judgment.” The op-ed went on to contrast treatment of Hill with that of male Republican politicians accused of similar acts, before stating, “We may lose Katie Hill because we still are a party that cares for accountability. In maintaining the moral high ground, are we also losing?” One day after the op-ed was published, Hill announced her resignation. 4

Speaking Series and Social Events

SPARC is the host of an educational speaker series. One event, “Beyond #MeToo – Gender Politics in the Trump Era,” featured then-State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), author of SB 826, which required the presence of at least one woman on the board of any publicly-held corporation. Other events included a COVID-19 webinar in June 2020, and a discussion on Mid-East and U.S. relations. 5

SPARC also hosted more informal digital happy hours and events as part of its #SPARCSavesDemocracy campaign, including a June 2020 Zoom session for a SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) event on voter registration featuring “Coffee with a Black Guy” podcast founder James Joyce III. 6


Erinn Lynch is co-founder of SPARC, and executive vice president of public relations firm Blaze PR. She is also the former vice president of marketing at the hospice nonprofit Dream Foundation. 7

Jill Rushing Fonte is co-founder of SPARC and director of marketing and public information officer at Sansum Clinic. She is also a board member of the California chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and former board chair of the American Heart Association. 8

Meredith Reeback is co-founder of SPARC and owner-operator of design company Homegrown Graphics. 9 10


  1. Roberts, Jerry. “Katie Hill: Face of Dems Bid to Win House.” Newsmakers With Jerry Roberts. October 19, 2018. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://www.newsmakerswithjr.com/post/2018/10/19/katie-hill-face-of-dems-bid-to-win-house
  2.  Roberts, Jerry. “Katie Hill: Face of Dems Bid to Win House.” Newsmakers With Jerry Roberts.  October 19, 2018. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://www.newsmakerswithjr.com/post/2018/10/19/katie-hill-face-of-dems-bid-to-win-house
  3.  Moscatello, Caitlin. “Katie Hill, After the Scandal…” The Cut. March 2, 2020. Accessed October 24, 2022.  https://www.thecut.com/2020/03/katie-hill-scandal-aftermath.html
  4. Roberts, Jerry.  “Op-Ed: Katie Hill Backers Weigh Revelations.” Newsmakers With Jerry Roberts.  October 27, 2019.  Accessed October 31, 2022. https://www.newsmakerswithjr.com/post/2019/10/26/op-ed-katie-hill-backers-weigh-revelations
  5.  [1] “SPARC Speaker Event: Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson Feb 7.” Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Accessed October 31, 2022.  https://www.jewishsantabarbara.org/community-calendar/sparc-speaker-event-senator-hannah-beth-jackson-feb-7-1548391309
  6. “#SPARCSavesDemocracy.” Facebook. June 14, 2020. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/sparcsavesdemocracy
  7. “Errin Lynch.” Linkedin. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinn-lynch-203ba87/
  8. “Jill Rushing Fonte.” Linkedin. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillrushingfonte/
  9. “Vote Video Campaign Featuring Meredith Reeback.” Facebook. October 9, 2020. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://www.facebook.com/LWVSB/videos/3359955060720781
  10. “Meredith Reeback.” Linkedin. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/homegrowngraphicsmeredithreeback/
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SPARC (Sparking Political Action, Response, and Change)

Santa Barbara, CA