Samantha Erickson is the Grassroots Government Relations Manager for Turo. As a member of the Government Relations team, Samantha works to galvanize Turo community members to share their stories with legislators.

1994 Toyota Celica (not actual car)

1994 Toyota Celica (not actual car)

Enjoying a winter storm while skiing in Tahoe

Enjoying a winter storm while skiing in Tahoe

Q: What was your first car?

A: 1994 Toyota Celica (not actual car pictured)

Q: What is your dream car? 

A: I absolutely love the bright orange Subaru Crosstrek - such a fun car!

Q: What is your go-to weekend getaway destination? 

A: Lake Tahoe for skiing in the winter and Sonoma, CA for wine tasting all year round. 

Q: What are some of your road trip must haves?

A: A great playlist is paramount to road trip success. Beyond music I love good snacks, a great companion, and an In-N-Out stop along the way. 

Q: Can you tell us how the Turo Government Relations team differs from its counterparts in the similar space?

A: This is the first Government Relations team I’ve worked with, so it’s tough to compare. I am fortunate that our General Counsel, Michelle Fang, recognized my community-building skills while I was in a different position at Turo and encouraged me to consider a grassroots-focused role on Turo’s Government Relations team. Joining was the best professional decision I’ve ever made and have learned a considerable amount about the lawmaking process in a year’s time. I have been fortunate to learn from some of the best in the business - our team pillars are transparency, respect, and trust. We genuinely care about and support one another through this often very challenging work. 

Q: Can you speak to what exactly OpenRoad aims to do? 

A:  OpenRoad aims to transform Turo community members into Turo advocates and connect them with their representatives to voice their support of peer-to-peer car sharing and sensible legislation surrounding this emerging business. One of the main objectives of OpenRoad is to amplify the incredible stories of how peer-to-peer car sharing benefits the lives of our community members in deep and meaningful ways.  

Q: How would you say Turo is trying to connect its users to lawmakers? And why is this so important?

A: We encourage OpenRoad members to reach out to their elected representatives  in whatever medium makes the most sense for the advocate. These lawmakers want to hear from their constituents about issues that matter to them - after all, it’s their job!  We help to humanize the Turo community by sharing the stories of our members with the representatives they’ve elected into office. Lawmakers are put into positions of power to fight for their constituents and we help those elected officials  build a connection with their constituents by encouraging them to call, email, participate in office visits, and lobby days in state capitals across the United States.

Q: Is there a story you can share with us that is about a particular advocate you’ve worked with and why you believe sharing these stories are so important? 

A: We have so many wonderful advocate stories in our community, but a recent favorite of mine came from Marlon in Orlando, FL. In recent years Marlon relied on driving for rideshare programs as his main income until he unexpectedly developed a degenerative eye disease, hindering his sight and therefore his driving capabilities. Luckily, he found Turo, which allowed him to make money off of his existing asset without needing to be on the road. This is one example of a way Turo can help alleviate financial burdens in the lives of our community members. 

Q: Are there any exciting upcoming OpenRoad updates that you would like to share with our readers?

A: Yes! We just launched our monthly OpenRoad newsletter, which will help our busy users  keep up with the work our team is doing. I’m looking forward to expanding the reach of our advocacy efforts through 2020 with the help of our growing community. 

Kinza Malik