United State Senate, Wyoming
Yana Ludwig is a 49-year-old Laramie resident who was born in Bemidji, MN, having missed the excitement of the 1960s by a mere five weeks. She is a bisexual woman married to Matt Stannard, the former debate coach at the University of Wyoming and a UW Law School graduate. Matt is a writer, producer, and teacher of cooperative economics and debate. Between them they have 7 kids, 4 of whom are students in Wyoming’s public school system.
Yana has a long history of social justice and ecological activism, starting as a kid following her ecologist dad around the Great Lakes as he did toxicology research on bird populations, and land reclamation work on former mining sites. She grew up in the hunting and fishing culture of her hometown, a former iron ore mining town aptly named Iron River, Michigan, and spent a lot of time outdoors as a kid, cross country skiing, swimming, trolling for bass, and wandering joyfully and aimlessly in the woods. Iron River was about a generation and a half out from completely losing mining as its economic center, and that early experience seeing economic struggle colors how she sees Wyoming’s future.
Yana’s family includes Navy doctors, artists, scientists, former school board members, and the Democratic nominee for Michigan’s House District 80 in the last election, her big brother, Mark.
Her grandfather was also the editor of the largest union newspaper in the country, after a long and distinguished union career with the railroads.
Her first major march for human rights was the big gay rights march on Washington DC in 1993. Since then, she has participated in numerous Take Back the Night events, Women’s marches, anti-war and pro-science protests, and many ecological activist actions including the People’s Climate March in NYC in 2014. In college she was in student government, a campus leader of the MN Public Interest Research Group, and a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Student Alliance. Yana is a sexual assault survivor, and has dealt with various forms of gender and class discrimination.
Yana’s professional career has focused on the nonprofit sector, where she has been the Director of numerous nonprofits including Project Grow Community Gardens, Recycling Jackson, the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture, and Commonomics USA. She has also served on the Board and/or Oversight team of the nonprofit Foundation for Intentional Community for a decade.