Jessica González’s father was a truck driver, and her grandfather was a longshoreman, but she noticed growing up that they both read the newspaper cover to cover daily, an appreciation for the value of media that has stuck with her all her life.

González herself has worked in jobs ranging from stocking grocery shelves at 4 a.m. to teaching at a public school in Los Angeles. And as co-chief executive of the advocacy group Free Press, she fights to defend net neutrality protections, combat misinformation and even fend off Trump administration cuts to a federal program that helped her launch her legal career years ago.

Lifeline, which provides a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers, gave her a steady phone number that was critical as she applied to law school after she was laid off as a public school teacher, González said.

“It’s not that common for someone who’s benefited from a government program to then go on and actually advocate for the expansion of that program, or at least it hasn’t been in my field,” she told The Hill in an interview last week.

“I understand firsthand the importance of stable communications, and that informs a lot of my work,” González said.

She joined Free Press in the wake of the 2016 election after spending more than seven years at the National Hispanic Media Coalition, which followed serving as a staff attorney at Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Public Representation, where she represented consumer, civil rights and public interest organizations.

“There I just really fell in love with the idea of reforming the media so that it better serves the public, so that it actually exposes racism and sexism instead of perpetuating it,” González said. “So that people have the information that they need to make good choices and so we could better understand one another.”