Next Gen Dem
Eric Lesser, Massachusetts State Senator & Former Obama White House Official (Ep. 12)
In just a few short years, Eric Lesser went from organizing students at Harvard to having a desk 50 feet away from the Oval Office which was a political education he is now putting to good use in the Massachusetts State Legislature, where he serves as a state Senator representing nine municipalities in the Springfield area. On episode 12 of Next Gen Dem, Eric and I discuss his first foray into politics in high school, his proudest White House achievement (which also may have been his most...
Ken Harbaugh, Ohio Congressional Candidate & Former Navy Pilot (Ep. 11)
If anyone can rise to the challenge of running for Congress for the first time in a deep-red Ohio district, it’s former Navy pilot Ken Harbaugh. Despite the fact that most of Ken’s neighbors voted for Trump, and even his own parents did as well, he is confident he has a message that will resonate – his commitment to putting service above self. On Episode 11 of Next Gen Dem, Ken and I discuss how his military service has made him uniquely qualified to bridge the divide in politics, the...
Ep. 10: P.G. Sittenfeld, Cincinnati City Council Member & Former U.S. Senate Candidate
Most people are still in their first job at the age of 25, figuring out what they want to do with their lives. P.G. Sittenfeld, however, decided that was the perfect age to begin running for elected office, and he has become a rising Democratic star in the years that have followed, eventually becoming the youngest person ever elected to the Cincinnati City Council and a candidate for Ohio’s U.S. Senate Seat. In episode 10 of Next Gen Dem, P.G. and I cover a wide range of topics, including...
Ep. 9: Garlin Gilchrist, Candidate for Detroit City Clerk
If he becomes Detroit’s City Clerk, first-time political candidate Garlin Gilchrist will be the man in charge of the voting process in Detroit. Since the city contains the largest block of Democratic voters in the key swing state of Michigan — which has a Gubernatorial election next year and is bound to play a key role in the 2020 Presidential race — even in a local role, Garlin has the potential to shape elections that impact the entire country. In episode nine of Next Gen Dem, Garlin and...
Ep. 8: Betsy Hoover -- Partner, Higher Ground Labs
One of the many reasons Barack Obama won two terms as President is because he was able to deploy state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology to target voters and get them out to the polls. But Republicans have recently begun to close the gap and cut into Democrats’ technological advantage. According to Betsy Hoover, my guest on Episode 8 of Next Gen Dem, one of the main culprits is because political tech innovations largely only occur every four years during a Presidential cycle. Betsy,...
Ep. 7: Suraj Patel, Co-Founder of The Arena
Like many people the day after the election of Donald Trump, Suraj Patel turned to his friends for consolation and inspiration. Those conversations, many of which were with former Obama and Hillary Clinton staffers, quickly morphed into a plan: bring a large group of people together in the middle of the country to discuss what to do next. Incredibly, with just three weeks’ notice, Suraj and his fellow co-founders got over 400 people to show up in Nashville and in the process ended up...
Ep. 6: Shanoor Seervai & Yasmin Radjy, Co-Founders of Resistance School
Every resistance movement needs soldiers, and Resistance School -- the program Shanoor Seervai and Yasmin Radjy helped to create – is arming progressives with the tools they need to push back. They have had so much early success with their training program, many have begun to compare their efforts to that of Dumbledore’s Army. Hatched in the halls of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Resistance School consists of four training sessions taught by leading experts, including lessons...
Ep. 5: Michael Blake, DNC Vice Chair & NYS Assemblyman
Democrats lost 1,042 seats in local, state and federal races over the last eight years. Michael Blake, a New York State Assemblyman and the youngest Vice Chair of the DNC, is on a mission to recruit candidates and build the infrastructure to reverse those numbers. In Episode Five, Michael and I discuss how his upbringing in the Bronx – the most diverse county in America – has shaped his views, the lessons he learned from two Obama campaigns and from working in the Obama White House, as...
Ep. 3: Nick Melvoin, Los Angeles School Board Candidate
Most first-time candidates for elected office do not find themselves running in the most expensive school board race in American history, but Nick Melvoin is looking to unseat Los Angeles’ eight-year incumbent school board president and the race has gotten a ton of attention and become very pricey. In the third episode of Next Gen Dem, Nick and I discuss the Democratic position on charter schools, how he stays motivated, what he thinks went wrong in November, and whether Democrats have a...
Ep. 2: Sara Hernandez, California Congressional Candidate
Sara Hernandez has dedicated her life to educating and providing opportunity for disadvantaged children in Los Angeles. From teaching in the classroom to starting her own non-profit, she has been laser-focused on changing the lives of young people throughout LA. Now Sara is one of 23 candidates – including 13 under the age of 40 – running to fill an open Congressional seat in California. Sara and I discuss the most important issues in her district, which is almost 70% Hispanic, the types...
Ep. 1 -- Keith Powers, NYC City Council Candidate
In the first episode of Next Gen Dem, I speak with Keith Powers, a young progressive who could be President Trump’s City Councilman. Keith is a New York political operative who recently decided to throw his hat in the ring and run for a seat representing the east side of Manhattan on the New York City Council. Keith and I discuss how his upbringing in a middle-class housing development and his days as an undergrad in Ohio shaped his political beliefs, and his ideas for how to get people...