What do you see that others don't?
What do you see that others don't?
On November 20th 2017, the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Leonia unanimously approved of my appointment as Borough Administrator, to begin on December 7th. [Sorry not sorry this is long/sentimental] Six years ago I got the unbelievable chance to show that young people or those outside of party machines or those who didn’t care about being re-elected or those who didn’t watch a show like West Wing, but studied it, could not just get elected to public office, but could do and support others in doing amazing work. In South Orange we did this - we stabilized property taxes and raised new revenues while cutting costs and better supporting our workforce, we supported a diverse, community-oriented police department which significantly reduced crime, did more (and better, more equitable and more sustainable) redevelopment, better supported our diverse culture and arts, all while being more transparent with everything we do and more-so partnered with our community members.
This post is an installment in a series of posts of my personal reflections on Pathways for America, a nonpartisan civic leadership program I researched, developed, and implemented from 2016-2017 for Run for America. Leading up the creation of Pathways, we were focused on a broad, but fundamental, deficiency related to the present failing of public institutions. It is: Any progress on any issue is incomplete and unsustainable unless public institutions are fully equipped to be able to “successfully” tackle whatever issue or decision is in front of them. Here I'll explore why we focused on that, and a few things we learned.
A program with a new take on how to provide more Americans a cross-partisan, capacity-building, and independent environment to discover and accomplish their most important civic goals.
Over the years, I've had the chance to talk to many about how they can get more involved, make some sort of greater civic impact. So, I've put together this, well, "comprehensive" guide to whether you should run for office. Check it out!
On March 29th, I was invited to speak at Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics as part of their Youth Political Participation Program & the New Jersey League of Women Voters' Young People's Network. The day included discussions of New Jersey's party structure and system, role playing exercises, a panel of young officials, and a crash course workshop I gave on starting a campaign and running it lean, like a startup. Taking from experiences of my own campaign in 2011, consulting work with Veracity and mentorships and work with campaigns across the country, I provided students with a quick starting point to getting a campaign off the ground. Check out the slides below and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions! Daily Targum: Rutgers Eagleton debuts RU Running? pilot program
I'm very excited to now be consulting for the fabulous change-making organization Living Cities, managing the implementation of a grant from MacArthur Foundation to deploy civic tech projects in three cities in the US. It's a great opportunity to build on my experiences both as an entrepreneur and systems scaler with a small business and my time in office as mayor of South Orange. There's tremendous potential for creating innovation, especially in city governments, and I'm excited for how this will integrate with my continued interest in understanding how to create sustainable change in systems of governance in the US and abroad. Look out for more soon!
In 2010 I filed incorporation papers for “Veracity Media,” a name I had been using since middle/high school to describe crazy media related ventures to make politics more “honest” that I was trying to work on. In 2011 I had the pleasure of meeting Aaron Straus Garcia, who not only helped me become one of the youngest mayors in the country in my beloved hometown of South Orange, but shared my passion for getting more (young) people into our civic ecosystem. Six months later, after an insane few months in office for me, and a political campaign in Spain for him, we met in the Pirate’s Cove at Seton Hall to talk about how we can get more young people elected and really shake up government. We quickly realized we each had no real paying job, and so we deferred Rethink Leadership (to be launched about a year later) and we went in on Veracity Media together and started our hustle around Jersey and NYC. We brought Ryan Morgan on a year later, and our first company employees in January of 2014. Since then, Veracity has grown to be one of the best NationBuilder experts, and political and digital consulting...