Perspectives on Pathways - Why early-chain civic leadership

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.

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Should I run for office?

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!

Are you running for office?

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

Consulting with Living Cities Civic Tech and Data Collaborative

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!

Leaving Veracity Media

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...

I am not amused

Originally posted on Facebook Warning, the following may not be super popular at first glance, but it might be worth a read... Personally, I am not amused by the circus that has become the democratic process used to select the person to serve in one of the most singularly powerful positions of leadership and authority and influence currently existing in human civilization. It’s 2015, there are a million ways to be amused, and I enjoy partaking in those as much as the next person (maybe more). There is endless entertainment. But this is not one of them. This is supposed to be where ideas on solving problem related to little things like poverty, poor economic mobility, lack of access to healthcare, education and jobs, crippling student debt and economic indebtedness, major growing problems with our environment, wasted tax dollars because of biased, corrupt or inept management and spending, lives ruined because of a misappropriated criminal justice system, overly prohibitive government regulations in some areas, and under regulation in others, a huge lack of global leadership contributing to poverty, corruption, hunger, disease and conflict around the world are supposed to be discussed and figured. Those are actually the things at stake,...