If an asteroid were headed for Earth, we’d all band together and figure out how to stop it, just like in the movies, right? And yet, when faced with major, data-supported, end-of-the-world problems in real …Read more →
About the Run for America Movement
Run for America is a post-partisan initiative designed to fix our country’s broken political system by recruiting, training, and electing a new generation of highly talented leaders innovators, social change agents, entrepreneurs, and outside-the-box thinkers in their bids for public office. Our group of legislators will be highly talented, innovative, solutions-oriented leaders who understand technology and the 21st century paradigm, who will fundamentally change politics and make governing their first and only priority.
Specifically, beginning with the 2016 election cycle, we will recruit, train, and elect 10 to 20 candidates for U.S. House races. Our candidates will be highly diverse, with at least 50% of our candidates being women. Once elected to office, these members of Congress will be the strongest voices, pushing to advance and resolve the key challenges facing our political system and our country at large. Put simply, we will spur the creation of a solutions-based culture of politics in Washington driven by legislators who are 21st century leaders, collaborative, constantly courageous, innovative, future-oriented, and hyper-focused on results for America.
As our country’s polarization becomes more entrenched than ever, the incentives for members of Congress to solve big problems are diminishing, and as a result we have total inaction at a time when our debt is spiraling out of control, our education system is languishing, our planet’s temperature continues to rise, and economic opportunity for all is decreasing. To address these critical issues, Run for America envisions a solutions-based culture of politics in Washington, driven by legislators who regularly tackle America’s most pressing problems. We believe that such transformational change can only begin with the election of a new generation of leaders who are driven by an authentic desire to serve the American people, and who place governing – not fundraising, not partisanship, and not ideology – as their first priority.
A Polarized Congress
Our Best Can't And Don't Want To Run
Our first election cycle will be in 2016, and we will focus on recruiting candidates under the age of 35. By virtue of running and serving, our candidates will:
*Initiate conversations surrounding largely avoided yet crucial problems facing our country, thereby forcing politicians to take action on key policy issues, including: the environment, education, fiscal responsibility, campaign finance reform, and economic opportunity
*Create campaigns which serve as valuable and inspiring experiences in public engagement and policy discussion
*Demonstrate that solutions-oriented candidates can succeed in our political system
*Encourage other likeminded individuals to run for office
*Win elections, thereby advancing our long-term efforts to reform our political system
Moneyball for Politics
Part of this vision is only possible in the modern political era which has given us incredible amounts of data to figure out unusual ways of figuring out where unlikely voters are and how to reach them directly.We analyzed 435 congressional districts for more than 40 data points to identify districts where these kinds of leaders would be uniquely electable.T hese are the districts we will focus on in 2016.
Because of the unique demographic features of the districts in which RFA candidates will be running, all RFA campaigns must be conducted in a manner that markedly departs from politics as usual. We simply won’t win otherwise. By building a national cultural movement, we seek to transcend partisan lines, in the process forging a coalition comprised of young people, independents, as well as disengaged Democrats and Republicans. In the process, we’ll recruit scores of volunteers, who would not normally get involved in an average congressional campaign. In an age of mediocrity, RFA candidates will reinvigorate what has become an increasingly disillusioned and apathetic electorate.
A Political Service Corps
Run for America will be a service corps for politics, much like Teach for America is for education. Some of our members may opt to stay and run for additional terms, while others may choose to leave after their first term. When Run for America members step down, they will infuse their experiences in government into future socially-minded initiatives, such as starting businesses and organizations that can effectively engage with and complement government and policy.
Run for America is a national movement, led by our candidates, fueled by volunteers and donors, and facilitated by three principal entities:
* Run for America Inc. is a Benefit Corporation which will recruit and work to elect candidates for public office. By creating economies of scale, utilizing big data and new technologies, and leveraging significant social and earned media, we will run campaigns at a fraction of the cost paid by incumbents and other establishment candidates.
* Run for America Institute is a separate, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. Its mission is to encourage talented people to run for public office and train them to do so. The Institute will create and operate educational training programs for prospective candidates that prepare candidates emotionally, physically, functionally, and intellectually for campaigning and governing. The Institute will also convene and participate in public forums and media around these issues. and conduct non-partisan research around our biggest national challenges.
* Run for America Joint Fundraising Committee will allow donors to make a single contribution that will benefit all Run for America candidates. Candidates will share equally in the funds the JFC raises.
David Burstein, Founder & CEO
David is the author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World, the first broad book about the Millennial Generation, written by a Millennial. The book takes readers inside the largest generation in history to tell how and why they are changing business, technology, culture, and politics. Previously, he was the Founder and Executive Director of Generation18, a leading nonpartisan young voter engagement organization. The organization grew out of the documentary film, 18 in '08, which David directed and produced about young voters in the 2008 election. From 2007-2008, Generation18 registered over 25,000 new voters, held over 1,000 events in 35 states, and produced a get-out-the-vote PSA series with stars including Olivia Wilde and Maggie Gyllenhaal. For his work, David received a 2009 DoSomething Award and his story was featured on several million bags of Doritos. His 2012 follow up film, Up to Us, focused on the optimism and resilience of the Millennial Generation in the face of the economic crisis and their continued desire to vote and participate in public service. Up to Us was screened across the country in the lead up to the 2012 election. David is a frequent speaker and commentator on Millennials, social innovation and politics. He has appeared on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, NPR, ABC Evening News, and C-SPAN, and in The New York Times, USA Today, Politico, Salon, The Huffington Post, and many others. David is a contributor to Fast Company, where he writes about disruptive innovation, social entrepreneurship and creativity. He has been a consultant to numerous organizations and companies on how to understand and engage Millennials. David is the Founding Co-Director of the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship @ Chicago Ideas Week, which helps outstanding young social entrepreneurs grow their impact. He is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, Disruptor Foundation Fellow, and serves on the advisory boards of Watson University, The Civic Life Project, CanLeads, and The Westport Youth Film Festival. He is a proud graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Erin Schrode, Board Member
Erin Schrode is a young ecoRenaissance woman. As the “face of the new green generation,” the co-founder and spokeswoman of Turning Green promotes global sustainability, youth leadership, environmental education, and conscious lifestyle choices. After working in disaster response in Haiti, she founded and launched The Schoolbag, a youth education project to provide tools and materials for students in need, as well as initiate active citizenry and environmental stewardship. A “sustainability prodigy” and eco expert, Erin has been featured in the NY Times, Vanity Fair, SF Chronicle, NY Post, Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue, National Geographic, ABC, NBC, BBC, CNN, FOX, MTV, E!, AOL, GOOD, Slate, and other multimedia outlets. She speaks frequently, serves on panels, hosts events and videos, and writes columns for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, ecofabulous, and Eco Age, as well as her own blog. Having visited over fifty countries, Erin has developed a keen global perspective and hopes to inspire her peers to take action and make the world a more sustainable and just place for future generations.
Andy McCracken, Board Member
Andy is the Executive Director of the National Campus Leadership Council. He has a long history in student organizing and startups. He’s previously served as Executive Director of the DC Student Alliance, a coalition of the DC region’s student governments, as president of the American University Student Government, and on Mayor Gray’s transition team promoting greater engagement with the college student community. He recently co-founded a web-based platform called Cahoots, which will launch soon to connect and collaborate beyond their campuses. He graduated from AU in May 2011 with a B.A. in Political Science and is now pursuing a Masters in Public Administration.
Rebecca Kantar, Board Member
Rebecca is the Founder of BrightCo a Millennial expert talent network. She left Harvard College in 2012 after completing her sophomore year and raising BrightCo’s seed round from angel investors in Boston, NYC, and Silicon Valley. Previously, Rebecca served as the CEO of Minga, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating the global child sex trade by harnessing the power of teens. Rebecca has spoken at TEDx events, the United Nations, Harvard University, Cornell Medical School, the NYU Stern School, and dozens of other similar venues. Rebecca is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.
Brian Edelman, Board Member
Brian is the CEO of Rain, an award winning digital agency that provides software based and interactive content solutions that includes social, video and mobile applications. Rain creates and produces for a variety of brands and marketers including Walmart, Icon Fitness, National Flood Services, Related, Miami Dolphins, Under Armour, and the US State Department. Brian has produced numerous documentaries including Unfiltered, about Olympic legend Michael Phelps, as well as Secrets of the Code, Si Se Puede and 18 in ‘08. Brian graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and is a member of the Newhouse Advisory Board. He currently serves on the Jackie Robinson Foundation selection committee.
Ross Rocketto, Board Member
Ross is an experienced political operative, entrepreneur, and policy wonk who has consistently worked at the intersection of politics and policy. He is also the Founder of Running to Govern which is committed to solving our nation's toughest challenges by recruiting and electing a new generation of leaders who understand that they are being elected to govern, not just win. Additionally, Ross is a management consultant working mostly with the Federal Government. Ross also has experience working on local, state, and national political campaigns. Ross holds Master’s degree in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon as well as a BA from Trinity University.
Anna Levine, Strategic Advisor
Anna is the President of The Business Leadership Council for a Generational Born HIV Free (BLC) to accelerate progress toward eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV by 2015. Prior to joining the BLC, Anna's career included private sector and non-profit work in healthcare, both domestically and abroad. Most recently, she spent four years at McKinsey & Company in the US and South Africa. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and has advised many start-ups and burgeoning non-profits on business planning, growth strategy, and P&L management. Anna holds a BS in Chemistry from Brown University.
Trevor Potter, Legal Counsel
Trevor Potter is a Member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C., office, where he leads the firm's Political Law Group. He is one of the nation's best-known and experienced campaign and election lawyers. A former Commissioner and Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, and counsel to several Presidential campaigns, Mr. Potter has been described by the American Bar Association Journal as "hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law, and money." Mr. Potter has been rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell®, ranked as one of the "Best Lawyers in America®," and listed among Washington, D.C.'s Super Lawyers®. He was recently described as "smart as a whip" in his Chambers USA listing, and the editors of Campaigns & Elections Magazine voted him among the "Top 50 Influencers" in the political world to watch in the 2014 election cycle.
Chris Ashby, Legal Counsel
Chris Ashby is a lawyer, former political speechwriter and veteran campaign operative. He combines in-depth legal knowledge and sound political judgment to help his clients navigate a complex, multi-layered, and ever-changing maze of federal, state and local laws and regulations governing participation in the political process. Chris practiced law for seven years at two of America’s largest law firms, Troutman Sanders and Hunton & Williams, before joining the fast-growing national firm LeClairRyan as a partner in its political law practice. During his legal career, Chris has represented Fortune 500 corporations, advised several presidential campaigns, and counseled senatorial and congressional candidates, statewide campaigns and politically-active non-profit organizations. In addition, he has represented elected officials and campaign consultants in high-stakes political investigations, is one of the country’s most experienced recount lawyers, and is one of a few attorneys with experience advising so-called I.E.-only committees following the controversial Citizens United and SpeechNow court decisions. Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine identified Chris as a “rising star” in the practice of governmental (2007) and political law (2008). The American Spectator has reported that he is “one of the best in the country for this kind of thing.”
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – buckminster fuller
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former president of advocacy group StudentsFirst, former CEO of Americans Elect, former fellow at Council on Foreign Relations
founder and chairman of Electus, former co-chairman of NBC entertainment and Universal Media Studios
former chief of staff to Secretary Clinton, former deputy white house counsel for President Clinton
resident scholar, aei, author it’s even worse than it looks: how the american constitutional system collided with the new politics of extremism
Former Representative from
Michigan’s 8th District
Co-Founder, No Labels & Former Media Director Bush ’04 Campaign
Conservative Commentator, Co-Host CNN’s Crossfire
president of global corporate advisory firm Teneo, former counselor to President Clinton
President of The Business Leadership Council for a Generational Born HIV Free