A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Hi, I'm Dave. I'm a digital strategist living in Washington, D.C. I've settled on the title digital strategist, for the lack of a better descriptor, but in most of the work I do, I wear more than one hat. I'm a designer, a writer, a photographer, and an editor. I'm a manager. I put all of the pieces together to make digital work for a campaign or organization.
My first experience in politics was knocking on doors in Iowa for Howard Dean in 2004. When I graduated from college in 2006, I worked at Media Matters for America, in the technology department. I hacked together perl scripts and fixed David Brock's Blackberry (repeatedly). After the 2006 elections, I tried my hand as a freelance photographer. I went on tour with a few bands, took a lot of photos at a lot of different music venues, and made next to no money. After working for a temp agency, as a manager at a hardware store, and as a doorman at a rock club, I ended up at the Sierra Club's D.C. office.
At the Sierra Club, I moved from technology to digital organizing, and eventually led the Club's digital program for the 2012 elections. I built online organizing plans to mobilize Sierra Club members to get involved in more than 60 races across the country. I also designed and implemented digital plans supporting various Club priorities around the country, ranging from clean water campaigns to alternative transit projects.
In 2013, I went to work for Aneesh Chopra, the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States, on his campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. I served as his digital director, and built some pretty interesting and innovative tools. Following that campaign, I worked at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, working to optimize their email fundraising program, as well as building various microsites.
In March of 2014, I headed to Virginia to serve as Senator Mark Warner's digital director for his re-election campaign. Despite the challenging environment of working on a campaign that most everyone assumed would be a landslide, we raised more than $1.28 million in grassroots online donations. We built a robust digital advertising program targeting key voters — and each and every one of those mattered in an election that was ultimately decided by some 16,000 votes.
This is all on my resume. So here's what I really want you to know.
My experience has taught me a few things:
- Digital tools can inspire and empower people to take action in their communities in ways no one imagined previously. And this can and does make a real difference.
- It's important to not say the words "that's not my job." In most environments, if it needs to get done, it becomes everyone's job, and whoever can get it done needs to get it done.
- Seemingly small actions at scale can and will change the world.
- The best way to learn new things is to be given a challenging task with a deadline.
- Always practice your hard ask.
- When in doubt, Google it.
- Be kind.
I'm always looking for new projects and new challenges. I try to be as involved as I can in local politics where I live, as that's the level of government that touches people the most. I like dogs. I once ran a marathon. My fun fact is that I was once an extra on the West Wing.
Do you have an impossible challenge? Let's work together on it. Maybe we'll change the world. Or at least we'll have tried.
Last updated: December 4, 2014