Belmont man refuses jury duty as war rages

When our President started a reckless and counterproductive war despite the protests of millions around the world, I was furious. My personal protest made the front page of the local newspaper, and page three of another. The Independent then printed part of my statement, and the response was heartwarmingly positive.

I felt that scoundrels had taken control of our country because I had been busy making games and had not prevented it. Ever since, I've been volunteering on political campaigns. No individual is solely responsible for election results, but if fools are elected from now on, my own apathy or neglect will not be the reason.

San Mateo Greens I started as a precinct walker for Jo Chamberlain's run for the State Assembly in 2002. Then I worked as web designer and co-campaign manager for George Kranen's attempt at the Belmont city council. I worked as a volunteer, and I started buying equipment. Then an amazing thing happened.
I joined Matt Gonzalez' campaign for Mayor of San Francisco. It became one of the most intense and rewarding experiences of my life. Matt's campaign for Mayor

Thousands of us came together to support the Green candidate, while the Democrats threw everything they had at us. They flew Al Gore and Bill Clinton into town. They spent 8 million dollars. They tried their dirty tricks. And we became stronger. On election day, we got 52% of the vote. Tragically, the absentee ballots beat us.

Pat Gray For the November 2004 elections, I did all I could for several campaigns: Pat Gray for Congress, Terry Baum for Congress, Ross Mirkarimi for Supervisor, and others. Of the six that I helped, I'm proud to say that two won! That's a fantastic ratio for Greens!
In 2005, I worked on Aimee Allison's campaign in Oakland. A member of the city council had resigned, so a special election was held to fill the remaining year of the term. We came in fourth out of nine. Aimee Allison
Aimee Allison A year later, that partial term ended, so Aimee and the third place challenger ran against the incumbent a second time. With each campaign we get better, and this time we got 39%, putting Aimee into a run-off in November.
After two big campaigns for Aimee (I only walked a precinct in her third campaign), I changed my focus to campaign management software. But, to keep my hand in, I helped Emily Drennen in 2006. Emily Drennen
Barry Hermanson In 2008, Congressman Tom Lantos died and a special election was called with a very short time frame. Barry's goal was to change our national budget priorities away from the military, so he and I put together a small campaign and a great flyer.
Barack Obama's campaign hired my friend Nicole long before the primaries. When I visited the New Hampshire headquarters in 2007, she suggested that they should hire me. I was very tempted, but decided that local progressives needed me more than Obama did. I helped several local campaigns, but Mark Sanchez most of all. Unfortunately, Mark lost. Mark Sanchez
Left Coast After Mark's campaign, I joined a political consulting firm. At Left Coast Communications, I worked on campaigns and handled technology. As I continued to develop campaign management software, LCC provided opportunities to test theories and algorithms. I worked there through 2012.
For the November 2009 election, I worked against a local measure proposed by the owners of some downtown buildings. They wanted to erect huge electronic billboards, creating a Times Square for San Francisco. They put a lot of money into it, but we shot a TV commercial and aired it with a meager budget. I handled the Google Adwords and online banner ads. We won with 54%! No on D
Jane Kim In 2010, fourteen candidates ran to replace Chris Daly as SF's District 6 Supervisor. Most of the endorsements split between the Democratic Party's favorite and the choice of the Chamber of Commerce. As a former Green, Jane was excluded from both camps—a perfect opportunity to test my targeting algorithms. I'm very proud of this win, as we conducted a well run effort.

I was a member of the Green Party for many years, but I left it in 2011. I'm now an independent.

In 2011, the Mayor of San Francisco resigned after winning a higher office. The Board of Supervisors appointed Ed Lee to replace Newsom, and nearly everyone was pleased with the great job Ed was doing. However, Ed did not want to run for a full term. Left Coast helped to convince him. Then we helped him win the election. Run, Ed, Run
Barbara Lee Left Coast had been helping Barbara Lee with little things for years, but in 2012 her district changed and California switched to top-two primaries. The Congresswoman ran a big campaign for the first time in years and we handled a lot of it. Our total was 82.8% of the vote! That was the highest contested result in the state.
I met Sabrina at a RootsCamp event in 2010. She had just run for the San Mateo County Harbor Commission and lost. In 2012, I helped her run a second time and she got more votes for the office than anyone in history! I worked on a total of five campaigns this cycle, and won four of them. Sabrina Brennan
Vote YES on the Recall After winning Sabrina's race so strongly, she got me involved in another campaign. Three elected officials were acting irresponsibly, and I became the campaign manager for the effort to recall them. We won by a landslide! This race taught me quite a lot.
In November, 2013, I was involved in about eight campaigns, five that won. Among them were Gladwyn and Kristin, candidates for City Council in my home town of Belmont. I helped as much as I could but we still lost. Losses teach more than victories, I think. Gladwyn d’Souza
Save Our Bridge In another case of alarming political deafness, Half Moon Bay's City Council voted to demolish a bridge at the center of their community. A roomful of people clapped and cheered until I agreed to be their campaign manager. Another landslide!
In November 2014, I was involved in another seven campaigns, with four winners. Three of them defeated incumbents. Nicole and Tom won seats on the harbor commission. Deborah Penrose and Deborah Ruddock won seats on Half Moon Bay's City Council. Nicole David
Aaron Peskin In November, 2015, Aaron Peskin ran for Supervisor of District 3 in San Francisco. My software works in Chinese, so I helped Tammy Hung's team contact Chinatown voters. Our “bearded man” won!
Cliff Lentz was on the City Council in the tiny town of Brisbane. In June of 2016, he ran for San Mateo County Supervisor, challenging candidates from much larger Daly City. This loss taught me about the limits of field operations. Cliff Lentz
Harvey Rarback Since our recall campaign in 2013, Harvey Rarback had been a Fire Commissioner. In November, 2016, he ran for the City Council in Half Moon Bay. The long-term effort paid off, as Harvey and our friends now hold four of the five seats.