Ever since I was five-years old, and went to bed at 8pm ET on November 4, 1980, upset that Jimmy Carter wasn’t going to be President anymore, I’ve been interested in politics. Thankfully, my career in the business has lasted longer than the Carter Administration did.
From interning during a summer for then-Mayor of Philadelphia, Ed Rendell, to working on the Clinton for President Advance Team in Philadelphia,in high school, the course of my career was set fairly early.
Right after graduating from the Newhouse School of Public Communications, at Syracuse University, I moved to Washington, DC, to pursue my dream of making politics my profession.
I was fortunate enough to work as Communications Assistant and Communications Director for Public Campaign, one of the fiercest advocates for real campaign finance reform. I left that position to become Press Secretary for Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
Then, something changed. George W. Bush won the Presidency, and all I saw were Democrats cowering in fear of him. Pretty much all of the Presidential candidates for 2004 were for the Iraq War. Then, I saw this guy give a speech to the Democratic National Committee winter meeting. He said, “I’m here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.” It was Howard Dean.
A few months later, I joined Howard Dean’s Presidential campaign, as Press Secretary and Deputy NY Campaign Manager. During that time, I took great pride in the unapologetically progressive campaign message that I helped develop.
Since then, I have run Schmeltzer PR, my own independent public relations company. Through the company, I continue to be dedicated to helping progressive groups and causes – helping them with everything from developing a winning messaging to formulating communications strategy to break through the media clutter.
And I may or may not still go to bed upset about 1980.