I am supporting an old friend, Andrew Rasiej, who is running for the post of Public Advocate in New York City. His website at http://www.advocatesforrasiej.com has a ‘form letter’, but I wanted to make a personal note of support for him. Andrew has been a hard working advocate for different communities in this city for years.
I remember Andrew helping the fledgling startup/dotcom community with donations of meeting space at Irving Plaza so groups could meet, interact, and companies could grow. I remember him challenging the whole community of “Silicon Alley” to give back, to help the city, when the community was still young. He put his money and his time where his mouth was, and got a group of people together. The result was “Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education” (MOUSE), where volunteers and donations helped to wire the schools and connect the computers so students could have new opportunities to learn. I remember pulling cables and wires with him at Washington Irving High School years ago in order to contribute back. I worked at several other schools and recall how tireless and committed Andrew was to the cause.
Andrew is running for this job (and it is a perfect job for him) so that he can reinvent the post of Public Advocate. Using the net to gather ideas and bring groups together to encourage positive change for our City is a role that Andrew is uniquely qualified to play. He’s been using the power of the net to help politicians understand their constituencies for years. He can gather the opinions and voices of the people who live and work here and amplify their ideas, their concerns, and their power to change New York for the better.
On his site he says “There’s no way one elected official can solve the problems of 8 million people. But I am convinced that 8 million people working together can solve the problems of one city.”
So, now the pitch. Andrew isn’t taking political donations or running rubber-chicken fund raising dinners at hotels. He wants everyone who can to donate $100, and that’s it. With election matching funds, that should be enough to help him run the race. And, by working in this way, he’s beholden only to the people. If you can only give $20, 40, 60, do it.
Go to http://www.advocatesforrasiej.com/donate and help him reach his fundraising goal. And if you vote in the city, don’t forget to vote in the primary on 9/13!
Bottom line – would I want someone who sees the value of technology and politics, and understands how the intersect in office? Would I want someone who went through the technology growth period of this city, and who sees that technology is not being used to its full advantage to benefit New Yorkers, as my Advocate? Yes. Yes I would. That’s why I’ve contributed already to Advocates for Rasiej. Feel free to email me if you have questions.