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Jim Steyer
Jim has spent more than 20 years as one of the most respected experts and entrepreneurs on issues related to children's policy and media in the United States. As CEO, he is responsible for the overall leadership of Common Sense Media, the nation's leading nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the media lives of kids and families.

Prior to founding Common Sense, Jim was Chairman and CEO of JP Kids, a respected family media company. Before that, he served as President of Children Now, a leading national advocacy and media organization for children, which he founded in 1988. Jim began his career as an elementary school teacher and then became a public interest lawyer. He served as a law clerk for the California SupremeCourt, as a deputy district attorney, and as a civil rights attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

In addition to his duties at Common Sense, Jim teaches popular courses on civil rights, civil liberties, and children's issues at Stanford University, and is a founding board member of the Center for the Next Generation, a nonpartisan organization supporting programs and policies that benefit the next generation of young Americans. Jim is also the author of two widely acclaimed books "The Other Parent: The Inside Story of the Media's Effect on Our Children," and "Talking Back to Facebook: A Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age" (Scribner, 2012), a timely look at how digital media is effecting our children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. In March 2012, Jim was named a co-chair of the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission, along with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger; Co-Founder of TPG Capital James Coulter; and former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, with the support of the FCC and the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission is tasked with developing a blueprint detailing the opportunity for using technology as a catalyst to transform and improve American education.

Over the past decade, Jim has appeared regularly on a variety of national television and radio programs, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Oprah, CNN, The O'Reilly Factor, Morning Joe, and Larry King. He hosts a regular weekly segment, "Kids and the Media," on CBS-5 TV in San Francisco, and his work has been featured in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Atlantic, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal.

Jim grew up in New York City and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford. He received his JD from Stanford Law School, where he founded the East Palo Alto Community Law Project. Jim is the father of four children and lives with his family in the Bay Area.

Entries by Jim Steyer

Kids Must Be Our Nation's Top Priority

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2015 | 4:20 PM

Putting our kids first is not just good public policy, it's just plain common sense. That's why we're excited to announce the launch of our major new platform: Common Sense Kids Action. The mission is simple: to make kids and education our nation's top priority. Period. Full stop.


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Peggy Charren Always Put Kids First, Policymakers Should Follow

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2015 | 6:48 PM

With the passing of Peggy Charren, the country has lost an important voice in the fight for civility and civic responsibility in media aimed at children.

Charren was a trailblazer who pushed television networks to develop more intelligent and appropriate programming for kids. Her fight took her...

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The Nation Should Follow California's Lead on Student Privacy

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 3:08 PM

California has a long, well-deserved reputation as a center for public policy innovation. Long before Washington decided to increase fuel-efficiency standards in cars, California passed its own tougher rules. While Congress remains deadlocked over hiking the federal minimum wage, California has led the way, boosting the minimum pay to $10...

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Entertainment Industry Caves to Hackers and Refuses to Stand Up for America's Kids

(2) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 3:01 PM

I watched the hacking of Sony Pictures play out with a mixture of sadness and bewilderment, as studio executives fell victim to a coordinated cyber attack and pulled The Interview from theaters before eventually releasing it days later.

What began with a round of salacious stories from leaked private...

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Close the Broadband Gap

(2) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 3:39 PM

In the 21st century, it's hard to imagine a corporate world where only one-third of businesses could access high-speed Internet and the rest were relegated to dial-up speeds. Yet that's essentially the reality for our nation's schools.

Although most schools today have Internet access, only about one-third of our...

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Talk, Read and Sing to Kids to Close the Word Gap

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 11:29 AM

With a boost from Hillary Clinton last weekend in San Diego, the American Academy of Pediatricians launched the next phase of its campaign to help close the "word gap" between children in high- and low-income families.

The Academy has embraced the work of Too Small to Fail...

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California Continues to Lead the Nation in Child Privacy Protection

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 4:44 PM

As technology transforms every facet of our lives, educators are implementing exciting new tools that will help our children learn the critical skills they need and prepare them for the 21st Century economy. California has taken the lead once again in ensuring these new innovations are incorporated into our classrooms...

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3 Data Protection Questions to Ask at Your Child's Back to School Night

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 11:54 AM

Back to school night is a great opportunity to engage with your child's teachers to learn more about their academic and classroom goals for the year. It's also an opportunity for parents to ask questions about the technology their child will use in class this year, and how the data...

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The 'Kill Switch': A Win For Privacy Protection and Public Safety

(1) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 5:35 PM

For an ever-growing number of us, our lives are in our smartphones.

Whether we realize it or not, our phones contain large amounts of private information -- everything from frequent flyer numbers to bank account passwords -- that could be damaging if it fell into the wrong hands.

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Read, Read, Read!

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 12:35 PM

Summertime is in full swing, which for many kids means being blissfully removed from the rigors of the classroom and the stress of daily homework.

But as kids and parents enjoy their well-deserved break from school work, we can all take a more active role in ensuring their minds don't...

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Protecting Student Privacy Comes First

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 2:34 PM

There was a rare bit of good news Wednesday for those concerned with the privacy of our children. Under increasing pressure, Google announced that it will no longer scan student Gmail accounts for advertising purposes. The company also agreed to stop serving ads on the Google Apps for Education platform...

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America's Kids Start Learning Way Before Kindergarten

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 3:22 PM

Much of my work during the past decade has involved helping parents better understand the problems of unfettered media and technology access to their kids. But this doesn't mean that my colleagues and I oppose children using media and the latest digital content and tools. Rather, there are many positives...

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Challenging Sexism and Violence in Super Bowl Commercials

(167) Comments | Posted February 2, 2013 | 10:33 AM

This Sunday, in cities and towns across the U.S., over 100 million people will gather in front of their TVs with friends and family to watch the Super Bowl. But the 49ers and Ravens aren't the only ones facing off that night. Advertisers will do anything to make sure their...

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Healthy Digital Diets Make the Grade

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 5:42 PM

If I were to count the number of "screens" in my house, it probably would be in the double digits. Considering my wife and I have four kids, including three teenagers, our family is managing more than a handful of smartphones, personal computers, iPads, as well as a couple of...

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Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives

(2) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 6:38 PM

When I think about the fact that today's teens are the first generation to go through their entire lives with social networking sites at their fingertips, I can't help but question the impact of it all. How is the immediacy of social media and mobile technology shaping their interpersonal relationships?...

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Facebook's Moment to Lead

(19) Comments | Posted May 25, 2012 | 10:50 AM

After a long work week, I eagerly anticipate an enthusiastic greeting from my children upon my arrival home. Instead I discover one child deeply engrossed in a game of Wii, another reaching for my iPhone, and my 15-year-old in her room, laptop open to Facebook, texting a friend on her...

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Why I'm Talking Back to Facebook

(2) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 5:19 PM

Kids today are flocking online, using tablets and smart phones, and downloading apps. More than 5 million kids under the age of 13 have joined Facebook, tens of millions more teenagers use the site for hours every day. By the time my daughter is 18 she will have...

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Parents, Don't Let the MPAA 'Bully' You

(2) Comments | Posted March 30, 2012 | 6:39 PM

When the controversial documentary Bully opens in theaters in New York and Los Angeles today, it will indeed include a rating, just not the traditional MPAA rating that most moviegoers are familiar with. Instead, the posters, advertisements, and other promotional materials will include a new rating: the 13+...

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Making Digital Citizenship a Reality in Los Angeles

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2011 | 9:03 PM

Children today are growing up in the midst of a technological revolution that is changing the very nature of childhood. Our kids can be connected 24/7 to everyone and everything, whether it's through the computer in their homes or the mobile devices in their pockets. This immersion in media and...

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Why We Need "Do Not Track Kids"

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2011 | 10:27 PM

Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) took a major step to protect the privacy of kids online by introducing "Do Not Track Kids" legislation.

The Congressmen should be commended for listening to the concerns of families and for taking action by drafting a bill that...

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