Today is my birthday. As I sit back, reflect on life and take stock of the years, I can't help but marvel at how far things have come.
In the Fall of 2003, I left a corporate job in management with Eastman Kodak Company to work on a presidential campaign.
I took a two-thirds pay cut and traded in an ocean front view apartment in Miami, Florida for a sleeping bag in a four-person home in Little Rock, Arkansas.
You might ask, "Why?"
I know my mother definitely did.
The answer is simple. I was inspired by the promise of an accountable and open government by, for and of the people.
This move was my first foray into the world of new media. Many of you might have heard of the Dean campaign and the technological innovation that the techies there made. The same was true for the techies involved with the Clark campaign. They were a passionate group of folks inspired to use technology for the good of a better government, by, of and for the people. This was something that they were making real in the campaign space but the vision that many of them had was to see this transcend the campaign and brought into office by the candidate once elected.
Seven years later, I found myself having coffee, reminiscing about what got me into this space (new media) with someone who I consider to be a leader in the Gov 2.0 space. Seven years later the Obama campaign -- itself brought into office in no small part because of technology -- was the administration that brought with it the Open Government Directive. And though it is true that this movement may not have started with the Obama administration, for me it has been inspiring to see the growth that has happened in the course of the last few years.
This transformation has taken the work of many unsung heroes.
It is an iterative process and change does not happen overnight but I am inspired by what I have seen to date. I truly believe that this is only the beginning.
That twenty something year old who left the rat race of corporate America for the promise of what could be possible in government with inspired leadership, still exists.
The opportunity is huge and this is only the beginning.
I'd like to take a moment and use this thread to honor some of the unsung heroes. Who are some of the people that you know who are making a difference in this space?