Alan Khazei, social entrepreneur and wife of Saguaro Seminar participant Vanessa Kirsch, is running a spirited campaign for the US Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy.
Alan has been a longshot in the campaign, without the initial name recognition of Michael Capuano or Martha Coakley, and without the extraordinarily deep pockets of former Bain capitalist, Steve Pagliucca. Nevertheless, in a campaign where most of the electorate has yet to make up their mind, and where few Mass. voters will go to the polls to vote in the democratic primary on December 8, Alan is spearheading a spirited campaign and making converts right and left. A Rasmussen poll of last week, among likely voters, showed him at 14%, dramatically up from the low single digits when his campaign began.
Last weekend he picked up the all-important endorsement of the Boston Globe and former presidential aspirant and NATO Commander Wesley Clark. The Globe noted that Alan is the candidate that best embodies “forward-looking thinking”, and offers the best leadership, with “brimming potential.”
I was a senior policy advisor for Senator Kennedy on national service issues in the early 1990’s and know how much Ted respected Alan Khazei and his creation of City Year (with co-founder Michael Brown). And Senator Kennedy asked Alan to lead up a campaign to save AmeriCorps, when President Bush threatened to zero out funding. Alan coalesced a remarkable grassroots coalition and out-organized Karl Rove to initially save AmeriCorps and then work to dramatically expand it under the Kennedy Serve America Act that received birpartisan support. Alan’s group (Be The Change) worked to ensure that both Obama and McCain endorsed national service during the campaign, in the only joint appearance of the two outside the debates.
Alan is running on a campaign platform of “big citizenship”: that the only way to get special interests out of politics is to not accept PAC money and to help ensure that citizens help drive the change we want to see. [Alan is the only one of the four candidates to have a truly citizen funded campaign with no PAC money.]
He deserves our vote and I urge that you contact his campaign to find out how you can support him.