sticky Re: California Delegate Information
Thank you for thinking of me, Skylar. I am very happy to meet with others at that time. Hopefully the details will come this way as well.
Also, here is my reposted candidate statement.
Hello! My name is Mark Ruzon, and I want to represent you at this year’s national convention.
The main reason I am running is to move the party in the direction of building power while remaining true to our principles and maintaining respect and decency for those with differing opinions.
And what is power? For a number of years I was a leader with Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA), part of the PICO Network (now Faith in Action), a faith-based community organizing non-profit. PIA taught me that power is “the ability to act,” and is neither good nor bad. Our party has a philosophy and a platform that resonates deeply with my worldview. What we lack is the ability to act to translate that platform into meaningful political change.
My experiences with PIA have given me insights that will help me advocate for the changes needed to bring this about. Within a month of joining PIA, I was founding a committee at my church, which soon became a member. I learned how to have effective one-to-one conversations with friends and neighbors to understand local issues that mattered. I attended meetings with city council members, county supervisors, and state legislators. I helped organize and spoke at action meetings where we asked our officials to commit publicly to specific plans for addressing local issues. My own committee played a role in creating the Palo Alto Opportunity Center, which provides permanent housing and drop-in services for the homeless.
After a year of leadership within my church, PIA asked me to join their Board of Directors. A year after that they appointed me co-chair. During my tenure our charismatic founding executive director retired, and I co-chaired the search committee that hired an interim executive director before settling on a permanent replacement. I am qualified to select members of the National Committee who will get things done.
Since we’ve already selected a presidential ticket, the purpose of this convention is to set the goals that we want the National Committee to achieve in the next year, including the fall election, the best time to build momentum as a party. These goals should not be focused on drafting high-level statements; we already have a platform and our four principles to do that. Instead, I want to focus on practical goals like nominating candidates for office, helping bring about change in specific areas of legislation, and increasing political participation by our members.
Because I had experience through PIA in gathering signatures for a California ballot proposition, it was easy for me to organize local signature gathering to support Desmond Silviera’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign. If we set goals for volunteering during this fall’s campaigns, and put in the work to achieve them, it will be easier for party members to envision running for office themselves, and they will know where to find experienced people willing to help run their campaigns. If we can make progress in jurisdictions that are, for example, considering ranked choice voting, it gives our party more chances to compete against Democrats and Republicans. We must make these ideas into priorities.
If this plan sounds good, then I’m the person to carry it out on your behalf. Vote for me.
Mark Ruzon was born in Illinois and grew up Republican. He graduated valedictorian of the University of Southern California School of Engineering with a B.S. in computer science and later received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, also in computer science. During that time he became a pro-life Democrat. He is currently a Senior Software Engineer for Google, working on the processing of satellite and aerial imagery used in Google Maps and Google Earth. He has held numerous leadership positions in multiple parishes and is a graduate of the Institute for Leadership in Ministry in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose. He lives in Mountain View, California, has been married to his wife Lesley for 23 years, and is the father of four children ages 12-19. He found the ASP while reading an article in America magazine and hasn’t looked back.