DFER's mission is to encourage a more productive dialogue within the Democratic Party on the need to fundamentally reform American public education. Each month, we identify one candidate who is standing up for meaningful reform and innovation, and we help demonstrate the broad base of support for his or her efforts. Please give as generously as you can.
October 2009: Alan Khazei (Candidate for U.S. Senate)
Alan Khazei is the co-founder of City Year and is running for U.S. Senate in Massachsetts. He is also a steadfast supporter of education reform efforts. Singularly obsessed with national service, Alan has encouraged countless talented young people to pursue service through City Year, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America. He has the tools and disposition necessary to carry Senator Kennedy's education reform torch in the Senate.
Alan's wife, Vanessa Kirsch, is also part of the equation. She is the President and Founder of New Profit, Inc., a venture philanthropy organization which provided early support for Teach for America, New Leaders for New Schools, and the KIPP and Achievement First charter school networks. The analytical, results-based non-profit investment techniques that Alan and Vanessa both espouse will enable him to pursue effective, innovative education reforms. This philosophy is sorely lacking in the current Senate.
Alan elected not to take PAC or lobbyist money in his campaign for Senate, and raised over $1 million in the first few weeks. Even more now, he needs the support of individual advocates for change.