Miles Rapoport: Demos Leader and former CT Secretary of the State

A longtime friend profiles Miles Rapoport and Demos at the Huffington Post:  Demos Promotes Participatory Democracy <read>

Coming of age in the sixties, Miles applied his smarts and competitive energy to community organizing and then electoral politics. He became a successful grassroots organizer in Connecticut, then served in the state legislature and as secretary of the state. But in 2001, he may have found his true calling when he was named president of Demos, a Manhattan-based non-partisan research and advocacy organization gearing up to oppose the myriad right-wing think tanks then dominating Washington.

Demos has done pioneering work on a wide variety of issues. One of its principal efforts has been expanding democratic participation, especially among people often left out of the process. The organization has championed Same Day Registration, which has increased voter turnout by 7 to 10 percent in the ten states that have it. And Demos has vigorously pressed states to implement largely ignored provisions of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act that require them to register people to vote when they receive social services.

Like the author, I consider Miles a friend, we were not schoolmates but we met when our sons were schoolmates.  I suspect despite the following story, the President is also a friend:

With all the amazing work Demos is doing, it’s still comforting to know that Miles isn’t perfect. Early in his tenure, he had lunch with a Demos board member he felt needed to be more active. When it became clear the member just couldn’t devote the necessary time, they agreed it was probably a good idea that he leave the board. And with that, Barack Obama was a Demos board member no more. Holding a mock gun to his head, Rapoport explains, “as Hillary Clinton once said, ‘Based on the information I had at the time, it seemed like a good decision.'”

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