Ben is the Vice President of the Metro Richmond Area Young Democrats and has been a member of the organization since 2015.
A Richmonder by choice, Ben was born and raised in the Minnesota’s Northwoods. Up there, he found his political calling during the Democratic tidal wave of 2006. That year, he volunteered with his local candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives and witnessed the power of community organizing. He was hooked.
Ben moved to Virginia to attend the University of Mary Washington, of which he is a proud alumnus. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and minored in Middle East studies. He spent all four years at UMW as a member of the Mary Washington Young Democrats executive board and one-and-a-half years as president. Under his leadership, those Young Democrats organized and participated in sit-ins, die-ins, and more dorm storms than Ben can count.
After graduating from UMW, Ben was chosen to participate in the Governor’s Fellows Program in the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office. There, he worked on restoration of rights and saw firsthand Governor McAuliffe and Mayor Stoney’s monumental progress on voting rights.
After finishing the Governor’s Fellows Program, Ben retreated to the mountains of Fauquier County for a Thoreauvian soul cleansing. Governor McAuliffe lured him from the woods by offering him a position in the Governor’s administration. Since then, Ben has served as records manager of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office. His favorite parts of his job are serving as the Virginia Indian tribes’ liaison to the state government and overseeing the Governor’s Fellows Program, the same program he once belonged to (and the program whose applications just opened!).
In the words of Paul Wellstone, Ben represents “the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.” His passion comes from a commitment to workers’ rights, voting rights, community engagement, and maintaining the pillars of our representative democracy.
When he is not gallivanting to political events or attending powwows, you can find Ben cycling around the city, drinking copious amounts of coffee, baking, listening to eclectic music, voraciously reading about obscure political elections, and evangelizing Governor McAuliffe’s mantra “sleep when you’re dead.”
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