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Christian DorseyDirector, External and Government Affairs at The Economic Policy Institute
Christian Dorsey is the Director of External and Government Affairs at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington DC. EPI is a progressive, non-partisan think tank that conducts ongoing research of our nation’s economy and develops policy proposals to increase economic growth and create broadly shared prosperity. His areas of expertise include public economics, the federal budget and community development. Christian directs the Institute’s work in building public awareness of economic policy matters and advancing policy initiatives with Congress and the Obama administration. Christian is a frequent commentator on cable news networks and regularly appears on Fox News Channel and CNBC among others. Prior to joining EPI, Christian served as the chief executive officer for several organizations promoting leadership and diversity, children’s literacy and affordable housing.
Prior to joining EPI, Christian was the Executive Director of the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation, where he succeeded in creating housing and developing entrepreneurial opportunities for low and moderate income Arlingtonians. He also created a community based social services center that targeted the chronically underserved and provided them with comprehensive case management in order to promote their self-sufficiency.
Christian has also served as Executive Director for The Reading Connection; a Northern Virginia based non-profit organization that provides literacy programs for children in housing crisis that focus on instilling in children a lifelong love of reading.
Christian also was the Executive Director for Operation Understanding DC, an organization that united African American and Jewish youth in intensive yearlong programs to combat division and bigotry and to provide a model for the entire community on how to overcome all forms of discrimination.
Christian hosts a monthly Arlington-based public affairs talk show and is also a freelance diversity trainer, facilitator and consultant, and has worked with many colleges and universities, schools, community groups and area government agencies.
In the mid-nineties, Christian worked as a Program Supervisor with the Close Up Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting the civic engagement of America’s youth. In 2002, he practiced what he taught when he ran as a progressive Democrat for a seat on the Arlington County Board of Directors and lost his party’s nomination by 29 votes. Christian grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey and came to Washington to study politics and international relations. He is an alumnus of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Christian resides in the Columbia Forest neighborhood of Arlington, VA, and is married with two children.
Douglas Holtz-EakinPresident, American Action Forum; former Director, Congressional Budget Office; former Chief Economist, Council of Economic Advisors
Douglas Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and former chief economist of the Council of Economic Advisors. He has a distinguished record as an academic, strategist and policy advisor, including his recent role as a commissioner on the congressionally chartered Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. In 2007-2008 he was director of domestic and economic policy for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. Previously, Holtz-Eakin was director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies, the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, and president of DHE Consulting, an economic and policy consulting firm providing insight and research to a broad cross-section of clients. Holtz-Eakin serves on the boards of the Tax Foundation, the National Economists Club and the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget, and the Research Advisory Board of the Center for Economic Development.
Mark MecklerPresident, Citizens for Self Governance
Mark Meckler is a genuine grassroots citizen-activist. Like most folks in the self-governance movement, he is relatively new to politics.
Mark hails from the rural foothills of northern California. He has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He built a career in real estate and business law for almost a decade. Prior to his accidental entry onto the political scene, he specialized in Internet advertising law.
Mark knows what it is like to be a small business owner in America. He has owned a variety of businesses from manufacturing to food service, and has seen the legal challenges facing a wide variety of businesses across many industries.
For most of his life, Mark was not politically active. He never campaigned for, nor donated to, any candidate. Due to his distrust of both political parties, Mark has been registered as an independent for more than a decade.
Then, on February 19, 2009, Rick Santelli, a financial reporter on CNBC, issued his now famous “rant” against a government run amok, and called for a new tea party in America. Like millions of others, Mark saw that rant on the web, saw on Facebook that people actually were organizing tea parties, and decided to get involved.
On Feb. 27, 2009, Mark held the first tea party in Sacramento, California, at the state capitol. Not knowing what to expect, he arrived with his wife, his two kids, his retired parents and some handmade signs. Much to his surprise, 150 people showed up from across the societal and political spectrum. He considered it an amazing success, and he was inspired by those he met to keep organizing.
Returning home, he began networking with others around the state, and across the nation. Eventually, he was among a small core group who helped to organize the April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Parties, which consisted of 850 events, and roughly 1.2 million participants spanning the country. Out of this initial surge of activity, Mark and a core group had the foresight to form Tea Party Patriots to be the go-forward entity for the tea party movement.
In 2009, Mark Meckler was one of many citizen “sparks” that helped to ignite a movement. He was the Co-Founder and a former National Coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, a group which at its peak boasted 3,200 chapters nationwide and millions of members.
Mark resigned from Tea Party Patriots in February 2009 to focus on broadening the philosophical reach of the idea of “self-governance” outside of the Tea Party movement, by founding Citizens for Self Governance.
Mark now appears regularly on television outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business, and the BBC. You may have seen him sparring with Chris Matthews on Hardball, or pushing back against Geraldo Rivera on Fox Business. He is highly sought after for the self-governance perspective from print and online news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal , The New York Times , The Los Angeles Times , The Washington Examiner , Politico and The Hill . His opinion pieces regularly run in many of the leading political outlets both on and offline.
Mark says, “I try to say what millions of American’s would say if they had the chance I’ve been given. It’s not really about my opinions, as much as it is my honest attempt to reflect what I hear from people involved in the self-governance movement all over the country.” Mark has a unique political voice, which many have said most clearly represents the citizens of this country fighting back against the incumbent machine of both political parties at all levels.
When not fighting to put the future of our nation back in the hands of self-governing citizens, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.