Starting tomorrow, I’m biking almost 5,000 miles – from San Francisco to Washington DC – to talk with supporters, students, and policymakers to discuss how international development is vital to America’s security and prosperity. This is an issue that is near and dear to my heart – for the last five years I’ve worked with groups like the Genocide Intervention Network and Save Darfur Coalition to stop and prevent mass atrocities, and in four months I will begin Officer Candidate School with the United States Marine Corps. There is a strong connection between human rights, international development and our national security, but some people want to cut the funding for these critical programs. There’s never been a more important time to talk about this issue…and that’s why I’m biking across America as part of the Truman National Security Project’s Make US Strong campaign.
We kicked off my ride last night with an awesome party at RallyPad, co-hosted by National Field, New Leaders Council – San Francisco, and Lagunitas Brewing Company. Lt. Col. Paul Clarke (USAF – Ret.) headlined the event and spoke from personal experience about how international development prevents the outbreak of disease, conflict, entrenched poverty and radicalism – and how that helps keep Americans safe at home.
I couldn’t be more grateful to the talented people at Rally for hosting the event, helping me put together all my fundraising materials and online presence, and just being generally psyched about the trip. It’s not every technology company where the staff goes out of their way to brainstorm new and creative ways to raise cash, designs cool outreach materials, and helps you track down a beer sponsor. The folks at Rally aren’t just working on a great product (which reminds me, you can donate to my ride here! ) – they also really care about helping people change the world. A special thanks to Kirsten, Jeff, Teresa, Nick and of course, Tom, for your time, energy and generosity.
If you’re interested in following my ride, I’ll be blogging, tweeting, instagramming and being generally obnoxious via social media. And of course, if I’m coming to a town near you, I hope you’ll come out to an event!