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I was previously Executive Director and before that Policy Director at the Progressive States Network .
I was also a regular columnist for The Progressive Populist and author of the book, NET LOSS: Internet Prophets, Private Profits and the Costs to Community, published by Penn State Press in 2002. I've also managed to pick up a Ph.D. in Sociology at Berkeley and a law degree from Yale along the way. I currently live in Harlem in New York City.
I've written numerous articles and reports on the economy, politics and technology, with minor media celebrity at points, from being quoted in the New York Times, WiredNews and The Nation to appearing on C-SPAN and WebTV. My book Net Loss, based on my Ph.D. research, details the role of government policy in shaping the Internet and regional economies and how the rise of the networked economy has increased inequality in our society.
My labor experience dates back to working as a staff organizer in Las Vegas for the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees (HERE) International Union starting in 1988, then serving on the Executive Board of UC-Berkeley's Association of Graduate Student Employees (AGSE/UAW) in the early 90s, serving as an appointee to the Berkeley City Labor Commission for a number of years, organizing a labor-environmental network (the California Network for a New Economy), organizing community support for labor struggles in Northern California, and serving in the national legal department of the Communication Workers of America. This past year I worked in a union-side labor firm in New York City. I now work as a policy analyst and lawyer in a non-profit here in New York.
My more general political experience dates to my first year in college where I got involved in the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG) in a leadership position and spent my summers canvassing door-to-door for both MASSPIRG and Mass Fair Share (a Citizen Action group). In California, I worked with a range of organizations, including Californians for Justice, the California Network for a New Economy and the Committees of Correspondence, and spent two years in the leadership of the National Lawyers Guild, as well as on the board of the Organizers Collaborative.
In the area of technology, I bring not only academic research but an activist role in the subject. Early in the 1990s, I began training union and community activists in use of the Internet. As early as 1994, I helped design a community Internet site, sponsored at UC Berkeley, the Economic Democracy Information Network (EDIN), which was named one of the "Highlights of the Internet" in 1995. The same year, an immigrant rights email list I established was cited by The Nation and USA Today as one of the earliest electronic networks being used for national protests and organizing. Much of this work was sponsored by the UC-Berkeley Center for Community Economic Research (CCER), which I co-founded and oversaw from 1992 to 1996.
In January 1996, I was interviewed on C-SPAN during the Clinton-Gingrich standoff and government shutdown to discuss the online National Budget Simulator I had helped design to allow people to interactively understand the budget conflict - a site that to this day is used by economics and political science classes in colleges and high schools across the country. I also published in 1995 the first national report "Prop 13 Meets the Internet" that highlighted the coming challenge of untaxed Internet commerce for local government finances. I was asked to consult with the California State Association of Counties and the Association of Bay Area Governments on the issue and was widely interviewed on television and newspapers on the subject.
In 1997 I was hired as Project Director for NetAction, a consumer technology advocacy group, which had begun agitating for antitrust action against Microsoft. From 1997 to 1999, I wrote a series of widely cited research reports on the danger of Microsoft to innovation, reports that TheStreet.com described as "probably the most comprehensive and well-researched anti-Microsoft studies."