FIGHTING FOR MARGINALIZED PEOPLE
NATE'S EARLY ACTIVISM
I've always believed that people born to privilege must give back. I grew up hearing my late mother talk about the lives of her underprivileged patients at a North Philadelphia children's hospital, and hearing my psychologist father talk about his work in New Jersey state prisons. My grandparents marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and with Paul Robeson. It was before my time, but my whole family protested the Vietnam War. I volunteered on my first political campaign at the age of 10.
During the war in Bosnia, my family hosted two young refugees for a year, including a boy my age. We were 12. Since those days, I have been unable to think of human suffering in the abstract. In high school, I helped start an Abington Friends chapter of Amnesty International. I participated in activist work concerning AIDS, the environment, and LGBTQ rights. At Georgetown, I protested the 2000 election recount outside the Supreme Court, and frequently marched against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2005, I fasted for 12 days outside the White House to raise awareness of the genocide in Darfur. I later participated in two Sudan Freedom Walks and many other actions against slavery and genocide in Sudan and South Sudan.
In 2008, I helped elect President Barack Obama, first as a volunteer during the primary (when I was asked to drive Senator Ted Kennedy for two days!), then as a hired staffer during the general election. I was also an elected Obama delegate at the Democratic Convention in Denver. A year later, I joined a human rights delegation to Honduras following the right-wing coup there, and not long after I fasted for 15 days in solidarity with hunger strikers in Honduras.
In 2010, I became a top aide to former Admiral and Congressman Joe Sestak. I had started as a press assistant and quickly worked my way up to Political and Constituency Outreach Director. When I decided to run for Congress two years later, Joe strongly supported my campaign, though I was a longshot at best and was running against a former Congressional colleague of his in the Democratic caucus.