Tuesdays with T4A: Sam Kaspick (03/18/14)

[column size=”1-3″ style=”0″ last=”0″][staff name=”Sam Kaspick” position=”Director of Operations | T4A.org” img=”/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Sam-Kaspick1.jpg”]Sam is responsible for the day-to-day operations of T4A.org, overseeing its finances, web presence, and published/promotional materials. Previously, he worked in the political fundraising world. Sam attended Stanford University, where he studied Biology. He is a huge Stanford Cardinal fan, and is proud to have attended four consecutive BCS bowls to cheer loudly for his team (National Championship next year?). Sam lives in the Mission District of San Francisco.[/staff][/column]

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[spoiler title=”Where did you grow up, and what do you remember most about it?” open=”1″ style=”1″ color=”#b6e400″]I grew up mostly in Menlo Park, California –  I spent a few years in Palo Alto – and remember most the times my family left home. We’d go to Cafe Borrone, where my brother and I couldn’t even see over the counter, and where he and I would both order hot chocolates with “extra extra extra extra extra extra extra foam.” I remember family trips to Disneyland, rafting down the Snake River, and going to our favorite destination of all: Zihuatanejo.[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”What was your first job?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#daee00″]My first job was one my brother and I created for ourselves – we were quite the young entrepreneurs. When we were probably five years old, we started SamBenVend (his name is Ben), which filled the vending machines at my parents’ company Kaspick & Co. We came up with various promotional campaigns, including taping coins to random cans in the machine (free soda!), and sent Kaspick & Co. a weekly invoice and a Christmas card every year![/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”What is your first political memory?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#fff000″]I remember vaguely the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but I think the first time I kind of had a real interest in politics was the Bush-Gore election in 2000.[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”What is your favorite book?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#ffc600″]I don’t read very many books, but my favorite movies are Blade Runner and Star Wars.[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”You majored in Biology in college but have been working in politics since you graduated. What spurred your interest in this field?  Do you see a connection in these two fields?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#ffc600″]Actually, I was working in politics even while in college! I was inspired by President Obama’s first campaign to get involved, as I felt like he was a truly transformative figure that could change the world… I don’t see any direct connections between biology and politics per se, but I would say that I am still very passionate about science and the fact that it actually does change the world every day. I feel as though there is a huge misunderstanding about what science is in the country, and if I wasn’t doing this, I would love to be teaching the scientific method to kids (biology or physics).[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”You have been working with Autumn and Jim since the 2008 presidential campaign.  What’s kept you coming back all these years? ” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#ffc600″]I interned for Autumn and Jim back in 2008 and would periodically hook up with them whenever they had DNC events here in the Bay Area. When I knew they’d be gearing up for 2012, I called them probably every day for three months until they were practically annoyed into hiring me. But we’re a great team that complements each other’s strengths (and fills each other’s weaknesses). Jim is a visionary leader who is willing to take risks and probably a pay cut to do what he believes in, while I’ve always found Autumn to be the hardest-working, knows-what-she-needs-to-do-and-always-gets-it-done person I know.[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”Who is your role model and why?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#fff000″]Bill Nye the Science Guy. He has been getting kids interested in science since I was a kid. He has an great explanation for what science is, and makes it exciting to learn about. One of the most exciting moments of working on the campaign was when I got to meet him at the 2013 Inauguration.[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”As you look at your community, city/state/country, how do you view your role/responsibility as a citizen? Within that context, how do you view your role as citizen in relation to our government and democracy?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#fff000″]I think my responsibility as a citizen in the community is to care about the people I share it with, and to make sure my actions aren’t purely selfish. Caring about my fellow San Franciscans, Californians, Americans, Earthlings, etc. means making an effort to pay attention to what is going on around me, listen to other people, and be honest with myself as to whether I’m treating others the way I’d want to be treated by them.

In terms of my role as a citizen in relation to government and democracy, it’s VOTING and supporting orgs like T4A.org.[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=” Just about everyone (regardless of political affiliation) sees a large gap between our politics (Washington DC as well as state capitals) and the reality on the issues we face as a country. Why do you think that is? What do you think can be done to close that gap?” open=”0″ style=”1″ color=”#fff000″]It’s because of two things: 1) education is not training our children to be the type of citizen that looks at both sides of an issue and makes pragmatic decisions, and 2) kids are watching TV from too early an age, learning that entertainment has more value than being rational thinkers. Sure, you can blame the media for being scandal-crazed fearmongers, but they’re just catering to existing demand for that type of programming! We can’t change what’s on TV, but parents and educators do have a responsibility to mold children into thoughtful, caring citizens.[/spoiler]


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