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TEDxConcordiaUPortland - Jefferson Smith - Priceless politics: The Secret to Making Democracy Work
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Added Aug 30, 2011
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Jefferson is the founder of the Oregon Bus Project, an innovative vehicle for hands-on democracy. Since 2001, the Bus has registered over 70000 voters, trained young leaders from around the country with its PolitiCorps fellowship program, and engaged thousands of volunteers in grassroots democracy. Jefferson attended University of Oregon and Harvard Law, where he graduated magna cum laude. After clerking for a Federal Judge, he took a job at a top paying Manhattan law firm. When asked to represent big tobacco, he came home to a leading Portland firm, and one year later, founded the Bus. First elected to office in 2008, Jefferson focuses his policy work in three areas: ~ Building a "high-road" economy—prosperous, sustainable, and fair. Currently Jefferson is working on "economic gardening" projects to benefit homegrown business and a "Cool Schools" program to retrofit public school buildings to improve performance. ~ Making democracy work better—increasing government transparency, accountability, and voter access. He's championed projects including online voter registration and Oregon.gov/transparency ~ Bedrock needs — the basics that matter for his district (among the most economically challenged in the state). He has pushed for a fair-share for under-served areas, and co-sponsored human trafficking hotline legislation In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a ...