Today, in honor of election day 2016, I have Jon Raj Destin who is single, gay dad, runs a marketing consulting firm, and on the side, he's running for School Board in his town of Albany, California outside San Francisco.
Jon and I talked about how his passion for education and advocacy and his business and marketing experience led him to consider running for office, how much he’s learned about his community from this experience, how he and his son Sammy campaign together and much more.
Find out more about Jon's campaign
Find out more about the town of Albany, CA
Jon runs a marketing consultancy, but really considers fatherhood his full-time job.
How he has always lived his life “based on passion”, what he finds interesting and most wants to do.
Jon was born in communist Hungary, escaped as a little boy with his family and grew up as an immigrant to the United States.
His early years led him to be passionate about education, starting with teaching as part of Teach for America after college.
Over the years, led to doing marketing, but never really gave up on education and being an advocate.
- Now as a dad, he is focused on quality education for his son -- which led to his current side project of running for school board in Albany, CA.
With a laugh Jon says he “tends to jump into things that I find interesting and feel I could have an impact... maybe even before I really understand everything…”.
He jumped into running for school board because he felt like his skill set (business background) really applied, and he thought he could really make an impact as the school district heads into a phase of using bond measure funds to build and re-build a number of local schools.
How Jon is really enjoying the campaigning aspect, how he’s learning about the community and it’s needs.
As a single, gay dad, he has also really enjoyed getting to know others LGBQ families in the community.
Jon is experiencing broad support in the community — new residents like him, as well as 70 year residents.
How Jon is integrating the campaign into his family life with his bow tie loving son Sammy
Jon says, “frankly it’s never a good time, especially if you’re a parent, but you just have to make the time to do the things you love… because if you can show your child or your kids that you’re doing what you love, I think that’s a really important, great lesson”.
Advice for others who might be thinking about running for a community office is that if it’s important to you, just do it.