Dave Wils is ranked #4 of 69

Teacher, historian, progressive activist, hoper and dreamer, lover of knowledge, husband

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My political story

I became politically curious back in the 80s when I decided to support (at the age of 6) Michael Dukakis when he ran for President. I supported him because my dad did, and he supported him because he was a working man and said that Dukakis would be looking out for him and others like him. Ever since, my central focus has been to advocate on behalf of those who don't enjoy the benefits of having the deck stacked in their favor. I first became involved in campaigns in the most previous election cycle, and have become even more involved in my county's Democratic Party, and I hope to use those avenues to continue my fight for those who need a chance to get ahead, whether it be working class families, minorities, women or members of the LGBT community.

Why I deserve a Netroots Nation Scholarship

I have hear nothing but great things about the tools Netroots Nation provides for those who are engaged in grassroots advocacy on the ground in their own communities, and I would love to be able to benefit. However, on a teacher's salary, getting out to Phoenix for a week-long conference is not in the cards. This level of training is so invaluable and should not simply be reserved for those who can afford it. If chosen, I will be tireless in putting the tools I acquire to good use!

What first inspired me to get involved

In 2004, a "skinny kid with a funny name" stood up and blew the crowd in Boston away with his call for unity and hope in America. He inspired me like no politician had inspired me before, and when he became President, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the work he was beginning. Most of my advocacy came in the form of status updates on Facebook until 2014, when I signed on to be a volunteer in campaigns. I came to the realization that so much of what we had worked for was at stake and if I was going to continue staying on the sidelines, we could lose it all. We didn't get the results we wanted, but I am committed more than ever to progressive values and ensuring that the issues that are near and dear to everyone on a day to day basis are at the forefront of the conversation.

The blog post I am most proud of

In the run-up to the 2014 General Election, I wrote a Facebook Note titled "Why I am Voting Democrat (And You Should Too). It was a line-by-line defense of the Democratic Party based solely on the issues: the environment, the middle class, voter equality and LGBT rights, gun safety, health care and education. It received a great deal of positive feedback from people, some of whom disagreed with me but appreciated the points I had to make. It showed me that communication through the internet could be positive and persuasive.

More about my political involvement

I am currently serving as the President of Young Democrats of Guilford County in Greensboro, NC. Furthermore, last year I canvassed for NC House Representative Pricey Harrison, hosted voter registration drives, recruited volunteers for Senator Kay Hagan and built donor profiles for Congressional Candidate Laura Fjeld.

Why I think participation in the netroots is important

Our society has increasingly become digitized, with a substantial portion of our social interaction taking place online. By not tapping into this invaluable resource, we are wasting the opportunity to advocate for the issues we care most about.

My Twitter manifesto on online activism

"A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things." - President Barack Obama

I am a

Grassroots Activist