Name: James Kvaal
Job Title: Policy Director
Hometown: Lexington, Massachusetts
Based in: Chicago, Illinois
Q1. What does a day at work look like to you?
The days are different but the goal is the same: to help describe how this election will tangibly affect voters’ lives so they can make an informed choice on November 6th. Usually my day starts with a large black coffee and a rush to catch up on the day’s news. Next are back-to-back morning meetings so everyone is on the same page about our goals for the day. Then it’s on to blog posts, briefing memos, and infographics, while in the afternoons and evenings we tend to work on planning and longer-term analysis. And more infographics.
Q2. How did you first come to the campaign?
Last summer, I was working at the Department of Education on student aid. I loved working on something so important, but I couldn’t stay on the sidelines for this election.
This is a big election. Think about what the President has accomplished in three years. When he took office the economy was losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month and the auto industry was on the brink of collapse; now American businesses have created nearly 4 million jobs in the last two years. President Obama ended the war in Iraq and decimated al-Qaeda. And he reformed health care, is helping to double renewable energy, reformed Wall Street, and doubled college scholarships.
The Republicans want to reverse this progress. They wouldn’t just undo health reform, Wall Street reform, and the other things we have accomplished together—they would add another $5 trillion in regressive tax cuts, leading to higher deficits and deep cuts in middle-class security. We’ve come too far to let that happen.
Q3. What's your favorite part of your job?
The best part is meeting people who support the President because they have been helped personally by his policies. Millions of people have health insurance because of the President’s reforms. I met a man in Boulder, Colorado recently who plans to enter public service law because the President reformed student loans. They are good reminders of why we all work so hard to support him.
Q4. What's the most unexpected part of your job?
The weather in Chicago has been balmy. I feel like I need to stay another winter to get the real Chicago experience.
Q5. Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I hate fluorescent lights. Thankfully my long-suffering office mate is willing to sit in the dark.