Posted by on October 30, 2008 in Blog
Having spent his adult life volunteering for candidates within the Democratic Party, Nick Kahl decided “it was about time [he] ran, instead of working for candidates who didn’t fully represent the interests of [his] district.” Currently, Kahl is a Precinct Committee Person and Recording Secretary of the Mulnomah County Democratic Party in Oregon and his expansive political background makes him more than qualified to take on the big issues.
Born and raised in East County, Kahl has a deep connection to his hometown and an unwavering commitment to its residents. While he realizes that his district has been held by Republican seats for 20 years now, Kahl highlights that Democratic registration is increasing and he is ready to help East County break from its norm. With the help of his large volunteer base, Kahl’s campaign is relying on an aggressive grassroots movement, including door-to-door canvassing and direct mail distribution. Kahl says, “We are pounding the pavement and pounding on doors.”
In addition to running for office, Kahl is pursuing a law degree at Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark. Wanting to stay close to his community, the decision to attend school at Lewis and Clark was an easy one for this native of East County. When asked how he’s able to juggle both the campaign and the rigor of law school, Kahl admitted, “law school is really hectic and the last few weeks have been sort of tough, but now I’m in a groove and have my schedule figured out.”
Maintaining a busy schedule is not something new to Kahl, as he was the Staff Assistant to Mulnomah County Commissioner, Jeff Cogen. In that arena, Kahl had the opportunity to craft substantive policy, research pressing issues, and offer strategic advice. One of Kahl’s most enjoyable policy-making experiences came from working on green initiatives for Commissioner Cogen. With their innovative cell phone recycling program, the county was able to make revenue on donated cell phones, a system that did not exist prior to Kahl being on staff. Kahl believes that his political background gives him a unique understanding of the political process from all vantage points and will enable him to rally support amongst his fellow representatives upon taking office.
Apart from his own efforts, Kahl recognizes the energy and excitement this year’s presidential campaign has brought to politics. “Obama offers engagement to the idea that government can do better,” Kahl says. “[Obama] brings an inclusive message to politics,” and Kahl aligns himself with community-minded campaign Senator Obama is running.
While Kahl stresses the importance of voting, he warns, “Don’t just get out and vote; your vote matters, but get involved in the process by knocking on doors and contributing money.” He’d like to see people “be involved sooner and more often than just turning in a ballot.”