Contributors

Matthew

avatarI am a passionate Democrat living in a very red world.  Although I am not an ideologue, I do believe the government plays a very meaningful role in each of our lives. Whether it’s protecting our liberty, enabling healthy marketplace competition, or bridging the gap for the poor and elderly, supporting the Democratic Party provides honest value and satisfaction.

I have worked in the consumer packaged goods industry for over a decade with three Fortune 100 companies. I completed my undergraduate studies at Arizona State and MBA at The University of St. Thomas. I am a husband of fourteen years to a wonderful wife and father to four beautiful daughters. I served a Mormon mission in North Carolina and was raised in a politically bi-partisan home. I spend most of my free time reading current events but also like to watch or play any sport, work on my car, or shoot photographs.

My desire is sharing political perspective based on my experiences, rooted in data. I do not talk in anecdotal examples or propaganda, but strive to deliver meaningful debate lifting all who choose to engage. I hope you enjoy the content and feel free to respectfully comment.

Aaron

I have been an active Latter-Day Saint all of my life and have also been an enthusiastic Democrat and progressive since my days as an economics undergraduate student at BYU. While at BYU, I encountered countless political misconceptions about Democrats and sensed an overall attitude by many Mormons that affiliation with the Democratic Party is incongruent with Church membership, despite repeated statements from General Authorities to the contrary. I find that Christianity lends itself significantly more to progressive politics than to contemporary conservatism. The hostile climate towards progressives at BYU inspired me to get involved with the BYU College Democrats, where I served as president during my senior year. I have since obtained a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Oklahoma. I served a full-time Mormon mission to the Philippines. I’m active in my local ward, happily married and have two rambunctious little boys and an infant daughter.

 

Guest Contributors:

Grant

I first registered as a Democrat when I moved to Baltimore County in 1982 upon realizing that most elections were resolved in the Democratic Primaries as Republicans had little support (well, not since Agnew – ‘nuff said). I also found the same thing true when living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  In contrast, my wife of 33 years remains a Republican and cancels out my vote on occasion.  Over the years I have influenced her towards my slightly left-of-center views.  Currently we live in red Utah and I remain a proud Democrat. We have six great kids and four supportive kids-in-law of which most are Democrat (one son-in-law listens to country music and I’m a little suspicious).   Our extended families participate in the LDS Church having been Eagle Scouts, missionaries, temple married, etc. We have four grandchildren who are the cutest, smartest, best-behaved children in all the world! (likely to be Democrats).

I am an attorney in the legal offices of the U.S. Department of the Interior for the past 30 years.  My opinions do not reflect any official position of the Department of the Interior or the United States Government, but do reflect my belief in exercising my First Amendment rights.  Additionally, any official position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be referenced with these links: lds.org or mormon.org.

In addition for writing for MormonDems.com, you can also read my personal blog (Passionate Moderate Mormon). Occasionally, I also guest post on the Mormon History blog: Keepapitchinin.org.

Denise

dee2I have been an avid and active follower of local and global politics for many years. As a Democrat and Mormon, I try to follow the standards of the church, and be liberal in care and concern for our fellowman. I graduated from Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe Louisiana in 1974 (currently ULM). I obtained my BS in Nursing, and worked in nursing positions in Washington DC, and Louisiana.  As a certified diabetes educator, I have performed independent contracting for Eli Lilly, Astra Zeneca, and Amylin. Currently I am a small business owner, operating a pharmacy franchise for the past 21 years with my husband.

I have been happily married to a wonderful man for 40 years, sealed in the Atlanta Temple. We are the parents of four grown children (three daughters and a son), three great sons-in-law, seven granddaughters and one grandson, with one more on the way.

I am an avid gardener and love to see beauty and plantation around me.  I am also a passionate preparedness advocate, a subject that initially introduced me to the Mormon Church.  I currently volunteer as a church institute teacher and have taken on various responsibilities over the last 32 years.

Jake

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Public Affairs, Urban Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University. I was the president of the BYU Democrats as an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University from 2000-2001. I have lived the majority of my life as a member of the LDS Church in racially, ethnically, and politically diverse branches in Chicago, Guatemala, Harlem (NY), and New Jersey. I recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Sociology at BYU to begin in August 2012. From dinner table discussions and friendly debates among members in Chicago, I believe a healthy perspective on faith and politics requires open, civil dialogue and I look forward to contributing to MormonDems.com.

Andy

I’m like the Johnny Cash song “I’ve Been Everywhere”– born in San Diego and living in both Southern and Northern California, Delaware, Northern Virginia, Provo, Utah, a two year stint in the Russia, Rostov-na-Donu mission, then back to Provo, The Bronx, New York City, and finally landing in Austin, TX. I received a Bachelor’s degree in political science from BYU with a minor in Russian Studies and a Masters at Fordham University in Elections and Campaign Management. My favorite part of my time at Fordham was attending class at Lincoln Center and looking down out the window on the Angel Moroni atop the Manhattan Temple.

I’ve worked for a national polling firm in New York as a polling analyst, as the national volunteer coordinator for the transpartisan Unity’08, as a researcher and organizer for Public Citizen on topics ranging from climate change, campaign finance, open government, and rural electric cooperatives, and the Sierra Club where I currently work as an online organizer for their Beyond Coal campaign. I also write for Salt Lake City-based entertainment blog BigShinyRobot!

I attend the Buda Ward in the Kyle, TX Stake with my wife and two kids.

12 Responses to Contributors

  1. Dear Mormon Dems,

    You might find a paper I’ve written of interest. See the link below.

    I’ll welcome comments, questions, and suggested edits. And please feel free to share the paper with others.

    http://mostprogressiveorganization.blogspot.com/

    Thanks,
    Steve

    Steven Piersanti

  2. Bart Tippetts says:

    Is there a way we can send out messages to your group about other LDS progressive events. Please see below.

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/LDSProgressives/

    Bart Tippetts

  3. Mikel Borg says:

    Hi, My name is Mikel Borg, and I just ran across your website. I am in the Dripping Springs Ward, Austin Texas Stake. Served a mission in Bogota Colombia. I became very curious about social and economic justice during my mission, and fell in love with Colombian and Latin American Culture. I Came to UT Austin and majored in Latin American Studies. I now speak Portuguese and Spanish, along with a little English. The Austin Fire Department is where I work, now for 28 years. I am married to the best woman in the world, Lydia, and have a son, Gabriel who is 16.
    I feel I have been in a Democratic wasteland, as far as church goes. This in part led me to being inactive for many years, but now I attend when work permits. Even though Austin has a reputation for being Dem, I have not yet had a member admit to me that they were Democratic,(except my college roommates)since I became active again, until last Saturday. I joined some progressive LDS groups on facebook. Now I decided to start a Central Texas LDS Democrats group on FB, so I can find fellow travellers and new friends to cry together in our collective root beers. So if you are near,(Andy!), join up and let’s paaarrrty! And by party, I mean Caffine Free Diet Cherry Coke, Jello (not green), and funeral potatoes. Thanks.

    • Aaron says:

      Mikel- Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m definitely sympathetic to the issue of living in wards with few, if any, Dems. In my experience at BYU, I hardly ever ran across Dems (until I joined the BYU Dems, that is!). I’m glad to see you’ve created a group on Facebook for LDS progressives. LDS Dems/liberals/progressives and moderates are really beginning to emerge as a stronger voice within the LDS community and what you’re doing is part of that. Hopefully through your FB page, our website, and elsewhere, we can help foster a more bipartisan atmosphere in our ward families.

  4. Tim says:

    Hi, my name is Tim and I would love to get involved in any way I can. What can I help with?

  5. Wow! Mormon Dems.outing themselves…this is great. My ward is near Stanford University, with the university’s influence, so we are not in a minority here. Great to encounter like minded others on line.

  6. Dennis Ehlert says:

    Nice site you got here. Keep it up. I enjoyed the visit. (former Mormon).

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