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Ari Herzog: Background Sketch

At the age of 8, I wanted to grow up and be the first, Jewish, President of the United States.

I told this to my third grade teacher.

While I’m not on the road to the presidency any time soon, I strongly believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. My life has not been easy but in retrospect, everything happened for a reason and I am a better person as a result.

I began heading toward my dream, at 17, when I was elected to vice president of my high school junior class; and was also asked to serve in a non-voting capacity on a town subcommittee formed to investigate viable uses for an abandoned historic school building.

The same year, I was hired as a bimonthly columnist to write local history articles for the town newspaper.

In college, after realizing political science was not my forte, I studied sociology. I examined the foundations of society and culture, learned the essentials of social dynamics and deviant behavior, and discussed the political and theoretical differences of Marx, Weber, Tonnies, and other sociologists.

Reading doctrines of Thorstein Veblen and Saskia Sassen, I wrote many papers about the intersection between society, technology, and global affairs. As the World Wide Web entered pop culture, I penned college newspaper columns on the history of the Internet (and no, Al Gore didn’t invent it!) and the benefits of electronic mail, Usenet newsgroups, and online portals.

I volunteered with political action committees, public interest research groups, and state election campaigns. I joined electronic mailing lists and spoke out against the constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act.

After college, I entered the information technology industry and attempted to bridge the digital divide through education and hands-on exposure. I led technical seminars to non-technical employees, instructed adult students in computer fundamentals, and oversaw the management of corporate websites.

A writer by avocation, I soon switched from IT to community journalism. I quickly became an expert on fiscal policy, zoning bylaws, public health, and land conservation. I networked with elected officials, business managers, and organizational leaders.

Published credits include hard news reporting for The Enterprise and travel essays for The Boston Globe (here and here). I interviewed film director Michael Dean for DIW Magazine, penned a humor anecdote for Arizona Highways, and outlined a medical piece for RT Image.

Fascinated watching government come alive as a reporter, I yearned to make a living in the public sector. In short time, I worked by day as a project manager in the state economic development office and attended night school at Suffolk University.

I wrote briefings and correspondence for senior government officials, helped improve state competitiveness, and managed projects in areas including homeland security, marine science, auto insurance, pandemic preparedness, and homelessness.

Several months after experiencing a shift of gubernatorial administrations, I earned my master’s in public administration from Suffolk’s Sawyer School of Management. I soon shifted into an interim local government role in Newburyport City Hall, ultimately focusing on energy and health care.

Currently amid a job hunt, I write daily commentary on this blog about the subjects I know best: politics, society, and culture.

I hope you enjoy reading what I enjoy writing.