Thursday, May 10, 2007

Farewell, Mike Levin.

I just saw this on Total Buzz. Now I have a feeling that this would be better as a "Quickie", but I wanted a little more space to give my heartfelt thanks to Mike Levin. Mike Levin took over as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Orange County about eight months ago. Back then, the party headquarters was in complete shambles. The office was cluttered with old boxes filled with old papers, and the dust was literally covering the original paint color of the walls. Mike Levin came in, and he cleaned shop. The first time I walked in the office after he took over, I was literally astounded that the office was actually clean and orderly!

But of course, Mike did much more than just clean the office. He helped give this party a clean bill of health again. Thanks to Mike's fantastic leadership, Democrats held the 34th State Senate District by helping Lou Correa win that historically close election last year. Thanks to Mike, OC Democrats fought hard like never before in the effort to fill the County Board of Supervisors vacancy (left by Lou when he became a Senator) with Tom Umberg. And overall, Mike has been a part of this successful effort to make the Democratic Party relevant in Orange County again.

And now, it's time for him to move on from here. Follow me after the flip for more on where Mike Levin is going from here...

Well, I guess Martin Wisckol's question has now been answered:

County Democrat boss Frank Barbaro displayed his sincerity in cranking up the party's local activity level when he hired Mike Levin in September. The young Stanford graduate took the reins as executive director and immediately proved himself to be sharp, responsive and energetic. At one point I think I ask Barbaro how long he'd be able to keep him.

I got the answer today. Levin is leaving next month for the Bay Area and a job with Better Energy Systems, whose first product, the Solio, is a solar charger for small electronics.

But hey, there's no reason for us to fear. Current Political Director Melahat Rafiei will likely take over as Interim Executive Director of the party. And boy is this a good thing! Melahat has done great things for DFA Orange County, and she fought hard in the 46th Congressional District as Jim Brandt's campaign manager. I'm very confident that she'll do a great job for our party, and that she will only help the Democratic Party continue to strengthen in Orange County.

But still, I'll miss Mike. I'll miss his shrewd political sensibility, and I'll miss his pragmatic approach to idealism (or is that idealistic approach to pragmatism?). I'll miss his sunny smile, and I'll miss that take-charge attitude he brought to the party office. We'll all miss Mike here in OC, but that shouldn't stop us from wishing him the best of luck up in the Bay Area! : )

1 comment:

Reelpolitik said...

Speaking of Levin, today DPOC screened this video at its event in Newport Beach. It talks to Barbaro, Levin, Melahat, Edgardo Reynoso and many of the great young organizers who are turning the county from Orange to Blue.