|Preceded by Paul Moura|
Party Democratic Party
Profession Educator, Journalist
Education Columbia University
|Political party Democratic|
Role American Politician
Preceded by Robert Clarkin
Name David Segal
|Alma mater Columbia University (B.A.)|
Residence Fox Point, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Parents Herman Benjamin Segal, Andrea Leonard-Segal
Succeeded by Christopher Blazejewski
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David Adam Segal is an American politician, activist, and writer who was a Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, representing District 2 (East Providence and Providence) from 2007 until January 2011. Prior to that, he served as Minority Leader of the Providence City Council from 2003 until 2007, elected at the age of 22 as the first and only member of the Green Party ever elected in Rhode Island. Segal was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the state's 1st congressional district on 14 September 2010. He serves as the executive director of the online organizing group Demand Progress. The organization helped lead the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act and related bills, co-led efforts to institute net neutrality regulations, and has been at the forefront of various other policy and activism efforts. Segal is a co-editor of a book about the organizing that led to the defeat of SOPA, published by O/R Books, called Hacking Politics.
Segal was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Maryland. His father, Herman Benjamin Segal, is a cardiologist originally from Portland, Maine, and his mother, Andrea Leonard-Segal, is a rheumatologist working for the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. All four of his grandparents were Eastern European Jews who immigrated to the United States during the 1920s.
Segal graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Columbia University in 2001. Having spent time in Providence, Segal decided to relocate there during the summer of 2001, and that fall began a position at the Wheeler School as an instructor, teaching assistant, and tutor. He has worked as an analyst for FairVote, and a researcher and paralegal for a consumer rights attorney. Segal is active in the Progressive States Network, and is a contributor to the Rhode Island political blog, Rhode Island's Future. In 2007, he co-founded the arts, culture, and activism blog, Providence Daily Dose.
He has served as a fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project and at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society.
Segal's political career began in 2002, following his work as activist in support of a living-wage ordinance and a civilian review board to review accusations of police abuse. Segal ran as a Green for the Providence City Council and was elected to the Providence City Council, representing Ward One, with approximately 38% of the vote in a four-way general election.
Segal was chairman and founder of the federal political action committee Greens for Impact which helped steer the Green Party to endorse David Cobb rather than Ralph Nader, and ran a national media and direct-mail campaign in 2004, encouraging Greens and progressives in swing states to fight the re-election of George W. Bush by voting for John Kerry, and promoting electoral reform.
Following a party switch to the Democratic Party, Segal won the party primary election for state representative in Rhode Island House District 2 with 68.5 percent of the vote on September 12, 2006. Segal faced no partisan opposition on the November 7, 2006, state general election. Segal was re-elected in 2008, again winning 68.4% of the Democratic primary vote.
During his tenure in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, Segal was a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Judiciary Committee. He previously served on the Corporations Committee. He has sponsored and overseen the passage of legislation promoting renewable energy and public transit, reform of the criminal justice system, progressive taxation, maintenance of social services, equitable school funding, and more. He was secretary of the House of Representatives' progressive caucus during the 2009-2010 sessions. The Providence Phoenix declared him "The Hippest Guy in State Government".
Segal ran for Congress in the 2010 elections for the Rhode Island First Congressional District seat being vacated by Patrick Kennedy. Segal lost in the four-way 14 September 2010 Democratic Party Primary to David Cicilline, garnering over 20% of the vote.
As the executive director of the online organizing group Demand Progress, Segal has served as a leading advocate and strategist in organizing efforts like those to defeat SOPA, curtail mass surveillance, protect Net Neutrality, and others. He regularly writes on these topics and others for a variety of publications.