Jesse Gordon for Randolph Town Council > About Jesse
- Jesse Gordon first moved to Randolph in 1999. Jesse got engaged in 2006 to Kathleen Camara, whom he met at the Lantana club in North Randolph. They bought a house together in Randolph a couple of years later and have been there since.
- Jesse was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey. His family resided for a time on a kibbutz in Israel. He moved to Massachusetts to attend college and has lived in the Boston Metro area ever since.
- In high school, Jesse was awarded a National Merit Scholarship to attend Brandeis University. In college, Jesse received Bachelor of Arts degrees in General Science and Biology at Brandeis in 1984. He also attended Boston University and Fairleigh Dickinson University (N.J.) working towards a Master of Arts in Teaching degree part-time. Jesse returned to graduate school full-time at the Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and received a Master in Public Policy degree, focusing on Environment and Development, in 1994.
- Jesse ran an independent computer consultancy in the 1980s and early 1990s. He worked with numerous small businesses in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, assisting the owners with their accounting and managerial needs. His longest-term client was NEC America, the export branch of a large Japanese electronics manufacturing firm. Jesse's work with NEC took him to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, and London, where he established the communication systems for the NEC export branches.
- Jesse took the time while working abroad to travel extensively, primarily in East Asia and Europe. He has presented lectures about his travels in Nigeria, Brazil, Pakistan, and China at Adult Education centers around the Boston area. Jesse has family in Denmark and Finland, and speaks a smattering of numerous languages.
- In 1984, Jesse helped his father build his dream home, a geodesic dome in upstate New York. Jesse, along with his brother and father, spent about a year on construction. Jesse applied his construction skills to rehabbing several other homes, including purchasing two homes, a single-family home in Waltham and a two-family home in Nashua NH. Jesse also designed and built, with a group of friends, a 2-story cabin on 13 wooded acres, plus a 60-foot bridge spanning the Tsatsawassa Creek, in the New York Berkshires.
- Jesse moved to Cambridge in 1992 to attend Harvard. After graduating, he worked for some time in Arkansas, co-founding the Buffalo River Stewardship Foundation, an environmental organization focused on America's first National River. Jesse authored several studies on river issues, from a study on rural watershed groups for NAFTA's Environmental Commission in 1998, to the North Coastal Watershed Action Plan for Massachusetts' Executive Office of Environmental Affairs in 2004.
- Jesse's political experience began in earnest in 1999, when he founded Issues2000.org, a website which catalogued the presidential candidates' views on the issues. The website garnered eight million viewers during the election cycle and was favorably reviewed in publications ranging from Rolling Stone magazine to The Wall Street Journal. The VoteMatch political matching quiz, has been taken by over 2 million people. The website has expanded, as OnTheIssues.org, to include coverage of Senate races, House incumbents, and Massachusetts state Senators and State Reps. Jesse attended the 2004 Democratic National Convention with a "blogger press pass" in his capacity as editor of the Speakout Forum. Jesse passionately believes that voting should be based on candidates' issue stances, and just as passionately believes that neither candidates nor the mainstream media do an adequate job of reporting on issue stances.
- OnTheIssues was founded in Jesse's apartment basement in Randolph. Jesse notes when asked, "I first moved to Randolph in 1999," but he was back-and-forth to Cambridge for a few years afterwards. Jesse's first political activity in Randolph was attending the 2002 Randolph Democratic caucus, where he ran for a delegate seat (and lost!).
- Jesse served as the Technology Director for the Reich for Governor campaign in 2001-2002. He oversaw the email campaign, the website, the database, the website's Spanish translation, and the large volunteer crew for all of those -- which was credited with Reich's overcoming the odds against an outsider candidate getting through the Democratic Convention process. Jesse has applied the "cyber-campaign" techniques developed during the Reich campaign to state rep races for Avi Green in East Cambridge and East Somerville, Carl Sciortino in Somerville and Medford, and Monica Palacios-Boyce in Central Massachusetts.
- In 2003, Jesse co-founded Mass For Dean, the grassroots organization supporting Howard Dean in the Democratic primary. The organization grew to 6,000 members and is evolving into a force for reform in the Democratic Party locally and statewide. Jesse has worked for several years on reform efforts within the Massachusetts Democratic Party, serving as a member of the Cambridge Democratic City Committee and on numerous party commissions. His current work on the Mass Scorecard, which publicizes the voting records of the Massachusetts state legislature, was passed at the 2003 Democratic state convention. Jesse now serves as an elected member of the Randolph Democratic Town Committee.
- In 2005, having returned to Cambridge, Jesse ran for Cambridge City Council, finishing respectably for a first-time candidate. He was greatly dismayed by the lack of responsiveness of the Cambridge political system, and withdrew from Cambridge politics. Jesse then moved back to Randolph, which he made his permanent home after meeting his future wife, Kathleen, under the chandelier at Lombardo's.
- For the past decade, Jesse has worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a chemoinformatician and bioinformatician. Prior to that industry, Jesse worked as a state and federal contractor for agencies such as the EPA, NMFS, the Tucson Water Department, the Massachusetts Office of Environmental Affairs, and others.
- Jesse's son, Julien Andrè Gordon, was born on May 2, 1997. Jesse's fiancee Kathleen has three grown children too: Jordan, Erin, and Derek.