In 2007, Erik Telford began his professional career in the conservative movement by joining a group he had never heard of, the recently established Americans for Prosperity.
“I wondered, ‘Why not learn the issues and focus on an advocacy group?’ and things took off in a way I had never expected,” he said.
After driving the organization to national prominence in online politics and grassroots mobilization, and also mobilizing the young conservative community by founding Right Online, a national conference for conservative bloggers, Telford joined the Franklin Center last year as the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach.
“I see a lot of enthusiasm and I really think that young people, in combination with the tools available and the power of the internet, are really formative in this election cycle and certainly in many more years to come.”
Telford is changing the way the internet and politics interact, and encourages young conservatives to do the same.
“The traditional rulebook doesn’t always apply in today’s evolving media technology and political atmosphere,” he says. “You don’t have to be here in Washington, DC, you don’t have to be on the Hill.”
“So don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make a difference or you have to take a certain path, “ he says. “You don’t need a degree in journalism, you don’t need to be a consultant, you don’t need that law degree to go out.”