AAPC 40 Under 40 Award: A Conversation with Amanda Stitt
We are proud to announce that our very own Amanda Stitt has been honored by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) as one of the 40 best and brightest young political professionals in the country. Only 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans in the United States were named to AAPC’s exclusive 40 Under 40 winners list. Candidates were evaluated on their role as a strategic consultant in the industry, along with leadership and professional accomplishments in political consulting.
Click here to view the full list of the 2020 40 Under 40 winners.
How have you demonstrated leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation in this field?
We started Change Media Group, a Democratic digital agency, in Michigan because we are committed to winning Michigan and the Midwest. I take my job of reaching working class voters very seriously and am close to the ground on what moves people. My partner and I chose to stay and lead here because just isn’t a strong pipeline of people who do good progressive campaign work and we are trying to build out the bench and when elections for Democrats. At CMG, we are helpful, impactful and inspired in the way we do our work.
I have been a leader in research and testing. In 2002 I led the effort that gathered the data to show the impact of door to door canvassing on a voter’s likelihood of voting, featured in the “Get Out The Vote” book by Green and Gerber. In my nonpartisan civic engagement work, we demonstrated the impact of pledge to vote postcards in the 2010 election – an important learning going into the 2012 election. At CMG, we are very active in the Analyst Institute and have several experiments to gauge the effectiveness of various turnout and persuasion campaigns.
In my business, I have demonstrated leadership in how to do well and do good. That means taking good care of the people who work for us with profit-sharing and full transparency on our finances and how we do business. We offer great health care, remote work options, and unlimited vacation time. It means upholding a standard of ethics where we don’t sell our clients things they don’t need.
How long have you worked in the political/public affairs field?
20 years. On my first campaign, while in college was for Debbie Stabenow’s US Senate race in 1999-2000.
What are your most significant professional accomplishments? Please describe in order of importance.
- Growing Change Media Group to a 16 person firm that makes a big impact for progressive causes and candidates, working in 131 races in 30 states in 2018.
- Working on the 2008 Obama campaign.
- Being the Deputy Coordinated Campaign Director on the 2006 effort to re-elect Governor Granholm and Senator Stabenow, and winning the Michigan House majority – and beating Dick DeVos.
- Leading the effort that gathered the data to show the impact of door to door canvassing on a voter’s likelihood of voting, featured in the “Get Out The Vote” book by Green and Gerber.
- Helping Rep. Elissa Slotkin win her campaign in the district where I live.
- Helping a friend get elected mayor of my hometown.
- Working with the team that changed the way district lines will be drawn in 2021 with Voters Not Politicians in Michigan.
- Training incredible young candidates at People for the American Way.
- Receiving the “Most valuable partner” award from the ACLU of Michigan.
- Being recognized for our growth by INC Magazine as one of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America.
There are 10 important decisions you make on any campaign – the trouble is you don’t know what they are when you are making them, so choose wisely!
Goal by 40
Well, I will be 40 this year, so the big goal is defeating Donald Trump!
Learning not to spend too much time with candidates who “had potential” and trying to squeeze water out of a turnip.
Most significant mentor
Larry Tokarski. He was a staffer of many Michigan governors (D’s and R’s). He taught me about code, protocol, working with the best people, and hard work. Advice I didn’t take: “You can’t be a political hack all your life.”
Good TV, with Wavy Lays and French Onion Dip
In a movie, I’d be played by…