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The University Magazine

Politics provides path to public service

Congressman Eric Massa, left, and Dave Marion '05

Dave Marion's passion for politics developed while he was in high school as he became frustrated with the seeming lack of focus government officials placed on representing the people they were elected to serve.

"This was during the Clinton administration and I came to believe that elected officials in both parties were too busy with scandals and ‘getting' the other side, as opposed to addressing the serious issues America faced," says Marion '05 (professional and technical communications).

Instead of becoming disillusioned with the process, Marion developed a strong interest in government, infused with a determination to make the system better and more responsive to the people. He is now working to achieve that goal from the inside as district director for Congressman Eric Massa (D-Corning, N.Y.).

In that role, Marion directs all operations in Massa's three regional offices in New York's 29th Congressional district, which stretches from Rochester to Corning and is one of the largest in the nation. Marion's responsibilities include directing Massa's community relations and constituent services efforts, while developing and coordinating legislative and budget priorities with the congressman and his Washington, D.C., staff.

Marion also serves as Massa's chief district representative, working closely with local elected officials, business and labor leaders and representatives of state and federal agencies to assist communities and citizens in the region.

"Congressman Massa shares my belief that an elected official has the responsibility to listen to the people living and working within their districts and to always be willing to tackle the tough problems we face as a nation today," Marion says. "Our office works very diligently to both address the needs of the citizens of the 29th district and to develop public policies that will assist our nation in meeting the many economic, security and social challenges we face."

Marion first met Massa in 2005, when he called his campaign to inquire about possible volunteer opportunities. By the end of that election, which Massa narrowly lost, Marion was serving as the campaign's Monroe County coordinator as well as overseeing all county coordinators within the district. When Massa decided to run again in 2008, Marion came on board as campaign manager and was named district director in early 2009.

"I feel truly blessed that I have been able to turn my interest in government and public policy into a rewarding and fulfilling career," Marion says. "I hope that the path that I took will serve as an example for current students at RIT and anyone else looking for a way to help people and improve our society."

Will Dube '09

For more stories about and for alumni, visit the Alumni News Web page at www.rit.edu/news/alumni.