Buffy Jo Christina Wicks (born August 10, 1977) is an American political strategist who is credited - along with Marshall Ganz and Jeremy Bird - as the architect of Barack Obama's grassroots organizing model. She previously served on the senior staff of Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and as Deputy Director at the White House Office of Public Engagement. She has also worked in the labor movement, on women's issues, and as a children's rights advocate.
Born in Foresthill, California in 1977, Wicks graduated from Placer High School in 1995. She graduated from the University of Washington in 1999 with a B.A. degree in political science and history.
In 2000, she began a two-year program for an International Master in Peace, Conflict, and Development Studies (PEACE Master) of the Universitat Jaume I (UJI), Castellón, Spain, under the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace, but left in 2001 and did not complete the degree.
As one of the early hires on the 2008 presidential campaign for Barack Obama, Wicks was active in grassroots mobilization and outcome-based organizing. She ran various state operations during the primaries and general election, including in California, Texas and Missouri.
Wicks was then tapped by President Obama to serve in the Executive Office of the President as the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
In 2012, she joined President Obama’s re-election effort and served as the National Director of Operation Vote. She was responsible for mobilizing voters in demographic groups including African American, Latino, women, and the youth.
From 2014-2015, Wicks transitioned the super PAC Priorities USA Action into a pro-Hillary Clinton vehicle and served as its executive director. In 2016, Wicks was named the California State Director by Clinton's presidential campaign in advance of the June 7 primary.
Wicks previously worked as the political director of “Wake Up Walmart,” a United Food and Commericial Worker-funded movement.. She was a Fellow at Institute of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress focusing on public policies affecting women and families.
Wicks has published opinion editorials for TIME, Politico, and the Daily Beast on current political events. She also gives regular speeches in the United States and abroad on organizing, leadership, women's issues, and the state of American politics.
California State Assembly race
In 2017, Wicks declared herself a candidate for the California State Assembly election, 2018, running for the 15th district. The seat was vacated by Tony Thurmond, who ran for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Wicks' opponents in the race include Dan Kalb and Jovanka Beckles.
- Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008
- Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2012
- Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016
- McKenna, Elizabeth; Han, Hahrie; Bird, Jeremy (2015-01-05). Groundbreakers: How Obama's 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America (1 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199394609.
- Newton-Small, Jay. "Democrats Salivate—and Shudder—at the Prospect of Trump". TIME.com. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- Press, Associated. "Clinton faces challenge in Iowa caucus reminiscent of 2008". poconorecord.com. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- Joyce, Amy (2005-05-31). "Logging On With A New Campaign". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
- "RELEASE: Buffy Wicks Named Senior Fellow with CAP's Work on Women's Policy Issues - Center for American Progress". Center for American Progress. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
- "An army for kids: SF nonprofit vows to boost their clout". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
- "4 UAA Alums in the Obama Administration - UW Undergraduate Academic Affairs E-news, October 2009". www.washington.edu. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "estudiantes-students". Web.archive.org. 2009-12-15. Archived from the original on 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- McKenna, Elizabeth; Han, Hahrie (2014-12-02). Groundbreakers: How Obamas 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199394623.
- "Obama taps Buffy Wicks to head Missouri campaign - St. Louis Business Journal". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "President Obama Launches Office of Public Engagement". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "Obama for America 2012 Campaign Organization". www.p2012.org. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "Obama campaign unveils Project Vote, aimed at expanding registration, participation of base constituencies: 'the path to victory' – Rick Perry makes debate debut with POLITICO-NBC, Sept. 7". POLITICO. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "Yes They Can (They Think)". GQ. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "The Empowerment Campaign and its Dividends". GQ. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "A changing America: In 2012, blacks outvoted whites". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "Obama's Re-Election Sets Record for Support From Latino Voters". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "5 Fast Facts About 2012 Asian American Voters". name. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- Gold, Matea (2014-01-09). "Priorities USA set to join 2016 fray with new leadership". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "Pro-Clinton super PAC builds new leadership". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "April 22, 2016 Press Release Hillary for California Announces Leadership Team". www.p2016.org. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- "It's Close in California: Clinton 49%, Sanders 47%". Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- "Essential Politics May archives". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- "Poll: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders down to the wire in California". Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- "How Hillary Clinton won California". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- "The Year of the Organizer". The American Prospect. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "Buffy Wicks - Georgetown IPPS". Georgetown IPPS. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- "RELEASE: Buffy Wicks Named Senior Fellow with CAP's Work on Women's Policy Issues". name. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- Wicks, Buffy. "The Only Way to Dump Trump Is to Vote for Clinton". TIME.com. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- "The GOP's 'window-dressing' project". POLITICO. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- Wicks, Buffy (2013-06-21). "Why the GOP Has Lost the Women's Vote for 2014 and Beyond". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- "Buffy Wicks | The John Adams Institute". www.john-adams.nl. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- ChifleyCentre (2013-12-05), Buffy Wicks Keynote Address to Building a Progressive Future (1 of 2), retrieved 2016-03-19
- "Buffy Wicks » Lesbians Who Tech - The Community of Queer Women In & Around Tech". lesbianswhotech.org. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- Ulloa, Jasmine (November 25, 2017). "Running in 'Bernie Country' a former Obama and Clinton staffer battles for state Assembly seat". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
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