Paul Gibson, Retake Our Democracy Co-Founder
Paul Gibson began his activism in 1968 when he volunteered for the Bobby Kennedy campaign. He was at the Ambassador Hotel when the Senator was assassinated. Throughout the Viet Nam war, he was active in the anti-war movement at UC Santa Barbara. But then operating his own consulting business and being a single father of two boys led to a significant reduction of his involvement beyond constant reading of The Nation and participating in periodic marches supporting environmental, social justice and anti-war demonstrations, signing petitions and posting on Facebook.
Gibson & Associates, his consulting firm, provided planning, evaluation and state and federal grant development, with the purpose of this work always being to transform child welfare, health, education, criminal justice, HIV/AIDS, and behavioral health systems. In relation to grant development, Paul maintained a 90-95% success rate and has generated over $500M in funding primarily for health, education, housing, and community development initiatives.
Paul briefly became involved in politics again in 2007 when his firm hosted Move-On phone banking efforts for the Obama campaign and canvassing with his son in Nevada, a swing state. His disappointment with the Obama presidency festered beginning with his caving to Wall St after the mortgage collapse; and continuing with his failure to close Guantanamo; or end our involvement in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria; and his promotion of the TPP, continued deportation of immigrants and support for the Keystone Pipeline.
When Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy, Paul and his wife Roxanne instantly formed Santa Fe 4 Bernie and coordinated that campaign, developing a large contingent of volunteers and sending e-blasts to over 2500 supporters. After the convention Roxanne and Paul followed Bernie’s advice and went local, forming Retake the Roundhouse. Working with advocacy groups throughout the state to organize canvassing, phone banking, voter registration, and Get-Out-The-Vote efforts.
After the election, Paul and Roxanne formed Retake Our Democracy, a tax-exmpt 501-c-4 education, community organizing, and advocacy organization. They are currently in the process of seeking tax deductible 501-c-3 status from the IRS.