David Edward Burke
David Edward Burke started Citizens Take Action because after working in Congress and on numerous political campaigns, he learned that no matter what issue voters care about, big money in politics stands in the way of progress. He chose to focus on that problem because it was the biggest one he thought he could help sovle. And he wrote the Restore Democracy Amendment because he believes that we need a constitutional amendment propopsal that offers the right combination of power and viability.
Before starting Citizens Take Action David graduated from UCLA in 2004 with a BA in Political Science and received his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 2009, winning the award for best attorney in the Aiken Gump Mock Trial Competition and for outstanding oral advocacy in the school’s Moot Court Competition. He has previously worked in the United States Congress, coordinated statewide ballot initiatives in California, clerked for two Superior Court judges, and served as the Chief Operating Officer of a nonprofit that uses the legal system to help animals. He is also a former alumnus and Governing Board member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the New Leaders Council.
In 2016 David formed Citizens Take Action, to focus on systemic political changes, including getting big money out of politics and increasing for civic engagement. In his current role with Citizens Take Action he supports policies and programs that enhance the voices of individuals within our political system. David has had articles published in or been interviewed by Salon, The Huffington Post, El Confidencial, LA Progressive, OC Lawyer Magazine, and other media outlets. He is married and currently resides in Los Angeles.
As a veteran of political campaigns for over a decade, Brianne has seen the influence of big money in politics firsthand. To date, she has been involved in campaigns in six different states and she has balanced her love of activism with her career in law.
Brianne received her BA from Columbia and her J.D. from St. John’s University Law School in 2011. While studying at St. John’s she clerked for a District Court Judge and was recognized with awards for both her brief writing and appeallate advocacy skills. After law school Brianne worked as Counsel for Catterton Partners and Highbridge Capital Management, Fiduciary Counselling, and Harmatz Investment, Inc.
She is currently working as a Political Organizer in Minnesota and she lives in Minneapolis with her adorable dog Gidget.
Jonathan brings an extensive political and legal background to his position as a Director and Treasurer of Citizens Take Action. He graduated from UCLA School of Law in 2008, where he served as the co-editor in chief of the Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs. After law school Jonathan worked as an attorney specializing in corporate and regulatory law, and became Legal Counsel for the Kosrae State Chief Justice in the Federated States of Micronesia. While there, he successfully obtained grant funds to implement the first law against domestic and family violence in the state. Jonathan also served as the Regional Voter Protection Coordinator in Ohio during the 2012 Presidential Election.
His career, life experiences, and political background inspired Jonathan to advocate for political reform, and specifically to reduce the influence of big money in politics. Despite his busy schedule, Jonathan remains active in local politics in Orange County, and consistently volunteers to support causes and campaigns in his community.
While only recently becoming politically involved Samuel Turley is excited to learn and expand his knowledge at all levels of the political process. Specifically, Sam is interested in learning about building a grassroots campaign of diverse groups and organizations to work towards a common goal. He joined Citizens Take Action because he believes that for progress to be made on any issue big money must be removed from the process.
Sam is a sophomore currently enrolled at Cerritos College with plans to transfer to California State University, Long Beach next fall. He is majoring in Political Science with a minor in history. Additionally, he has been involved with his schools Model United Nations club where he attended conferences throughout the semester. Samuel, was also a member of the Varsity swim team where he was named MVP for the 2018 season. He also works as a Swim instructor and recreation leader for the City of Cerritos. After graduation, Sam hopes to continue his education with a masters degree in Public Administration with hopes for a career in public service.
Davis Schmitt is a Junior Political Science major at Chapman University with an emphasis in political communication strategy and a minor in history. He joined Citizens Take Action after watching the 2018 midterm elections and observing the successes seen by candidates who rejected support from big money.
Davis is currently working on research with his university that looks at political communication strategies, particularly those used in campaigns, and how they are adapting to the changes in the media landscape brought on by the rise of new and social media. Having recently worked on the London Breed for Mayor campaign in San Francisco, he brings a firsthand knowledge of how big money can influence politics to his role at Citizens Take Action. Aside from politics, Davis is a member of an on campus a capella group, an avid rewatcher of all seven seasons of Scandal, and a big fan of anything from the frozen food section at Trader Joes.