TheBridge profile: Yuri Beckelman

Yuri Beckelman
Current city: Washington DC
Current job: Deputy Chief of Staff - Office of Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41)
Past job: Been on the hill for ten years.
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting : The Coupe In Columbia Heights

Q. Describe one way how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your new job. I've mostly done policy in my career, but in past jobs I've learned the intricacies of how a news cycle operates and how to insert your own ideas in to it. Knowing how a news cycle works has helped me spot good ideas and projects to work on, which allows my principle to own the issue when it becomes a popular topic down the road.

Q. Job advice in three words? Implement your ideas

Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech? Four years ago I helped found the Congressional Maker Caucus, now up to 34 members of Congress, Republican and Democrat. We bring the creative energy of the Maker Movement in to Congress with the Capitol Hill Maker Faire (2 years strong), hosted on Capitol Hill with 50 Makers showing off their weird and wonderful projects. More recently, members of the Maker Caucus have started to introduce legislation to support the Maker Movement as it becomes an important part of our education system, and a huge driver of new industry.

Q. How do you unwind after work? 
I make things. Working in policy means you don't end your day with something physical that you created. Brewing beer, building furniture, gardening, and cooking are all types of things that help give me balance and the feeling that I've completed a project.

Q. How often do you work from home?
One day a week during every recess. We’re one of the few Congressional offices that have a telecommuting policy and it works wonderfully. If you’re a staffer and want to know more about how it works, shoot me an email.

Q. What can Silicon Valley teach DC?
To try new things and be ok with failing every once in a while.

Q. What can DC teach Silicon Valley? 
Some systems aren’t meant to be dissolved and rebuilt, because real people rely on them to provide for their families futures.

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