TheBridge profile: Laurent Crenshaw

TheBridge profile: Laurent Crenshaw

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Name: Laurent Crenshaw

Current city: Washington, DC

Current job: Director of Public Policy at Yelp

Past job: Legislative Director for US Congressman Darrell Issa

Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting : La Colombe -- Blagden Alley, Washington D.C.

Q. Describe one way how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your new job: Being Legislative Director for a member of Congress taught me how to critically analyze information from multiple sources and synthesize it to create the most optimal policy solution. Today at Yelp, I often finding myself going through that same process to determine the best way forward on policy matters of concern.

Q. Job advice in three words? Study, create, organize.

Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech? Yelp has been a strong advocate protecting freedom of speech online. We've championed legislation that would provide additional protections to people who make honest statements online, whether its in the form of a Yelp review or a news article. Over the course of the last year, as freedom of speech became a campaign issue, we led the charge on behalf of the Internet community in Congress for new laws to enhance online freedom of speech.

Q. Most underrated virtue in an employee? Being scrappy/resourceful. As companies grow, unfortunately this mentality tends to be the first thing to leave with the newer employees. Employees need to know how to make magic happen with limited resources. They need to be able to execute projects and make results happen that far exceed the amount of money or resources allocated originally. 

Q. Which Member of Congress is most tech savvy? Darrell Issa hands down. He gets the issues, and actually uses the products. I should know considering I worked for him for almost nine years. 

Q. If you had to live in another city, which would it be? San Francisco. I was born there, and like the old Tony Bennett song, I left my heart there too. 

Q. Favorite restaurant? Little Serow in Washington D.C. It's some of the best northern Thai cuisine that you can find anywhere in the U.S., plus it's got a really cool vibe on the inside and the staff is super friendly.

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