We sat down for a Thursday Civic lunch with Biko Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters.
Like any good organizer, Biko begins with his Story of Self. He grew up in Milwaukee, WI, with a father who was a machinist and construction worker, and a mother who worked at the grocery store. He was a jock, and didn't grow into being an academic until his sophomore year at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He did his graduate work at UCLA in History, and labor. He became a researcher for the SEIU, but was also into hip hop, and got started as a party promoter on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, working with many of hip hop's biggest West Coast names, like Snoop Dogg and Xzibit. He and his fellow promoters were essentially organizing online, developing massive email and text lists and relationships without realizing this practice had a name. Biko also wrote for The Source, one of hip hop's top magazines.