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Marc for Austin


My Story

I am a broad-based community builder who enjoys working alongside others to solve problems and create a positive impact. I have worked to build civic trust and address local challenges with passion, creativity, and solutions grounded in science and data. I bring key skills that can help support the Council make prudent decisions: understanding and interpreting financials, communication and data analysis, and technology knowledge in a world that is increasingly reliant on new technology solutions.

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Like most immigrants, my family sought more stability and a better life and we emigrated to Houston when I was four. I attended public schools in Houston and then attended the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. In 2001 I graduated with a degree in Government and have since primarily lived in District 10.

I spent the first part of my career working in Democratic and local politics. For several years I lived out of a suitcase and worked on – and eventually ran – political campaigns across Texas. My first exposure to Austin politics was running Councilwoman Betty Dunkerley’s re-election campaign in 2005. I spent the following year in Corpus Christi managing a successful State House race in a 60% Republican district – a victory that Capitol Inside called the “Best Run Challenger Race” in Texas that year. I returned to Austin to work for the Texas Progress Council and served as the Research Director for the Texas Democratic Party.

I went back to school to earn an MBA and afterwards continued to do political work and consulting. Soon I transitioned to doing technology work: first CRM (Customer Relationship Management) & ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions and then Digital Strategy and Project Management.

In 2015 I became active in neighborhood issues and local politics. I initially joined my local Homeowners Association (volunteer) board that works with nearly 200 homeowners and manages a roughly $750,000 budget. Through this role I became involved with the fight over how to redevelop the Austin Oaks PUD and then the 2016 District 10 council race. I would later serve on the Austin Neighborhood Council executive committee and Community Not Commodity board. I have also worked with a number of Political Action Committees including the bi-partisan City Accountability Project PAC.

In both my job and volunteer work I observed many civic and political organizations struggling to fully leverage the latest data and technology – so I started a technology engagement company. Our mission was to marry newly-available data with data science, and build new digital tools to help people engage in civic life. We focused on supporting local political and advocacy campaigns, non-profits, and start-ups target and engage more supporters, donors, and customers. In 2018 I was diagnosed with cancer and since then transitioned away from product development back to consulting.

I have overcome many obstacles to get to where I am and my philosophy has always been to do as much as can I can with what I have. My life has been changed by cancer and auto-immune diseases diagnoses, but I’m deeply grateful to western medicine which has allowed me to work, start a business, and contribute to my community. I am inspired to run for City Council because of the health challenges I’ve encountered – not in spite of them.

In my personal life, I enjoy traveling, listening to Audiobooks, and tinkering with technology. I took apart and reassembled my first computer when I was about 12 (much to my parents horror – years later I learned they were secretly impressed). I’m a “dog person” and parent of a cocker spaniel. I’ve had the opportunity to travel widely and see much of the world, and this has shaped my attitudes on comparative politics: borrowing what works or can be adapted and steering clear of what fails. I enjoy meeting people and learning about their civic interests and concerns. Please reach out to me at [email protected] if you would like to chat!