Virginia onAir is focused on Virginia state and federal elections and governance.
The Virginia onAir Hub is a website where Virginia voters can LEARN about and DISCUSS with their elected officials and candidates for office and ENGAGE in supporting a more civil and vibrant democracy in Virginia. Virginia onAir is focused on elections and governance – “Governance” being how laws are made and how we as Virginia students and residents can influence legislation.
Democracy onAir, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization run by Gen Z students, oversees the development and curation of state Hubs like Virginia onAir and the onAir chapters based in public universities throughout a state. Virginia onAir is a pilot for other state Hubs and chapters which we plan on establishing in 2020.
Virginia onAir Hub
Who can participate in Virginia onAir and our future state Hubs?
Any resident of a state. We particularly focus on educating and engaging college students.
Any Virginia resident can be a member of an onAir chapter at the public university nearest their residence within one of our five regions in Virginia. Chapters will be led by undergraduate students from a variety of backgrounds and academic disciplines. Students can participate via internships, experiential courses, research projects, student clubs, and their student governments. Virginia onAir is committed to ensuring that all interested students and residents have the opportunity to engage in politics regardless of their time constraints or location.
To learn more about the Virginia onAir Hub and how you can impact politics in Virginia, go to this post.
One critical problem for residents of Virginia right now is that they must go online to multiple sources and forums to build political knowledge and interact with politicians. Residents need one go-to online platform that aggregates information from many sources AND enables multiple ways to interact with representatives and candidates.
We provide the tools to solve these problems.
- Our Hubs are ONE place to go for all residents to go for all their political information and communications needs.
- Our Hubs are designed for both large computer screens and small smart phone screens.
- Our Hubs are simple to use for curators, members, and viewers
Key prospective partners
Virginia federal and state representatives and candidates running for office. All current state and federal representatives are automatically ex-officio members of the Virginia onAir Advisory Board.
Our partner’s problem is that politicians and their staff don’t have the time expertise, tools, or budget to design, develop, and maintain a comprehensive web presence. Currently, politicians need to utilize many web sources and social media networks to engage citizens. We provide the tools to solve this problem.
Seeking Executive Director for Virginia onAir
We are currently seeking to hire a full-time Executive Director for Virginia onAir.
Democracy onAir Directors are currently serving in similar roles for Virginia onAir until new directors are found. These positions will be part-time and be held by seniors at Virginia universities with onAir Chapters.
Current interns include: Nader Momtaz, Jenkins Teh, Adam Black, Jacob Adams, Kerrie Thompson, and Jessler Alvira. Camden Layton, GMU Student Government President is also assisting us with our relationships with university student governments.
Democracy onAir is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social enterprise that supports the development and hosting of open access and curated networks of elections and governance Hubs, including this Virginia onAir Hub.
We wanted to address the current climate of divisiveness, tribalism, fact-free dialogue, and ad hominem attacks. We also saw an opportunity to bring attention to the underserved area of state political issues and governance. Our mission is to:
Enable voters in democratic societies easier, faster, and more efficient access to LEARN about their representatives and candidates and interact and DISCUSS with them and their fellow citizens with the goal of promoting more informed voters, civil discourse, and ENGAGEMENT in our democracy.
Tim O’Shea, currently enrolled in Georgetown University Law Center, graduated summa cum laude from George Mason University where he studied Government and International Politics, Data Analysis, and Economics. He worked as the Database and Intelligence Manager at Rise To Peace, where he developed and launched multiple open-source intelligence databases on international terrorism. He also worked as a Market Research Associate for the Virginia Small Business Development Center, where he synthesized market research and intelligence for business partners primarily in the security sector. He has presented at research conferences at James Madison University and Georgetown University, and his work has been published in the Chicago Journal of Foreign Policy and the Immigrant Research Library.
President of GMU onAir Chapter
Adia McLaughlin is a senior at George Mason University majoring in Communication and Government focusing on broadcast journalist and political science. Adia was an intern with Democracy onAir and Virginia onAir Hub Coordinator in the spring of 2o19 as part of being a Global Politics Fellow at the Schar School of Policy and Government. She is currently Student Government Vice President and last year was Executive Secretary for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. Adia is a also lead student coordinator for GMU’s New Student and Family Programs.
Ny-Jhee Jones is a senior at George Mason University majoring in Global Affairs. Ny-Jhee Jones was an intern with Democracy onAir and Virginia onAir Media Coordinator in the spring of 2o19 as part of being a Global Politics Fellow at the Schar School of Policy and Government. Ny-Jhee has been, at different times, the producer, director, talent, and videographer for the About Virginia onAir video at the top of this post. He is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, scholarship/fundraising Chair for the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, and secretary/treasurer for Patriots for Peace.Ny-Jhee is also a talented thespian who has performed in a number of plays and does standup comedy.
Katlyn Weiser is a senior at George Mason University majoring in Government and International Politics. Katlyn is the founder and president of the GMU Virginia21 chapter and Chair of the VA21 student advisory board. Katlyn is a former GMU senator in Student Government and is currently Undersecretary for Academic Affairs. Katlyn has interned for U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. She has also interned for the Almanac of Virginia Politics published by George Mason University.
Yasmin Jaramillo is a senior at George Mason University majoring in Government and International Politics with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Yasmin is currently Undersecretary for Government and Community Relations in GMU’s student government. For the past three years, Yasmin has been a leader in coordinating programs for GMU’s New Student and Family Programs especially the Quill Camp for first year GMU students where they can explore interests in government and international politics or leadership and service. She is also Secretary at Kappa Delta Sorority.
Democracy onAir current Advisory Board includes:
- Jeff Wilklow, Vice President of Campbell & Company and member and former President of the Metro Association of Fundraising Professionals
- Jeff South, Associate Professor of Journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University, Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Capital News Service at the Robertson School of Media and Culture
- Jennifer Victor, Associate Professor at GMU’s Schar School Policy and Government and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Political Networks
Chief Executive Officer
Todd Gillette is CEO of OnAir Networks. Todd is one of the principal software developers of the OnAir Knowledge Network System. Todd is also the visionary who inspired the political communication network of Hubs that are now being implemented by Democracy onAir. Todd received a PhD in neuroscience from George Mason University that centered on neuronal morphology, with a focus in data mining and pattern analysis to determine distinct topological features (i.e. branching patterns) of various neuronal types. and BS in Computer Science from Swarthmore. He is currently a software engineer at Northrop Grumman.
Chief Media Officer
Jim is the lead designer of our Aircasting system that provides video producers the tools to create live stream videos with live Q&A archived in posts. Jim is an Instructional Technologist / Visual Media Specialist with Information Technology Services (ITS) unit at George Mason University. Jim specializes in immersive technology for educators: VR/AR applications, 3d Design and Printing, and 360° video production solutions. Jim is also the owner and principal photographer of The Vintage Photographer.
University onAir Chapters
GMU is the first university onAir chapter established in the fall of 2018. The affiliated undergraduate student organization was started in the spring of 2019 by Adia McLaughlin. Democracy on Air is currently seeking to hire part-time chapter presidents from Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Old Dominion University.
There are three primary ways of supporting Virginia onAir if you are not a Chapter, Hub, or premium member:
- Donate to Democracy onAir, the 501c3 organizing the Virginia onAir pilot Hub and other state Hubs in the US and abroad.
- Have your organization become a Hub Sponsor
- Volunteer to assist your closest university onAir Chapter
Donors can be any named individual or foundation (no anonymous donations permitted). Donors can support the entire Hub, a District and all the posts within it, an individual Post, and/or Curator profile.
Checks or wire transfers are made to Democracy onAir. Democracy onAir has 501C3 status so donations are tax deductible. Contact Nader Momtaz at email@example.com
Any individual and organization such as a government agency, university, NGOs or company can become a sponsor of this Hub. Sponsors can support the entire Hub, any Hub category and all the posts within it, and any individual post.
To become a sponsor, contact Nader Momtaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.