BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Greg Jenkins, principal at North Bay Strategies and a Bush 43 alum

·2 min read

How/where are you celebrating your birthday and with whom? “Sheltering in place with my husband in the Bay Area with one -- maybe two -- bottles of Sonoma’s finest. Maybe three.”

How did you get your start in your career? “First job out of college was the Virginia Press Association as a First Amendment warrior lobbying the General Assembly and publishing a bi-weekly newspaper for newspapers. I learned the hard way, from a grumpy, old-school editor, that when you’re writing for professional writers, ‘you damn well better know not to splice a comma!’ After bartending, it’s the best job I ever had. I’ve never lost my love for local news and really hope the industry can find its way. In this age of reckless attacks on the media, I hearken back to a PSA we ran that posed the question, ‘If the press didn't tell us, who would?’ I shudder to think what the answer might be.”

What’s an interesting book/article you’re reading during coronavirus social distancing? And why? “I’ve always got several books going at once. Currently: Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Underground Railroad,’ Tom Mueller’s ‘Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil’ (you read that right), and Erling Kagge’s ‘Silence in The Age of Noise’ because ... duh.”

What’s a trend going on in the U.S. or abroad that doesn’t get enough attention? “Migrant labor. The global economy depends on cheap migrant labor. At any given time, there are about 200 million people who have crossed a border to work in another country, thus losing their protections and rights. These cheap laborers working in construction, agriculture, electronics, in factories and on boats, are often exploited in a number of ways designed to drive down costs and maximize profits.”

How’s the Trump presidency going? “How’s it going? It’s going to end soon, I hope.”

What’s a fun fact that people in Washington might not know about you? “Two ... no, three things. First, there are four -- and only four -- people who know the real story behind ‘Mission Accomplished’ and how that came about. We’ll never tell. Second, I was briefly -- for like maybe 15 minutes -- kidnapped on the back of a camel in Egypt while covering a story. And third, I inadvertently led my reporter and camera crew into a Kosovo minefield. Took about an hour to gingerly retrace our steps back out. These are the parts of the job they don’t tell you about in journalism school. Thanks for nothing.”