King’s alum influencing policy across the country
Wisconsin isn’t the most sought after destination during the month of October. By then, the nice weather has flown South on the backs of the migrating geese, the mercury freezes nightly, and unless you like the Packers, brats, or cheese, you’ll probably feel like a foreigner. But last October, Wisconsin was exactly where Anthony Randazzo (’08) wanted to be.
That’s where Randazzo found himself in a room he never expected to be in, with people he never expected would listen to him. The place was a conference room in Milwaukee. The people were Milwaukee County executives. As part of his job as a policy analyst with the Reason Foundation, a free market think tank in Washington, D.C., he presented suggestions for how the county could close its ballooning budget deficit. According to Randazzo, the meeting was successful—the people he talked to committed to pursuing the policies he suggested.
“The experience was surreal,” Randazzo recalled in an e-mail. “It was the first time I had sat down with lawmakers to be a consultant. Just a few months out of college, I felt for some reason I shouldn't be in that position. Yet across the table were five key county officials listening to my every thought.”
While surprised that he was in such an influential position, Randazzo has a theory as to why. Over the last 10 months, he has come to appreciate just how much his degree in politics, philosophy, and economics has prepared him for influence. For example, when the financial crisis hit in September he was able to understand it from both an economic and political standpoint and offer suggestions that took both into account. “I saw my politics and economics courses coming together in a tangible way,” he said.
“All in all, I have been able to see . . . my degree [from King’s] have an amazing impact immediately,” Randazzo added. “And the atmosphere at King’s cultivated in me an entrepreneurial drive that pushed me into the things I’ve been able to do today.”
Those “things” include publishing op-eds in various online magazines and newspapers such as the Detroit News and Hawaii Reporter. He’s also appeared on TV and radio promoting a free market agenda for government.
“Sometimes I feel like my job is [like] Rhetoric with [former provost] Peter Wood, only now I get paid,” Randazzo said. “Writing an op-ed for the Detroit News isn’t that much different, there’s just a little more pressure. I also write policy studies that are essentially research papers; it’s the same process as writing a final paper for [politics professor] Dr. Tubbs, only I think he might grade harder.”
Randazzo is quick to point out that he’s not the only one benefiting from a King’s education. “I know that there are other TKC graduates who have great jobs now as well, doing what the average first year, post-college student doesn’t normally do,” he said, “and I think it speaks to the quality of the institution and the caliber of the students the school attracts.”
For now Randazzo is where he wants to be, becoming an influential thinker in Washington. He’s enjoying the fast-paced environment of D.C., and loves being immersed in politics almost constantly.
Still, it can be overwhelming. That’s when he finds strength in his faith. “Politics infuses every aspect of life in this city,” Randazzo said. “Virtually the only respite is in my Christian community. Although we are largely engaged in politics, we like to focus on growing together and understanding the Christian life.”
As for his future, Randazzo’s leaving that up to God: “I’m on an open-ended career path right now. I’m open to wherever God leads. . . . I didn’t plan for the job I have now, so I don’t think I should try and plan for my next one.”
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