In 2018 and 2020, this influential group, powered by nearly six million grassroots members, played a pivotal role in flipping the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, electing eleven Democratic scientists to federal office, including Senators John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.).

The group has also played a major role in electing progressive champions of science in 100 key legislative districts, including New York’s 83 District where they helped to elect New York State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie. The group also recently endorsed NYC Councilmember Mark Levine for Manhattan borough president.

NEW YORK, NY — Today, 314 Action Fund announced its endorsement of former Obama-Biden Housing Secretary and Budget Director Shaun Donovan for Mayor of New York City. The influential grassroots organization of nearly six million members has successfully worked to elect scientists, doctors, and STEM professionals at the local, state, and federal level, helping to flip the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 and 2020. The group also recently endorsed NYC Councilmember Mark Levine for Manhattan borough president.
“I am so proud to have the support of 314 Action. The work they do to help ensure that our city, state, and country have leaders who actually listen to science is immeasurable, and I am immensely grateful for their support,” said NYC Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan. “This unbelievably painful year has shown us the raw consequence of electing leaders who lack experience. With over 500,000 deaths nationwide, including over 30,000 of our fellow New Yorkers, it is tragically clear that we need leaders with proven experience leading through crisis. As Mayor, I will always follow the science and implement data-driven policies that will not only help us overcome this pandemic, but will make our city more equitable across the board. From healthcare to housing, I am committed to reimagining NYC as a city that works for all New Yorkers.”

“As an Obama Cabinet secretary, Shaun Donovan successfully took on two of the greatest challenges in our country’s history by leading the United States out of the housing crisis and cutting veteran homelessness in half,” said Shaughnessy Naughton, President of 314 Action. “Under Shaun’s leadership, New York City can continue to lead the fight against the anti-science, anti-reality agenda of the GOP. Shaun will be a champion of evidence-based policies and will put science — and facts — first.”

During the 2020 campaign cycle, 314 Action Fund invested nearly $3 million in support of Dr. Nancy Goroff, then-candidate for New York’s first congressional district, and raised nearly $70,000 in grassroots donations for Dr. Goroff’s campaign. The 314 Action Fund has also endorsed and supported Congressman Paul Tonko of New York’s twentieth congressional district as well as New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (District 83) and State Sen. John Mannion (District 50).


About Shaun Donovan:

A lifelong New Yorker, Shaun Donovan served in President Obama’s Cabinet for his full eight years in office. From January 2009 to July 2014, Shaun was the 15th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he led the fight against the nation’s unprecedented foreclosure crisis. Under his leadership, HUD helped families rent or buy affordable homes, revitalized distressed communities, fought discrimination, and dramatically reduced homelessness. After Hurricane Sandy hit his hometown, President Obama asked Shaun to lead the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, leaving a stronger, more resilient region than before the storm hit.

In July 2014, he was sworn in as the 40th Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. At OMB, Shaun increased investment in key domestic and national security priorities that grew the economy, protected our country, and increased opportunity. He also oversaw regulations that reduced inequality, expanded health care, improved education, and fought climate change. While OMB Director, Shaun played a pivotal role in managing the nation’s response to the Ebola and Zika outbreaks.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Shaun served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development under Mayor Mike Bloomberg. He also served in the Clinton administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multi-family Housing at HUD and as acting Commissioner for the U.S. Federal Housing Administration.

Deeply affected by the crisis he saw around him while growing up in New York City, he volunteered in a homeless shelter during college and interned for the National Coalition for the Homeless when he graduated. After studying housing in graduate school, he returned to work for the nonprofit Community Preservation Corporation in the Bronx and across New York City.

Shaun holds a B.A. and Masters degrees in Public Administration and Architecture from Harvard University. Shaun was born and grew up in New York City, and is married to Liza Gilbert, a Landscape Architect who has designed and restored parks in New York City and across the country. Shaun and Liza live in Brooklyn, where they raised their sons Milo and Lucas.


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