Alan Raff, Esq. 31, Manchester
Deputy Chief of Staff, New Hampshire Senate
Family: Fiancée: Ashley Marcoux; mother: Kimberly Raff; father: Rick Raff; sister: Erica Raff; cat: Mr. Kitty
High school: West High School and The Derryfield School
College/post grad degrees: B.A. in Political Science from the University of Vermont; JD from Suffolk University Law School
What is the best career advice you ever received?
“Be honest, earnest, and early … and always keep a pen in your pocket.”
Why did you choose your profession?
My fourth-grade teachers, Ginny Toland and Diane Zito, assigned each student in their class a President of the United States. I was assigned President Lyndon Johnson. I learned about the Civil Rights Acts and about his mastery of the U.S. Senate in furtherance of helping the people who needed the most help. Up until that point in my life, I had always dreamed of being bitten by a radioactive spider, and gaining super-powers that would enable me to help those in my community. However, it was becoming evident that it was unlikely that I would befall the same luck as Peter Parker. I reasoned that becoming involved in politics would allow me to do the most good for the most people, without super human strength or “spider senses.”
What motivates you to give back to your community?
What my community lacked during my upbringing is what motivates me to make the Greater Manchester area a place that young people seek out to start a life, a career, and a family. Candidly, like many young people who grow up outside of a major urban center, I couldn’t wait to leave New Hampshire. However, as I got older, I started to see the potential in my city and realized that I was in a position which could allow me the ability to make Manchester the place that I wished that it was when I was searching for a place to call “home.”
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
“Don’t bother going to Chatham A’s games. Sit down and finish the screenplay for your musical. Cape Baseball is good, but you know, deep down, you feel ambivalent about sports. Also, send your final paper from your Political Leadership Seminar with Professor Nelson about Gilded Age populism’s relation to the rise of modern conservative populism and Gov. Sarah Palin to The New York Times.”
What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?
To make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals, they need to feel as though they have access to all of the amenities that they would be privileged to in a more populous or urban area. For example, young professionals want to be able to enjoy a vibrant and active social life in the area in which they live and work. I believe that the development of “destination” commercial districts, akin to the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vt., or the Old Port neighborhood in Portland, Maine, are examples that our cities should follow. Development of the riverside and Millyard in Manchester, to this end, would make living in the city a more attractive prospect for young professionals. My personal development pipedream for Manchester is to develop a commercial/residential center that also serves as walking bridge from the West Side to Arms Park. Picture Florence, Italy’s Ponte Vecchio, but in the Queen City.
What would you like to be doing when you’re 40?
At the age of 40, I would like to be working in the political/governmental sphere. Ideally, I would be managing the promising political career of my future wife, Ashley Marcoux. #Marcoux4Mayor #2029.
Volunteer activities: President of the Manchester Young Democrats
Last major achievement: As Deputy Executive Director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, oversaw our campaign and its success in flipping both houses of the New Hampshire Legislature and the Executive Council, as well as retaining both Congressional seats.
Published in the New Hampshire Union Leader.