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Tom Sheridan Lobbyist for Bono's ONE Campaign

Meet a Celebrity Lobbyist Committed to Star-Powered Activism

Parked in the intersection of politics and pop culture is the celebrity activist. There all kinds of ways celebrities get involved in causes from serving on boards to inspiring laws on Capitol Hill, and Tom Sheridan knows how to harness that fame and make the issue the real star. A lobbyist based in DC, he represents Bono and his work on the ONE campaign against global poverty. We sat down with him this week ahead of the big ONE event Kanye is headlining to benefit the organization here at the convention, and we couldn't have been more impressed. Tom Sheridan is using the intersection of fame and charity to inspire real change and a legion of committed issue advocates.

Can celebrities distract from an issue or a message? What are the hallmarks of a happy marriage between celebrity and activism?

It really comes down to two Cs. One is commitment and the other is credibility. I think if we go with alliteration and add in celebrity, I think that is where people will discern the difference between a celebrity using an issue to distract and/or promote themselves. There may be a fair trade in that but it doesn't always sustain a cause, and it doesn't get to the level of a policy change that we look for celebrities to engage in.

Well, we see celebrities speaking out on issues all the time. Is that enough to motivate change?

To see his answer,

.

We're not interested in a 15-minute hearing on Capitol Hill with some press, that's not that difficult to achieve frankly, and you don't actually need any talent from people like me to achieve that. The question then becomes, "what for?" And that's where commitment and credibility become really important factors. Are they willing to sustain their interest in this, and what does that sustaining interest mean, and how much time does that take?

How much time does it take, and how does that help a cause?

Celebrities work, and like Bono, he's got a rather significant day job. Bono was at the convention four years ago [for ONE] and he's not here this year because he's recording an album, you know that's the day job, but the fact remains four years later he's still involved. It's very much taking the cult of ONE and not doing the predictable stuff with it that gives him both long-term commitment because he has great motivation to stay in this for a long time, and has been in it for a long time. I've been working with him for almost eight years. He's been at this for a long time and there's no one out there that doesn't believe that he's not only committed to it but that he's incredibly credible on the topic.

To see who else Tom Sheridan works with and how committed celebs inspire real change, check out part two of our interview with him later this week!

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kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
They reran that episode the other night. Hilarious the second time, too.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
"isnt it strange that bono could do so much for so many people yet he is still a turd?"
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
:rotfl: I saw that episode Caterpillar...
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
:rotfl: I saw that episode Caterpillar...
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I cant look at Bono, especially with him holding up a peace sign or a "number two" after the southpark episode claiming he was born a giant piece of poo.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i do have to say that i think that celebrity does tend to take away from the causes at times and the issues aren't as clear. when people see a star being involved - they tend to listen less to both sides of the discussion and hear only the side that the celeb supports. it's also one of those things that kids who've just registered to vote - they've done so because of a face not becuase of a position - and i think that it just leads to less educated decisions about things.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Wow. What a lineup! :barf:
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Wow. What a lineup! :barf:
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Yes on the very classy network, E! Entertainment Television. :sick: I think her show airs sometime between the Denise Richards show and the Dina Lohan show.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Doesn't she have a reality show coming out? That'll get her attention.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
The drama and the attention.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
The drama and the attention.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
You're right she's made some bad choices with men. It seems like she loves the drama though.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
The hard living probably doesn't help, either. That chicken was cooked long ago.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Personally, I think Pammy is looking haggard because of her poor life choices. She makes bad decisions with men and those relationships must be stressful. Plus, she's a sicky. The Hep C and all. Certainly the tanning doesn't help much at all. She used to look like this :cocktail: Now she looks like this :yoda:
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Personally, I think Pammy is looking haggard because of her poor life choices. She makes bad decisions with men and those relationships must be stressful. Plus, she's a sicky. The Hep C and all. Certainly the tanning doesn't help much at all.She used to look like this :cocktail:Now she looks like this :yoda:
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
This post is going to start attracting some really creepy new members if we keep going on like this...
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Gross.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Gross.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
It's my own "special" sauce. :rotfl:
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
It's my own "special" sauce.:rotfl:
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
:rotfl: Stop dancing on the line Jude, just jump over it!!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
:rotfl:Stop dancing on the line Jude, just jump over it!!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I just want to know what's in the batter. Oh, Lord. I have to stop now.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I just want to know what's in the batter.Oh, Lord. I have to stop now.
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