Presidential candidate Hart Cunningham was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to a loving family that enjoyed the outdoors, hard work, and weekly services at Idlewild Presbyterian Church. His father, a writer and artist, marched with sanitation workers in Memphis alongside Martin Luther King at the outset of the Poor People’s Campaign advancing rights for all people of color. Hart moved with his family to Los Angeles, California, and attended Buckley, a Sherman Oaks higher education academy. While there, he enjoyed playing soccer and chess; history and math were his favorite subjects. After graduating, he attended Claremont Colleges, earning his BA in economics and an MBA by age 22. He pursued additional graduate coursework with renowned management visionary Peter Drucker, studying discounted cash flow models. Drucker encouraged Cunningham to develop his entrepreneurial talents, and in 1998, Hart’s first company created a digital currency that enabled teens to earn and spend loyalty dollars with 550 participating merchants. Over the next 15 years, Hart founded three different companies, becoming the only person to be named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Technology three times.
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For Hart, such success only highlighted the struggles of others, and he began to question the relationship between cutthroat capitalism and effective democracy. The income gap continues to widen; thousands of children and families remain mired in poverty. Environmental degradation only hastens; extinction events increase. True to his entrepreneurial spirit, Hart has sought out new solutions. He has immersed himself in the latest research on the social, scientific, and economic issues facing our country as well as the world, uniting the expertise of others with his own passion for innovation.
In 2018, Hart launched his presidential campaign as a Democratic candidate with a focus on ending poverty, caring for the environment, and restoring a sense of common cause among the people of the United States.
To identify myself based upon a political party classification is challenging. While I was born into a heavily Southern, Republican culture, my loving family and I eventually moved to California, where I was raised as a Democrat. However, political ideology does not limit my identity, and today, above all, I consider myself to be American. Our great nation has been reduced to a battleground between irreconcilable factions, where individual identities and novel beliefs are constantly diluted in order to conform to party standards. This enfeebles opportunity to grow as a nation, and cripples our ability to compromise. Therefore, I stand before you today, as a man with a heart set on improving our country, and a mind that sees and appreciates all of the colors that comprise it- whether they be red, white, blue, or black and brown.
I understand the challenges and hopes of many Americans and I am eager to listen to millions more as we travel across the U.S. canvassing. Climate change, women’s rights, racial equality, and ending poverty are just a few of my main focuses in 2020. These are challenges that affect all Americans, and require all of our effort to work towards fixing. As such, I hope to be able to engage in discussion with people from of all walks of life, whatever their political identity may be. Although I disagree with the strict demarcation of my own beliefs along party lines, at this point I choose to define myself as a Democrat, as our current political system offers little hope of success to third-party candidates. In the future however, I hope to earn respect as a thoughtful and moderate policymaker, who makes decisions that best represent all Americans, and consistently places country before party.
Choosing a Vice President
Our strategy for choosing a Vice President emphasizes merit and experience, as we want to create the most effective team for benefiting the American people. We will determine the VP before the primaries, based upon their ability and motivation for action in Washington.
As I have stated previously, I am not interested in perpetuating a culture that emphasizes differences at the expense of progress. As such, our VP could be anyone that displays a drive to make this great nation even greater, and has the skills and expertise to make that happen. They could be a woman of color, with knowledge and passion unmatched. Or they could be a Republican white man of faith, willing to cut through the partisan challenges that face many. Our goal is to create an inclusive, diverse, and multi-faceted administration that reflects the current American cultural fabric. Only then can we hope to successfully deal with the issues that plague our nation today.