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Jill Alper

Jill Alper (born September 12, 1965) is an American political campaigner, who heads the Dewey Square Group's campaign and integrated media practice.

Jill Alper
Born (1965-09-12) September 12, 1965 (age 52)
Residence Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Nationality United States
Education Boston College
Occupation Electoral strategist
Political party Democratic Party

Alper has worked with campaigns in all 50 states and has served as an electoral strategist for the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton as the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Political Director where Democrats beat the '6-year itch' and Newt Gingrich left leave office, and Al Gore, where she coordinated state specific media efforts, ran election day, and started the re-count effort. Gore won by a handful of votes in six states and Republicans responded to the Democrats' election day operation via their own study called the 72-hour report. She was electoral strategist for John Kerry, for whom she put together the nomination plan and general election state plans, and worked for Hillary Clinton in 2008 where she was responsible for Super Tuesday Election Day efforts.

Alper was born in Hartselle, Alabama. She was formerly the Political Director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) under Chairman Steve Grossman. She was National Coordinated campaign Director for the DNC from 1994 through 1996 where she ran field operations for the entire democratic ticket during the Clinton Gore re-election campaign. During 95-96, with colleagues, she launched a massive training program, precinct program, base vote and national voter file effort through the DNC. In 1997, she was the Director of the Clinton Presidential Inaugural Gala that raised over $10 million to help fund the Inauguration overall.

In the 1992 cycle, she was Deputy Political Director and ran candidate recruitment and incumbent protection efforts for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) overall. During this period, she also started the "Women's Council" in the wake of the Clarence Thomas confirmation to focus on electing women to the United States Senate. She currently works with women candidates preparing to run for Governor.

Alper got her start in politics at 15 when she met Governor Mike Dukakis of Massachusetts as a result of her lawsuit against Massachusetts Senate President William M. Bulger, who refused to hire women to serve as senate pages (the suit was eventually dropped when Bulger hired a woman after sustained media attention). She later served as the Deputy Iowa Field Director[1] for his presidential campaign. Other notable campaign experience includes:

  • Michigan state director for Bill Clinton in 1992;
  • deputy political director at the DSCC;
  • deputy campaign manager for Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) in one of the most competitive races of his career in 1990 against Bill Schuette;
  • coordinated campaign manager in Virginia in 1989 for Douglas Wilder, the first African American elected governor of a U.S. state;
  • field director in the special congressional election upset for Jill Long (Thompson) (D-IN).

She served as strategist to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan in both of her races[2] and is a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Alper co-founded the Women's Information Network in 1989.[3] In 1991, she was voted a "Rising Star"[4] by Campaigns and Elections magazine. In 1993, she received the Women of Distinction Award from the American Association of University Women.[5] In 2006, she was recognized by The American Association of Political Consultants as the "Best Democratic Campaign Manager"[6] in the nation for Granholm's re-election. In 2010, she was named to the Aristotle Campaign Dream Team.[7] Actress Cheryl Kaleda[8] was cast to play Alper in the movie Recount,[9] a chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. presidential election and the subsequent recounts in Florida, starring Kevin Spacey. From 2011 to early 2013 she wrote a bi-weekly Sunday column for the Detroit Free Press, "Politically Speaking".

She married David Katz, former Deputy Wayne County Executive for Edward H. McNamara, who managed the campaign of then Attorney General Jennifer Granholm for governor in 2002, in 2004,[10] at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. They reside in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, with their son Mac and her stepson Danny.

She has been a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan,[11] the American University, and Harvard University, and is a frequent trainer for progressive campaign training organizations like EMILY's List.[citation needed]


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