Short Form: Dennis Marker was twenty one when he embarked on his career in Washington, DC. While there he worked for the US Congress, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), various political campaigns, and Jim Wallis at Sojourners magazine. In addition, he helped launch and directed Washington, DC–based progressive nonprofits, including Witness for Peace and The Pledge of Resistance, where he specialized in national and international media operations. This work took him from every country in Central America to Iraq and many countries in between, where he negotiated with government officials and nongovernmental organizations looking for ways to avoid war and limit civilian causalities. Marker has appeared on numerous network and cable television news and talk shows in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and throughout Europe. He has also been used as an on- and off-the-record source by many publications, including Newsweek, Time, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, USA Today, and other major newspapers in the United States and internationally. In addition, he has written, edited, and been the on-air voice for a weekly UPI syndicated political radio commentary.
Long Form: Dennis Marker has always believed in making his own rules. In grade school and high school, this meant lots of trouble and many tests of will, which Dennis believes he won. In university, this meant periodic years off for travel, work and whatever else he felt like doing. His career in Washington D.C. began when he was twenty-one years old. He first went to D.C. with democratic congressman Stan Lundine who he helped get elected in a district that had been safely Republican for 106 years. One of the many unique ideas Marker created for that campaign was a door to door effort where everyone was asked to contribute one dollar. Marker believed correctly that once people had contributed even a dollar, they would feel invested in the outcome without even realizing it. He left that job for a vacation that became a move to Southern California where he specialized in beach-combing, surfing, and other such activities. Marker returned to D.C. to continue his education in his self designed major of Environmental Politics. A summer internship at the Environmental Protection Agency led to a job offer as an in-house consultant to Doug Costle, the Administrator of that agency. This job materialized after Marker refused to play by the EPA’s rules and picked up Congressman Mo Udall in Marker’s 1965 Ford van, leading the agency and the congressman’s staff, but not the congressman, to think Udall had been kidnapped. Congressman Udall’s high praise not only kept Marker from being fired, but led directly to his promotion to the Administrator’s floor. Marker left the EPA to work for a citizens’ group started by his grandmother. This group took on the local state and federal governments and won. Some of Marker’s unique ideas for this campaign included senior citizens in wheelchairs facing down bulldozers, and other citizens filing by a flaming toilet where they burned their bills en masse to make clear they would not accept the county’s thinly veiled attempt to force senior citizens to leave their homes to make way for resort developments. One outcome of this victory was a request to run for Congress which Marker declined, saying that running would be great fun, but winning would be horrible. Somewhere along the line, Marker returned to school and received his Environmental Politics degree. After graduation, he traveled, contemplated his existence, and continued to enjoy living. He later returned to D.C. where he wrote ads for political campaigns, worked with Jim Wallis at Sojourners, and helped launch and direct progressive non-profits, including Witness for Peace and the Pledge of Resistance, while continuing to enjoy himself. During this period Marker built strong relationships with mainstream media personalities that led to regular on-and-off-air media interviews and appearances where Marker became a leading spokesperson opposing the policies of President Reagan and the first President Bush. He concluded his career in D.C. trying to convince the U.S. Government of all the benefits of not waging unnecessary wars around the globe. His last assignment included traveling to Iraq in an attempt to get Saddam Hussein to release the Western hostage/detainees he was holding at that time, and leave Kuwait before the arbitrary deadline set by the first President Bush was reached. After President Bush launched the first Iraq war, Marker "Googled" countries without the Internet, found the last one, and moved there. He found himself in a small tropical island nation where he spent several years sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, traveling and most importantly, having a son. Since then, Dennis Marker has traveled extensively within and outside the US, listening, learning, and raising his son. Now, after twenty-one years of pursuing other interests, Marker is ready to re-enter the political fray in the U.S. with batteries charged, and massive amounts of enthusiasm. A few highlights of Marker’s unconventional life so far include: –Getting married in Nepal. –The birth of his son while living in Palau Micronesia. –Surfing in a hurricane. –Windsurfing in a different hurricane. –Scuba diving with sharks. –Filming wild bear with his father in Canada. –Living in a Sailboat in the Pacific Ocean. –Living in a tent during a harsh Western New York winter. –Rowing a raft through the Grand Canyon –Writing the most used TV ad and the tag line for Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign. –Traveling throughout the US, Central America, and Asia with his son. –Ignoring all the rules and doing just what he wants to. –Enjoying every day like it was his last.