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Template:Use American English Template:Infobox officeholder James Allen Harnett (born March 23, 1998) is an American politician and student in Washington, D.C., the United States capital. A member of the Democratic Party, he has been a Commissioner in the District of Columbia since March 23, 2018. The district includes parts of Downtown Washington and Foggy Bottom. When he was elected, at age 19, he was notably the youngest elected official in Washington, D.C.
Early life and education
Harnett was born on March 23, 1998 on Manhattan island in New York City, New York. His mother is a medical photographer and first-generation Irish-American; his father is a project manager at the ACLU and retired Navy officer from New York. Until age two, Harnett lived in New York City, then moved with his family to Upper Saddle River, New Jersey where he remained until he graduated high school.
Harnett attended Northern Highlands Regional High School, graduating in 2016. In high school, he was the focus of an episode of This is Life with Lisa Ling, a CNN original documentary television series, highlighting him as one of the youngest collegiate hackathon participants in the United States. In October 2014, Harnett was a speaker at TEDxTeen in London. He also participated in the Boy Scouts of America, earning the program's highest rank, Eagle Scout.
Before the 2016 primaries, Harnett worked as a software developer in Iowa for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. He also interned at the United States Department of Education in the Office of Educational Technology before starting college, where he contributed to research on early learning technology. He attends college at George Washington University, majoring in computer science and political science. He has been a youth advocate and community organizer, pushing students to get more involved in local government. In March 2018, he was elected to local government, making him the youngest elected official in the District. During college, he also worked for the General Services Administration and Run for Something.
Harnett introduced a resolution in May 2018 to lower the voting age in D.C. to 16, which was approved 5 to 2. A vote to advance the legislation before the Council of the District of Columbia failed 6 to 7, in November 2018. In July 2018, he wrote an editorial in the Washington Post opposing the repeal of Initiative 77 — a voter-approved minimum wage law to phase out the minimum wage exemption for tipped employees — which was overturned by the city council in October 2018. He also introduced a proposal in November 2018, which was unanimously approved, to change the name of the street at the Saudi Embassy in the United States to "Jamal Khashoggi Way", following the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Harnett has been an advocate for more protected bike and pedestrian infrastructure, arguing that the District of Columbia should swiftly build protected streetscapes that prioritize pedestrians over cars. Harnett supports free public transportation. He has also supported climate change and gun control legislation, voting to support a law that mandates drawing 100% of energy from renewable sources by 2032 and eliminating all emissions by 2050, and saying climate change "will kill more of my generation than any other." Harnett considers himself a progressive.Template:Not in reference
- Stein, Shira (May 23, 2018). "D.C. college students seek a voice in communities beyond campus". The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/dc-college-students-seek-a-voice-in-communities-beyond-campus/2018/05/23/df0a725a-522b-11e8-9c91-7dab596e8252_story.html.
- "Elections, Board of - Certification of Filling ANC/SMD Vacancies in 2A08 - James Harnett". March 14, 2018. https://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Common/NoticeDetail.aspx?NoticeId=N0068085.
- "ANC 2A Monthly Meeting". https://anc.dc.gov/event/anc-2a-monthly-meeting.
- "ANC 2A Announces Election of James Harnett for 2A08". March 14, 2018. http://www.anc2a.org/single-post/2018/03/14/ANC-2A-Announces-Election-of-James-Harnett-for-2A08.
- Scotti, Andrew (December 2015). "Student James Harnett Interviewed by CNN". The Highland Fling.
- "Eagle Scout completes project in Upper Saddle River". USA Today, North Jersey. May 12, 2016. https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/ridgewood/2016/05/12/eagle-scout-completes-project-in-upper-saddle-river/94704106/.
- Season 3, Episode 5 (October 30, 2016). "Silicon Valley Savants". This Is Life with Lisa Ling.
- Birnbach, Marc (October 11, 2014). "James Harnett at TEDxTeen 2014 London". We Are Family Foundation. https://www.facebook.com/TEDxTeen/photos/a.10152799056345396.1073741826.313908465395/10152799056800396/?type=3&theater.
- "Office of Educational Technology Alumni". https://tech.ed.gov/alumni/.
- "Early Learning and Educational Technology Policy Brief". United States Department of Education and United States Department of Health and Human Services. October 2016. https://tech.ed.gov/files/2016/10/Early-Learning-Tech-Policy-Brief.pdf.
- Grace, Dani (January 18, 2018). "Sophomore to run uncontested for seat on neighborhood commission". The GW Hatchet. https://www.gwhatchet.com/2018/01/18/sophomore-to-run-uncontested-for-seat-on-neighborhood-commission/.
- DeGroot, Lia; Duffy, Hux (October 4, 2018). "ANC hosts on-campus town hall to boost student engagement". The GW Hatchet. https://www.gwhatchet.com/2018/10/04/anc-hosts-on-campus-town-hall-to-boost-student-engagement/.
- Grace, Dani (March 15, 2018). "Sophomore officially joins neighborhood governing group". The GW Hatchet. https://www.gwhatchet.com/2018/03/15/sophomore-officially-joins-neighborhood-governing-group/.
- "Run for Something Team". August 28, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/20180828045842/https://runforsomething.net/about/.
- Grace, Dani (May 21, 2018). "Student commissioner pushes to lower D.C. voting age". The GW Hatchet. https://www.gwhatchet.com/2018/05/21/student-commissioner-pushes-to-lower-d-c-voting-age/.
- Ryals, Mitch (November 1, 2018). "Judiciary Committee Passes Bill to Lower D.C. Voting Age to 16". https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/city-desk/article/21030135/judiciary-committee-passes-bill-to-lower-dc-voting-age-to-16.
- "DC Council holds off on vote to lower city's voting age to 16" (in en-US). November 13, 2018. https://wtop.com/dc/2018/11/dc-council-holds-off-on-vote-to-lower-citys-voting-age-to-16/.
- Harnett, James (July 15, 2018). "The D.C. Council must not usurp voters' will on ballot questions". The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/98067aba-85df-11e8-9e06-4db52ac42e05_story.html?utm_term=.f619a743a473.
- Nirappil, Fenit (October 16, 2018). "It's official: D.C. Council has repealed Initiative 77". The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/its-official-dc-council-has-repealed-initiative-77/2018/10/16/0532341a-d0b5-11e8-b2d2-f397227b43f0_story.html?utm_term=.e982c14f8fcd.
- Criss, Doug (November 29, 2018). "A DC neighborhood group just voted to rename the street in front of the Saudi embassy for Jamal Khashoggi". CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/29/politics/khashoggi-street-renaming-trnd.
- Katong, Andara; Mintz, Lizzie (November 29, 2018). "ANC pushes to rename street outside Saudi embassy to honor Jamal Khashoggi". The GW Hatchet. https://www.gwhatchet.com/2018/11/29/anc-pushes-to-rename-street-outside-saudi-embassy-to-honor-jamal-khashoggi/.
- Kotak, Parth (January 14, 2019). "Two neighborhood officials renounce parking privilege". https://www.gwhatchet.com/2019/01/14/two-neighborhood-officials-renounce-parking-privilege/.
- Stricklin, Lizzie (May 17, 2018). "ANC backs Foggy Bottom bike lane proposal". https://www.gwhatchet.com/2018/05/17/anc-backs-foggy-bottom-bike-lane-proposal/.
- Harnett, James (December 7, 2018). "Tweet from @jarharnett" (in en). https://twitter.com/jarharnett/status/1071109788711444480.
- Katong, Andara; Mintz, Lizzie (November 29, 2018). "ANC passes resolutions promoting health, environment". https://www.gwhatchet.com/2018/11/29/anc-passes-resolutions-promoting-health-environment/.
- Harnett, James (March 10, 2019). "Tweet from @jarharnett" (in en). https://twitter.com/jarharnett/status/1104823530087161859.
- Lee, Sidney; Stricklin, Lizzie; Giannetti, Leila (November 5, 2018). "Students in local government support Silverman in D.C. Council race". The GW Hatchet. https://www.gwhatchet.com/2018/11/05/students-in-local-government-support-silverman-in-contentious-d-c-council-race/.