Eric Sapp has spent his career seeking to empower the better angels of American values in pursuit of policies and politics that promote the common good.
As a founder of Common Good Strategies, which became the Eleison Group in 2008, Eric pioneered values-based communication and Democratic faith and rural outreach during the 2006 and 2008 elections. Over the past decade, Eric has worked on numerous advocacy and democracy-building campaigns while overseeing Eleison's work to leverage voter response data from those campaigns to create one of the largest values/behavioral voter databases and most sophisticated digital advertising platforms in the country.
After leaving Capitol Hill in 2005, Eric co-founded Common Good Strategies. The firm rose to national prominence following the success of its new approach to faith outreach and messaging and its role advising the major winning Democratic Senate and Gubernatorial campaigns of 2006.
After working with Tom Perriello to launch Tom’s long-shot campaign for congress, which succeeded by focusing on "conviction politics,” Eric served as a lead consultant to the Democratic “Red-to-Blue” program’s successful effort to reclaim the House. Eric worked with over 40 Congressional campaigns focused on authentic and effective ways to connect with a wide range of voters through shared values.
After the 2008 election, Eleison expanded from working primarily on political campaigns to focus on assisting non-profit advocacy, faith, and voter empowerment groups. Over the ensuing decade, Eleison pioneered the use of new technologies by dozens of grassroots and humanitarian organizations from across the ideological spectrum. Eleison developed the communication campaigns responsible for the adoption of the New START Nuclear Treaty (2011) and the Arms Trade Treaty (2014), and it has won numerous awards for its advocacy campaigns around poverty, hunger, pollution control, and security.
Eric has worked closely with leaders involved in the South Sudan peace process, helped reshape the way the Obama administration talked about poverty/wages, and played a key role in finally ensuring the victims of the 1998 US embassy bombings received financial support.
Eric has always believed that before people can be persuaded or mobilized, their values and aspirations must be understood, and that understanding individuals’ core convictions and sense of place in the world is the best way to connect with them and help them connect with others. Over the past eight years as most Democrats and progressive data analysis was focused on defining voters by the way they were born, Eric directed Eleison’s effort to leverage the billions of values and behavioral data points Eleison has generated through its many campaigns into predictive computer models able to identify which messages and values are most likely to persuade or mobilize voters to action.
Through these efforts, his team developed one of the largest voter response databases and most sophisticated digital advertising platforms in the country, which they launched in 2018 as a Public Benefit Corporation with Eric as President dedicated to the following corporate mission:
“At Public Democracy, we believe that technology should empower people, so that individual voices are listened to by those in power and so that their collective voices have their rightful influence on decisions that are made. Knowing the value of the data that will be created, we further believe that people should share in the value generated and insights created by their contributions throughout this process.”
Eric worked at the Pentagon for three summers during graduate school, served for five years as a youth pastor and director of Christian education, and was an aide to Senator Ted Kennedy on the Health Committee and to Rep. David Price, working on budget, homeland security appropriations, and faith outreach. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife (and high school sweetheart) and their son and daughter.
He can be followed on Twitter at @SappEric.