Eli Stone '20
Beacon Academy senior Eli Stone (‘20) is what you would call a political campaign veteran. He has worked on the staff of six different political candidates in elections ranging from city alderman to Illinois governor.
In between elections, Eli interned for Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy and helped with research on the state bill that legalized marijuana.
This past spring, Eli ran the texting program for the campaign of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “My background in campaigns was organizing, volunteer management, stuff like that,” Eli recalled. “The Lightfoot campaign said to me, you’re young and can probably figure this out. I did the whole infrastructure. I figured out the program, the cost, the budget. I ended up managing a team of about 150 volunteers to send the texts through a software that we used. That’s the nature of campaigns, the more you’re around, the more responsibility you get.”
Eli has long had a love of politics. “I was always interested in politics, but Beacon Academy propelled it. Mr. Mosher’s history classes got me interested in how stuff works.”
During his freshman year, Eli’s history teacher announced that Evanston mayoral candidate Mark Tendam was looking for interns. Eli joined the campaign and, even though Tendam lost by a scant 129 votes, the campaign was a great experience.
When asked about the most memorable campaign he has worked on, Eli answers quickly, “Daniel Biss’s campaign in 2018 is where I learned that this is something that I like doing,” he said. “It was more than just a campaign for me. I was there every day after school and on the weekends. The issues that we were fighting for — fighting money in politics and fighting for the middle class — really sharpened my political tune and it changed which candidates I worked for after that.”
It’s probably a foregone conclusion that Eli’s future will involve politics, but which path, candidate, or campaign manager, will he take?
“There are pros and cons to each side,” Eli said. “I’ve been able to progress to really see what it’s like behind the scenes, and I really like it. I think there is a lot of good that you can do. As things progress, and as I get older, I can definitely see myself running for something at some point. I can see myself doing something more public. But I think that I still have a lot to learn before I get to that point.”