I'm running for California's 8th Congressional District because I want to bring the folks of the high desert and the mountains together to demand and achieve a more livable life.
By trade, I'm a community organizer, and in my view, public service shouldn't be about political parties and division. It should be about leading by listening, leading by serving, and leading by doing the work.
This campaign is rooted in love and driven by a belief in the power of a broad, diverse spectrum of united individuals coming together. When we transcend our differences to collectively fight for the things that directly affect our quality of life, we all win.
A life where everybody has their basic needs met, from Medicare for All to housing.
A life with high quality high paying wages—one that's local, not "Down the Hill."
A life that protects our environment and our future ability to inhabit our homes through a Green New Deal.
Will you join us and help heal the divisions of our recent politics by uniting around policy that benefits all working people?
Derek Marshall is the oldest of three, and was raised by their parents in a small town. The Marshall family was active in the Church, where Derek was instilled with the importance of public service and community outreach from a young age. His family also ran a weekly homeless outreach program called Soup to Go. While Fridays were for X-Files, Saturdays were for making chili and feeding those in need.
Derek is also a proud and openly gay man, although he did not fully and publicly come out until his late twenties due to the social pressures so many in the LGBTQ+ community face to conform.
His experience as a queer man in an often homophobic society has always motivated Derek’s drive to create a more equal and free life for all.
In 2006—after graduating from American University, where he studied politics and international relations—Derek moved to Germany to help found a global research initiative for the United Nations, Making Commitments Matter. The initiative developed a framework to hold individual countries accountable to the various UN conventions and resolutions they had committed to as member nations, by leveraging funds granted by the European Union’s Youth in Action program. In a major success for global health and human rights, 35 countries ultimately joined the initiative.
After finishing his work with the UN, Derek then became an early part of the online travel agency KAYAK. As the Director of Internationalization, he managed a team to acquire and ensure quality control, manage accessibility, and oversee the localization process across the company’s various international assets. Before leaving, Derek also led the effort to open KAYAK’s Berlin headquarters, still one of the company’s largest offices in the world.
While living in Europe and traveling around the globe on business, Derek saw firsthand how government could effectively care for its citizens through robust social programs and the freedom that doing so offered the citizens of those nations. This was a stark contrast to America, where everything, from healthcare, to education, to criminal justice, has been so steadily chipped away at and privatized for generations.
This contrast ultimately compelled Derek to give up his career in the corporate world and return to the States to fight for the kinds of changes and reforms working people in America so desperately need in order to live more free and fulfilling lives.
Back home in California, Derek became involved with Ground Game LA in order to fight for affordable housing, climate justice, and greater accountability for our elected officials. He also continued his lifelong LGBTQ+ rights activism, hosting a series of events at the intersection of queer cultural life, art, and politics to raise money for various local charities across southern California. From there, he took his grassroots activism to the ballot box, by getting involved with local elections. He cut his electoral teeth working for the campaigns of Jessica Salan (City Council) campaign and Pat Harris (US Senate).
In 2019, Derek took a job with Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign in Nevada. The deep relational organizing that he helped to lead across the Las Vegas Valley was instrumental in winning the Nevada caucuses and cemented the power that regular working people have when they come together, united in their cause for more freedom and justice. From there, he returned to his home in the heart of California’s 8th congressional district, where he continues to be involved in community organizing and mutual aid work to help those most in need.
When elected, Derek looks forward to bringing his diverse experiences, organizing skills, and passion to the Halls of Congress to fight on behalf of the working people of California’s high desert and the Inland Empire with everything he’s got.