All About Me
His family moved to Portland, ME when Asher was just one year old.
Growing up in Portland, Asher enjoyed riding his bike all through Portland's many neighborhoods. He was enrolled with the Cub Scouts, and eventually got his Eagle Scout while living in Texas.
He moved around a lot growing up, and saw a lot of the State of Maine, as well as the United States of America.
He has traveled the Allegash Waterway and has a deep love of the outdoors. He grew up taking it for granted that every child has a right to swim in waterways without worries of being poisoned by the byproducts of industry. While living in Cleveland, Asher saw that rivers and streams had signs posted that banned people from swimming in them, due to the high concentrations of industrial pollution. He later learned while taking a course on Environmental Law, that Ohio has one of the weakest State Environmental Protection Agencies in the USA.
While this bolstered his pride in being a Mainer, it also caused him to be far more appreciative of the protections that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Land Use Regulatory Committee provide to the people of Maine.
Having lived in both Cleveland, OH and Glenburn, ME, Asher has experienced firsthand both rural poverty and urban poverty, and understands the connections between economic and environmental justice.
Living in a suburb of Dallas, TX and attending school with the sons and daughters of CEOs of major corporations during his high school years, he also grew up with firsthand experience with the flipside of that coin as well. While living in an affluent community, he experienced his affluent friends and neighbors dying of drug overdoses, and committing suicide. Meanwhile, other friends of his struggled to make ends meet, and lived in tiny apartments which can only be described as servants quarters in gated communities, where their parents worked cutting the lawns of the absurdly wealthy. While some were drowning in wealth, they were not happy, and turned to drug use and suicide. Meanwhile others were barely able to keep a roof over their head. This suburb was very much a microcosm of America. Our entire economic system is unjust, it's not making even the most successful of us happy, and needs to be radically reformed.
Thanks in large part to his mother being a community activist, Asher was active himself from an early age. While a toddler, he was at community meetings in which storm drains were spraypainted with "no dumping signs" and even helped spraypaint a few himself.
While living in Glenburn, a small rural community outside of Bangor, members of his community and he rallied to save their public school from financial collapse. What was discovered was cheating in the budget on the part of town council. One community activist simply dug through the town's record's and found discrepancies in the town's budget, and then presented a graph to the town hall meeting, much to the dismay of the sitting members of the town hall, who were siphoning taxpayer funds from public resources and placing them in a secret , off-budget slush fund.
Those on town council who didn't resign were handily defeated in the next election. The power that one intelligent and passionate individual can have, very much stuck with Asher.
Asher has worked in a long series of dead-end jobs, under abusive management, and knows what it is to be working and poor. His experience in the workforce coupled with his intolerance for the injustice that capitalism inevitably brings, is a strong motivator in all things he does.
Asher Platts started a non-partisan, "all-purpose" activism group in 2002, called "University Student Activists (U.S.A.)."
His successes in organizing led to a full scholarship and training with the League of Young Voters (then the League of Pissed Off Voters) at their first annual meeting in 2004 in Columbus, OH.
He worked for EnviroCitizen as a campus fellow (2004) where he organized his campus to get out the vote, and created voter guides for local elections.
He has served as an intern on Dennis Kucinich's campaign for president,in 2007, working in the campaign headquarters in Cleveland, directly under the supervision of the campaign manager, where he co-coordinated the student outreach program and led canvassing teams in New Hampshire.
It was on the Dennis Kucinich for President Campaign that he met political vlogger Dennis Trainor Jr, who inspired Asher to create the YouTuber persona "The Punk Patriot."
Asher went on to do social media consulting for Green Party Candidates Cindy Sheehan for Congress 2008, and Rev Billy for Mayor of NYC in 2009, where he came in contact with GreenChange.org's Marnie Glickman of the Green Party of California.
Following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Asher Platts organized an online campaign to Revoke BP's Corporate Charter, and Green Change and Public Citizen eventually joined the effort, which is still ongoing.
Asher and Dennis Trainor Jr collaborated on many failed attempts to spark people's imagination against Wall Street criminals. During the planning stages for the occupation of DC at Freedom Plaza, (an effort predating Occupy Wall Street, but with none of the same success), Dennis Trainor decided to make a documentary film about this protest. After the call to Occupy Wall Street went out, and Occupy Wall Street solidarity camps exploded across the country, the documentary's scope and focus broadened greatly to encompass the Occupy movement. Dennis Trainor Jr hired Asher Platts to work as a cameraman and assistant producer on that documentary, (which is due to be released on June 1st). In his time working on that film, Asher spent three months occupying in both Washington, DC and in New York City, and now that he is back in Maine running for office, remains active in the movement, organizing with Occupy Maine and Occupy USM.
He currently serves on the Maine Green Independent Party's Steering Committee.
photo by Seismologik