Common Sense Media Announces Senior Hires to Expand National and California-based Child Advocacy Work


SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Common Sense Media announced today it has hired three senior staff with deep roots in California and Washington, D.C. policy and political circles to bolster its child advocacy work, bringing decades of policy, political, and communications experience to help make kids and education America's top priority.

Craig Cheslog and Daniel Weiss will co-direct Common Sense Media's advocacy platform, currently the nation's leading organization to promote the appropriate use of technology in education and at home, and fight for the protection of children's privacy in a digital environment.

Cheslog, co-director and Vice President for California Policy, will be based in San Francisco. He joins Common Sense from the office of Tom Torlakson, California's Superintendent of Public Instruction, where he served as principal advisor since 2011. Prior to that, Cheslog was Torlakson's district director when he was State Senator and State Assemblyman representing Contra Costa County, CA. Torlakson was re-elected in November to a second term as superintendent. Previously, Cheslog worked for the Concord Coalition in Washington, D.C.

Weiss, co-director and Vice President for National Policy, will be based in Washington, D.C. He retired from Capitol Hill in December after twenty-six years working for Congressman George Miller (D-CA), including the last 20 as Miller's chief of staff and as a strategic advisor for Miller's work as Chairman and Senior Democrat on the House Education and Labor Committee. Weiss, a former reporter and communications director, also worked for the House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families, which Miller founded and chaired for 10 years. Miller also represented Contra Costa County, as well as Solano County, and just retired from Congress after 40 years, including more than a decade as a member of the House Democratic leadership.

"Danny and Craig bring enormous experience and commitment to our expanding advocacy effort to make kids and education America's top priority," said James P. Steyer, CEO and Founder of Common Sense Media. "George Miller and Tom Torlakson are giants in the field of education and the well-being of our children and I am very excited that two of their top staff have joined our team. I look forward to working with them and the rest of our Common Sense team and with lawmakers from both parties and our allies in the advocacy community in California and across the country to improves the lives of our children."

Steyer also announced that JR Starrett will lead Common Sense's state advocacy campaign as Director of Advocay.  JR, based in the San Francisco office, comes to Common Sense with over a decade of experience in campaigns and issue advocacy, managing competitive candidate campaigns on the state, federal and municipal levels.  His work includes advocacy on behalf of the American Cancer Society, and most recently has served as the Regional Political Director for NextGen Climate Action. JR was recognized in 2014 by Campaigns and Elections Magazine as a Rising Star in electoral politics.

About Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families and educators thrive in a world of media and technology. We rate, educate, and advocate on behalf of kids, families, and schools. Common Sense Media offers the world's largest and most trusted library of age-based ratings and reviews of all types of content targeted at kids, and our research-based curriculum and tools are used in over 89,000 U.S. schools. For more information, go to


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