Thomas-Cioffi, a 27-year-old student and part-time election registrar from Woodbridge, is traveling with the Dave Matthews Band as part of an effort to register voters who attend the shows. The band will be performing at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow on Saturday.
How's the tour with DMB?
It's been so exciting. The cities are cool, and it's great to see a variety of different people. A big bonus, of course, is getting to see Dave. Dave Matthews has always been my favorite band in the entire world, and I never thought I would get this opportunity. I was in corporate sales for years and years, which wasn't what I was passionate about -- this is.
Is it difficult to make inroads with young voters, who are notoriously apathetic?
Youth can be sometimes apathetic, but we've registered mostly younger people -- those who have moved but haven't gotten around to re-registering. Some people think we're pushing some agenda, but HeadCount [a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that organized the effort] has people of all political stripes. With everything that I've seen going on in other countries, it's amazing we have this right to vote here. As people take the time to register, I'm hoping they'll take the time to educate themselves on the issues, not just on the national level. I work for local government [Manassas], and it saddens me when people feel like their vote doesn't matter. I've been working these local elections for a while and the votes can be extremely close.
Any favorite cities on the road so far?
From a personal level, Cincinnati was great. Nobody expected it to be such a great city, but it's on the water and has a lot of cool things to do. Houston was also a lot of fun.
You still have faith in government, huh?
I'm biased because I work in local government, but yes, I still have a lot of faith in government.
- Brian Hughes