Paul Friedman is the founder and Executive Director of Safer Country, a gun violence prevention non-profit focused on keeping guns out of unsafe hands. He is inspired by the memory of his great aunt, Elizabeth Shulkin, who was shot and killed in her hotel room on December 1, 1981 while on vacation in Florida.
Prior to Safer Country, Paul served as Executive Director of the Virginia Tech Victims (VTV) Family Outreach Foundation, during which time he worked with the City of Alexandria and Virginia Tech’s local graduate schools to create a tree grove in Chinquapin Park to honor the victims and survivors of the April 16, 2007 massacre.
Paul graduated with a B.A. in Politics from Brandeis University and a J.D. from New York Law School. In 1987, Paul moved to Washington, DC, worked on Capitol Hill. In 1988, he was a Field Organizer in Iowa for Paul Simon for President (where he had the privilege of informing Sen. Simon that he had received the Des Moines Register endorsement for the Democratic nomination) and an Advance Man for the Dukakis/Bentsen campaign.
In 1990, upon returning to Washington, DC, he was elected Chair of the Ward 6 Democrats and became the PAC Director for Environmental Action, where he wrote that year’s Dirty Dozen. On August 25, 1991, Paul married his brilliant and lovely wife, Lori, a CPA, and moved to Alexandria, Virginia.
In 1992, Paul successfully managed a state representative campaign in Orlando, Florida and, later, a City Council race in Alexandria. Paul went on to work as a liaison to the Legal and Financial Community in the DMV for the Development Corporation for Israel and the Director of Development for Save A Child’s Heart, Neediest Kids and Every Child Matters. While with Every Child Matters, he led the Voe Kids Action Fund, a federal PAC that supported candidates in close races that supported expanded funding for the needs of children.
Paul has served for over 20 years as a member of the Alexandria Democratic Committee and a large portion of that time as a Precinct Captain. He served six years on Alexandria’s Budget and Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee and six years on the board of Agenda: Alexandria, a nonpartisan group that holds forums about local issues. Paul also served as Mark Levine’s political consultant in his first victorious Democratic primary campaign for Delegate in Virginia’s 45th District.
More recently, in 2020, Paul was elected to serve as the Alternate Delegate from Virginia’s 8th Congressional District for Joe Biden for President to the Democratic National Convention, which would have been held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but for the covid crisis.
Further, in January 2022, Paul became the Vice President of WEBA, the West End Business Association. In February 2022, Paul became the political adviser to the TFAA, the Torpedo Factory Artists Association. In January of 2023, Paul shifted from Vice President to Director of Government Relations for WEBA.