Going from foster care to becoming a highly sought-after political campaign coordinator, 26-year-old Marvin Bing did not become a product of his environment.
He currently works as director of One Nation Working Together and has held the position since March. The organization aims to change political conversation into less of a hate message that he says the right wing is harboring. Bing is planning a historic march in Washington, D.C., on October 10 to advocate the organization’s political view.
Prior to working with One Nation, Bing worked on several political campaigns in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. His latest job was working on the campaign for current Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.
A native of Philadelphia, Bing’s mother died when he was 2 years old and his father spent most of his life in the prison system. Bing grew up in the foster care system, living in group homes as a result.
“It was tough,” he said. ” I didn’t have any direction and I was living aimlessly without a clear structure or goals. I was just waking up each day hoping for the best.”
Bing said that he was frustrated and filled with anger. The loss of his mother at such a young age gave him a feeling of abandonment that he carried with him to his teens.
Soon, his paternal aunt got custody of him, taking over his care. He credits her taking him in, even calling her “mom” being that she is the only maternal figure he’s ever known.
However, during his adolescent years, he became involved in selling drugs and was sent to Summit Academy in Pittsburgh, Pa. The experience at the boarding school, he said, was eye opening.
“It changed my life. I finally had an opportunity. Going into the program, it made me think and understand the difference between negative and positive, and how I wanted to live my life as a young adult,” he said.
While at Summit, Bing became a star athlete on the school’s basketball team, competing against other area high schools and becoming one of Pittsburgh’s top high school sportsmen.
He entered politics at age 17 in 2000 working for a mayoral candidate in Philadelphia. Calling the experience a “culture shock,” he did voter registration and became familiar with the political process and issues.
Soon after, he worked for other political campaigns in the Northeast region for candidates running for assembly, lieutenant governor and governor.
He moved to New York City in 2005 because he wanted a new challenge.
“People always said, if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere,” he said. “So I wanted to challenge myself.”
Since living in New York, he’s worked for famed Harlem political strategist Bill Lynch and the Harlem Children’s Zone as a community organizer. While working there, he was picked up on two campaigns for citywide candidates during the 2009 city elections.
As for the future, Bing is pondering a move to Washington, D.C., and wants to work in government relations, focusing on public policy. He particularly wants to concentrate on juveniles and ex-offenders transitioning back into society after serving time.
He said, “I thank God for his grace. Only he could’ve brought me to this point and only God can take me to the next level.”