Q: Who’s your favorite Founding Father or other American hero? In what ways might you be like them?
David: My favorite Founding Father is Ben Franklin, of course because of his connection to Philadelphia. While I feel it’s presumptuous to think that there are any similarities between myself and someone like Ben Franklin, I aspire to communicate the way he did. He was the king of messaging – always having pithy sayings and slogans. He knew how to deliver a message in a way that people could understand and remember – and he was always honest and truthful with the public.
Q: What is the strongest national pride you’ve ever felt?
David: The proudest moment I have ever felt as an American was on election night in 2008, watching on television as Barack Obama accepted the presidency in Chicago with Michelle and his kids. I remember saying to myself “this is a breakthrough moment for our country,” electing the first Black president. I felt such pride in our country about the signal we were sending about racial equality and justice.
Q: What is your favorite American saying or quote? Why does it inspire you?
David: The Preamble of the Constitution. It starts with the three most important words in our history: “We the People.” Those three words include all of us, regardless of skin color, gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin. I’m very inspired by the words set forth in the preamble promoting the general welfare of our nation, especially the constitutional call to participate in social responsibility and secure the blessings of liberty. All of this is captured in just one paragraph. The Constitution is a legal document, but the Preamble is a statement of purpose.
Q: What is a unique viewpoint from your home state that you’re excited to bring to this nationwide project?
David: Philadelphia is the birthplace of our country. In many ways, Ben Franklin came to Philadelphia because of the freedom of religion which was not present in every colony. The essential principles laid out in the Constitution were all born in Philadelphia – it’s what our city stands for. I am incredibly proud to live here and elevate those founding principles in this nationwide commemoration.
Q: What was your first brush with democracy?
David: It was when I was in the eighth grade. We were assigned a project on politics with a focus on the presidential campaign. I remember spending the first half of the school year creating a notebook with clips and introductions for the ’68 campaign. I was fascinated with politics and the dynamic of the presidential campaign. To this day, I still look at that notebook from time to time.
Q: What are your hopes and aspirations for America in the next 250 years?
David: How do we actuate the principles that are set forth in the Preamble of the Constitution? We certainly can’t do it all in one week, but how do we gradually move our country toward those ideas and concepts? How do “We the People” work together to form a more perfect Union? How do we establish justice and implement a dialogue that ensures domestic tranquility? These are the kinds of questions we should all be asking ourselves and one another over the next 250 years and beyond. If there is one thing that I’d like the Semiquincentennial to stand for, it’s the concept of liberty, justice, and equality that is set forth in the Constitution.
David L. Cohen is a Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation. Effective January 1, 2020, David has announced a transition from his leadership roles in the broad portfolio of responsibilities that he has overseen since his arrival at the Company, including corporate communications, legal affairs, government and regulatory affairs, diversity and inclusion, public affairs, corporate administration, corporate real estate and security, and community impact. He also serves as senior counselor to the CEO, a role he will continue to perform in 2021 and beyond.
To learn more about David and other members of the Commission, click here.