About Nils


Nils Palsson is a father, author, teacher, community organizer, and candidate for US Congress, based in Northern California. Nils serves as Communications Director for Transition US, the nonprofit national hub of the global “transition towns” movement to build local resilience. He also teaches Anatomy, Kinesiology and other life sciences at the World School in San Francisco, and recently earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing & Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Born in San Francisco in 1985 and raised in the coastal town of Pacifica, Nils moved to Manhattan at the age of 18, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and English, with honors, at New York University in 2006. Having edited and published an underground newspaper after being censored in high school, Nils later became an award-winning editor at NYU’s daily Washington Square News. Working at night, Nils also earned a Certificate in Nongovernmental Organizations from NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. He has travelled extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

After losing his father in 2008, Nils moved to the mountains in Northern California’s rural Lake County, initially serving as a holistic healer and substitute teacher, and later emerging as a grassroots community organizer. Nils co-founded Transition Lake County to vessel the movement toward community resilience and local empowerment. He also served as the host of the weekly Wake Up & Thrive program on KPFZ Lake County Community Radio and started the annual Hands Around Clear Lake gathering alongside Pomo first nation elders. After the birth of his daughter in 2012, Nils began to work toward a secondary teaching credential at Dominican University of California in Ukiah and became a teacher of people’s history at the rural Kelseyville High School. In 2015, Nils paused an emerging teaching career to pursue a graduate degree in writing, begin his memoirs, and run for United States House of Representatives.

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A passionate advocate for social, racial, environmental and economic justice, Nils was elected as a Delegate for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election, while also challenging a nine-term corporate incumbent for the congressional seat in California’s 5th District. In the June 2016 CA Primary, Nils came in third place, earning 12.5 percent of the vote, with over 23,000 citizens voting for this political outsider. Nils was also a delegate to the US Social Forum in Atlanta in 2007, Detroit in 2010, and San Jose in 2015. He has worked intensively on a number of campaigns and local, grassroots causes. Since his 2016 campaign, Nils has been working in community to build toward an epic victory for planet and people in the 2018 Midterm Election.

During the 2016 campaign, Nils was displaced from his home by the historic 2015 Valley Fire. He was recognized internationally for his role in supporting his community through the challenges of this natural disaster, and has subsequently become a certified first responder and led workshops on community resilience and emergency preparedness. He relocated to Santa Rosa one year before the legendary 2017 wildfires and was temporarily evacuated from his home during that episode.

In addition to spending lots of time with his family, working two jobs and running for office, Nils is weaving his narrative together into an intimate autobiographical exploration. The book, Go Back and Fetch It, will be published serially beginning in 2019.

Nils lives in Sonoma County, CA, with his daughter, Satya Rose.


Nils has lived and worked in CA's 5th District since 2010. He grew up in the Bay Area, with family roots throughout Northern California. Nils graduated with honors from NYU in 2006, with degrees in English and History, and has since worked as a grassroots community organizer holistic healer, radio talk show host, and high school history teacher. He currently serves as Communications Director for Transition US, a national sustainability and community resilience nonprofit based in Sonoma County. His five-year-old daughter was born in Lake County, where they lived until the Valley Fire displaced his family and resulted in a move to Santa Rosa. Working to ensure all our children inherit a healthy planet, a strong economy, and a just society, Nils ran for United States House of Representatives in 2016, coming in third in the primary with over 23,000 votes, or 12.5% of the total vote. He was a delegate for Bernie Sanders, and he is working with the people's movement (including Indivisible, Our Revolution and Brand New Congress) to ensure a people's victory in the 2018 Midterm Election. Nils also teaches anatomy at the World School in San Francisco, and recently earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing & Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He lives in Sonoma County with his daughter, Satya Rose.

What it really boils down to is this: that all life is interrelated.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.