Growing up on Jefferson Avenue in Downingtown, I wasn’t really sure what my future would hold. I had so few friends that I didn’t go to parties, and spent most of the time outside of school rollerblading around Downingtown (when rollerblading was a thing) or hanging out at (what was then) Bravo’s Pizza.
But when I was 17, I organized the youth at my church to help a single mother move to a new house. We packed her entire row home on the west end of Downingtown on a Friday and moved everything she owned to her new handicap accessible apartment on the east end of town on Saturday. For a kid that didn’t have a lot of friends, I realized I could organize others to help our community.
After that, I knew I wanted to spend my life helping other people. As a youth deacon at my church, I visited seniors in the hospital and delivered meals to homebound folks in and around Downingtown. When it was time to go to college, I wanted to stay local so I could help to take my younger brother and sisters to school and back while my parents worked, so I picked West Chester University. And when my parents divorced, I moved back to Downingtown to become a full-time big brother. Needless to say, my 20s took a very different path than what is normal for a college student: instead of frat parties, I was at soccer tournaments.
But I still knew that I wanted to help more people than just my family. So at 22, I joined the Downingtown Borough Planning Commission. At 24, I wrote two laws for our town: one to improve energy efficiency and one about parking ordinances. And at 26, I ran for mayor.
I didn’t seem like a guy with a personality for politics — I was never very social growing up, I NEVER thought I would win. But I did. And in the seven years since that first election, I’ve poured every day into making this community better, and every day, I’ve learned. I’ve seen and heard — thanks to many of you — all about the struggles that everyday, small-town people are facing, and I’ve dedicated myself to finding a solution together with the residents of Downingtown.
This year, I am running for reelection. But this time, I won’t be running as a “kid mayor” who’s wet behind the ears. I’ll be running as a seasoned official who’s proud to have spent the last seven years improving his community socially, economically, and financially.