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.
After 9 years of serving the Downingtown community, I want to extend my public service to my neighbors throughout the 74th district. I am running for the PA State Legislature as a seasoned official who’s proud to have spent my political career improving his community socially, economically, and financially. I am running to bring passion, a proven capacity to deliver real results, and the fortitude to stand up for what’s right and get legislation passed that empowers every citizen in our area.
I will continue to live, work, and start my family in Downingtown, and continue to help build Downingtown towards even more progress. Communities like Downingtown, Parkesburg and Coatesville need a new train station. Places like East Fallowfield and Sadsbury need to ensure their open space will be protected. Communities like South Coatesville, Modena, Parkesburg and Coatesville need continued economic development. Communities like Caln Township, East Caln and Downingtown need legislative support that brings meaningful progress instead of empty rhetoric.
This past year has seen an unprecedented level of civic engagement at the local and state level. As a community, I want us to keep that momentum going. Now more than ever, we need progressive voices in state office. As Mayor, I’ve been proud to be available to all Downingtown residents around the clock, whether it’s by phone, social media, or just talking on the street. And as State Representative, I want to continue to promote that kind of neighborly, personal, dedicated public service in Harrisburg.