Who am I?
I am a teacher, university researcher, and political organizer.
Currently, I am Assistant Professor of mathematics at The University of Chicago. I also volunteer as a math teacher at the North Lawndale College Preparatory High School, a charter school on Chicago's west side aimed at readying at-risk youth for college. My lifelong ambition was to be a mathematics teacher and researcher, but as I watched the direction our country was heading over the past six years, I gradually came to feel that I needed to get involved and help make change.
So I got involved in grassroots organizing, coordinating political campaigns throughout the area. As co-chair of the Illinois Committee of 100 and the Illinois Kerry Travelers, I have helped progressive candidates on both state and federal levels in their fight to make substantive change. Through these efforts, I have created avenues for thousands of dedicated Illinois citizens to join the political process and act on their commitment to our democracy.
Now, I want to make a more direct impact by representing the citizens of the 17th District and pushing for real reform in the state of Illinois.
I live in Evanston and am married to Karin Steinbrueck, a former Peace Corps volunteer who is currently working on her PhD in history at Northwestern University. We are members of the Democratic Party of Evanston and Temple Beth Israel in Skokie. I serve on the steering committee of Our Climate Matters, a global warming project sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Wilmette, the Board of Directors of the Democratic Party of Evanston, the Social Action Committee of Temple Beth Israel, the Voice and Action Committee of the Young Professionals of Evanston, and the Advisory Board of the Chicago branch of Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century.
I earned my doctorate from MIT and my undergraduate degree from Harvard University.
Why am I running?
As I watched the direction our country was heading over the past six years, I felt moved to get involved and do what I could to make change. In thinking about what I could best do to enact change, I came to feel that our greatest problem was the erosion of community's role in politics.
I am running to transform our political culture. I believe that by running campaigns that are based on strong community support and input, we can have a tremendous impact on how all elected officials govern. By opening the process, we will force them to be more responsive and attentive to the needs of the community.
Education policy: Illinois currently ranks 48th in the country in education spending per student, an unacceptable state of affairs that leaves many schools tragically underfunded and many communities squeezed by outrageous property tax rates.
Environmental policy: Illinois has many opportunities to take a leadership role in curbing carbon emissions, but so far we have lagged behind other states.
Ethics and transparency: Illinois politics is known for its corruption and graft. We have scant ethics legislation and no meaningful campaign finance law. I intend to address this legislatively, but I am also proud to be running a campaign that is extremely transparent and open, one that relies on grassroots organizing and new media. I believe that running inclusive campaigns is the first step toward having an inclusive government.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
My political background is in grassroots organizing, and the most important asset in my campaign is the grassroots network of hundreds of volunteers I've been working with for the past several years.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of this campaign, from the field to the office to the media to building the strategy. We are doing all we can to give active members of the Chicago-area community of grassroots progressive activists leadership roles in the campaign.