Who am I?
I grew up living with my mother and grandmother in small apartments throughout Northeast Philadelphia. Often times, it was very difficult to make ends meet.
Things were so tough that at several points during my childhood, my mother could no longer take care of me, and I was sent to live in a series of foster homes until my mother was able to get back on her feet and take me back in.
After high school, I attended Temple University for my undergraduate degree, then the University of Houston in Texas for law school.
In 1998, I married Jennifer Ann Mirak, who was studying for her doctorate in Psychology at Bryn Mawr College. We have two kids, a daughter Brennan who is 12 and a son Justin who is 10.
In 2002 I was elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and in 2008 to the Pennsylvania Senate.
IN THE PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATURE
I have led the charge to protect public education, the environment, and civil rights. I fought against Republican efforts to rig elections, gut human services, and restrict the rights of women. I was the first legislator in Pennsylvania history to introduce a marriage-equality bill and a bill to bring some rationality to the irrational parts of the war on drugs. I introduced legislation requiring that consumers be told if their food has been genetically modified and allowing terminally ill patients to make their own decisions about how they want their lives to end.
Additionally, I am particularly proud of my efforts on behalf of the women of Pennsylvania. I have long believed that the inequities women face under Pennsylvania law are indefensible.
- I introduced the first legislation in Pennsylvania history to specifically provide state funds for breast and ovarian cancer screening,
- I wrote the PA Contraceptive Equity bill,
- I passed legislation prohibiting the shackling of imprisoned women during childbirth,
- I am working on legislation to allow parents of newborn children to receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave, and
- I have led the floor fights against efforts to restrict women’s reproductive choices.
Perhaps most importantly, I have been working to end the practice of human trafficking in Pennsylvania, passing the ground- breaking hotline-posting bill last year, and is on track to pass a “safe-harbor” bill and a comprehensive anti-trafficking bill this year.
Why am I running?
First, as a young boy I watched the American civil rights struggle unfold on each evening’s newscast. As a Jewish American, I also learned about the tragic history of my own people. These experiences taught me how hurtful and dangerous it is when any group of people is dehumanized. From a very young age I knew he wanted to dedicate my life to fighting injustice.
Second, I learned from his childhood that sometimes people need help, and I was profoundly grateful for the help I received. My family was only able to survive because of the public assistance that was available to us: our health insurance was Medicaid, my school lunches were subsidized, and college was only possible because of Pell Grants and guaranteed student loans.
I was only able to succeed because my community invested in me. As a result, I knew that I wanted to do all he could to pay back what was given to me so that other children in foster care could have the chance to go to law school.
Daylin will bring the sort of bold, creative leadership that he has shown in the state legislature to Washington. He understands that our current political system is broken and Washington politicians too often fail to lead us in the right direction. Like he did in Harrisburg, he will lead the fight for women’s rights, access to reproductive services, LGBT equal rights, workers’ rights, access to justice, environmental protection, and voters’ rights.
My DFA Values
Community - When I was young, my community invested in me. And because they did, I was able to go to college and law school and gave back to more than was ever spent on me. I want to make sure that every child in America has the same opportunity for achievement that I did.
Security - I believe in making sure that every family has an opportunity to feel secure. Secure in their job and their finances, secure in their neighborhood and community, and secure as Americans at a time when there are people and forces around the world who want to harm us. In the Pennsylvania state Senate, I've championed gun control, supported worker's rights, fought to extend unemployment, and voted several times to make sure there are more police officers on the streets.
Liberty - What separates America from places like Siria is our constitutionally protected liberties. And while politicians may differ on what the constitution means, we are always guaranteed a smooth transition of power from one election to the next. That is why when there was a movement underfoot in Pennsylvania to make it harder to vote (or to make your vote for President count less by changing the way we cast our vote for the electoral college), I led the charge against it. This was an affront to our basic liberties, and I'm proud to say we beat it back.
My Campaign is People Powered!
The volunteers that we have are the engine that drives our campaign: knocking on doors, making phone calls, helping out around the office, hosting meet-and-greets, helping to raise campaign funds, everything is powered by the grassroots volunteers that have supported our campaign.
Without them I wouldn't have won my first elected office, and without them we can't win this congressional race -- this is truly their campaign.