Home: Newton, MA. Age: Three score and a bit more. Birthplace: Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Profession: Affordable housing and impact politics. Organization: The New Power Project. Title: Founder. Alma mater: Princeton University; Harvard Law School.
Latest accomplishment: Just published my debut novel, The Foxtail Legacy. What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Switching from full time law practice to heading up advocacy for YouthBuild USA. Hobbies: Genealogy. A lot of Abromowitzes in the old country. Last book read: Parting the Waters, by Taylor Branch.
Personality profile: Optimist, problem solver, straight shooter. What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Mensch. Moral compass: Tikkun Olam (repair of the world). How do you define a perfect friendship? A lifelong, never-ending conversation. What natural talent have you neglected? Shot putting. What is at the top of your bucket list? Visiting where the ancestors lived in Lithuania, Azerbaijan and South Africa. What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Wonderful traveling companions.
What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Man from U.N.C.L.E. I was Napoleon Solo. What was your first paying job? Selling bathing suits to tourists. What hobby did your younger self never see coming? Bird watching. What movie have you repeatedly watched? Airplane. What is your favorite app? Merlin (the ultimate bird ID app). What’s the best advice you received growing up? Be a giver, not a taker. What’s the best advice you received in your career? Meet one new person each day. What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? Becoming a dad.
If we want a democracy that truly represents all citizens, we need to elect more people who have experienced poverty firsthand.
What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Leveling the playing field for people running for elective office who face the highest barriers. What mega-trend most concerns you? The rise of authoritarianism. What widely held belief do you reject? Nice guys finish last.
What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Stanley Tucci. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A journalist. Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My paternal grandfather. I think. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? With my wife and kids, somewhere in nature. What day in your life would you choose to re-live? My wedding day. Such a joyous event, but now largely a blur.
Personal motto: “It is not up to you to finish the task, but you are not free to avoid it” (Ethics of the Fathers). Favorite quote: “If you can't fly, run; if you can't run, walk; if you can't walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving” (Martin Luther King, Jr., Spelman College address, 1960).