The Democratic primary for New York State Senate District 7 is coming up on August 23, and for Jeremy Joseph of Hicksville, this will be his first run for public office.
Joseph was born in 1984 in Houston, Texas, where he also grew up and attended college at the University of Houston. Joseph went on to earn a graduate degree from Penn State University in 2009, specializing in applied physics.
After graduating from Penn State, Joseph became a software engineer, specializing in numerous advanced programming and high-performance computing. He has previously worked for United States defense contractors and general tech companies.
Outside from work, Joseph’s greatest passion has been his activism, particularly in the areas of the environment and rising rent costs. According to him, it was the lack of support from the Democratic establishment in Albany that led him to run in this election.
“Whenever you try to talk with an elected official, they are so far removed from the things we’re facing that they certainly don’t support a lot of the bills that are happening at the state level that would provide substantial help,” Joseph asserted. “We can’t just live at the mercy of elected officials who’re not listening to us, and so that’s why I decided to run for office.”
Joseph’s activism work has been with numerous groups covering various topics, with two of the most prominent being with LI United and the Invest In Our New York Coalition. LI United is a group of organizations, activists and community members whose goal is to transform public safety by divesting funding from policing to re-invest that money into communities.
Meanwhile the coalition’s goal has been to get the state legislature to pass the Invest In Our New York Act to end tax breaks for the richest residents in New York state. According to the groups’ website this act could raise as much as $50 billion, which would then be used to rebuild New York’s economy following the pandemic.
Joseph explained that it is his work as an activist that has primarily fueled his desire to run for this election. He mentioned that in his time as an activist one of the biggest issues wasn’t convincing state representatives to necessarily vote on bills, but rather to get them to sponsor bills.
This is because by the time a bill goes to the floor, it is likely already going to be supported by one party or another. The really tricky part, Joseph said, is getting the Legislature to discuss them in the first place. As a state senator his foremost goal would be to view sponsoring bills, not just voting on them.
“Until a bill has enough co-sponsors and enough people putting their names on it, they’re never going to call it to the floor for a vote,” Joseph said. “Some senators will say ‘Oh yeah I voted for it,’ but the thing is by the time that vote happens the bill is already passing. It’s like that person in a group project that doesn’t do any work then takes all the credit.”
Joseph’s platform can essentially be broken down into three parts. He is planning to fight for climate change and climate justice, universal healthcare and childcare, and economic equality in the form of fair and balanced rent and taxes for residents of the 7th District based on wealth.
According to Joseph, it takes someone outside the system like him to solve these issues. His goals are obtainable, he said, and will benefit residents of the 7th District, and all of New York.
“New York state has real, substantial solutions that we can provide to families, but we need people in office who are willing to take bold action to bring it home, and that’s not what we have right now,” Joseph said. “We have party people, people who just toe the line but aren’t willing to fight for what’s needed.”