Saturday, December 28, 2013

Meet Jonathan Brostoff - Candidate For Assembly District 19

For years, Assembly District 19 has been ably represented by Jon Richards. Now that Richards has decided to run for Attorney General, his seat has become an open one.  Fortunately for the people in AD 19, they have a great slate of candidates to chose from to be Richard's successor.

One of those candidates is Jonathan Brostoff.

Jonathan Brostoff
I have had the pleasure of knowing Brostoff for a number of years from when he was a staffer for then Milwaukee County Supervisor Chris Larson.  After Larson won his seat in the state senate, Brostoff followed him as his district legislative aide.  I also got to know Brostoff through his work for DemTeam, a highly effective training program to teach Milwaukee County Democrats how to run effective political campaigns.

I had the opportunity to interview Brostoff the other day to discuss his campaign.

I pointed out that there were a number of highly qualified candidates running for this seat and asked him why the voters should choose him over the others.

Brostoff said that his campaign is not about his opponents, but about him.  He said that he has the utmost respect for his opponents, but feels that he has the right skill set for what is needed right now.  He said that not only does he want to forward progressive values but to work on taking back the state senate and eventually the state assembly.  He said that he is also willing and able to commit himself fully to the job of being the district's representative and would hold no other jobs while in that seat.  He also said that he is not looking to use this seat as a stepping stone to some higher office, but to be the best representative he can for the people of AD 19.

Brostoff said that he is running for office because the current state of affairs is beyond the pale.  He said that having worked in homeless shelters, he has seen first hand the real impact and the harm being done by the current policies.  Brostoff said that he is motivated by the fact that the state is in an emergency mode and that things are so unhealthy right now.

Brostoff also said that his experience from working in the homeless shelters has also taught him to be as effective as possible with the time that he has, regardless of what the task at hand might be.

Besides taking back the state legislature, Brostoff said his priorities include:

  • Restoring public education, especially in Milwaukee.  Brostoff points out the attacks on public education are unsustainable and he wants the focus to go back to providing a quality education.
  • Restoration of women's rights. Brostoff was very passionate about correcting the wrongs that the current legislature has thrust upon women including the restrictions on women's ability to make their own decisions on what happens to their bodies, the invasiveness of the ultrasound probes and the attack on their rights to safety and to voting.
  • Reversing Act 10, which he called a long term project.
  • Raising the minimum wage and shrinking the wage disparity
  • Non-partisan redistricting.
I pointed out to Brostoff that while he is well known among political circles, and already has compiled an impressive list of endorsements, he doesn't have the same name recognition among the voters that Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic has.  He agreed with this assessment but said that he has worked on many campaigns for the underdog, often with great success.  He said that even though he is the underdog this time, he still plans on using the same approach.  He plans on working long, hard hours; getting out and doing as many events as he can; and doing the all-important shoe campaigning and doing as many doors as he can.

Besides Brostoff's experience as a legislative aide at both the county and state levels and his work in homeless shelters, Brostoff has been on the state board and in the Milwaukee chapter of the ACLU.  

He has been married since September 2012 and has no children yet.  Brostoff and his wife live on Milwaukee's fashionable East Side.

You can learn more about Brostoff by checking out his website, his Facebook page and in this article by Tracey Pollock, writing for Urban Milwaukee, which appeared in November.

I have not decided who I will endorse in this race - or even if I will endorse anyone - but I will say that if Brostoff were to win the seat, the people of AD 19 would not be disappointed with the job he would do representing them.

1 comment: