This musical theater lover, soccer-playing, “Jane the Virgin” fan is running for DC Council. Upgrade from his past job as a bar-mitzvah dancer? Read on to get to know Jordan Grossman.
Allie: What led you to DC?
Jordan: I’m the 5th generation in my family to live here! My great-great grandparents and great grandparents immigrated to DC in the early 1900’s. My great-great grandpa was a kosher butcher in Georgetown, my great grandma had a grocery store called Sherman’s Market, and my grandpa had a store on H Street. I also work in politics and government, which is part of why I live here.
Allie: What interests you about working in politics?
Jordan: I’m a true believer that if you do it right, the government can make people’s lives better. Growing up, I learned all about the importance of participating in public life and strengthening our community through tikkun olam (repairing the world). So it wasn’t an accident that I came to care about all of these things. My dream is to work on things that make services easier to access, and make life better for my neighbors.
Allie: What was your first segue into government?
Jordan: I did internships in DC while I was in college. My first full-time job was as a field organizer for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. I spent most of my time in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and had an extraordinary experience.
Allie: I hear that you’re now running for DC Council. What exactly is the DC Council?
Jordan: The DC Council is the legislative branch of the DC government and is made up of 13 members – eight are elected from specific wards and five are elected city-wide. I’m running to represent Ward 2, which includes neighborhoods like Chinatown, Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, and Georgetown. The Council votes on things like affordable housing, child care, healthcare, safety, and really anything that affects you in your day-to-day life in the city. In DC – it’s a unique situation because technically everything the Council passes, Congress can reverse. This is one of the main reasons I think DC should be a state – we deserve the right to govern ourselves and to have full representation in Congress.
Allie: Do you have a job outside of campaigning?
Jordan: Yes, I work for a nonprofit called Co-Equal. We help members of Congress with accountability, oversight, and policy research.
Allie: Tell me about your dream DC day.
Jordan: I’d start the day at Buttercream Bake Shop, my favorite place in my neighborhood. My wife and I love walking and being outside. So, we would probably walk to the National Mall or to Rock Creek Park. We’ll play tourist and go to a cool museum, and then – if it was a special occasion – have a meal at Rose’s Luxury. After, I’d love to go to a show at The Kennedy Center – I’m a huge musical theater fan.
Allie: What’s your favorite musical?
Jordan: The Last Five Years
Allie: What do you do to relax?
Allie: What is at the top of your travel bucket list?
Jordan: I’d love to go to China and Japan.
Allie: Do you have a piece of Jewish wisdom that inspires you?
Jordan: It comes from my Jewish grandmother, who grew up here in DC. She always says, sometimes in Yiddish, “if you give a smile, you get a smile.”
Allie: What is something people might be surprised to know about you?
Jordan: In high school I was a part-time bar mitzvah dancer. So I wore sequin shirts and danced to Motown medleys.
Allie: What is your favorite Jewish food?
Allie: Complete the sentence! When Jews of DC gather…
Jordan: They have a great time!
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