Many Westporters may recognize Jonathan Steinberg from his seven-year involvement with the Representative Town Meeting, his service with many town and RTM committees or his Democratic candidacy for House District 136.
But before becoming involved with town government, Steinberg worked in the marketing and communications field, with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Yale and a master's degree in business from New York University.
What turned this marketing professional on to working in town government, and later, running for state representative?
"So many of us talk a good game when it comes to politics but tend to focus on a national level. Fewer of us choose to become involved on a local level," Steinberg said of his work in town government. "As someone who grew up in Westport and has seen some of the changes the town has gone through, I thought there were things we can do to improve Westport."
In 2003, when the RTM split District 8 to create District 9, an opening on District 8 provided Steinberg with the opportunity he needed.
Two years after winning the election to District 8, Steinberg won his first position as chair of an RTM committee, and in 2007, was elected deputy moderator of the RTM. After leaving his post as senior vice president of marketing at the Jewish Home in New York City, his involvement in town government saw a domino effect.
"Little by little, my involvement has grown and grown to the point where I feel I'm very invested in Westport's future," Steinberg said. "I started out small, but in seven years, it has grown to so much more: I feel I can lead Westport."
That is what led him to run for state office, he said.
"We need strong representation in Hartford," Steinberg said. "I've been working for Westport for seven years, that's where heart and passion is. I'm someone who is steeped in Westport values. I hope voters realize that."
An environmental debate between Steinberg and his Republican opponent Nitzy Cohen will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Earthplace , 10 Woodside Lane.
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