Why I am Running

versión en español

Why I am Running

We are democrats. We believe in democracy. We believe in electing officials to serve and advocate for our communities. We believe in hope for a brighter future. We also believe that Lord Acton was correct when he wrote that "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." I believe that our political system is compromised by money and lifelong politicians who rely on corporate PAC donations and lobbyists to get re-elected. These politicians are selfish, lack leadership and work for these multi-national institutions that care most about maximizing profit. These politicians have changed the concept of "public service" to "self service." The result is that we get laws that are "good for some and bad for all." This form of corruption has left our country on a crash course where 1% of the population controls nearly 40% of the wealth and the top 20% own 85% of the wealth. Right now, our country is on an unsustainable path: low wages for the majority, high unemployment, poverty, corroding infrastructure. Enough is enough. This is the moment for a new generation of leaders who will stand up.  We need to work on both sides of the aisle to level the economic playing field, create valuable job opportunities and ensure that all Americans willing to work hard have a real chance at prosperity. I am raising my voice to help us now. Do you think we have a common vision? Find out more about the people and events that have shaped my ideals/goals by continuing reading and exploring our website…

Background/Family/Upbringing

Hi. My name is Jeff Kurzon. I am a 36 year old attorney and have lived in both ends of District 7: from Bushwick in Brooklyn to Little Italy in Manhattan. I am a proud American with diverse roots ranging from Armenian to English, Irish and Scottish descent. My mother, a former social worker, now runs a small publishing business. My father is a retired physician who served in the U.S. Navy. I am Catholic, however, I respect all forms of spirituality that strengthens us as humans and connects us to each other and God.  I value the great diversity of our district and plan to work with talented people of every ethnic, economic and religious background.

During my life, I went to some of the best schools, traveled, gained unique perspectives, first hand global views on foreign policy, worked on campaigns, volunteered and started a law firm that represents small businesses and everyday workers.

Education/Life Training

In 1994, I graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. I then attended Bowdoin College in Maine and McGill University in Montreal, Canada where I finished my bachelor’s degree in sociology. These studies in sociology and interactions with my fellow students helped shape who I am today and how I think about the world.

Thereafter, I remained in Montreal at McGill Law School. I graduated with a degree in common law and civil law in 2003. For one semester I studied civil law entirely in French at the University of Aix-Marseille in France. I also completed a certificate in international trade law in Torino, Italy before I began working in New York City.

During the course of my life, I have traveled to Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Brazil, Colombia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan (where I helped build a home with Habitat for Humanity), China, Vietnam, Japan, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France and Russia. These places helped me learn about and value different cultures and ideas.

Career

I was fortunate to begin my career at Sidley Austin - the same firm where President Obama met his wife Michelle. Both are an inspiration for me. I started in Sidley’s corporate law group that transitioned to the M&A and Private Equity group. Later, I had the privilege to work in the firm’s Hong Kong, China office for six months. I was fortunate to be able to take an unpaid six month leave of absence to campaign for President Obama in 2007 and 2008.

In 2010, I began my own law firm. Kurzon LLP became known early on for challenging the online publication industry’s business model of profiting from, but not paying writers as exemplified by Arianna Huffington. We also took on some of the biggest law schools for misrepresenting their post-graduate employment statistics to lure students to take on over $100,000 in debt. The bulk of our legal work involves representing entrepreneurs and small businesses. Kurzon LLP also handles litigation disputes such as landlord & tenant disputes and when workers are not paid or discriminated against.

Campaign Work/Activism

I was one of Obama’s earliest supporters in New York and introduced on stage at the September 2007 rally in Washington Square Park. I admired his courage to call out the absurdity of the Iraq War. As an active campaigner, I spent nearly four months volunteering in New Hampshire. I then organized Asian American outreach for Obama’s California headquarters. Up until Obama’s election as President, I raised over $150,000 for the campaign. After his election, our grassroots group ObamaNYC transitioned into a grassroots good citizen group called Voterbook. I also worked on Richard Aborn's campaign for Manhattan District Attorney. 

Vision/What the Next Generation of Leadership Looks Like

Together, these experiences, with the guidance of my family, friends and colleagues, helped shape the vision, standards and values that I believe we all share in New York’s 7th District: 

-      I am not going to accept donations from corporate PACs or lobbyists.

-      I want to help make laws that benefit District 7, all of New York City and our country.

I look forward to working with you to improve our communities and country. Thank you for your support.

Since I cannot do this alone; please consider donating $25 or more to help start our campaign strong.