When President John A. Fry envisioned Drexel University’s future as the most civically engaged university in America, Edward Julian Jordan III, a senior majoring in entrepreneurship and innovation at Drexel’s very own Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, enlivened this aspiration when he chose to run for New Jersey’s 6th District in the State Assembly, with Danie Moss-Velasco as his running mate. Jordan and Moss-Velasco, both New Jersey natives, run their campaign on the platforms that their constituents are most concerned with, namely taxes and education. With Jordan’s concentration in social entrepreneurship and Moss-Velasco’s position as a law professor at Rutgers University-Camden, their partnership demonstrates the approach that has become part of his philosophy.
“I think there’s a lot of overlap between startup culture and the private sector that can be brought over to the public sector,” Jordan said to The Triangle about what he believes he can bring to the table as he runs for the lower house in the state’s legislature.
A product of public schools, Jordan grew up in Voorhees, New Jersey and was compelled by the disparity he observed between the town he lived in along with the very fortunate upbringing he had, and the experiences of some family members he had who lived in West Philadelphia. The sheer disparity in regard to career opportunities and the quality of education, Jordan recounts, was a key factor in explaining his motivations. Like many other students exhibiting exceptional ambition at Drexel, Jordan belongs to several clubs and student organizations, including IDEA, an entrepreneurship club, and the Real Estate Program.
Although elections for club officer positions and student government are common on college campuses, campaigning for local and state government is indisputably less frequent, so, Jordan, an undergraduate student here at Drexel, chose to run with Danie Moss-Velasco, a Drexel adjunct professor of the Thomas R. Kline School of Law, for New Jersey’s 6th District in the State Assembly. Having grown up in South Jersey, Jordan recounted how he always viewed business to be a significant means through which ordinary people can elevate and empower themselves, but unfortunately, the resources that are often employed by some are not always as readily accessible to others, the latter of which is often the case in underserved communities.
Through the experiences he has accumulated with his history of community engagement, Jordan recounts the origins of the challenges residents come across.
“I’ve worked very closely with a lot of small business owners, and I’ve learned that a lot of the barriers they face in trying to be successful in business come from system, and on top of that, there are a lot of people in office who don’t necessarily represent the values of the people who vote,” he said.
He began the Social Entrepreneurship Club here on campus, and although he was not able to grow the organization to meet his standards, it nonetheless reflects a high priority.
Although the partnership between this Drexel student and professor was one born from fulfilling Camden County’s requirement of one male and one female representative, it is obvious to anyone who speaks with either of these candidates that their dynamic is one that is definitely strong enough to win, and that being connected and introduced to one another through the progressive political organization “Our Revolution” was nothing short of ideal.
Danie Moss-Velasco, a professor in Drexel’s school of law, the Department of Global Studies & Modern Languages and the Center for Modern Languages at Rutgers, is running with Jordan.
She wants to emphasize that the priorities of the community are reflected in the budgets and the contracts that are always in a state of revision at the local level. She spoke truth to power in discussing how budgetary spending is a true reflection of where our societal priorities lie.
“Everybody has their own priorities in their individual lives, and it’s very clear what those priorities are based on how much money they choose to spend on each thing. At the county and state level it’s the same thing; how much money we spend on education shows how much of a priority education is for us,” she told The Triangle.
Another issue which was prevalent in both interviews that was especially addressed by Moss-Velasco was the growing concern surrounding outrageous student debt. Still paying back her own loans, she understands and recognizes the very real threat it presents to not only the access to higher education but also to the financial security of new graduates. Speaking from her own experience and anticipating those of her own children, she elaborates on the vision for which she and Jordan would be advocating.
“Efficiency, sustainability, and collaboration are the tenets of this joint campaign, Moss-Velasco said, who is also a medical and legal interpreter in the Philadelphia and New Jersey areas. With the primary quickly approaching June 4, make sure you are registered to vote within your district, especially considering those elected in the local elections are the ones making the decisions that are far more likely to have more direct and tangible effects on matters of daily life. In order to engage with the campaign, seek out #danieforNJ and #julianforNJ on Twitter or Danie and Julian for NJ on Facebook. To contact either candidate directly about how to get more involved or about any further questions, seek out [email protected] or [email protected].