Daniel was born and raised in South Plainfield, New Jersey before moving to Chicago for college. He and his brothers were fortunate to attend good public schools in the working class community. However, when the company that employed his father worked for went bankrupt, it threw the family into economic turmoil. His father worked nights as a security guard and his mom returned to work as a nanny, doing everything they could to hold onto their home.
Despite the financial hardships that made it impossible for his parents to save for college, Daniel was able to come to Chicago in 1999 to attend North Park University. While studying psychology and music, his experiences volunteering with people experiencing homelessness and at non-profits exposed him to the economic inequality and racial injustices plaguing the city’s neighborhoods. Just like the circumstances that devastated his family in New Jersey, Chicago wasn’t working for far too many. It was time to take action.
Daniel’s desire to be a part of the solution lead him to the Logan Square Neighborhood Association where he spent more than ten years as a board member, eventually serving as the group’s vice president. In the organization, he was a leader on issues around housing and community development.
Daniel helped lead campaigns to build new affordable housing in our community, like the Zapata Apartments. He helped shape policies that directed TIF dollars toward the housing needs of working families and fought to pass legislation that protected renters in properties facing foreclosure. In addition, he worked as a community organizer with Jane Addams Senior Caucus, helping Chicago’s seniors develop as leaders and fight to improve their quality of life.
After working as an activist and community-builder, Daniel recognized that to create real change for working families, we needed new political leadership. Surrounded by the many communities that have shaped him, Daniel decided to run for 1st Ward alderman to bring integrity and a people, not campaign donor, first approach to government.
In 2018, Daniel completed his Masters in Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, focusing on inequities around parks, government budgets, and housing. Five years ago he made the best decision of his life when he married his incredible wife Alicia. The couple reside in Logan Square, where they look forward to raising a family. He is an active member of New Community Covenant Church. The other passions of his life including running, biking, and baking fresh bread.