When Phillip Goldfeder was a boy, his parents instilled in him the importance of giving back to the community.
But he was too queasy to follow in the footsteps of his father, a volunteer emergency medical technician.
“I could never stand the sight of blood, so I chose public service as my calling and my opportunity to give back to a community that really raised me,” Goldfeder says.
The assemblyman took office last fall after winning a special election, and he has kept the focus on his district in southeast Queens, including legislation to remove a toll on the Cross Bay Bridge and another bill to preserve wetlands in Jamaica Bay.
“There’s nothing better than being able to attend a community board meeting and hear directly from community leaders and community advocates about some of the issues that are facing the community, and then being able to work in government to resolve some of those problems,” Goldfeder says. “What makes this job really great is the interaction I get to have with people on a daily basis, whether it’s children in schools or seniors at senior centers or community activists at civic meetings.”
How did your past jobs get you to where you are now?
“Most recently I had the opportunity to work for Senator Chuck Schumer. There is no harder working, more focused elected official in the entire state, and I’d venture to say in the entire country, someone who has dedicated his life to working on behalf of every person he represents, and someone who truly epitomizes the idea that you never forget where you come from.”
If you were not in politics, what would you be doing?
“I would probably be teaching. I love history. I love global studies. As a matter of fact, in my spare time I tutor for an organization for kids who can’t afford tutors. I really love speaking to young people, and doing the best I can to pass on what I’ve learned. It’s something I’ve always done, and I love it.”
What will your business card say in five years?
“ ‘Representing the people of the state of New York in some capacity.’ Wink, wink.”
If you could have a superpower, what would it be, and why?
“If there was a way to stretch the hours in the day, I’d do that.”
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