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Philadelphia, Montgomery County, PA May 18, 2010 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Joshua M. Cohen

Candidate for
State Representative; District 194; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate

Public service is in Josh Cohen's blood.

Josh, 36, a lifelong Democrat and resident of the Greater Philadelphia area, is the son of two Philadelphia public school teachers with a combined career investment in public education of 70 years. They instilled in Josh an appreciation for the power of knowledge and the value of hard work.

The journey began in earnest when Josh graduated from the University of Delaware with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. Josh embarked on a life of public service when he took up residency in the city in 1997. He immediately registered to vote, researched who his 52nd ward leader was (current Mayor Michael Nutter), and asked how he could get involved in the political process. He worked the polls on Election Day for several years and his career goal was clear. This work and his keen interest in local politics led to Josh's appointment as a Committeeman in the city's 52nd Ward. While in college, for two years, he also served as an intern in the district office of former U.S. Congresswomen Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky. He also worked as a paid intern for the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1996, helping to deliver a major plurality out of Philadelphia for the ultimately victorious Democratic presidential ticket.

Josh's first full-time position was with the Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, an award-winning non-profit organization, where he assisted high school students with resume preparation, interview techniques, and general job-hunting skills. He was promoted to a manager of the respected agency at the young age of 24 where he remained for an additional two years before public service called him once again. He served as Field Director for the campaign of Democratic mayoral candidate Happy Fernandez, before eventually joining the campaign of Democratic mayoral nominee John Street, who would go on to serve two terms as Philadelphia's top elected official. The young man's grasp of the issues and sharp intellect led to his hire as a scheduling coordinator for then-Mayor Street and was ultimately asked to serve as Assistant Press Secretary in the Mayor's Office of Communications, where he remained until 2003 before going on to work on the City Council campaign of Juan F. Ramos. After helping to secure Ramos' victory, Josh served as the Councilman's Deputy Chief of Staff for four years.

He was subsequently recruited to serve in the same high-ranking capacity with Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., whose Fourth Councilmanic District encompasses much of Pennsylvania's 194th legislative district. It was in this position as the point person for constituent services, activity grants, capital projects, and zoning issues that Josh earned his reputation for consistently delivering on a myriad of quality-of-life service requests by a large and diverse cross-section of Philadelphia residents. This rising public sector star known to most constituents simply as "Josh" literally helped thousands of people with problems large and small. It is this depth of experience and his understanding that government officials exist to serve the people (and not the other way around) that makes Josh ideally suited to represent the people of the Commonwealth's 194th Legislative District.

Josh has always understood the need to give back to the communities in which he has lived and worked. His many civic leadership positions and charitable works include serving as President of the Wissahickon Interested Citizens Association (2005-2008); a Member of the Board of Trustees, Secretary, and Chair of the Building and Grounds Committee of Northern Home for Children (2007 to present); a Member of the Central Roxborough Civic Association; and a volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Philadelphia.

Josh and his wife, Michele, a former award-winning journalist who presently serves as Assistant Director of Communications at Moore College of Art and Design, live in Roxborough with their cat, Charlie.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: April 6, 2010 12:38
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