Let me start by saying I am a very lucky man: I have two dream jobs.
Full-time, I have the honor of serving as a State Representative, serving the people of Allentown and South Whitehall Township in Pennsylvania’s 132nd Legislative District. I’ve been fortunate enough to get involved in a variety of issues, including public education, transportation, job creation, victim protection and protecting those who cannot take care of themselves.
The issue most near and dear to my heart is mental health, and specifically, breaking the stigma which surrounds those who suffer from mental illness. One in five Americans suffer from some form of mental illness, and one in two will over the course of their lifetime. That number includes me: I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders since I was 18. In 2014, following the suicide of Robin Williams, I began to publicly speak about my struggles, attempting to use my position as a State Representative to break the stigma which surrounds mental illness, and give hope to those who suffer that they can still have a wonderful life. It is this belief which helped to inspire Redemption.
I’ve always been a writer; indeed, I wrote my first short story in 8th grade. It was a Star Wars fanfic, and it was terrible. That being said, Redemption is my second book. The first, Tweets & Consequences, is an anthology of elected and government officials who found exciting and unique ways to destroy their careers and livelihood via social media. The book is meant to entertain and educate: Don’t do any of the things the people in the book did.
When not writing or legislating, which is pretty much all of the time, I enjoy playing video games (both modern and old school), reading, attempting to get to the gym, and calling my constituents on their birthdays.
I live in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with my wife Brenna. We have two wonderful children: Auron, born in 2011, and Ayla, born in 2012. Bonus points if you can figure out where we got their names from.