After a 12 year career in business and five years in the non-profit affordable-housing world, Jim is serving his fourth term representing Connecticut’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He decided to run for Congress eight years ago because he wanted to help bring change to Washington and a commonsense, independent approach to the many problems of the day. He is working at it, but change does not come easily.
Jim has worked tirelessly to get the economy back on a path of growth and opportunity, has listened hard to his constituents, and has accumulated an independent voting record worthy of a Member of Congress from New England. He serves as a member of the House Financial Services Committee and of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where he is Ranking Member of the NSA and Cybersecurity Subcommittee.
An Appreciation for Quality Education
Jim was born in Peru in 1966 to American parents. After his parents divorced, he returned to the United States with his mother and sisters. He attended public schools in his hometown. As a student, Jim also worked in the local drug store, hardware store, and pizza place, and started a business refinishing wood floors.
Jim was admitted to Harvard University, and after completing his undergraduate studies there, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he earned a Masters degree In Latin American Studies.
Jim and his wife Mary started their family in Cos Cob, where their two daughters, Emma and Linley attend school.
A Tradition of Service
Wanting to put his knowledge to work helping local communities create jobs and overcome difficult economic challenges, Jim left a career in business to lead the non-profit Enterprise Community Partners in the Northeast. There he arranged financing for the construction of thousands of affordable housing units, creating jobs and high-quality affordable housing in the greater New York metropolitan region. Jim’s work also helped foster the adoption of new green techniques to spur energy efficiency and reduce utility costs.
Jim has long served as an active community leader. He was a Commissioner and then board chairman of the Greenwich Housing Authority, and then a member of the town’s Board of Finance. Jim has served as former chairman on the board of Bridgeport-based Aspira of Connecticut, which promotes educational achievement for Latino youth. He has served on the advisory board of Family Assets, Inc., and as a board member of the Fairfield County Community Foundation.
A Record of Accomplishments
Jim is proud to have helped bring about meaningful change in Washington in his three terms:
- Jim believes in investing in the people and community of Southwest Connecticut and has fought to bring jobs and federal funds to the 4th District. He brought home an $11 million TIGER Grant from the Department of Transportation for Steelepointe Peninsula in Bridgeport that will attract new residents, businesses and visitors to Bridgeport – not to mention a thousand new jobs. He also led the effort to secure $161 million dollars for the replacement of the Walk Bridge in Norwalk as well as a $10 million TIGER grant to begin the development of an additional rail station in Bridgeport to allow more commuting options and spur economic development.
- Jim was among the first Representatives to vote for a ten-year budget plan that would reduce deficits by more than $4 trillion, without hurting the most vulnerable Americans.
- Jim joined Representatives from both sides of the aisle to vote for budget legislation based on the Simpson-Bowles plan. The group of 22 Democrats and 16 Republicans were praised in an editorial in USA Today as the “Brave 38” for their courage, standing up for fiscal responsibility.
- Jim voted for the Ledbetter Act, helping it become law, and co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act to help women receive equal pay for equal work.
- Jim wrote legislation to help small businesses get more access to capital from local, community banks. It passed the House with huge bipartisan support.
- Jim voted to cut the payroll tax, then fought to extend the cut to help every American with a job make ends meet.
- Jim helped to pass comprehensive health care reform, to bring quality affordable health care to every citizen, eliminate insurance company abuses, reduce insurance costs and protect Medicare beneficiaries. To date, 20,000 young adults in Connecticut have been able to get coverage; over 400,000 seniors have received preventative care with no co-pays; and more than 2,700 small businesses in our state have received tax breaks as a result of the new health care law. And, for the first time, at least 192,000 children in our state can't be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.
- Jim co-sponsored and helped to pass legislation restoring “pay-as-you-go” - PAYGO - provisions as an important step toward reestablishing fiscal discipline after the previous administration turned budget surpluses into huge deficits.
- Jim helped craft Wall Street reform legislation that ensures there will be no future taxpayer bailouts of failing private firms, and establishes strong, workable protections against the excessive risk-taking that has so undermined our economy.
- Jim helped pass the Recovery Act, which included the largest middle-class tax cut in history, help for the state of Connecticut and all its towns to keep teachers and cops on the job, and targeted, specific investments in transportation and energy-efficiency projects that put people back to work. It is also providing more than $236 million in major infrastructure improvements in the 4th District, including $30 million for Metro North improvements to the New Haven line. Overall, the Recovery Act is providing $300 million for Connecticut highways, $137 million to develop mass transit in the state, and $784 million to support Connecticut schools and educators. Over two years, the Recovery Act was estimated to create or save 41,000 Connecticut jobs.
- Jim helped pass new international trade agreements to open foreign markets to US goods.
- Jim supported and helped to pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) that expands access to affordable college education, increases Pell grants and redirects tens of billions of dollars in unneeded subsidies for banks and private lenders to instead help students and their families.
With a proud record of achievement in his first Congressional terms, Jim looks forward to continuing the fight on behalf of middle-class families throughout the 4th District, and working to help the economy grow and help our small businesses create good jobs.