Jeff Gardner for Hawthorne Borough Council

Who am I?

I was born and raised in NJ, and am an attorney with a solo practice in Hawthorne, where I have lived for over 10 years. I graduated with Honors from Rutgers College with a double major in Psychology and Spanish, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. I received my J.D. from Rutgers Law School – Newark, and was awarded its Pro Bono Service Award. I also hold a Certificate in Equal Employment Opportunity Studies from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

I am the chairman of the Hawthorne Democratic Organization and a founder and trustee of the Hawthorne Historical Society. I am also a member of the Board of Trustees at Passaic County Community College. I was a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and was chosen as Whip of the NJ delegation. I have also served on the Executive Committee of Garden State Equality, as a contributor to, and a leader of both DFA-NJ and the local DFA group in Passaic County.

But, more important than anything else, I enjoy being a husband, a father, a son, a brother, an uncle, a godfather, and a good friend and neighbor to the people in my life.

Why am I running?

I love my beautiful town of Hawthorne, and want to help make it an even better place to live for all its residents. I have been an active volunteer for countless campaigns locally and around the state. But, I've always believed in the philosophy I first heard from Howard Dean: in order to get an "A" in politics, you have to run for office.

So, I'm taking the plunge.

My Goals

My top two goals for my first year in office are to make our local government more open to the community, and to inspire people to get involved in making Hawthorne even better. That means everything from improving the video and audio quality of our televised Council meetings, to improving our Borough website, to making meetings available online. It also means opening eligibility to serve on our town's Boards and Committees to people of both political parties, and throughout the community. Working together, and including more voices will help us tackle our biggest challenges like ensuring that we have smart development, safe streets, and an attractive downtown for businesses.

My DFA Values

I have been an active DFA volunteer, organizer, and leader since its inception. I've trained with the DFA Academy multiple times, and volunteered for DFA-endorsed candidates up and down the state. Democracy for America has been among the strongest influences for me to get involved in politics, and I wholeheartedly share the values of community, security and liberty, which are not just national issues, but local issues as well.

My Campaign is People Powered!

In 2010, when a group of DFA members and I ran our people-powered campaign to organize our local Democratic party, we proved that people power can overcome entrenched interests, and win against any odds. This year, my campaign will be fueled by our reinvigorated local democratic club - the Democrats for Hawthorne - and by my running mates and I joining our volunteers in going door to door to meet the voters we hope to represent. We'll be actively using social media as well to connect person by person until we reach our vote goal, and beyond.

Voice support


  • Maria Rubin
  • Jophn Donohue, NY
  • Josette Simmons, NJ
  • Nick Lento, NJ
  • Cliff West
  • Chazz Aden, NJ
  • Joyce Leftly, NJ
  • Jenny Crumiller, NJ
  • John Roman
  • Lewis Miller, NJ
...and 116 more.

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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