Justin currently resides in the Mitchell Park neighborhood with his wife, Laura, and their two cats, The Snuggle Cat and Pico De Gato (who were both rescued). As the current Chair of the Mitchell Park Neighborhood Association and a member of the Tempe Neighborhoods Together (TNT) group, Justin works to give a voice to the neighborhood. In 2017, Justin was awarded the Chuck Malpede Neighbor of the Year from the City of Tempe for his dedication to his and surrounding neighborhoods.
Justin is originally from the Metro-Detroit area, and was very close with his parents, grandparents, and even his great-grandparents. He learned many valuable lessons from his father, who was an autoworker, and his mother, who worked in the public school system with learning-challenged and autistic students. His mother and father were hard workers and this is where the foundation of his understanding of the middle-class can be traced to. Justin learned of the value of neighborhoods in his hometown Lake Orion. He remains close friends with many of the neighbors he grew up with and he sees them as “family”.
Justin graduated from Michigan State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary humanities with an emphasis in arts management. He has held the arts close to his heart, working for the likes of Universal Records and serving on the Management Team of a National Public Radio affiliate community radio station, KEOS 89.1 FM in College Station/Bryan, Texas. Justin is currently a contract web designer that works with small businesses. Justin remains active in the arts as a DJ, musician, and art event organizer in the greater Phoenix area.
Justin is currently the chair of the Mitchell Park Neighborhood Association and served on the organization’s board since 2012. As a Mitchell Park board member, Justin has contributed to writing and submitting proposals that secured four Maryanne Corder Neighborhood Grants awarded from the City of Tempe. The grants have brought local art into the neighborhood, improved road safety features, and built a skate spot in Mitchell Park. The Mitchell Park Neighborhood Association won the City of Tempe’s the inaugural Art in the Park grant in 2017. Justin and his team are currently organizing and planning a music and art festival in Mitchell Park with those funds for the Spring of 2018. As a member of the Tempe Neighborhoods Together group, Justin has been active in working groups focused on zoning issues affecting neighborhoods and examining humane solutions for Tempe’s homeless. Justin has learned about the many different challenges and victories that have been experienced by other Tempe neighborhoods through the Tempe Neighbors Together group.
Justin has enjoyed meeting, hanging out with, and becoming lifelong friends with many of his Tempe neighbors. He has strived to understand their needs and learn from their experiences, no matter if they have been in the neighborhood for four weeks or 40 years. The everyday lives of his neighbors have shaped his passion for neighborhood advocacy. Justin’s goal is to make sure all of his neighbors’ voices are heard and that is why he is running for Tempe City Council.