We and us: Daniel Grossberg makes run for state representative

Daniel Grossberg

Though Kentucky’s Jewish population is comparatively small, Daniel Grossberg nevertheless believes it’s important to have at least one Jewish representative in the state legislature.
Right now, there are none.
“If you’re not at the table, then you’re on the menu,” said Grossberg, a Democratic candidate for state representative from the 30th District. “It changes the whole conversation; instead of pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them,’ the conversation is ‘we’ and ‘us.’”
Grossberg, 41, a Louisville realtor, filed for the May primary on Jan. 10. He will face the incumbent, Tom Burch, who has served in the House for more than 40 years.
The 30th District is an ethnically diverse jurisdiction consisting of parts of Hikes Point, Buechel and Newburg. At least nine different religions have churches or temples there, according to the candidate, while recently settled ethnic groups from Nepal, Bhutan and Bosnia, to name a few, call the area home.
Few of its residents are Jewish.
The legislature, which is formally called the Kentucky General Assembly, has 100 representatives and 38 senators. There also are seven statewide office holders, none of whom are Jewish.
There are approximately 11,000 Jews living in the commonwealth, according to various sources.
There hasn’t been a Jew in the legislature since Kathy Stein, a state senator from Lexington, left office in 2013 to become a Fayette County Family Court Judge. Dr. Karen Berg ran a vigorous campaign for the Senate from District 26 in 2018, but she lost to incumbent Republican Ernie Harris.
Jerry Abramson was the last (perhaps only) Jew to hold statewide office in Kentucky (lieutenant governor from 2011 to 2014, when he left to join the Obama administration).
And with the retirement of Brandon Coan at the end of this year, there will be no Jewish representatives on Louisville Metro Council either. Louisville is home to the largest Jewish community in the state.
That will leave U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, who represents the 3rd Congressional District (Louisville and Jefferson County) as the state’s only Jewish elected official of note. Grossberg is a member of the Jefferson County Commission, but given the 2003 consolidation, his is a titular position with no actual authority.
Grossberg said he’s not running because he’s Jewish, (“though being Jewish is a big part of my identity”), but to address several critical issues in his district, which he described as “a tale of two cities.”
On one hand, he and his wife, Erica, live in the well-groomed middle class neighborhood of Klondike, but he said there are other places in the district where residents can’t even get a pizza delivered after dark because it’s not safe, and storefronts and lots sit vacant because the district cannot attract economic development.
Worst of all, he said sex trafficking is prevalent in parts of the 30th, and not enough is being done to stop it.
The son of retired attorneys Rhoda and Bernie Faller, Grossberg is a member of the Jewish Community Relations Council, president of the Metro Democratic Club, and a volunteer with the Kentucky Humane Society and the Louisville Youth Group.
He plans take a leave of absence from his job for March, April and part of May to campaign full-time.
Though it covers political campaigns of interest to the Jewish Louisville, Community does not make political endorsements.

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