“I believe in the American dream because I’m lucky enough to have lived it. But I know the American dream is not a gift. It is there because we nourish it, sustain it, support it. It is our job, our common purpose to support the dream by making sure that every child has access to education, to healthcare, to safe neighborhoods and good jobs.”
Jim Himes is running for Congress to bring new energy to the American Dream.
Raised by a single mother in a small town in New Jersey, Jim attended public schools and worked odd jobs to bring in extra money. By making he most of the opportunities he had, Jim won admission to Harvard College, where his hard work once again delivered results – this time in the form of a Rhodes Scholarship. After completing his studies, Jim took an entry-level position at Goldman Sachs, where he worked his way up to Vice President over the course of a 12-year career. Fluent in Spanish from his first 10 years of childhood in Latin America, Jim specialized in Latin American and communications technology banking.
In 2002, Jim left Wall Street to pursue business-oriented solutions to the problems of urban poverty. He is currently on leave from his role of Vice President and Director of Northeast operations at Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit organization which helps build affordable housing for low-income Americans by providing financing and expertise to community and housing developers. Under Jim’s leadership, Enterprise developed an innovative program to provide tax preparation assistance and financial services to low-income families. Jim also helped Enterprise incorporate green technology into their affordable housing projects.
Jim has also been involved in his local community, where he lives with his wife and two daugheters. He has served as Commissioner of the Greenwich Housing Authority where he championed much needed reforms. In addition, Jim was elected to his town’s finance board, which is responsible for setting tax and budget policy. He turned his political concerns into action by serving as Chairman of his local Democratic Town Committee, organizing others in the community to become more engaged in the political process.
Jim’s life has been about creating and making the most of opportunity. He’s running for Congress because he’s worried that, for too many Americans, opportunity is slipping away.
In Congress, Jim will be focused on creating opportunity for everyone.
Jim believes that every child should have a great education. For too long we have let children across the country and especially in our bigger cities here in Connecticut go to terrible schools. Jim wants to change that. Education is really the whole ball game. Our economy depends on having a skilled, creative, technically adept work force. In turn, our national security depends on education, because we need a strong economy at home to be strong abroad.
Jim believes every person should have healthcare. For too long, we have been ok with leaving one in five Americans without health insurance. That is wrong. It is wrong not just because we waste huge sums on administrative costs, it is wrong because the cost of healthcare is higher than it needs to be for those of us who have it, but most of all, it is wrong because in a country as wealthy as ours healthcare should be a right, not a game of Russian roulette.
Jim is also a committed to environmental reform. He knows from experience that if we do this right, we can create offices, homes and cars that are healthier to live in and use; green collar jobs that will stimulate our economy and can never be exported; and we can begin to address climate change.
Jim Himes is running for Congress in the 4th District of Connecticut because he believes that together, we can change the direction of our country and make America a land of opportunity for all. 21st Century Democrats believes that Jim’s progressive values, business background and effective leadership skills will help turn our country around.
Race Type: Democratic Challenge
Primary Election Opponent: Lisa Lee Whitnum
Primary Election Date: August 12, 2008
Primary Election Results: Won Primary
General Election Opponent: Christopher Shays (GOP)
General Election Date: November 4, 2008
General Election Results: Won, 51.6% – 47.3%