MEET JOE VOGEL
Joe's dedication to standing up for the most vulnerable, defending human rights, and protecting democracy is motivated by the story of his family.
His great-grandparents were forced to leave their families behind and flee Europe on the eve of the Holocaust. His parents grew up under a repressive military dictatorship in Uruguay. They didn’t let that stop them from chasing an education, becoming the first in their families to graduate from high school, college, and graduate school. This opened doors that led them to immigrate to the United States—alongside their two young children.
As a toddler, Joe moved from Montevideo, Uruguay to Rockville, Maryland—a community that epitomizes the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational, and multi-cultural diversity of our state.
Joe’s values were forged during this upbringing—and have been informed by his Jewish faith, which has ingrained in him a commitment to repairing the world, an unwavering devotion to pursue justice, and a sense of duty to serve his community.
Joe’s community involvement began early, both as a leader and as a progressive political activist. At 15-years-old, Joe volunteered on President Barack Obama’s campaign and later aided District 17 State Senator Cheryl Kagan during her 2014 campaign.
It was through this experience that Joe began to cultivate a clearer understanding of the challenges facing residents of Rockville and Gaithersburg. He witnessed firsthand how we can effectively organize our community, create winning coalitions, and deliver results for the families of MD-17.
In 2015, Joe was nominated and confirmed by the Governor of Maryland to serve as a member of the Maryland Youth Advisory Council.
Joe joined Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign after his first year of college, becoming one of the campaign’s youngest staffers. He spent the general election traveling across the country, helping Secretary Clinton communicate her message to voters.
Like so many Americans, Joe didn’t give up when Donald Trump won. Instead, he strengthened his commitment to fighting for the future of the country. He became a United States citizen in Baltimore, Maryland on November 15th, 2016, one week after the election, and then returned home to continue his work.
Driven by his belief we must implement bold policies to address the gun violence epidemic, Joe was involved in coordinating satellite events for the March for Our Lives in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.
Joe is also committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health rights and protecting LGBTQ+ rights. He knows he owes a debt to all the heroes who fought for his own right as a gay man to get married in Maryland and in the United States. Knowing what was at stake, Joe was involved in organizing efforts to oppose the nomination of Trump’s dangerous Supreme Court nominees.
Joe’s passion for reforming America's criminal justice system, reducing wealth inequality, mitigating environmental injustice, and guaranteeing access to healthcare and education for all, encouraged him to join Senator Cory Booker’s team in early 2018.
When Senator Booker announced his run for President of the United States, Joe led a critical element of the campaign while often traveling with the Senator to communities across the country.
Joe went on to help launch Accountable Tech, a national advocacy organization with the mission of demanding accountability from Silicon-Valley social media platforms – an issue of critical importance to the future of governance and democracy.
Joe remained involved in the effort to defeat Donald Trump, joining President Biden’s campaign team in the final weeks of the general election.
Motivated by his conviction that every child deserves a high-quality education, Joe founded Learn It Together, a non-profit organization that provides free-virtual tutoring to students and families across the country.
During the 2021 legislative session, Joe worked with Strong Schools Maryland to help organize advocates in support of a legislative override of Governor Hogan’s veto of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.
Joe has worked with Interfaith Works to expand their anti-poverty advocacy efforts, and has been an active community volunteer with the Manna Food Center, the Up2UsFoundation, and the Maryland Responds Network.
Joe’s academic studies have centered on restoring ethics and trust in government, and addressing the most salient domestic and international policy challenges.
He is completing a master’s degree at Harvard University’s School of Government.