alumni feature, jvc magazine, public policy

Former Jesuit Volunteer Seeks Justice Through Public Service

DANNY O’CONNOR (NEW YORK CITY 2009-10), 2018 Democratic
candidate for Ohio’s Twelfth Congressional District.

I’ve always been someone who believes in service and that we can all work together to make a better world. For me, JVC was the perfect fit because I’m a big believer in Catholic Social Teaching, social justice, and advocating for the poor and voiceless. An established, successful program like JVC just fits that mold.

My placement site, Part of the Solution (POTS) in the Bronx, is one of the greatest places in the world. I was at the legal clinic there, helping out with intake and assisting persons experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, evictions, and everything you can imagine. It’s a type of place where people are treated with dignity and respect. It epitomizes everything that’s good about the world.

JVC is probably one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. It’ll be a hard year, but it’s so worth it. To walk with the poor, to live amongst the poor, to be in solidarity with the poor will totally change your perspective and the way you think about the world.

Danny O'Connor (NEW YORK CITY 2009-10)

As a JV, I saw the law can be impactful on individuals, families, and folks who don’t have a voice. There’s power in the law and in our justice system when we have people who fight to make sure that folks have their rights protected. And by participating in the larger Bronx community during my year, I realized that as a community we can do more than we can as individuals.

I’m a big believer that we’re all created in the image of God, and that we’re all deserving of dignity and respect and opportunity. And every single person regardless of their zip code should have the opportunity to live out their dreams and have economic opportunity. If we don’t have folks who are committed to fighting for that in our political system, more people will fall behind.

JVC compiled Danny’s story prior to the 2018 midterm elections. We are proud to present their words here, as their passion for justice and dedication to JVC’s values remain unchanged. We thank them both for their unflinching commitment to a more just and hopeful world.

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