Matthew Silverstein

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Matthew Silverstein has been serving “the only place he has ever lived in” since he graduated college. Silverstein calls civic associations “the backbone of our communities.” In addition to serving as a volunteer at his local civic association, Silverstein volunteers for a political group as well. From 2005-08, he served as president of Queens County Young Democrats, for whom he worked for five years to gain recognition of his chapter as a major contributor to the political scene. Now as the new NYS Young Democrats president, he encourages youth involvement in the Democratic Party and instills young people with the values that the Democratic Party stands for.

PERSONAL: The 28-year-old graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from City University of New York (CUNY) Baruch, and in 2007 with a Masters in Urban Affairs from CUNY Hunter. He is unmarried and has lived in Bay Terrace since he was five.

JOB: Silverstein works as project analyst for America Works, which is an organization that puts hard to place people such as veterans and homeless people back to work.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Silverstein said that the biggest challenge that he has had to overcome is other members of civic associations and political parties, especially, not taking him seriously because of his age.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Becoming the first community in Queens to be graffiti-free last year is Silverstein’s fondest memory. In the spring, the association teamed up with a Bayside graffiti removal group called The Cage to help clean up what Silverstein refers to as an “epidemic.”

INSPIRATION: Around the dinner table, Silverstein’s grandparents would often talk about local politics. In addition, they would show him photographs of his great-grandparents taking care of wounded soldiers in World War II. Hearing about what his family had previously done served as his inspiration, according to Silverstein. – Will Sammon

More from Around New York