A LIFETIME OF HELPING OTHERS
At age 19, Jeff began working on the Homeless Action Committee van and ultimately spent five years working as a homeless outreach advocate for people living on the streets of Albany. Jeff’s experiences as a homeless outreach worker led him to devote his life to advocating for people in need and motivated him to apply to law school to pursue a career as a public interest attorney.
From 2010 to 2013, he attended the University of Michigan Law School and worked in various legal aid offices. In 2012, Jeff received national accolades when the American Bar Association’s Commission on Homelessness and Poverty selected him as one of three students nationwide to serve as a John J. Curtin, Jr. Justice Fellow in recognition of his dedication to serving low-income individuals. Michigan Law School also awarded Jeff the Jane L. Mixer Memorial Award, recognizing him as the Michigan Law School student who has made the greatest contributions to activities designed to advance social justice.
Upon graduating from law school and passing the New York bar, Jeff returned to upstate New York to begin his career as a legal aid attorney representing low-income tenants facing eviction. For the past seven years, Jeff has worked in mental health law. He is currently an attorney at Mental Hygiene Legal Service, where he advocates for the civil rights of people with mental illness and developmental disabilities. He is the former secretary of the board of directors of United Tenants of Albany, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the rights of tenants and preventing homelessness in the Albany area. In recognition of his volunteer service, United Tenants of Albany named Jeff its 2018 volunteer of the year and awarded him Catholic Charities’ Sister Maureen Joyce Award.
A lifelong Democrat and dedicated progressive, at age 18, Jeff became a committeeperson on the Albany County Democratic Committee. Now 34 years old, he has been an Albany County Democratic committeeperson for approximately 11 of the past 16 years. Jeff is currently the Democratic Deputy Ward Leader for Albany’s Ward 6 - the same ward he seeks to represent on the Albany Common Council. He has managed several local campaigns and has worked on many more. Jeff held a local leadership position on Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, is an active member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and is a proud voluntary member of the Civil Service Employees Association Local 694 labor union.
Jeff was born in Albany and raised in Watervliet and Latham. He graduated from Shaker High School in 2004, the University at Albany in 2007, and the University of Michigan Law School in 2012. In 2014, he became a homeowner on Chestnut Street in Center Square. Prior to purchasing his home, Jeff rented on Lark Street for two years.
Jeff’s significant other, Deanna DeLuke, is a care manager for people with intellectual disabilities and former frontwoman of local Albany band Lucky Jukebox Brigade. Their rescue Pomeranian, Yeti, is their constant companion. Jeff is an avid music fan, on-again / off-again distance runner, and a recovering alcoholic who has been sober since 2011. Sobriety has deepened Jeff’s humility and empathy and has made him a firm believer in second chances.