Joe was born and raised in downtown Toronto. He grew up on Walmer Road and was raised in a family whose defining values are community building and public service – values that have driven him his whole life.
He has worked on poverty issues while living in South Africa and Ghana, led literacy programs in fly-in Aboriginal reserves in Northern Ontario, and managed environmental campaigns to protect Canada's freshwater. Before being elected, he served as a Director of Campaigns and Outreach at the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which supports community-based HIV/AIDS organizations in sub-Saharan Africa.
As a former Board Director of The Stop Community Food Centre, Joe brought attention to issues of income inequality and food security. As a youth leader in the peace movement, Joe organized rallies and demonstrations in the lead-up to the war in Iraq. Alongside Olivia Chow, Joe launched ‘I Heart Public Transit,’ a local campaign for a national transit strategy that would allow for sustainable, and predictable long-term funding for transit in Toronto.
Joe understands that strong infrastructure and social services are vital to the quality of life in a big city, and his passion for social justice translates to his work at City Hall. In his various appointments, including to the Board of Health, Toronto Community Housing Corporation Board of Directors, Sub-committee on Climate Change and Adaptation, and in his role as Toronto's Youth Equity Advocate, he is committed to making life better in Toronto.
As Councillor for Ward 20, Joe works tirelessly to build better neighbourhoods, expand and improve public green spaces, and make life in downtown Toronto more equitable.
In every aspect of his work and volunteer life, Joe demonstrates commitment to the values he holds, and he works tirelessly to ensure those values are incorporated into the civic life of our city.