Alex Jablon talks housing, transparency and his dive into state politics

Alexander Jablon—political rookie and self-described “finance guy”—is running for state representative in the Middlesex 11th district on a platform of transparency and pragmatic progressivism.

“I want to help as many people as possible,” Jablon said.

At 28, Jablon sees his age as an advantage.

“I’m younger,” Jablon said. “I don’t think that that alone is a qualification to get into politics, but I think that it’s something that we need. We need diverse perspectives within the legislature.”

He works as an internal auditor for RTX, a private defense company. He says his job entails assessing his company and its employees for corruption and fraud.

“We’re like the big sibling, while external [auditors] and the IRS are like mom and dad. We’re there to make sure you don’t get in trouble with mom and dad,” Jablon said.

Jablon says that if he’s elected as a state representative, he’ll continue to work for RTX. Not by choice, but out of necessity.

“Newton’s expensive,” Jablon said. “I can’t afford to live here, quite honestly, with the cost of living. If I have any hope to buy a house ever, yeah, I’d have to do both.”

Alex Jablon, candidate for state representative, speaks at his campaign launch event on June 22, 2024. Photo by Bryan McGonigle

Jablon also mentioned that he rents his home in Newton, which he says gives him insight into the ongoing housing crisis throughout the state.

“It’s safe to say that most people in the legislature probably own their home,” Jablon said. “Housing is one of the number one issues that we have right now in Massachusetts and, you know, it’s something that, fundamentally, it’s harder to address an issue if you’re not living it.”

Though most of his career has been spent in the private sector, Jablon also sits on the financial advisory committee for the City of Newton. He says that role was a good introduction to government work.

“I thought it was a good first step into, you know, giving back to my community and giving back to my city that helped raise me and make me who I am,” Jablon said.

Jablon said he’d always had an interest in politics, but never knew what a potential political career could look like.

“I always knew that I wanted to go into politics and run for something at some point,” Jablon said. “I had no idea what that was going to be.”

But then he volunteered for Newton Food Pantry’s “Freedge,” a refrigerator stocked with free food for those in need.

He said that seeing food insecurity in a relatively wealthy city like Newton showed that there are deep issues in all parts of Massachusetts, which directed him to seek change at the state level.

“If we have problems like that here in Newton, I mean, it really opened my eyes to just the amount of issues that we have throughout the Commonwealth and how much more needs to be done,” Jablon said.

Jablon attended Newton public schools for 12 years, then went onto Indiana University, where he majored in finance. It was there where Jill Long Thompson, a former U.S. congresswoman and Jablon’s ethics professor, inspired him to add a second major in business law and ethics.

“She was great, and oh my God, as soon as I was three weeks into that class, I knew. We had a major called business law and ethics,” Jablon said. “I knew I wanted to do that.”

After Jablon’s college graduation in 2018, he entered a rotational program, which allowed him to explore different positions in finance in Washington D.C. and Tucson. He moved back to Newton in 2020.

Jablon said that his background in finance would give him a unique ability to boost progressive legislation.

“There’s a reason why progressives, for the large part, have not been incredibly successful, and you need to have people that understand money,” Jablon said.

Jablon has made transparency a tenet of his campaign. He’s signed a pledge by Act on Mass to increase transparency if he’s elected, and he supports the Sunlight Act, a bill that would make state house votes and meeting records more accessible.

“We represent 44,000 people per district,” Jablon said. “The people that elect, whether it be me whether it be Amy whether it whether it be Steve, deserves to know like how you’re voting.”

Jablon emphasized the importance of ensuring tax dollars are used efficiently. He said that if elected, he hopes to sit on the Post Audit and Oversight Committee at the state house.

“I would hope to join as an auditor to be able to bring my expertise in oversight,” Jablon said.