Another RPCV Runs for Congress: Joel Rubin (Costa Rica (1994-96)


Joel Rubin, Candidate for Congress & Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

October 14, 2015

Dear Peace Corps Community,

My name is Joel Rubin and I’m writing you to ask for your support as I make a run for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District.  Like you, I’m an RPCV, and I would be honored to be a champion for both the Peace Corps and international development in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The key vote in this race is the Democratic primary on April 26, 2016, and we will be organizing every day until Election Day to win it.  I need your help to do this, through volunteering for, spreading the word about, and donating to my campaign.

Like you, I’m a fighter for positive change.  And much of my passion is traced to my experience in the Peace Corps.  It changed my life.  When I went to Costa Rica in 1994 as an Environmental Education volunteer, I chose to join because I wanted to be an active participant in making a change.  I wanted to be there, to work in a community that wanted to advance, and to partner with people from another part of our precious world.

That experience in Costa Rica gave me much more than I could have ever given back.  And because of it, I committed myself to a life of public service and the battle for social, environmental, and economic justice.

And now, it’s the Peace Corps’ third goal – “to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans” –  that has motivated me to seek office as a Member of Congress from Maryland’s 8th District.

Our Congress is broken, but we need it to work.  It needs Members who understand the challenges of the world around us.  It needs Members who have lived overseas and who have seen the United States through the eyes of the citizens of other countries.  And it needs Members who know how to make change through hard sweat, through partnership with diversity, and through innovation when the odds are long.

I’ll never forget my first night in Costa Rica as a trainee. That night, Don Fabio, the father of the house where I was to live for three months, spoke to me very clearly.  He understood that I was going to be in his country for two years, and he knew that I needed to understand what his country was all about.  He looked me in the eye and stated clearly that “we were all the same, all equal human beings.”

It was a message from the heart and that conversation changed me forever.  I was a guest in his country, there to assist him and his countrymen and women on their journey.  And when I left Costa Rica, it would be my responsibility to ensure that I would bring back that sense of equality and humility to the United States to help my country understand how it should truly operate in this world.

And so now, on this 55th Anniversary of future President John F. Kennedy’s speech at the University of Michigan at 2 a.m. on October 14, 1960, when he pledged the creation of the Peace Corps, we have a chance to shape our country for the better.  I ask you to help me in this campaign to reach towards that goal.  Join us as we share our hopes for the world with the residents of Maryland’s 8th District in order to make a better, safer, healthier world for all.

Help me to win the nomination so that we can all have our voices heard in the halls of Congress.  I hope that you can join me in this fight and I look forward to getting to meet you in the days ahead.

In the meantime, please like and share my campaign’s Facebook page at; follow me on Twitter at @JoelMartinRubin; and visit my website at to sign up and get involved.

Pura Vida,

Joel Rubin

Democrat, Candidate for Congress (MD-8)

RPCV Costa Rica (1994 – 1996)


Leave a comment
  • This is all very interesting because the battle for the Democratic nomination for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District is very crowded and now includes two candidates with deep Peace Crops ties. We have Joel Rubin who is a RPCV from Costa Rica and Kathleen Mathews who is married to Chris Mathews one of the more famous RPCVs from Swaziland. Kathleen is a well known and popular former news anchor for a Washington DC Television station. The 8th district in Maryland is the very definition of a gerrymandering. It runs from the Washington/Maryland line in Bethesda/Chevy Chase up through the exurbs of Baltimore to the Pennsylvanian line. It should be a very hard battle with the prize of a fairly safe and liberal Democratic seat. May the best RPCV or RPCV spouse win.

  • Good luck to Josh, but it is not the United States Congress that is broken, it’s the Republican Party that is broken.

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