Politics is one of Springarn’s lifetime passions. In 1908, as a Republican, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1912 and 1916, he was a delegate to the national convention of the Progressive Party. At the first of those conventions, he failed his attempts to add a statement condemning racial discrimination to the party platform.
An influential liberal Republican, he helped realize the concept of a unified black movement by joining the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People shortly after founding and was one of the firest Jewish leaders of that organization, serving as a chairman of its board from 1913 to 1919, its reasurer from 1919 to 1930, and second president from 1930 until his death in 1930.1https://books.google.com/books?id=NlsEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA269&lpg=PA269#v=onepage&q&f=false
Joel Springarn was also interested in gardening, and amassed the largest collection of clematis (250 species) and published the results of his research on the early history of landscape gardening and horticulture in Dutchess County, New York