Jessica will be the first openly LGBTQ woman elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature
Jessica Benham is running as a Democrat for state representative in PA House District 36. Jessica is the Director of Development for the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy (PCAA), a grassroots self-advocacy project run by Autistic people for Autistic people. After moving back home to Pittsburgh following college, she co-founded PCAA, which is the only LGBTQ Autistic-led advocacy organization in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Through her work at PCAA and elsewhere, Jessica has worked to ensure that individuals with disabilities are treated fairly in the legislative process. As a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, Jessica has been involved in the efforts to organize a union of graduate workers. Jessica knows firsthand the importance of organizing and the power that collective bargaining can have. In addition to her work and academic career, Jessica is also a deeply and actively engaged community member in District 36. She has been a member of the Zone 3 Public Safety Council since 2016, serving in a number of leadership roles over the past several years and attending community meetings throughout the Zone, which covers much of District 36.Jessica has B.A. degrees in Political Science and Communication Studies from Bethel University, an M.A. in Communication from Minnesota State University, and an M.A. in Bioethics from the University of Pittsburgh.