Jessica King was endorsed by the Lancaster County Democratic Committee as their candidate to run in the new 11th U.S. House District at their endorsement convention this evening (February 27, 2018).
Jess King & Christina Hartman were nominated, but Christina Hartman withdrew her name from consideration in a heartfelt speech to the 120+ Democrats gathered in the Democratic Headquarter’s “Underground.”
Jess King is a working mom, small business champion, and a leader in local …economic development. She never planned on running for office. But after a career fighting for working families in Pennsylvania, she joined the race for the 16th District because too many of us are working hard for too little while a greedy few rig the game in Washington.
Jess was born and raised on the edge of farm fields in Leola, Pennsylvania. She attended Conestoga Valley School District, Lancaster Mennonite High School and Eastern Mennonite University. She later earned an MBA from Bard College. Like many Mennonites, her family made a commitment to unpaid voluntary service for the common good.
After graduating from college, she moved to Pittsburgh’s East End for a year of service and spent the next decade of her life fighting for affordable housing and community development. She fell in love with the work of organizing across differences to build an economy that works for all of us. She served as the founding Executive Director of the Union Project, an effort that restored an abandoned church into an arts and social enterprise incubator. The project became an essential component of community life in Pittsburgh’s East End – helping to knit together diverse neighborhoods and create greater access to jobs, creative expression, diverse relationships and new opportunity. Fifteen years later, the Union Project is still thriving in Pittsburgh.
In 2007, after Jess’ husband accepted a position as a Mennonite pastor, she moved home to Lancaster with her two-year old daughter and began working with Pennsylvanians hoping to start their own business. In 2010, she became Executive Director of ASSETS and built it into one of Lancaster’s most impactful organizations.