Jennifer O'Mara
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Jennifer O'Mara




What is one life experience you have that voters should know about?

When I was 13, I lost my father to gun suicide and it has been my most formative life experience thus far. It has also motivated me to run for office and informed my work as a policy maker. I have been focused on passing legislation that supports mental health access including for first responders and legislation to pass commonsense gun reforms including Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I think the thing that sets me apart from other candidates is my accessibility as a legislator, and my willingness to bridge the divide to find common ground. I don't believe that compromise is a dirty word; in fact, I believe that compromise is critical to our success in government. I also work very hard to be accessible for all my constituents, and to meet them where they are. I do that by focusing on frequent community outreach in my legislative office, attending and hosting community events throughout the year districtwide, and being present on email and on my social media accounts.

How do you plan to work across ideological lines to achieve shared goals?

I do that now by working with members on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation and to advocate for specific policies. My approach is to get to know my colleagues on a personal level, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, so we can find commonalities and learn empathy for one another. I then work to find public policies that allow us to advocate together, recognizing that we may disagree on other issues but we can work together on the ones where we agree. I have done this on topics ranging from supporting veterans and first responders to creating environmental efficiency standards for commercial appliances and advocating for mental health. I also currently Co-Chair the Bipartisan Mental Health Caucus alongside three others members of the House, one Democrat and two Republicans.

What would be your top three policy priorities in office?

As we head into 2024, 2025, I would continue to prioritize funding for public education, protecting our rights, and funding mass transit. In light of the recent court decision regarding public education in the state, I remain committed to ensuring we equitably fund our public schools across the state. We also must address the shortage of teachers, and I'm proud of legislation we recently passed to create a student teacher stipend to help. At a time when so many of our rights—as women, as workers & as voters—are under attack, I've continued to do my part to fight against attempts to rollback those rights and to expand them. I've worked to ensure that everyone in our state, of any gender, would earn equal pay for equal work; that workers have access to affordable health care, bargaining rights, and paid family and medical leave; and to establish early voting in PA. Lastly, the time is now to provide a significant increase of state funding to our mass transit systems. Mass transit is critical across every part of the commonwealth, and we must properly fund it if we want to see our communities continue to grow and expand.

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