Laurie MacDonald announces campaign for District 12 seat
Election 2024President and CEO of the Center for Victims

Laurie MacDonald announces campaign for District 12 seat

Another challenger, along with Bhavini Patel, for Rep. Summer Lee's seat

U.S. Capitol (Photo by Martin Falbisoner, CC BY-SA 3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)
U.S. Capitol (Photo by Martin Falbisoner, CC BY-SA 3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Another Democratic candidate has thrown her hat in the ring to challenge District 12 incumbent Rep. Summer Lee.

Laurie MacDonald, the president and CEO of Pittsburgh’s Center for Victims, announced her candidacy on Monday and kicked off her campaign Tuesday.

The field for the Democratic primary also includes Bhavini Patel, an Edgewood Borough Council member. James Hayes is the only Republican to announce his candidacy.

District 12 includes Squirrel Hill, Upper St. Clair, Monroeville and White Oak, among other sections of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

MacDonald, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, was born and raised in the Mon Valley. She has served on several local and statewide boards, according to her campaign website, and has received many awards, including the NAACP Community Organizer Award, Mon Valley Woman of Achievement Award and UPMC Diversity & Respect Champion.

“I have always considered myself to be an advocate; the voice of those whose voices who are not being heard,” she says on her website. “As a first-generation American, I learned early on the blessing of being an American, how very different our American way of life is and the struggles faced by so many in other countries.

“My views are moderate,” she continues. “What I bring to the district is deeply rooted life experience, a strong understanding of all our unique communities and cultures. Our very differences are what weave us together to form a strong fabric of life in western Pennsylvania.”

She has served the Center for Victims on the Southside for more than 20 years. Her contributions to preserving the dignity and ensuring the safety of victims, according to her website, include co-authoring the Pennsylvania Senate bill to bring the “Expect Respect Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program” to Pennsylvania schools; developing a jail release notification app; and developing an electronic safety app for domestic violence victims. MacDonald’s website also touts her work following the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and states that she raised more than $2 million to provide support for the Jewish community in the aftermath of the massacre, and that Center for Victims was a first responder on the scene to “make sure that the services provided to the victims was broad, ongoing and culturally sensitive.” PJC

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