Jessie Zimmerer is an advocate, strategist, and life-long public servant who has dedicated her career to fighting inequity and building safer, more just community institutions.
As the Campaign Manager at Community Catalyst, Jessie is responsible for leading the organization's federal health care campaigns to protect the Affordable Care Act, expand Medicaid, defend reproductive health options, and push back against threats to immigrant health care access. Jessie devises both long- and short-term campaign strategies for the organization—including legislative, field, and communications components—to advance health justice, increase organizing power, and strengthen civic engagement initiatives related to securing quality, affordable health care for everyone in the country.
Her passion for community advocacy began while she was a student at a small, rural university in a politically conservative corner of Eastern Oregon. There, Jessie worked with fellow students to create visible, fully operational spaces on campus for women and LGBTQ+ communities. After she graduated, she spent several years working as a Crisis Advocate at a local domestic violence and sexual assault survivor services agency—responding to emergency call outs and helping survivors access restraining orders, shelter, and state programs to help them safely re-establish their lives. In 2008, at age 23, Jessie ran for and was elected to the La Grande City Council in La Grande, Oregon, where she served for two years overseeing the city's budget and working on issues related to land conservation, juvenile justice, and civic engagement. Since then, she has amassed nearly a decade of experience working in state and local government and on various political campaigns.
Most notably, Jessie worked for three years as a Legislative Director in the Massachusetts State Senate and was instrumental in the successful effort to establish civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people through the passage of the 2016 public accommodations bill, or "Trans Bill." She also provided key advocacy and strategic planning for the passage of the 2017 criminal justice reform omnibus and authored three successful justice related amendments to the 2017 adult use marijuana law to help ensure equitable access to the industry for women and people of color.
Jessie earned her Master's degree in Public Policy and Women's/Gender Studies from the Heller School at Brandeis University. She has been an active volunteer with Big Sister Boston since 2018, is an Emerge Massachusetts alum, and previously served as a member of the Young Professionals Board for the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus.