Jesse Mermell has spent her life taking on the toughest fights — both big and small — to serve Massachusetts and turn our progressive ideas into reality.
From the front lines as a local elected leader to the halls of the State House as a senior adviser to Governor Deval Patrick, Jesse is a public servant with a record of getting things done. She has advocated alongside the state’s progressive business leaders on behalf of policies to protect workers, and stood up for women’s health. She has rolled up her sleeves to tackle climate change at the local level, and made the case for increased and equitable investments in transportation. For more than 20 years, Jesse’s fights have been our fights – and she is ready to lead on them in Congress.
Jesse grew up the daughter of a nurse and stay-at-home Mom, and a Dad whose entrepreneurial spirit landed him at the helm of both the local radio station and the local hardware store. Jesse’s small town community, tight-knit family, and values-driven upbringing shaped who she is – but it was her grandmother who motivated Jesse to dedicate her life to fighting for what’s right.
Rhoda Mermell, a WWII nurse, showed Jesse the importance of giving back and caring about others. Rhoda believed in the power of women’s leadership, and was committed to empowering her granddaughter from an early age. She asked a family friend, who was the Mayor of a small New York community, to arrange for Jesse to spend a day as a shadow to have a chance to see what leadership looks like when there is a woman in charge.
Jesse never forgot that day and the impression made when women lead – and the powerful example of her Grandma’s values.
As a student at Boston College, Jesse put her upbringing into action. She became a regular volunteer around town. She ran for Brookline Town Meeting, joined the Trustees of the Brookline Public Library, and co-chaired Brookline PAX, a local progressive activist organization.
To serve her community, Jesse became the youngest person elected to the Brookline Select Board. As a Select Board Member, Jesse fought to make a difference in people’s everyday lives, from potholes and trash pick-up to leading the charge on climate change by banning plastic bags and styrofoam, updating the Town’s climate action plan, and establishing Climate Week to encourage learning and engagement in Brookline around climate change. Jesse later became Governor Deval Patrick’s Communications Director where she helped the Governor make good on his progressive platform for Massachusetts and, with his support, spearheaded the Governor’s Strong Women Strong Families initiative.
To help those too often pushed aside, Jesse served as Executive Director of FairTest, a non-profit dedicated to ending the flaws and misuses of high-stakes standardized testing in public schools and for college admissions. Jesse also worked as state Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, where she helped ensure that visually impaired seniors could stay safe and independent at home.
In the fight for workers’ rights, increasing the minimum wage, equal pay, earned sick time, equitable investments in transportation, and paid family and medical leave, Jesse served as President for the Alliance for Business Leadership. As President, Jesse worked with progressive business leaders across Massachusetts, promoting the belief that social responsibility and the sustainable growth of the Massachusetts economy go hand in hand.
To fight for women’s rights and our progressive values, Jesse served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus and the Vice President for External Affairs at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts where she fought for comprehensive sex education in public schools and for the inclusion of birth control and other reproductive health care as covered preventative care under the Affordable Care Act.
Jesse knows firsthand the good that can come when we work together and put our progressive ideas into action. She’s running for Congress to use her experience to fight Donald Trump’s dangerous agenda and to fight for the future that everyone in Massachusetts’ Fourth Congressional District deserves.
Jesse is running for Congress to live, represent, and act on the values that her Grandma instilled in her decades ago: to give back to the community, to care about our neighbors, and to fight for others.