Laurie MacDonald, president and CEO of Center for Victims (CV), has added her name to the growing list of candidates for the Democratic nomination for the 12th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Summer Lee.
A native of the Mon Valley and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon, MacDonald heads an organization that provides services to victims of all crimes including: domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, child sexual assault and physical abuse, elder abuse, homicide, burglary and incidents of mass violence. In addition, CV reaches 100,000 individuals through outreach and awareness activities across Allegheny County every year.
She has served on many local and statewide boards and has been the recipient of numerous awards including: NAACP Community Organizer Award, Mon Valley Woman of Achievement Award, UPMC Diversity & Respect Champion, Forbes Fund, Wishart Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management, and the Pittsburgh Business Times C-Suite Award as CEO for a Nonprofit Organization.
“I have always considered myself to be an advocate; the voice of those whose voices who are not being heard,” MacDonald said in a press release. “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. I am proud to be an American. My views are moderate. 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. We are a culture of respect and hard work.”
MacDonald has shown skill as a fund-raiser, bringing in more than $2 million dollars to provide immediate support for the Jewish community in the aftermath of the Tree of Life Massacre, as well as $6M to build their full-service victim service space on Carson Street.
“What we see now is a country deeply divided,” she said. “The vociferous rhetoric, divisiveness and polarizing politics that consume our country right now must stop. My experience has taught me to lead with empathy and compassion. I believe the best ideas arise when all voices are heard, respectfully.
“Good leadership requires the vision to see both sides, coalesce the ideas and bring people together. No one group’s ideology is more important than the other. Our most important asset, as a country, is unity. In unity there is strength and harmony. It is incumbent on all of us, especially our leaders, to move to the middle with liberty and justice for all.”
MacDonald will officially kick off her campaign on Tuesday afternoon. She joins a field on the Democratic side that includes the incumbent Lee, as well as Edgewood Borough Council member Bhavini Patel. Only one Republican has announced his candidacy – Dr. James Hayes.
The 12th Congressional District comprises sections of Allegheny County, including the cities of Clairton, Duquesne, McKeesport and Pittsburgh, the townships of of Elizabeth, Forward, North Versailles, South Park, South Versailles, Upper St. Clair and Wilkins and the boroughs of Baldwin, Bethel Park, Braddock, Brentwood, Bridgeville, Chalfant, Dravosburg, East McKeesport, East Pittsburgh, Elizabeth, Glassport, Homestead, Jefferson Hills, Liberty, Lincoln, Monroeville, Mount Oliver, Munhall, North Braddock, Pitcairn, Pleasant Hills, Plum, Port Vue, Rankin, Swissvale, Trafford, Turtle Creek, Versailles, Wall, West Elizabeth, West Homestead, West Mifflin, Whitaker, White Oak, Whitehall and Wilmerding.
PA-12 also includes parts of Westmoreland County, including the city of Jeannette, the townships of Hempfield, North Huntingdon, Penn, Sewickley and South Huntingdon, and the boroughs of Adamsburg, Arona, Export, Irwin, Madison, Manor, Murrysville, North Irwin, Penn, Sutersville and Trafford.