Jessica Sutherland
for State Representative

of the new
Ohio House District 17

Jessica Sutherland is running to represent Broadview Heights, North Royalton, Strongsville, Berea, Olmsted Falls, and a portion of Olmsted Township in the Ohio House. District 17 is the last red seat in Cuyahoga County, and we're determined to flip it BLUE in 2024!

An undemocratic supermajority currently controls both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly and shapes the lives of every Ohioan. We can't take this seat without your help. Please consider a recurring monthly donation!

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Jessica's Story

Jessica was born and raised in and around the towns that comprise District 17—Strongsville and Berea, mostly—before graduating from Berea High School. In 2006, Jessica earned her BA in Mass Communication with a minor in Marketing from Cleveland State University, where she was also a student athlete and academic scholarship recipient. She attended the University of Southern California for grad school, earning her MFA in 2010, and later studied at UCLA.

During and after her education, Jessica worked in the entertainment industry, until she was unexpectedly pulled into poverty alleviation, higher education access, and basic needs advocacy. It’s a long and amazing story that starts with a hashtag and includes Jessica struggling to hold a giant check on Ellen DeGeneres’ couch. (It’s harder than it looks!)

Over a decade later, Jessica has merged her passions, creative talents, and media savvy into a career in progressive media and activist organizing spaces.

A spinal injury and subsequent surgery—combined with the southern California housing crisis and a global pandemic that changed her family forever—led Jessica back to Berea in 2020. She became a first-time homeowner at 41 (and a second-time homeowner at 42).

Since returning to Ohio, Jessica’s local activism looks like helping her neighbors show their support for issues and candidates as Berea’s unofficial “Yard Sign Lady,” serving her school district’s JEDI efforts as a community leader, serving as her local Democratic club’s vice president, and being welcomed to the leadership team of a local grassroots progressive group committed to change.

But that’s just where she is today. Where Jessica started and how she got here is just as important.

After losing one parent at a very young age, Jessica’s already-hard life got much harder. After enduring years of poverty, hunger, and homelessness, Jessica entered foster care at 17. Jessica is a survivor and a fighter who knows exactly how hard it is to change the circumstances you were born into. She also knows exactly what policies made escaping poverty easier—and what policies could have. Those lived experiences inform everything she does.

As an adult, Jessica has repeatedly chased opportunities to make life better for someone, somehow. Whether it’s helping homeless teens get into and graduate from college, her fierce determination to provide affordable housing as an ethical landlord, or a relentless dedication and loyalty to her family, friends, and community, Jessica has always managed to find chances to be a helper. By tapping into her wide variety of experiences on both sides of the poverty line, Jessica will be a champion in Columbus for the low-income, the middle class, and everyone in between.

Jessica's Platform

Endorsed By

Cuyahoga County Democratic Party
Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus
Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus
Cleveland Stonewall Democrats
Berea Federation of Teachers
Sean Patrick Brennan, State Representative
Bride Rose Sweeney, State Representative
Mary Brown, City Council Ward 2, City of Berea
Megan Coy, City Council at Large, City of Olmsted Falls

About the New Ohio House District 17

The new District 17 spans Berea, Broadview Heights, North Royalton, Olmsted Falls, Strongsville, and a tiny portion of Olmsted Township. Click here to confirm your district—just be sure to choose "2025 Districts!"

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