Jerry Dickinson joined a small group of politicians in Pittsburgh’s Northside to promote election reform. While the topic has been on the forefront with the last presidential election, Dickinson chimes in. “Expand vote by mail, make elections a federal holiday, and put an end to gerrymandering.” Pretty straight forward.

The family friend event was held in front of the old Heinz factory. Much like Heinz Ketchup, Dickinson hopes everyone knows where their candidates comes from. He has entered the race as a Democrat seeking the seat of PA’s 18th Congressional District.

Jerry Dickinson talks about voting rights, unions, and overcoming democratic struggles in Pittsburgh. Foo Conner | Jekko.

Major news outlets have mislabeled Jerry Dickinson a far fetched candidacy. He is not.
When did a constitutional law professor become an unlikely candidate? Dickinson lectures at the University of Pittsburgh. He’s been an advocate on many issues for years. He made sure the event would be family friendly, because he has one of his own.

Others sought election reform too. Jerry Dickinson was joined by Bethany Hallam (Allegheny County Councilwoman, At-Large), Emily Kinkead (Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 20th District), Bethani Cameron (Former Candidate and Advocate), as well as musical guest Colin Hill (Colin and the Crows).

Jerry Dickinson and Foo Conner sit down and discuss Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District seat race.

As the kids played with pumpkins, Jerry Dickinson and I spoke on housing rights. The neighborhood around us has gone from dilapidation to restoration. Area houses once bought on fire sale are now hot AirBNB properties. The rising price of housing has dislocated many originally from the community, some who felt they didn’t have a voice in the change. Much like voting maps, he has plans to maintain equality in gentrifying communities.

In our exchange, it was clear Dickinson was well read on the news. He’s a professor after all. What was shocking was the boots on the ground experience he brought to the table.

Jerry Dickinson unsuccessfully challenged Congressman Mike Doyle in the last election. With Doyle’s announcement not to seek reelection, Dickinson has an upper hand on other would be candidates because he’s been door knocking already. It is his hope, that he brings that experience with him to Congress.

Editorial clarification: Those who joined him were also campaigning for election reform; their presence did not indicate an endorsement of his campaign.

Foo is the founder of Jekko. Unlike other publishers, Foo attends thousands of events, interviews personalities from startups to Fortune 500s, and blows stuff up on YouTube.