2022 40 Under 40 Honoree: Jessica Semler
“Changing the world can feel impossible, but seeing that you can transform your backyard is invigorating.”
JESSICA SEMLER (35)
Councilwoman, Etna Borough
The consistent threads through Jessica Semler’s career path have been advocacy, storytelling and writing.
As an Etna councilwoman since 2020, as well as the constituent relations specialist and social-media manager for Democratic State Sen. Lindsey Williams in District 38, Semler says she wants to empower folks — especially those who have historically been left out — to share their stories, or even run for office.
Because of Semler’s work, Etna now has an LGBTQ-Inclusive non-discrimination ordinance.
“I am proud of that,” she says. A tenet of Semler’s work has been equity; she has spoken at multiple rallies since the reversal of Roe v. Wade and shared her personal abortion story in a local publication.
“It’s easy to feel hopeless and immobilized when so many aspects of our reality are overwhelming,” she says. “Changing the world can feel impossible, but seeing that you can transform your backyard is invigorating.”