Jerry currently mobilizes and represents working communities in the 18th District to improve housing conditions and create more homeownership opportunities in the region. He led the establishment of one of the region’s first community land trusts in a predominantly African American neighborhood. For years, Jerry has been using his knowledge of the law to help craft innovative solutions to the housing crisis.

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Even when Jerry practiced law at the prestigious law firm Reed Smith LLP, he founded and coordinated the firm’s Housing Rights Project, advocating on behalf of indigent tenants in Allegheny County in collaboration with Neighborhood Legal Services Association.



Before returning to Pittsburgh, Jerry engaged in international relations and cultural diplomacy as a Fulbright Scholar by advocating for better living conditions in the shantytowns and slums of Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Jerry is also a full-time law professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he shapes the legal minds of America’s future lawyers. He teaches constitutional law, property, and affordable housing. His scholarship in constitutional law and property has garnered him praise for his advocacy against the overreach of the Trump Administration.

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In fact, Jerry is one of the nation’s leading legal experts on President Trump’s executive actions. From the U.S.-Mexico border wall to President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, Jerry has been on the front lines holding the President accountable. His legal opinions have been published in The Washington Post, The Atlantic and The Hill. In 2017, Jerry was invited to submit expert testimony by the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Government Affairs and Homeland Security regarding the President’s border wall Executive Order. If elected to Congress, Jerry would immediately become a voice of reason and constitutional expert among members of the House in constraining President Trump.

"Congress has opposed the wall being built based off of its unwillingness to enact legislation or divert money to build a wall…” Wash. Post 2019

Trump’s threat of a “military version” of eminent domain “raises some questions about the constitutionality of doing that.” Wash. Post 2019

“We’ve been dealing with this for many years through congressional legislative processes. Trump is using this power as an alternative lever to achieve a policy goal he can’t reach through Congress.” Wash. Post 2019