Robin Costenbader-Jacobson has announced her candidacy to represent the 127th Legislative District. She will seek the Democratic nomination in the April 28 primary election.
The district, which includes Kenhorst and parts of Reading, has been represented for 44 years by Tom Caltagirone, who announced his retirement earlier this month.
Costenbader-Jacobson, who graduated from Reading High School and Albright College with degrees in psychology and political science, currently is serving her second term as president of the Reading School Board. A board member since 2014, Costenbader-Jacobson was a leader of the Better Schools team that formed when the state placed the district on a financial watch list, signaling the possibility of a state takeover.
Her goal, she said, is to bring people together to advocate for change.
“I’m a professional problem solver,” said Costenbader-Jacobson, who is a certified business and life coach and owns a consulting business. “And, I empower others to use the resources they have to solve problems. Once a problem has been identified, there’s always a way to solve it.”
Among her goals as a state lawmaker representing the 127th Legislative District are to procure additional funding for public education, and to promote workforce development by partnering with local technical institutions to establish innovative programs that create jobs for those with and without college degrees.
Costenbader-Jacobson also will work with community leaders to find solutions to homelessness that disproportionately affects single mothers, children and unaccompanied minors, and will address gun violence and the related issue of mental health problems.
“I see people affected by these issues every day,” Costenbader-Jacobson said. “We are a city with great opportunities, but also with great challenges. I can make a difference in this District because I know how to work with others to achieve positive change.”
The candidate, who is a recipient of the ATHENA Leadership Award, is the former chief executive officer of Junior Achievement of Greater Reading and Lehigh Valley. She is a lifelong Berks County resident, having lived in Reading for most of her life.
“I am heavily invested in this city and this community, and the people who live here,” Costenbader-Jacobson said. “I also have a proven track record for being able to get things done as a businesswoman, school board president and community advocate.”