Rep. Jake Wheatley Jr., D-Allegheny, a recognized United States Marine combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm who received the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal and the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, is a proud resident of the City of Pittsburgh. Rep. Wheatley holds a bachelor's degree in political science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where he graduated with honors. He went on to receive a master's of public administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
He was first elected in 2002 to represent the 19th Legislative District, which includes historic Pittsburgh neighborhoods such as: the Hill District, North Side, South Side, Allentown, Hazelwood, Downtown, the Bluff, Knoxville, Beltzhoover, Manchester, Arlington, Arlington Heights, and West, South and North Oakland, among others.
As a first-term legislator, Rep. Wheatley was identified by a nonpartisan highly recognized political website as one of six rising political stars to watch. In 2005, he was identified by PoliticsPA.com as one of the 100 most influential politicians in the state. Most recently he was identified by a national political magazine as one of three Pennsylvania state representatives to watch as a political star. Rep. Wheatley was the second member ever to be selected to serve on the powerful Appropriations Committee as a first-term legislator.
From his very first day of service, Rep. Wheatley has championed the cause of access and inclusion for all of Pennsylvanians. He has been a stalwart in the Democratic Caucus and in Harrisburg pushing for economic development, mass transit, and true education funding and academic advancements for all children as well as providing leadership on covering every Pennsylvanian with quality, affordable and error-free health care.
Rep. Wheatley is a member of community boards and agencies too numerous to list. To name but a few, he is currently serving on the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh and the boards of Hill House Association, NEED, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Youth Places, Pittsburgh's Stadium Authority Board, Southwestern Pennsylvania Planning Commission (SPC), Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Board, Three Rivers Arts Festival Board and Pittsburgh Community Services, Inc., and he is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Rep. Wheatley relishes his role as a public servant and is committed to being a vehicle for citizens of the 19th Legislative District and throughout the Commonwealth for positive change in the quality of their communities and their lives. He has always believed that he works for those who have sent him to Harrisburg and has used the late Speaker K. Leroy Irvis' statement 'Through us, they speak' as a guiding principle in his daily work. For this same reason, Rep. Wheatley calls his office the People's Office as a daily reminder of this principle to himself, his staff and the people he is honored to serve.