Jarah Doosé uses lobbying and government advocacy to positively affect the Black community

JARAH DOOSÉ (PHOTOS BY BRANDON PINNIX)

 by Maia Williams

For New Pittsburgh Courier

Jarah Doosé, government relations advisor at law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, is a servant leader advocating for those who’ve been historically oppressed.

Receiving her bachelor’s in political science at Carlow University in 2019 and Master of Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 2022, she’s the former community outreach coordinator for former United States Congressman Mike Doyle.

Today, as a government relations advisor, she functions as a state lobbyist who helps businesses access grant funding or influence legislation at the local, county and state level. Working across company sectors such as universities, developers, healthcare agencies, etc., deepens her understanding of their respective industries.

“I am the liaison between these companies and the government,” Doose told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview.

Within her role, Doosé selects clients that align with the issues she’s committed to making changes in. “Currently I’m working on legislation that will directly affect the Black community in Pennsylvania,” she said.

If things move forward with the legislation, she hopes that it proves lasting and impactful change in her community. As an African American woman from Braddock, Doosé strives to help minorities excel.

“I am from a very Black town with very Black issues, so I really love being able to help people that look like me,” Doose said.

Doosé, who was named a Pittsburgh Business Times “30 under 30” honoree in March, takes pride in connecting minority communities to their legislatures and introducing them to the outcomes of lobbying and government advocacy. “I love being able to connect people who may have never spoken to a legislature with their legislature and open their eyes to help them to see that change can happen and it’s probably not as difficult as we once thought.“

Currently, she is working on a project to get a fund instated for ethnic minority developers in Pennsylvania. “It will close the gap between state funding and their own funding to help fill the gap between start-up costs, loans, and financing to ensure Black and brown developers can be on an equal footing with their White counterparts,” Doosé said.

She’s also aiding her alma mater, Carlow University, in being a successful institution for its students. “It’s been wonderful to help the university I once called home.”

JARAH DOOSÉ

Randy Vulakovich, the senior principal of government affairs at Buchanan  Ingersoll & Rooney, the national firm which has a Pittsburgh office Downtown, said that “Jarah’s professionalism, passion and commitment to Buchanan, our clients and the region at-large is infectious. She’s an integral member of every team she’s on and her contributions in her young career are many. Jarah will continue to grow and thrive at Buchanan and we are excited to be along for the ride.”

Vulakovich said he is proud of Doosé’s accomplishments since joining Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and values her kindness and ability to view things from multiple perspectives.

The ability to witness the great impact of government advocacy up-close has motivated Doosé. “Lobbying is very useful and more people need to be aware that you don’t have to be a lobbyist to make lasting change in politics and in our government. It’s exciting for me to encourage people to speak out and to get more involved with politics and with their legislatures.”

Doose, 27, also enjoys encouraging people to connect with their local representative to gain more knowledge about what is happening in their states.

When Doosé started working at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, she was the only Black female lobbyist registered in Western Pa. “When I realized that, it was so striking to me,” she said. “Now it’s very important for me to show other Black women, younger or older, that we can do this while being respected and making change.”

Inspired by her mother, Tina Doosé , who served in elected office for Braddock as a member of Borough Council, Jarah Doosé’s passion grew during an internship at government relations group, Denny Civic Solutions, where she lobbied for issues such as breast milk regulation, maternal and child protection, and paid family leave. “It also helped me to understand that working in politics could create real change and help people on an intimate level,” Jarah Doosé said.

In August, Jarah Doosé  became a board director of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and is involved in their policy committee. “It’s very exciting to be in the conversations about how the Urban League is going to help Black and brown people in our county and in southwestern Pennsylvania. I’m super excited to have a very close look at what the future of Black Pittsburgh is going to look like.”

Doosé, the 2015 Woodland Hills High School graduate, says as long as she’s working towards giving people who’ve been oppressed a platform and a voice, she is accomplishing her lifelong goal. “If I’m working every day to continue to make policy that will help these kinds of individuals, and giving them the platform to speak and to be heard,” Doosé  told the Courier, “I am doing exactly what I want to do.”

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