About City Councilor Jesse Lederman

City Councilor Jesse Lederman was born and raised in Springfield by a single mom and two older sisters in the McKnight Neighborhood. 

As a teenager, Jesse found a second family in Springfield's activists and community leaders, who inspired in him a lifelong commitment to community, public service, and helping others.


Jesse attended Mary O. Pottenger Elementary School and the Springfield Renaissance Middle/High School, and went on to attend the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science.

Jesse first became involved in civic life as a member of the McKnight Neighborhood Council, where he worked with residents to address quality of life issues in the community, bring more attention to the needs of neighborhoods, and worked to stop the construction of a demolition waste incinerator. 

Jesse also serves as the Chairman of the Springfield Democratic City Committee, as a member of the Democratic State Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of the Springfield Preservation Trust, and on the Leadership Board of Reading Success by 4th Grade, Springfield's early literacy initiative.

He is a member of the Honorary Deputy Sheriffs Association of Hampden County. Jesse formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Springfield Armory Alliance, and the Governing Board of the Springfield Renaissance School. 

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Councilor Lederman became the youngest individual elected in Springfield's recent history when he was elected to one of five At-Large seats on the Springfield City Council on November 7, 2017. He was re-elected to a second term in November of 2019.

For the 2021 Session Councilor Lederman was appointed Chairman of the newly created COVID-19 Response Committee. He was also appointed Chairman of the Committee on Health and Human Services, a position he previously held in 2018 and 2019. He has been Chairman of the first ever Committee on Sustainability and Environment since 2019, and serves as a member on the Maintenance and Development Committee. In past sessions, Councilor Lederman has served on the Public Safety Committee, the General Government Committee, and the Economic Development Committee. 

Jesse is employed as an advisor and recruiter for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he works with adult students looking to complete their degrees and is based at the UMass Center in Downtown Springfield. He is married to Emila (Ponikiewski) Lederman. The two met while they were students at UMass Amherst, where Emila earned her Bachelor's Degree in Economics. After restoring their first historic home in the city's Forest Park Neighborhood, the two purchased a home in the McKnight Neighborhood just a few streets from where Jesse grew up, where they live with their Basset Hound, Theodore.

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Councilor Lederman with his wife Emila and their dog Theodore.

Councilor Lederman with supporters after taking out nomination papers in 2017

Jesse speaks at his 2019 Campaign Kickoff event with Sheriff Nick Cocchi, Councilor Melvin Edwards, and his wife Emila at his side.

Councilor Lederman with supporters at his Campaign Kickoff in 2017