In 2004, Jen Longdon was paralyzed in a random drive-by shooting, changing the trajectory of her life overnight. Before the shooting, Jen was a successful businesswoman and provider to her family. After the shooting she struggled to stay afloat, losing her health insurance while lying in a hospital bed in a coma and confronting poverty head on. But in the face of such adversity, Jen triumphed.
For 14 years Jen has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and improve the lives of people with disabilities. As a Commissioner on the Phoenix Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues, Jen helped create an amendment to the City’s non-discrimination ordinance which added protections for people with disabilities. She’s testified before the Arizona State Legislature, lobbied Congressional officials in Washington,served on the Statewide Independent Living Council, and is a Public Impact Advisor for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
A recent former president of Arizonans for Gun Safety, Jen worked with the City of Phoenix to organize Arizona’s largest gun buyback program which removed over 2,000 firearms from our streets. In 2016, President Obama and Vice President Biden invited Jen to the White House to discuss gun safety measures. Jen’s story and her fight for sensible gun laws have been featured in Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Mother Jones, and other major national and international news outlets.
Jen serves on the Phoenix Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Council and chaired the Phoenix Police Department Cross-disability Citizens Advisory Board. She worked for the Maricopa County Elections Board as an elections board trainer, and is a Fellow of the Center for Progressive Leadership (2010) and Emerge Arizona’s candidate training programs (2012).
Jen resides in Phoenix’s FQ Story Historic Neighborhood with her two dogs, Porter and Kuma. Her son Matt attended Phoenix public schools and is a graduate of ASU.
As LD 24’s representative in the State House, Jen has fought back against extremist policies and fought for our community through investment in education, attracting quality jobs and promoting the health and safety of all Arizonans.