City of Pittsburgh Council District 8
The Team

Erika Staaf Strassburger, Chief of Staff

Erika has worked in the office of Councilman Dan Gilman since January of 2014. Prior to joining the office as Chief of Staff, she spent nine years working with environmental advocacy organizations PennEnvironment and Environment New Hampshire.

Erika has led local, state, and federal campaigns on a variety of issues that impact the Pittsburgh region, including river restoration, air quality, shale gas extraction and voting rights. She has experience in non-profit program management, media and communication, grassroots engagement and coalition-building.

 She currently serves on the boards of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and the PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center.

Erika graduated from with honors from Bucknell University with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in International Relations. She and her husband live in Squirrel Hill.

Alicia Carberry, Legislative Assistant 


Alicia Carberry has spent the last few years working on improving quality-of-life issues in Pittsburgh from a community perspective at Oakland Planning and Development Corporation.

Previously, she has worked in marketing and for florists, in restaurants, grocery stores, and as a nanny. Alicia serves as treasurer for the Clean Pittsburgh Commission and secretary of the Pittsburgh Cares Board, as well as a clinic escort for Planned Parenthood of Western PA, DumpBuster for AlleghenyCleanways, and Middle School Mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters. She cares very much about the people and the vitality of Pittsburgh. 

Alicia holds an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from the Community College of Allegheny County and has lived in ten of Pittsburgh's ninety neighborhoods.  She lives in Arlington with her husband and two dogs, Grizz and Dotcom. 

Hersh Merenstein, Legislative Assistant 

Before joining Councilman Gilman's staff, Pittsburgh native Hersh Merenstein launched his career in Pittsburgh’s community development sector. In his position with NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania and the NeighborWorks Association of Pennsylvania , he wrote grant proposals, taught financial education workshops throughout Pittsburgh, managed the Sustainability and Veterans initiatives, and developed community partnerships.

Throughout college, he held various internships and positions with elected officials and strategic communications and issue management firms. He is a 2016 graduate of the New Leaders Council of Pittsburgh, a progressive leadership training institute for young, civic-minded professionals.

Hersh received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Relations and Public Policy with a focus in Urban Policy from Michigan State University’s James Madison College of Public Affairs. He resides in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.


District 8 Feedback Form | Contact Us


what's this?