I’m the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a working-class town that was abandoned by industry and written off by politicians in Harrisburg and Washington, DC.
For the last 12 years, we’ve been building our community back from the verge of extinction. We’ve stabilized the population for the first time in decades. We’ve reduced crime, and had over a dozen businesses relocate into town. We have one of the best pre-K programs in the state, and opened an urgent care center to restore affordable healthcare to our citizens.
By every metric, things have improved, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in Braddock. But there are struggling towns like mine all across Pennsylvania, places that have gotten a raw deal.
For places like Braddock already ravaged by decades of deindustrialization, the opioid crisis has been like pouring gasoline on a raging fire. Meanwhile, the massive inequality gap is only getting worse, as some areas thrive while others are left with no realistic path to prosperity.
Health coverage for millions of Pennsylvanians is at risk, and women’s rights are under attack. Too many communities are being poisoned by polluters, and too many workers are stuck trying to raise a family on a $7.25 minimum wage.
As a small-town mayor, I can only help so many people. I want to be able to do more, not only for my community, but for my commonwealth. I’m running for Lieutenant Governor to be a champion for every community and person in this state, especially those that have been left out or left behind.
I will bring to Harrisburg an understanding of what life is actually like in places like Allentown, Johnstown, Erie, and other forgotten cities across Pennsylvania. These places matter. They deserve to be believed in, and they deserve to be helped. I believe that things can get better, and that if a community that’s lost as much as Braddock can start to turn things around, then any community can – whether it’s West Philly, or Monessen, or Bethlehem.
What we’ve done in Braddock is a roadmap for how we can begin to build a stronger Pennsylvania for all – so that every child born here has an equal shot, regardless of zip code.