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Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District

Summer Lee

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In 2022, Summer was elected to the US House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 12th District, becoming the first Black woman ever elected to Congress from Western Pennsylvania. Born and raised in the Mon Valley, Summer Lee is a dedicated organizer, attorney, and progressive state legislator. She worked as an organizer, joining the Fight for $15 to increase the minimum wage, and lead voter mobilization efforts for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. In 2017, after repeated incidents of violence from police and school administrators against local students, Summer spearheaded a successful write-in initiative that transformed the local school board. In 2018, at the urging of her neighbors, she threw her hat in the ring for State House — taking on a 20-year incumbent, doubling voter turnout, and winning with over 67%of the vote. She also made history, becoming the first Black woman from Western Pennsylvania ever elected to the legislature.

Throughout her time in office, she has been a voice for working families, and a champion for sustainable jobs, environmental justice, police accountability, reproductive rights, immigration rights, and gender and racial equity. She is a tireless advocate for workers’ rights, unions, the right to organize, and the fight for a liveable wage. She has also continued to lead efforts to build a more reflective democracy. In 2019, she co-founded UNITE, a member-driven grassroots organization dedicated to building progressive electoral power up and down the ballot. Since its founding, UNITE has transformed regional politics, helping to expand the electorate, welcome emerging Democratic voters at scale, and elect slates of progressives — judges, magistrates, county councilors, school board members, and more, including Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor, Ed Gainey.

 

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