On smaller screens, you may have to scroll down to view Summer’s statements on these&nbspissues.
On any given day, our region suffers from some of the poorest air quality in the nation. CEOs get wealthy while our community--especially Black and brown communities--experiences higher rates of asthma, cancer and other diseases. Despite these increased health risks, Congress still won’t act with the urgency we need to establish protections against new developments that pose even greater environmental and health risks. As a state representative, I’ve always been vocal in my opposition to fracking and have emphasized the need for sustainable jobs. When there was a fracking proposal in the Mon Valley, we joined with the community to fight back and stopped it in its tracks. The people in our community have been fighting back against fossil fuel corporations’ fracking proposals for decades, and I am proud to continue to stand with them.

In Congress I will fight for a Green New Deal to transition to a 100% clean and renewable energy economy. This includes ending fracking, which poses a disproportionate threat to communities like ours. The Green New Deal centers frontline and marginalized communities facing the brunt of environmental racism - communities with poisoned water, high rates of asthma, etc - communities like ours.

I believe everyone deserves clean air and safe drinking water. That’s why I’m focused on fully funding the replacement of all lead water lines. It is unconscionable that anyone in America wouldn’t have access to clean water. We can and must guarantee clean water for all. We have the financial resources to make it happen.

Right now, our economy works for the wealthy few and corporations at the expense of the working poor. Corporate tax breaks, unregulated Wall Street and Big Tech companies, and defunded social services have only reinforced the deep systemic inequalities that we continue to face as a nation. Economic growth has left behind marginalized communities and it’s time we center working people in our economic policies.

That’s why I’ve continued to advocate for legislation that supports a livable wage and aims to close the unnecessary gap between skyrocketing corporate profits and working people’s poverty wages. There is no reason why the people in our community - or in any community - should be unable to afford a home on the wages they earn after working a full-time job.

I am also committed to using the power of the office to support my constituents’ right and ability to unionize because every worker deserves a union.

Our community’s history is the greatest proof you need for the benefits of being in a union and the disadvantages of being kept out of them. Now, we’re witnessing historically low rates of unionization nationwide. We know unions are one of our greatest tools to reduce inequality, raise wages, and support better benefits and job protections, so I’m ready to fight for a robust labor movement that reflects the racial, gender, and industry diversity that a 21st century labor movement demands. That’s why I support the PRO Act - because I believe that every worker deserves a union and it’s time for our laws to protect unions and strengthen workers’ rights to organize.

A critical component of the Green New Deal is its focus on a jobs guarantee, a guaranteed living wage, and strengthening the U.S. labor movement.Transitioning American society to 100% clean and renewable energy will create millions of good-paying union jobs. We have a moral obligation to make that transition to save our planet and ensure that all fossil fuel workers are fully equipped with the skills and training necessary to thrive in a green energy economy. No worker will be left behind.

Mass incarceration is the antithesis of building stronger families and communities in this district. The existing criminal and juvenile justice systems are among the biggest barriers to social justice and upward mobility and yet taxpayers foot the bill. America spends more on prisons than education. This spending comes at the expense of other social services that Pennsylvanians rely on, including Medicaid. It’s time for a shift from investing in ineffective, punitive systems to investing in our future.

I am committed to ending the school to-prison pipeline. Our schools should be safe spaces for all students to learn and grow. Our current model of referring children to armed law enforcement on campus and prosecuting them for schoolyard infractions feeds children into the prison industrial complex and limits their future prospects. Instead of defaulting to suspension, expulsion, and incarceration, we must implement more restorative and effective practices.

I am opposed to mandatory minimum sentencing laws. The strategy behind the “War on Drugs” is an unmitigated failure that has only torn families and communities apart. Mandatory minimums disproportionately affect Black and poor communities, and hinder efforts to combat the opioid crisis in our communities today. Our family members, friends, and neighbors who suffer from addiction don’t need harsh prison sentences; they need affordable and accessible medical care.

We must also eliminate cash bail. Our current system, which imprisons people based on their ability to pay, is a barbaric relic that punishes the poor for their poverty.

I continue to believe that healthcare is a fundamental human right. No one in this country should fear losing coverage because of preexisting conditions, their employment status, their immigration status, daring to start their own business, or aging off of their parent’s insurance. Our healthcare system is fundamentally broken. Medicare For All wouldn’t just save money, it would save lives.

Medicare for All would eliminate fees and expand coverage, which means no one has to live in fear of bankruptcy in the event of a medical emergency or even just seeking preventative care. No more copays, deductibles and premiums. It would include not just medical, but also vision, dental, reproductive, mental health, and long-term care coverage. In too many cities like ours, we see mental health care and addiction crises criminalized through mass incarceration instead of supported in our healthcare system--Medicare for All would ensure a federal investment in mental healthcare and addiction services at the scale our communities need. Medicare for All will also lower prescription drug prices by allowing the government to negotiate drug prices and allowing consumers to buy directly from cheaper markets, forcing Big Pharma back to the negotiating table.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only further exposed the inequities in our healthcare system. Black, brown, and indigineous adults are more likely to be uninsured than the national average. At the same time, Black people have higher maternal mortality, infant mortality, asthma rates among kids, and are more likely to die from cancer than anyone else. For marginalized communities, access to healthcare is a decision between life and death.

Every child deserves access to a first-rate, free public education - regardless of their zip code or socioeconomic background. Unfortunately, our funding mechanisms for public education are deeply inequitable, leaving behind working-class communities and communities of color.

Public colleges and universities and vocational programs should be tuition-free and all existing student loan debt should be canceled.

I’m fighting for equitable funding for our schools. That means a fair funding formula that guarantees that children will not be punished for growing up in the “wrong” zip code. I also support universal free pre-kindergarten, including early childcare, and dramatically expanding teacher-training programs with a focus on generating high-quality teachers with cultural competency among an increasingly diverse student population.

Our constitutional right to abortion care faces the greatest threat in its history, and Congress must do everything in its power to protect this fundamental right. We must not only safeguard the federal right to abortion, but also repeal laws like the Hyde amendment which puts care out of reach for marginalized and low-income communities. We need to actively pursue legislation that makes reproductive health care more accessible like the Women’s Health Protection Act and the EACH Act. Make no mistake, abortion bans and attempts to chip away our reproductive rights are attacks that fall hardest on the most marginalized Black and brown communities that already lack necessary access to care.

Right now the maternal mortality rate for Black women is four times higher than it is for white women. Members of the LGBTQ+ community - particularly trans women of color and non-binary people - also experience major disparities in sexual and reproductive health care and worse health outcomes overall. We need to address these inequities in healthcare access and outcomes to ensure that all people have access to safe, inclusive, and affordable health care, as is their human right.

The struggle for LGBTQ+ rights is among the defining civil rights issues of our time. Congress must pass the Equality Act to provide long overdue federal protections for LGBTQ+ people and their families. Right now there are no federal standards to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in health care, housing, employment, etc. Beyond these fundamental protections, we must focus on meaningful representation for the LGBTQ+ community in politics, ward off a right-wing Supreme Court that could poke holes in LGBTQ rights based on “religious liberty,” and address the many disparities that the LGBTQ+ community faces in affordable, inclusive health care.