Sarah Inamarata announces bid for county executive, calls for greater focus on inequality | News | Pittsburgh

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CP Photo: Jordana Rosenfeld

Rep. Sarah Innomarato announces her candidacy for Allegheny County Supervisor at Sprezzatura in Millvale on Thursday, December 15, 2022.

State Representative Sarah Inamarata has launched her campaign for Allegheny County Supervisor with the support of influential local leaders.

Speaking this morning at Sprezzatura in Millvale, Innamorato (D-Lawrenceville) said he promised to usher in a new era of county leadership. Current Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is term-limited and will step down from the position he’s held since 2011 at the end of next year.

“This is such a critical time in Allegheny County,” Innomarato said. “We don’t need any more caretakers of an economy devastated by the loss of manufacturing.”

In her opening remarks, Innamorato addressed what she sees as the main challenges facing the county, such as the lack of affordable housing and the need to increase investment in community resources and strengthen social protections.

“I know that together, and only together, we can deal with the reality that for too long, daily life has been too expensive and too difficult for many in this county,” Inamarata said. “But we have the power to change that. I know that together we will provide housing to help our neighbors stay in their homes, make property taxes affordable and fair, and protect renters from skyrocketing costs. We’re going to hold polluters accountable and build a green economy here that’s good for our environment and the long-term growth of our region, as well as providing good-paying union jobs.”

Innamorato also spoke about her vision for a regional criminal justice system that prioritizes healing and rehabilitation, mentioning the need for new leadership at the Allegheny County Jail.

“We will work with our leaders across the country to find solutions that we know reach the root causes of violent crime. We will build on mental health support, youth programs and investments in strong communities that keep everyone safe. We will reform the Allegheny County Jail and invest real money in trauma-informed care and rehabilitation.”

A local progressive leader, Inamarata represented District 21 in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives after defeating incumbent Dom Costa in 2018. She was re-elected to this seat last month.

Sharpsburg Mayor Brittany Reno, Casa San Jose Executive Director Monica Ruiz, UPMC Registered Nurse Jodi Foltin, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey and Congresswoman-elect Summer Lee introduced Inamarato and endorsed her candidacy in statements that emphasized the need for a collaborative response to regional challenges and a greater focus on racial and economic inequality.

Monica Ruiz praised Innamorato’s commitment to constantly working to make Allegheny County livable for all residents.

“Sarah believes that a better world can and will exist, and she works very hard every day to see that happen,” Ruiz said. “She works with people on both sides of the aisle to advance policies that help the most vulnerable.”

Mayor Ed Gainey agreed, calling Innamorato “a leader with heart.”

“She fought for everything we believe in,” Gainey said. “She didn’t talk about it, she showed it. And that’s the main reason I’m happy to be here, because I know a lot of leaders, but it’s different when you have a leader with heart, when you have a leader who really leads because they believe in people.”

Lee touted the role of Innamorato in a recent run Program for repair of the whole house, which she called “the first legislation of its kind in this country,” as an example of Innamorato’s ability to provide economic relief to struggling Pennsylvanians. The program, enacted earlier this year, provides financing for home renovations to low- and moderate-income homeowners and small landlords who rent affordable housing.

Lee said she wants to see a different approach to county leadership and named Innamorato as the answer.

“We need someone at the executive level,” Lee continued. “Our mayor needs a partner in the district, someone who will work with us, not fight us. We need someone who will be committed to our climate crisis and not ignore it. We need someone who understands the timelines that black and brown people face and not sweep us under the rug … We need someone who understands that at the county level, we need justice right now.”

Inomarata also spoke about her upbringing, which she says plays a central role in her political priorities. She said she grew up in Ross, where the eventual discovery of an opioid use disorder and his subsequent death led to the loss of “a world of opportunity [her father] contained’ and ‘our home, savings and stability’.

Of her priorities for improving Allegheny County, Inamarata said, “It’s a long and visionary list, and there’s a lot of work to be done … and it’s not going to happen overnight. Progress takes time. But there are real and tangible things we can and must do today. It just takes vision and people power to do that. So let’s move beyond the big names, big money and big excuses that hold us back and face our problems head on.”

Innamorato joins a crowded panel that includes Pittsburgh City Comptroller Michael Lamb, DHS contractor Erin McClelland, County Council member Olivia Bennettand former county councilor Dave Fawcett.

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