That summer feeling Opinion | Pittsburgh

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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Ganey and Summer Lee on election night on May 17, 2022.

If anyone told me that in one year I could vote for the first black mayor of Pittsburgh, the first black congresswoman from Pennsylvania and the first non-Greek LGBTQ in the U.S. Senate, I would say, “Get out of Tan!”

(Actually, I would have used a more colorful language, but suffice it to say, I wouldn’t have believed you.)

Not in a state that oscillates between red and purple with a pair of blue corners – Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and sometimes Erie.

Not that the District Democratic Committee was so often hostile to elected women, which led to the launch in 2017 of the WTF Pittsburgh (Women for the Future of Pittsburgh) to get more women elected, by raising funds and supporting where it did democratic establishment. no.

Not in a city that, despite its “liberal” and “most livable” name, continues to lose its black population. And not in a city that is recognized as the worst place for a black woman or woman.

click to enlarge Fans greet Summer Lee at her party on election night Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

CP Photo: Jared Wickerham

Fans greet Summer Lee during her election night party on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

However, in May 2021, a majority of Pittsburgh voters voted for Ed Gaine, who later became the first African-American mayor of our city. Then, 364 days later, Summer Lee declared victory in her election to Congress from the Democratic Party. (The AP officially named her victory three days later.) This fall’s victory will make her the first black female congressman from Pennsylvania. In addition, about 135,000 people (10% of the electorate) voted for Malcolm Kenyatta, a black gay man from Philadelphia, in the U.S. Senate. One month from the Juneteenth and it feels like a moment to pause, celebrate and experience joy for all who believe we all deserve a place at the tables of power.

But the moment of joy is all the time we have. Because next to these victories and steps towards a fairer and truly representative government goes the anti-black racism that makes Pittsburgh Pittsburgh. And that makes Pennsylvania, a state that recently ranked among the best places in the United States to promote white supremacy, Pennsylvania. Not to mention our ranking of 31 out of 50 states on women’s political participation as well reported Institute for Women’s Policy Studies.

It seems like the best news is that the majority of voters are ready, willing and able to have our multicultural, multiracial reality represented in cities, counties, states and federal capitals. It is confusing that the democratic establishment does not seem to understand this.

This shutdown led to CM Lewis, editor of the Strikewave newsletter, tweets that the results of the May primaries caused “… a devastating night for the old guard of the democratic establishment in the PA.” To which I and many others say “#goals”.

No, this is not a dismantling of democracy. We really want to try democracy and a truly representative government, which will require a change of the establishment without touch, which does not listen to the voice of the people.

The bad news, or more about the same old, the same thing, is a continuous continuum of varying degrees of hostility toward women running for office in Keystone – from lack of approval to outright lies, including the very costly one that undermined the early years. Lee. two-digit numbers in polls.

Why would the Democratic Party undermine someone who represents their most consistent electoral bloc, black women? Are black women good only for running in elections and not as election winners?

Even more, wouldn’t Democrats want to send someone to Congress with such an amazing ground game and community support that she wouldn’t have to spend nearly $ 100 per vote?

One would think. But that did not happen.

According to Chris Hayes of MSNBC, the PAC money campaign, which Lee calls “not a true Democrat,” was an “almost comically insincere” attack. Too often, women running for office are hampered by predominantly white men who want to retain power rather than truly represent the people.

But it seems that after decades of appalling air and water quality, rising prices, stagnant wages, unfair work practices and an uncertain future, we want to see people like us – those who have made their own way through the forests of life with no stick to push prickly branches, watching people in whom someone else had groomed a gilded path.


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