Emily Kinkead

Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, District 20

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Emily was born on Pittsburgh’s North Side, the child of Pittsburgh paramedics. Her father taught her about service and leadership – that the question is not whether we help but how. She has applied this lesson to every aspect of her life.

For over a decade, Emily has worked as an attorney to defend the rights of HIV+ individuals, low-income tenants, criminal defendants, and immigrants seeking asylum. Before she was an attorney, she lived and worked in a community for people with developmental disabilities, helping them with their daily living and advocating for them in the community. Emily lobbied Harrisburg and Washington in support of campaign finance and gerrymandering reform. She worked in the legislative policy office of the National Institute of Health, which promotes the need for continued funding of medical research to treat and cure diseases. She helped to plan and organize the first ever PowerShift conference, which mobilized the collective power of young people to demand responsive climate change policy.

Emily recently moved down the street from her great-grandmother’s old house and saw the utter neglect in the district. Potential was being squandered, food deserts abounded, and blight was rampant in some areas of the district while in other areas predatory development was forcing people out of their homes and the neighborhoods their families had lived in for generations.

The current state representative in District 20 is silent and inactive. He fails to champion the progressive policies that we need or fight against the draconian laws our Republican lawmakers propose. Emily believes that we can no longer accept that flipping seats from red to blue is enough. We must also actively elect good Democrats.

Emily knew that she had the skills and work ethic to fight for the progressive policies we need to move Pennsylvania forward – reproductive justice, LGBTQIA+ equality, responsive climate change policy, government reform, and more – but she also has the passion to fight for local issues – responsible development, investment in infrastructure, and expansion of mass transit.

Emily is running because she is tired of waiting for others to do the right thing and champion the district’s needs. It’s time to stop making excuses and start making changes.

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