District 21 News: State Rep. Innamorato
Hello Neighbors, For those of you I haven’t had the chance to meet, my name is Sara Innamorato, and I’m the State Representative for Pennsylvania’s 21st Legislative District.
This past December, Pennsylvania’s legislative district lines were redrawn. In that redistricting, parts of Spring Hill and East Allegheny joined the 21st district — for those of you who are new to my district, know that I couldn’t be more honored to represent you in the People’s House.
As we hit the ground running in Harrisburg this legislative session, I want to take this opportunity to keep you up to date on the issues I plan to address and remind you of some of the ways that my district office may be able to help you.
Legislation to keep an eye on
Pennsylvania Open Markets Act In Western Pennsylvania, we’ve seen how unchecked corporate consolidation causes devastating effects for countless people across our communities, with UPMC as a prime example in our region.
Through wage-suppression and anti- union policies, their monopolistic actions have endangered their staff and the patients they care for, and have furthermore made it difficult to go anywhere else in the region for care. While UPMC is one of the better-known examples of this kind of consolidation, there are countless businesses and nonprofits that get away with this behavior.
The Pennsylvania Open Markets Act would extend the Attorney General’s oversight, allowing them to more deeply investigate businesses that manipulate our labor markets, and would ultimately increase the possible penalties for any anti-trust violations found.
For too long, UPMC and other businesses that employ their same tactics have eliminated competition in broad sweeps, which will continue to hurt our communities until legislation like the Pennsylvania Open Markets Act takes the vital first steps toward systemic change.
Fair housing for all
As always, one of my biggest legislative priorities this year will be continuing the push for more varied, empathetic solutions to the housing crisis we currently face. As housing prices continue to rise, too many Pennsylvanians are being pushed out of the communities they’ve grown up in and helped to build.
While the problem can feel daunting, we have the power to stop it.
During past sessions, I’ve introduced legislation like the Whole Home Repair Act, which was passed as a part of the Pennsylvania state budget this past year. The Whole Home Repair Program will give eligible households grants of up to $50,000 for vital home repairs—these repairs will preserve our existing housing stock, helping renters and homeowners alike stay in the buildings and communities they call home.
It’s solutions like this that I plan to push for this coming session. Other housing- focused legislation I plan to introduce would:
l Give tenants the right of first refusal should their building be sold, allowing them the first opportunity to buy it at a fair market price.
l Protect tenants’ rights to organize and form tenant unions without fear of retaliation.
l Combat rising property taxes by allowing Pittsburgh the option of enacting a Longtime Owner Occupant Program (LOOP), which would help homeowners better manage property taxes in gentrifying neighborhoods.
Working for you
While I continue the fight in Harrisburg, my district office staff can assist you right here in Pittsburgh. Whether you’re new to the district or not, I want to remind all of my neighbors that my district office is here to serve you.
There are numerous state programs, benefits, and applications we can help you with. Below is a list of just a few of them:
l PennDOT services: Car registrations and disability placard applications
l Complaints about road conditions or infrastructure
l Unemployment compensation problems
l Property tax/rent rebate applications
l Issues related to utility companies
l Birth certificate applications and finding copies of your vital records
l Senior ConnectCard applications through Port Authority of Allegheny County This list sets a good example of what we can help with, but it isn’t exhaustive. If you have a problem that you need help solving but you aren’t sure who to ask, please give my office a call; even if we can’t directly help, we’ll do our best to put you into contact with someone who can.
Call: (412) 781-2750 Email: RepInnamorato@pahouse.us Or stop by my office: 5154 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201