LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Lancaster County is sending two Democrats to the State House of Representatives for the first time in decades: incumbent Mike Sturla and Izzy Smith-Wade-El, who is making history of his own.
Smith-Wade-El is the first black and LGBTQ person elected to the State House of Representatives in Lancaster County.
“It feels good. And I want to be careful about that. Because there is an adage in the African American community that we need to be twice as good,” Smith-Wade-El said.
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Smith-Wade-El has been a fixture in local politics. From city council and now to Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives; He will advocate for the 49th district.
“I got this deep dive look into how parts of our city were advancing and other parts of our city were not,” Smith-Wade-El added. “There are folks on both sides of the aisle that don’t even know this community exists, most of whom are black and brown. Most of whom are working class.”
Smith-Wade-El wants to change that.
“How could they try to serve it? How could they try to deliver what they need and listen to their voices? I want to make sure people know we are here,” he said.
Smith-Wade-El ran on a platform that protects abortion access and works to expand access to affordable housing.
“A safe neighborhood, a good education, a good job, these things start with being able to afford your home,” Smith-Wade-El said.
Smith-Wade-El says this moment is not lost on him.
“I don’t want to be a legislator that delivers things to them from on high. I want them to come to Harrisburg with me and fight for their community. Let’s fight together for what you deserve.”