Summer Lee Reflects on 100 Days in Congress Spent Criss-Crossing Communities, Delivering for Western PA, Fighting for Workers and Families 


Thursday, April 19, 2023

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Summer Lee Reflects on 100 Days in Congress Spent Criss-Crossing Communities, Delivering for Western PA, Fighting for Workers and Families 

(Washington, DC) –  Congresswoman Summer Lee reflected on her first 100 Days in office serving the people of Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district as the first Black woman to represent Pennsylvania in Congress and a fighter for a better future for all. 

Congresswoman Lee said, “The people of Western Pennsylvania deserve a future where all of us can thrive and none of us have to struggle to survive. That future depends on elected leaders who’ve lived the same struggles as the communities we serve and who are prepared to take bold action to stand up to greedy corporations, billionaires, and bought-out politicians in Washington that put profits over the lives of working families. Over my first 100 days in office, I’ve worked hard to criss-cross every corner of our community listening, learning, and sharing my commitment to fight for bold federal action necessary to make life better for us all. I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far–from helping 400 constituents with casework and opening a constituent service center in East Liberty to fighting alongside striking workers and labor leaders across our community and helping deliver millions in federal funding to reconnect our neighborhoods, fuel clean energy innovation and good paying, union jobs, clean up our air and drinking water, and guarantee freedom and dignity for all.

Lee has helped hundreds of Constituents with casework and resources:

  • In the just-under-one-hundred days since Lee has been in office, she has served over 400 constituents with issues ranging from helping our seniors and disabled community access Medicare and social security to helping folks secure housing and helping families with immigration support and passports.
  • So far, our office have solved 269 of those cases and are committed to continuing the fight for families all across Western PA

Fighting for Bold Legislative Action: 

  • Lee joined the House Oversight and Accountability, where she was appointed as Vice Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health Care and Banking where she’s working to unrig the system to work for working people. 
  • Lee joined the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, where she sits on the Subcommittee on Energy and is focused on delivering funding to fuel clean energy innovation in Western PA and making sure Black, brown and marginalized communities are represented in STEM 
  • Lee joined the Congressional Black Caucus, where she was appointed Co-Chair of the Race and Justice task-force and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where she sits on executive board leadership. She also helped launch the Equal Rights Amendment Caucus where she sits as Vice Chair, the Equality Caucus and the Labor Caucus. 
  • Lee co-led the introduction of the Justice for All Act and was an original cosponsor of the Pro Act, the Women’s Health Protection Act, the Assault Weapons Ban, the Derail Act, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention Act, the Supreme Court Ethics Act, the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act and many more. Later this week, she’ll co-lead the introduction of another bill to ensure public health while creating good paying, union jobs.
  • Lee held press conferences on Federal Funding for Accountability for Norfolk Southern, Clean Air in Western PA, Fair Wages and Safe Staffing for Hospital Workers, and the launch of the Equal Rights Amendment Caucus in DC. She hosted US Secretary of Health, Xavier Becerra for a roundtable on lowering Health Care Costs for Seniors and EX-IM Bank, Chairwoman Reta Jo Lewis on Manufacturing more in America. Lee convened a special order hour where she led her colleagues in speaking on the House floor on the Extremist Right Wing Judiciary’s attacks on our freedoms and the Student Loan Crisis–and she delivered powerful remarks after students, parents, and teachers across PA were traumatized by a series of mass shooting hoaxes, evacuations, and lockdowns.  
  • In the coming months, Lee will continue her work holding greedy corporations accountable for putting profits over people by taking legislative action to hold hospital and rail monopolies accountable, ensure clean air, water, nutritious food and affordable housing for all, end gun violence, and help Western Pennsylvania become a leader in clean energy manufacturing, empowering workers and protecting public health for all.  

As part of the 2024 Appropriations package, Lee is working to secure Federal Funding for the following Community Projects (formerly known as earmarks) that will make a real difference for folks here in Allegheny and WestMoreland counties:

  • $2 million to create a community center and park in Homewood to support youth and anti-violence initiatives, job training, and coaching. 
  • $1 million to fight hunger by investing in eight mobile food banks to help the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank recover fresh food from regional farms and retailers and distribute more than 33 million pounds of food annually to 400,000 individuals in need of food assistance. 
  • $3,451,258 to the Tree of Life Congregation to create a community gathering and education space to teach about antisemitism and identity based in the new Tree of Life building. 
  • $2 million to the YMCA of greater Pittsburgh to renovate the community center and expand services to address the needs of the surrounding community including childcare, before and after school programs, senior supports, and community health and welcome available regardless of income. 
  • $450,000 to the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh’s social enterprise to provide individuals facing barriers to employment with temporary paid work experience and support if they are not yet ready to enter the workforce at the end of the Trade institute’s 11-week masonry program. 
  • $461,197 to prevent homelessness in low income communities by expanding and renovating the Jubilee Association’s facility to provide services preventing homelessness and offering high quality affordable childcare for low income families.
  • $2 million to help the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, District 11 ensure safety and reliability on the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge, which connects several low income and environmental justice communities on either side of the Monongahela river. 
  • $5 million to PENNDOT to rehabilitate the entire length of S.R. 2046 to combat deteriorating, poor pavement quality that is an increasing risk of landslide on the road connecting commercial, industrial, and residential properties. 
  • $1 million for Westmoreland County to expedite the replacement of the roadway bridge that runs over the Norfolk Southern Railway, reconnecting the town with the main road that has been divided by the railroad for just over 100 years and closed traffic since 2014. 
  • $1,700,000 to recover plots of abandoned, blighted, and demolition land in the McKeesport Area School District and transform them into sustainable and permanently affordable home ownership opportunities–creating permanently affordable home ownership opportunities, helping stabilize property values, and help spur neighborhood revitalization. 
  • $3,000,000 to the Urban Redevelopment Authority for ground floor or street level commercial developments in mixed-use low income housing tax-credits-financed projects across the City of Pittsburgh, creating both affordable commercial space as well as living spaces to address housing affordability, support entrepreneurship and small businesses, and attract and retain business. 
  • $1,300,000 to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh to repurpose the vacant and former Larimer school building to build a full service community kitchen, event space, and small business food incubator to support commercial development of the neighborhood. 
  • $1,652,920 to the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority to renovate the grounds to ensure the local elementary school has a standard play area for young students to enjoy recess, which they currently do not have. This project will also provide maintenance to the teacher parking lot and the stormwater storage unit to reduce combined sewer overflows to the Monongahela River and achieve regulatory compliance.
  • $547,212 to Healing Partnership at the Centers Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh to respond to and address the ongoing trauma from the 2018 Synagogue Mass Shooting in the lead-up to and in the aftermath of the trial. The goal of this project is to deepen the effectiveness of community-based work initiated by the initial investment from the federal government after the attack, focused on victim support, healing, and increasing the capacity of community partners to navigate trauma and resiliency following this horrific mass casualty event and the ongoing threat of antisemitism, white supremacy, and gun violence 
  • $966,000 to support criminal justice diversion programs by the City of Pittsburgh (also known as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion or LEAD within the Office of Community Health and Safety) in providing people with substance use disorder and mental and behavioral health challenges with person-centered social services and intense case-management. This is a win for all stakeholders–by relieving police of a role they feel unsuited for and permit them to focus on violent crime, preventing unnecessary and harmful criminal-legal system engagement and instead promoting and supporting individual agency, particularly in communities of color, and finally by reducing the burden on taxpayers.

Lee has criss-crossed every corner of our community holding over 200 public events, community roundtables, and constituent meetings in nearly every neighborhood.

  • Lee has held and attended over 200 meetings and events with district stakeholders, from companies and nonprofits, to community organizations, municipal leaders, trade organizations and schools and universities. 
  • Lee hosted Export-Import Bank of the United States Chair Reta Jo Lewis and her team to discuss pathways to increasing international trade for local minority and women-owned businesses and manufacturers, and were able to connect her team with dozens of local companies.
  • Toured the site of the Tree of Life shooting and met with local Jewish leaders and family members of the victims to discuss ways to stop anti-semitic hate crimes and to build an anti-hate museum and resource center on the location of the shooting.
  • Toured the EOS Energy manufacturing site in Turtle Creek and learned about their innovative green battery technology, and have been working to connect this industry with state and federal resources to bring more jobs and supply chain businesses to the Mon Valley 
  • Toured Astrobotic on Pittsburgh’s Northside and inspected what will be the first lander on the moon since the Apollo project, a lander built and designed entirely in Pittsburgh! Led conversations with Astrobotic and the Keystone Space Collaborative on creating the economic groundwork for a thriving space economy based on Pittsburgh’s Northside.
  • Met with dozens of Mon Valley municipal leaders to discuss their needs at their annual Rivers of Steel Council of Governments meeting
  • Toured and inspected the fire damage from the accidental fire at Elizabeth Forward High School, and discussed ways to bring federal resources to the school district with the superintendent and school board members.
  • Toured Cafe Momentum where they transform young lives by equipping Pittsburgh’s justice-involved youth with life skills, education & employment to help kids succeed & thrive in real life.
  • Held a press conference to release the American Economic Liberties Project report on the harms of UPMC’s monopoly power that shows that UPMC’s anti-competitive behavior is contributing to the ongoing workforce crisis in Pittsburgh hospitals by limiting where hospital workers can work, how much they can make, and how they can advance their careers.
  • Stood in solidarity with organized labor and the Allegheny Fayette Labor Council over violence against a striking worker from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette
  • Spoke out against the dangers of “bomb trains” from railroad businesses like Norfolk Southern with advocates and environmental leaders at a press event at the Kingsley Association, just steps from rail lines that carry toxic chemicals through Pittsburgh’s East end
  • Announced $1.4m in federal funding side by side with Sen. Bob Casey to help reunite the Manchester neighborhood with Chateau on Pittsburgh’s Northside, and find a way to bypass the wall of Route 65,
  • Along with Governor Josh Shapiro, spoke in support of the $150m Rales Fellows Program at Carnegie Mellon University, which will broaden access to STEM graduate education through fully-funded fellowships and generous stipends, wraparound support and professional development resources for underrepresented students.  
  • Held an open house for the 12th Congressional District’s flagship office and constituent service center in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where Summer hosted and met with 60+ constituents and community leaders who were in attendance.

Lee has already partnered at federal, state, city, and county levels to help deliver millions in grants and other federal funding:

  • $4,000,000.00 to Carnegie Mellon University for the University Transportation Center – Safety21 from the DOT OST – Research and Technology to advance transportation expertise and technology in the varied disciplines that comprise the the field of transportation through education, research, and technology transfer activities; provide for a critical multimodal transportation knowledge base outside the US DOT; and address critical workforce needs and educate the next generation of transportation leaders with respect to the statutory research priorities. 
  • $1,432,000.00 to the City of Pittsburgh for the Manchester Reunited: Reconnecting Manchester to the River and the Region Project from the FY22 Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) Fund to support an initial feasibility study and alternatives analysis on ways to functionally reunite Manchester and Chateau, while ensuring the safety and connectivity of all PA-65 corridor users. 
  • $587,841.00 to Carnegie Mellon University for CAREER: Rebuilding the Virtual Memory Across Hardware and Operating Systems from the National Science Foundation 
  • $887,000.00 to the Allegheny County Airport Authority from the Federal Aviation Administration to perform crack repair and joint filling to 6,750 feet of the existing Taxiway A surface to extend the pavement’s useful life.
  • $720,000.00 to the Allegheny County Airport Authority from the Federal Aviation Administration to performs crack repair and joint filling to 6,750 feet of the existing Taxiway A surface to extend the pavement’s useful life.
  • $4,337,968.00 to Bridgeway Capital, Inc. from the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program
  • $500,000.00 to Invest PGH Inc. from the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program
  • $661,023.00 to the Landmarks Community Capital Corporation from the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program
  • $1,423,514.00 to Neighborhood Community Development Fund from the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program

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