La’Tasha D. Mayes made history this year as the first out lesbian elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the first woman elected to represent her district at the state level. After decades of advancing LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive justice, and quality of life for Black women and girls in Pittsburgh, Mayes will now represent the 24th Legislative District in Harrisburg, which includes East Liberty, Highland Park, and parts of Wilkinsburg and other East End communities.
Mayes told NEXTPittsburgh’s Tony Norman that she plans to make the most of the Pa. Democrats’ recent electoral victories. “With a House majority, I expect to lead the charge on sweeping legislation on a host of progressive issues from abortion access and healthcare, more broadly, to LGBTQ+ rights and environmental justice,” Mayes says.
She tells Pittsburgh City Paper that she carries with her the strength and legacy of other powerful Black women. “When I walk up the steps into the Capitol, a place that never thought anyone like me would serve as a state representative, I feel right at home and confident in the change I will bring as state representative. I also know that I enter this place with my mother, Shirley Chisholm [the first Black woman elected to U.S. Congress], and Alma Speed Fox [local human rights champion] with me always.
La'Tasha D. Mayes. latashadmayes.com