State House District 20: Emily Kinkead vs. Adam Ravenstahl | Election Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

State House District 20: Emily Kinkead vs. Adam Ravenstahl

click to enlarge State House District 20: Emily Kinkead vs. Adam Ravenstahl
CP Illustration: Abbie Adams
Pennsylvania’s 20th State House District includes Avalon, Bellevue, part of Ross Township, West View, and several Pittsburgh neighborhoods including Brighton Heights, Perry North, Summer Hill, Northview Heights, Spring Hill, Troy Hill, Strip District, Polish Hill, and Lower and Middle Lawrenceville. Adam Ravenstahl is the incumbent in this race.

Emily Kinkead

Bio - North Side native and criminal defense attorney. Graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and earned a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Volunteers with the Junior League of Pittsburgh and co-chairs a program that aims to end bias in the legal profession. Lives in Brighton Heights.

Labor Rights - Supports a $15 minimum wage. Wants to introduce legislation to counter the Janus Supreme Court decision, which labor unions say undermines their organizing efforts. Says attacks on unions is contributing to the country’s rising income inequality. Supports more severe punishments for employers that violate labor laws.

Immigration - Has worked as a criminal defense attorney, including defending immigrant clients seeking asylum in the U.S. Received the endorsement of labor union SEIU, which was opposed to Pa.’s new E-Verify law for the construction industry, saying it will disproportionately hurt immigrant workers.

Cracker Plants - Opposed to HB 1100, a bill to provide potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to petrochemical companies that move to Pa. Notes that Allegheny County already has some of the worst air and water quality in the nation, and decries the pollution that will be created by petrochemical facilities, like the Beaver County cracker plant.

Supporters - Allegheny County Councilors Bethany Hallam and Liv Bennett, Pittsburgh City Councilors Bobby Wilson and Erika Strassburger, SEIU PA Council, Planned Parenthood PA, Steel City Stonewall Democrats, Young Democrats of Allegheny County, UNITE PAC, Democracy for America, Conservation Voters of PA, Working Families Party, Sunrise Movement Pittsburgh, Gertrude Stein Political Club.

Adam Ravenstahl

Bio - First elected to the State House in 2010, Ravenstahl is a Democrat who lives in Ross Township. Graduated from Pittsburgh’s North Catholic High School, then received a degree in business management from Robert Morris University. Younger brother of former Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Labor Rights - Endorsed by a slew of prominent local labor unions. Says he “will always support the women and men of organized labor. Making sure they have equal rights and a seat at the table is critical.” Has sponsored bills to increase the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Immigration - Voted against a bill to punish municipalities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, to the approval of immigrant advocates. However, voted in favor of a law requiring construction firms to verify Social Security numbers of employees, which was opposed by labor groups and immigrant advocates.

Cracker Plants - Voted for HB 1100, a bill to provide large tax breaks to petrochemical companies. One petrochemical facility, the Beaver County cracker plant, has created thousands of temporary construction jobs and will provide 600 permanent jobs, but will also emit millions of tons of CO2 each year. Voted for a $1.6 billion state incentive package for the cracker plant in 2012.

Supporters - Endorsed by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, Allegheny County Democratic Committee, Pittsburgh Fire Fighters 1, Allegheny County Labor Council, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, Fraternal Order of Police 1, Planned Parenthood PA, Plumbers Local 27, Steamfitters Local 449, Teamsters Local 249.