Meet the Candidates: 2020 Primary Guide

Declared candidates for PA State House of Representatives (District 34), PA State Senate (District 43), and US House of Representatives (PA District 18) in any party have been invited to share their positions on issues that matter most to Swissvalians. This is a compilation of their introductions and answers to a series of questions we asked of them. Please Note: Responses included herein are copied exactly from what the candidates submitted and are not edited in any way.

A PDF version of this guide is also avalable.

Candidate Responses

Candidates for US Congress, PA District 18
including 📣 Jerry Dickinson, Mike Doyle, Kim Mack, and Luke Negron

Candidates for PA State Senate, PA District 43
including 📣 Bill Brittain and Jay Costa

Candidates for PA State House, PA District 34
including 📣 Summer Lee and Chris Roland

📣 Megaphones denote candidates endorsed by SCAC.


The Pennsylvania state primary is scheduled for June 2, 2020. To vote in the primary, voters must be registered by May 18, 2020.

New this year, all residents of PA may vote by mail without an excuse. To request a mail-in ballot, please visit Mail-in ballot applications will be accepted through Tuesday, May 26, 2020. To be counted, ballots must be received by 8:00pm on June 2.

Swissvale Community Action Committee strongly encourages residents to vote by mail during the Covid-19 crisis. Allegheny County polling locations have been drastically reduced for the primary election. Swissvale residents who intend to vote in-person may vote at the Woodland Hills Intermediate School at 7600 Evans St., and polling locations for elsewhere in Allegheny County can be found here.

You can find more information about SCAC's electoral work here.

About this Guide

The people-powered political campaigns and numerous news-worthy events in our communities and around the world have inspired many throughout Swissvale and our region to get involved in politics, many for the first time. The Swissvale Community Action Committee (SCAC), a group of impassioned residents of the Borough of Swissvale seeking to connect Swissvalians to create a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable community, recognizes that the regional elections that will take place in 2020 (June primary and November general) have the potential to shape Swissvale, and the region for years to come.

Because of the COVID-19 crisis and the safety of our communities, we will not hold any in person candidate forums or debates ahead of the primary scheduled for June 2.

In preparation for this candidate guide, we surveyed the community to solicit their questions and to ask them about how important the following topics are to them when considering the role of elected state and national representatives:

  • Police Accountability
  • Communication/Transparency
  • Safe/Convenient/Affordable Environment
  • Racial Disparities
  • Taxes
  • Infrastructure and Transportation
  • Support for Youth Programming
  • Support for Public/Community Assets
  • Disability Rights/Accessibility
  • Spirit of Collaboration
  • Economic Stagnation
  • Jobs/Economy
  • LGBTQIA Issues
  • Veterans Issues

Questions and Sources for Contextual Information

Please introduce yourself and your campaign.

Pennsylvania’s school districts have the most inequitable spending for poor students in the nation. How can your office work toward equitable funding across school districts, reduce segregation in school systems, and ensure that everyone has access to a high-quality education?

Source: pa-schools-are-the-nations-most-inequitable-the-newgovernor-wants-to-fix-that/2015/04/22/3d2f4e3e-e441-11e4- 81ea-0649268f729e_story.html

Over the past two decades, crime has fallen, but the population of Allegheny County Jail rose by 70%. What can your office do to end mass incarceration, and heal the communities it has harmed the most? Which offenses will you work to decriminalize?

Source: documents/allegheny_county_report_final.pdf

The Pittsburgh region has the most air pollution-related deaths of any city outside of California. What measures will you take to ensure that our area’s environmental pollution and air quality improve dramatically?


Rising temperatures increase the intensity of floods. Precipitation from extremely heavy storms has increased by 70% in the Northeast since 1958. What can your office do to address the climate crisis, and to mitigate its effects in our area?

Source: production/files/2016-09/documents/climate-change-pa.pdf

Nearly 700,000 Pennsylvanians do not have health insurance. How can your office ensure residents are getting the care that they need?

Source: Content?oid=15839641

Pittsburgh is one of the most gentrified cities in the US. How can your office work to address the rent inflation that is pushing residents farther away from the city and the greater metro area?

Source: pittsburgh-is-one-of-the-most-gentrified-cities-in-the-us/ Content?oid=14381722

Over 90,000 people in Pennsylvania earn minimum wage or less, and our minimum wage has been stagnant at $7.25/hr since 2009. What can your office do to ensure that all PA residents are paid a fair wage, and are able to afford necessities?

Source: Minimum%20Wage%20Reports/Minimum%20Wage%20 Report%202020.pdf

Commute times are the strongest indicator of whether a household can emerge from poverty. How can your office strengthen and support our public transportation?

Source: transportation-emerges-as-crucial-to-escaping-poverty.html

Throughout the US, reproductive rights, health, and justice are under attack at the state level. What can your office do to protect and expand upon existing rights to bodily autonomy?


What can your office do to increase voter representation and engagement?