Sara G. Innamorato is an American politician who was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2018 and is the Representative for the 21st district, which includes parts of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.
|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives|
from the 21st district
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2019
|Preceded by||Dom Costa|
|Born||April 24, 1986|
|Democratic Socialists of America|
|Alma mater||University of Pittsburgh (BS)|
Early life and educationEdit
She started Innamo Co., an independent marketing firm focused on “social good”. Innamorato is a co-founder of She Runs SWPA, a non-partisan organization focused on encouraging women to run for office.
A member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), she won the Democratic Party nomination for the seat by defeating incumbent Dom Costa in the 2018 primary election with over 64% of the vote.
Innamorato was unopposed on the ballot for the general election. Costa launched a write-in campaign late in the election cycle. Costa went public with the bid following a podcast interview in which Innamorato was quoted saying “My district, which I know is like white working class, poor folk, who are racist, because it’s so much easier for them to look to their side and say, ‘I’m going to blame that person.'"  Costa campaign head Gary Britcher argued that Innamorato had called the district “racist”. Another interview quoted Innamorato in stating that the comment had been taken out of context and the Costa campaign’s portrayal was “‘not how I feel. From the beginning of this campaign, I’ve talked about my experience growing up in that district, and about the kindness of neighborhood (sic) who helped me through the instability of growing up.’ Her point, she said, was that white working class voters ‘are being exploited from all sides,’ by economic and political elites who play on racial tensions to distract them from issues of economic injustice. ‘Racism exists everywhere,’ she said. ‘My job is to represent everyone, and to not shy away from tough conversations.’” 
Innamorato received 85% of the vote in the general election.
After the election, allegations surfaced that two violations of Pennsylvania campaign finance law were committed by the PAC “Americans Against Socialism,” the principle funding mechanism for the marketing firm employed by the Costa write-in campaign.
Innamorato was initially challenged by Stephen Zappala III for the Democratic Party nomination. Zappala is the son of the Allegheny County District Attorney. Zappala quietly withdrew his challenge the following month. Innamorato was unopposed on the ballot for the Democratic Party nomination.
Innamorato will be facing Republican challenger John Waugh in the general election.
Innamorato is the prime sponsor of HB 1556, a bill designed to expand automatic voter registration services to all individuals who utilize state government and legislative services. The bill was designed as part of a suite of electoral reform bills advanced by the House Democratic Caucus.
Innamorato is opposed to hydraulic fracturing, citing a number of public health concerns in communities near drilling sites and refineries. She has voted against legislation to grant tax exemptions and incentives to new petrochemical plants, labeling such proposals “corporate welfare”. However, Innamorato has also organized public hearings to encourage dialogue between labor unions and anti-fracking organizations, saying she believes the choice between “the environment” and “good union jobs, family sustaining jobs” is “false and… antiquated.”  Innamorato has stated that she has worked to draft legislation to prevent the dumping of chemicals and waste water used in hydraulic fracturing into sewage treatments plants and public waterways, due to alleged radioactive contamination.
Innamorato has spoken in favor of Inclusionary Zoning and Affordable Housing initiatives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Innamorato joined with other lawmakers in calling for a moratorium on evictions. She was the author of legislation that called for statewide rent and mortgage freezes for the duration of the COVID-19 response and economic recovery.
Innamorato has spoken publicly in favor of instituting a Medicare-for-All type universal health insurance program for Pennsylvania.
She is the author of legislation creating a free and universal “Baby Box” program, for expectant mothers in Pennsylvania. The program aims to reduce infant mortality, and provide basic maternity and childcare items.
Innamorato sponsored legislation with the aim to end the practice that allowed medical students in Pennsylvania to perform pelvic examinations on unconscious women without their prior consent.
Innamorato has spoken publicly about struggles with opioid abuse and death from overdose within her own family. She favors what she terms “harm reduction strategies” to combat the epidemic; including policies such as decriminalization and rehabilitation for drug users.
Innamorato supports the improvement and expansion of public transportation and transit access in her district. She has stated also that she thinks Pennsylvania should “focus on systems that are publicly held that are going to move the most amount of people in the most efficient way possible.”
She supported legislation to change Pennsylvania code, allowing for Parking Protected bike lanes.
Innamorato supports increasing funding and the availability of social services and programs in Pennsylvania. She provided testimony at a public hearing, in opposition to legislation that would end the Pennsylvania General Assistance Program.
Innamorato is an advocate for a policy called the “Fair Share Tax Plan”. The proposal advocates for a number of policy initiatives to restructure Pennsylvania’s tax system.
Innamorato supported legislation giving Second Class cities in Pennsylvania the legal authority to freeze property taxes for long time, and elderly residents.
2020 Presidential electionEdit
Following the suspension of the Sanders campaign, Innamorato signed on to a joint statement calling on Joe Biden to embrace parts of Sanders’ campaign platform. Innamorato expressed concerns about Biden’s conduct following allegations against him of sexual misconduct.
- "Rep. Sara Innamorato | Biography". pahouse.com. Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Pennsylvania Primary Election Results". WTAE. WTAE ABC Pittsburgh. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Democratic Socialist Candidate Under Fire For Calling Constituents Racist". Retrieved 2018-11-12.
- "In Closing Hours, Innamorato Faces Opposition - And Reports A Threat". WESA.fm. WESA. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Official Results Representative In The General Assembly 21st District". Allegheny County Division of Elections. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Complaint Alleges Violation of Campaign Finance Law In Aim To Derail Election Of Democratic Socialist". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Steve Zappala, Son of Allegheny County DA, Is Running For State House 21". Pittsburgh City Paper. Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Some Omissions, And Criticism, As Local Democrats Seek Party Endorsement". WESA.fm. WESA.
- "State Rep. Sara Innamorato Wants Every Eligible Pennsylvania Voter Automatically Registered". Pittsburgh City Paper. Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "A Small Western PA Community Reveals How Natural Gas Drilling Can Fracture Alliances On Both Sides Of The Aisle". State Impact Pennsylvania. State Impact Pennsylvania. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Petrochemical Town Hall Near Pittsburgh Spotlights Pollution, Health Worries". State Impact Pennsylvania. State Impact Pennsylvania.
- "Fight Over Natural Gas Tax Break Divides PA Democrats". whyy.org. WHYY.
- "Takeaways From A Town Hall In Millvale Discussing The Petrochemical Industry In Southwestern PA". Pittsburgh City Paper. Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- ""Government Has Failed You" - Pittsburgh State Rep. Drafts Bill to Stop Radioactive Fracking Waste (TENORM) From Entering Public Waters". Public Herald. Public Herald. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "On The Agenda For Pennsylvania's DSA-backed Freshmen: Small Steps Toward Larger Progressive Vision". Pennsylvania Capita-Star. Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "ALCOSAN Releases New, Greener Plan To Control Sewage Overflows, Critics Says It's Not Enougher". WESA.fm. WESA. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Inclusionary Zoning Public Hearing Reveals Strong Support From Residents". wesa.fm. WESA. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Pennsylvania At A Crossroads". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Pennsylvania Legislators Preparing Rent, Mortgage Freeze Bill". WTAE. WTEA. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "State Lawmakers Discuss Solutions For Pennsylvania's Infant Mortality Rate". NorthCentralPA.com. NorthCentralPA.com. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Lawmakers to Introduce Legislation Address Maternal/Infant Health Crisis In PA". pahouse.com. Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "In PA, It's Legal For Medical Students To Perform Pelvic Exams On Unconscious Patients Without Consent. A New Bill Aims To Change That". Pittsburgh City Paper. Pittsburgh Cty Paper. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "To Combat Opioid Crisis, PA Must Embrace Harm Reduction Strategies". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Overdose Awareness Day Celebrates 'Survivors and Revivers'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "State Rep. Innamorato Takes To The Bus For A 'Mobile Townhall'". wesa.fm. WESA. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Millvale Town Hall Meeting Addresses Lack Of Port Authority Busing In Borough". TribLive. Shaler Journal. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "What Happened To Those Feasibility Studies For Additional Passenger Rail In Pennsylvania". Pittsburgh City Paper. Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Bike Riders Pedal For Change In State Law". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Pennsylvania At A Crossroads We Must Reforge Social Compact". pahouse.com. Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "House Committee Votes To End Cash Assistance For Disabled Adults, People With Addiction". Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "PA Republicans, Democrats Stake Out Positions In General Assistance Battle". whyy.org. WHYY. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "A Fair Share Tax Proposal For Pennsylvania". Third and State. Third and State. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "New Legislation Would Offer Tax Relief For Longtime Residents Of Gentrifying Neighborhoods". wesa.fm. WESA. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Innamorato Tosses Support Behind Bernie Sanders". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Bernie Sanders Drops Out Of Presidential Race, Local State Reps Say Support For Biden Must Be "Earned"". Pittsburgh City Paper. Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "PA's Four Congresswomen Will Campaign For Joe Biden As He Faces Pressure On Sexual-Assault Accusation". The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 7 June 2020.