Democrat state Rep. Summer Lee hosted the forum along with experts in environment and health.

Braddock resident Je’Amour Matthew punctuated Tuesday’s environmental forum hosted by state Rep. Summer Lee with a passionate speech that resonated with the roughly 50 people who attended.

“What have they done for you, my friends?” Matthew said, referring to what she sees as inaction by elected officials. “When you stand up and start asking your representatives, ‘What the hell?’ I am of flesh and blood. I matter. Your pocket shouldn’t be benefitted for my health.”

The public forum was organized to provide information about actions being taken on key environmental justice issues at the state level in Harrisburg and the community level in Allegheny County.

“Environmental injustice is at the intersection of the economy, of race, of class, of educational opportunity,” said Lee, a Democrat representing a portion of Allegheny County. “And when you look at this community — my community, where I grew up — we’re the people who have been impacted by it hardest. We are hit first, and we’re hit the most.”

Photo credit/caption:  Pennsylvania state Rep. Summer Lee listens to concerns at the environmental public forum held on Aug. 20, 2019, at the Forest Hills Borough Building. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)