"We have systemic issues, we have cyclical issues"

We talked with Pennsylvania state representative Summer Lee two years ago about interconnected injustice. Her words continue to ring true.

Editor's note: Environmental insults and police violence aimed at communities of color are interconnected issues. As the nation grieves over the killing of George Floyd, this week we are revisiting stories from our newsroom over the past couple years that examine environmental racism in Black communities.


In 2018, our Pittsburgh reporter Kristina Marusic talked with Summer Lee who became the first Black woman to represent the Pittsburgh region at the state capital.

Since then, Lee has served a productive two-year term. This week she was re-elected, despite a nasty campaign against her run by a less progressive Democratic candidate who'd received massive donations from pro-fracking unions.

Lee's words were true in 2018, but have taken on a renewed relevance as the nation grieves over the killing of George Floyd and protests for racial equality. Lee made clear the connections between persistent pollution in Pittsburgh and police violence.

"You can't talk about one of these issues without addressing all of them."

Read the full interview with Summer Lee.

A history-making millennial politician explains what air pollution and police violence have in common

Summer Lee

Summer Lee (right) and fellow state representative Sara Innamorato. Photo courtesy of Summer Lee.

Banner photo: Summer Lee speaking. (Credit: https://www.pahouse.com/Lee/)

Print Friendly and PDF
SUBSCRIBE TO EHN'S MUST-READ DAILY NEWSLETTER: ABOVE THE FOLD
From our Newsroom

Op-ed: PFAS chemicals—the other immune system threat

"This global pandemic is scary for everyone and it's even scarier knowing your family has been exposed to chemicals that may hurt the immune system."

Join the “Agents of Change” discussion on research and activism

Four of the fellows who participated in the program this year will discuss their ongoing research, activism, and experiences with publishing their ideas in the public sphere.

The danger of hormone-mimicking chemicals in medical devices and meds

In an effort to bolster our health, we may be exposed to compounds that harm us. New research says physicians need to recognize and explain this hidden risk to patients.

A fracking giant's fall

Chesapeake Energy was a fracking pioneer on a meteoric rise. Last week, it fell to Earth.

Cutting edge of science

An exclusive look at important research just over the horizon that promises to impact our health and the environment

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.