This is the next in a series of blog posts about individuals challenging incumbents or running non-traditional races in Pennsylvania. Will’s campaign reached out to me after I posted a call for respondents. He is running in the primary against a Democrat State Rep in the 24th district. Will has documented his years of community service on his social media channels. I decided to give him the same opportunity as I have the other challengers. It is important to be familiar with anyone willing to step forward to run for office. Here are Will’s responses.
Your Name: William Anderson
Your Pronouns: no response
How do you describe your identity? Male
Tell us about the first LGBTQ person you met and what impact they had on your life? My uncle who taught me about patience and tolerance for those who judged without knowing a person’s story.
Please tell me about your familiarity with the LGBTQ community in your district and the region. I have fought with New Voices the Gertrude Stein organization as well as lgbtq caucuses within the Democratic Party
Based on this, what do you understand to be our top LGBTQ concerns and priorities for the General Assembly? How will you respond to those priorities? Well the top priorities are to have equal treatment under the law to be able to make decisions for the ones you love regardless of gender identification and be allowed same benefits as a heterosexual couple. And to have the legislatures pass anti discrimination laws extended to the lgbtq that protects against unlawful termination of benefits or employment and ends discrimination in housing.
How does intersectionality inform your work? it allows me to make decisions based on real world information and understand that lgbtq rights are a human right.
The threats of ‘religious liberty’ laws and exemptions target both LGBTQ rights and women’s rights. How does the General Assembly navigate this equivalency of personal religious freedom with systemic oppression and control of underserved people? simply by working from the premise that any type of discrimination is unjust and all people deserve equal treatment under the law and should not be judge based on who they love.
Your website and Facebook page lay out your experience as a community leader and documents your engagement with existing community leaders on local, state, and federal levels. What I did not see were policy proposals or references to your positions on specific State level issues. How can voters find this information? Can you list 3 or 4 items on your policy agenda that we can explore in more details on your sites? Properly funding education, passing Sensible gun legislation, passing anti hate legislation to protect lgbtq community, redistricting reform, job training and reentry supportive services.
In 2017, you were listed in the media as President of the Young Democrats of PA. The current leadership is entirely white, per their webpage What does this say about the direction of the Democratic party in Pennsylvania, particularly Southwestern PA. This you would have to ask the party
Political dynasties are rampant in Southwestern Pennsylvania politics – including the Costas, Wagners, etc. Two other Democratic members of the State House, Markosek and Hanna, are retiring because their sons are going to run, unopposed, for their seats. Some of these are ‘good guys’ but their ascent to power is not truly democratic. Why is it important to disrupt this legacy of political dynasties? absolute power corrupts absolutely
Tell me about your other endorsements and supporters.
The community. Havent received any yet
Where can readers find your campaign on social media?
Fb William Anderson
Thank you, Will.
In addition to Will, I’ve reached out to multiple Democratic challengers including Aerion Andrew Abney (D19), Summer Lee (D34), Sara Innamorato (D21), Dr. Honora Rockar (D12), and Daniel Smith, Jr (D12) – I’ll publish responses if/as they come in. Let me know if I should reach out to someone else.