Q&A With NaTisha Washington, Candidate for PA House District 24

NaTisha Washington campaign

Unfortunately Pittsburgh/Allegheny County does a bad job of celebrating and acknowledging our talented resident until they’re famous or nationally recognized. I’ve fortunately had the opportunity to meet or know about many people around the city doing amazing work but they were not locally supported like they should.

Last year I highlighted black environmentalists, but this year I wanted to hightlight black local leaders that have been making big changes in our county. I wanted these people to know that they’re work was recognized and appreciated by their own city before they become famous or pass away..so I’m giving them they’re roses now.

This is the first post of our 2022 primary election season series ‘Political Q&A’ with progressive candidates throughout Pennsylvania. Candidates can be anywhere in Pennsylvania running for any level of office. Please note that these are not necessarily endorsements, more of an opportunity for candidates to connect with the LGBTQ community, progressives neighbors, and others with an interest in Western Pennsylvania. If your candidate would like to participate, please contact us pghlesbian at gmail dot com.

By participating, candidates are saying that they

  • must be an LGBTQIA+ ally
  • identify as pro-choice
  • must affirm that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election and that you accept the certified Pennsylvania’s election results

I first heard of NaTisha when I reviewed the candidates in the special election to fill the State House seat vacated by now-Mayor Ed Gainey. It is a wee bit confusing because the seat occupied by Jake Wheatley is also up for special election and they share a lot of borders. But NaTisha really stood out because of her work environmental work with One PA. As a resident of Manchester, I’m particularly interested in how urban environmental issues play out in our day to day lives.

And she has the distinction of being the first candidate to respond this cycle. So thank, NaTisha, for investing your time in the LGBTQIA+ community

  • Name: NaTisha C Washington
  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Office Held/Seeking: PA House of Representative – District 24

How do you describe your identity? I am straight but have explored my sexuality.

Tell us about your district. What is a hidden gem most people might not know about. We have the most community gardens in the County ran by mostly black farmers. They are all great spaces with art, community built structures, and many food access service for the food apartheid communities they’re in.

How has redistricting impacted your district? It’s been a very confusing and concerning process for my district especially. The community I live in will possibly be removed from our current district and put in another which will cause some change. The delay of finalizing them prior to elections has also made it difficult campaign wise but I’m still moving forward.

Tell us about the first LGBTQ person you met and the impact they had on you (It is fine to use first names only or initials.) They’re were many people in my school who were LGBTQ where some were out and some weren’t but a lot of my friends were open with their sexuality. It wasn’t till a friend of mine DK confided in me that I saw a more vulnerable and personal side of the LGBTQ community. Seeing someone struggle with enjoying their sexuality because of how loved ones might feel or treat them hurt my heart. Because when they were able to be 100% them they smiled brightly, but when they weren’t they were more content than happy.

Please tell me about your familiarity with the LGBTQ community in your district and the region. I’m not heavily involved in the LGBTQ community outside of my own friends but over the past 2 years I’ve learned a lot about issues like homelessness, violence from others, discrimination in the workplace, and more that I want to help advocate for. Many of my favorite activist in the city are LGBTQ and thanks to one of my fellow candidates I now found my place to advocate for LGBTQ and women rights issues.

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? Healthcare has been an issue I’ve heard many times in the LGBTQ community whether it’s physical or mental. The access and affordability seems to be key barries to this community getting the proper care they need..on top of the discrimination they reason which is a common struggle I understand being a black woman.

The threats of ‘religious liberty’ laws and exemptions target both LGBTQ rights and women’s rights. Pennsylvania has no law protecting marriage equality, second-parent adoption, nondiscrimination, or similar important rights. If SCOTUS overturns or waters down Roe v Wade and the ‘penumbra of privacy’ protecting us, what do you anticipate happening in Pennsylvania? I believe that there will definitely be many protest and advocates all of the state would be showing up to Harrisburg to protect our human rights.

I don’t believe government has the right to deny any adult the choice to love and care for who they want, nor should they seny Women’s choice to bring life into this world. Doing so not only impacts people’s mental health but it also denies many loving families from having a healthy life with each other.

When we hear environmental justice, we think of fracking, US Steel emissions in Clairton, and other high profile news stories. What does environmental justice look like in an urban predominantly Black community? When it comes to environmental justice there are many ways that it can show up in black communities. As stated above we not only see but smell toxins in the air making breathing difficult for many residents. It shows up in the contaminated water an lead paint in our homes that cause some of our children to have lead poisoning. We see it when our no food apartheid communities grow food for their own resident who have to travel miles for food. EJ communities are working to not only deal with the environmental harms disproportionately impacting their communities, but are scraping as many resources as possible to provide services that can help residents experiencing the harm and preventing additional harm from happening.

During Black History month, your social media has been filled with “roses” for Black Environmental activists and more. Tell us why. Unfortunately Pittsburgh/Allegheny County does a bad job of celebrating and acknowledging our talented resident until they’re famous or nationally recognized. I’ve fortunately had the opportunity to meet or know about many people around the city doing amazing work but they were not locally supported like they should.

Last year I highlighted black environmentalists, but this year I wanted to hightlight black local leaders that have been making big changes in our county. I wanted these people to know that they’re work was recognized and appreciated by their own city before they become famous or pass away..so I’m giving them they’re roses now.

Seeing people learn about, sharing their love for, and support the people who are truly making history in our city was the best outcome I could ask for so I look forward to doing it again next year.

I don’t think Harrisburg has the will to move forward on Infrastructure funding. Convince me otherwise.

Infrastructure is an issue all of the nation but is also desperately needed across our state. As seen with our bridge collapse, this is a timely issues that needs to be dealt with for the safety of the community and not dealing with it could cause more problems. If wondering whether a bridge your riding on will collapse is not bad enough, this will also cause major traffic issues for resident and commercial drivers alike which could slowdown commutes and delivery times for products.

I’m sure any person can agree that this needs to be fixed because it would impact all of our daily lives. If they don’t than I believe that we have a enough people power to ensure we get the funding regardless.

Voter turnout is a significant concern, especially for municipal/local elections. What advice would you offer to organizations and groups concerned with turnout in Western Pennsylvania? The main advice I would get is door to door canvass still works in a pandemic and is our best way to engage people next to social media. Engaging as many residents as possible with digestible information and available resources has shown to work well when done collectively. There’s enough organization and groups that I believe could put efforts together to turnout votes like we did the presidential race, but we have to find ways to get voters to prioritize all elections and make it an enjoyable experience.

Additionally,I would also state that education on what different political positions are is needed to fully ensure residents make sound decisions on candidates.

How can supporters get involved with campaigns while practicing social distancing and other protocols?

Supporters can go to my website natishaforpa24.com

There they can Donate through Act Blue, Sign up for the volunteer newsletter to help canvass in person and over the phone, and soon we will have events posted where they can engage with me and my team while also picking up literature to share.

Finally, what are three reasons people should vote for you/support your campaign?

  1. I’m a born and raised community advocate with a passion for Equity and Engagement.
  2. I’m always engaging people of all walks of life which has helped me have successful collaborations with people who have been more conservative in thought.
  3. I’ve been actively involved in policy change through much of my work and am familiar with the needs of many communities in the county.

Please list your social media accounts and your donation link.

@natishaforpa24 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Donate at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/natishaforpa24

Thank you for the opportunity,


To participate,

  • you must be an LGBTQIA+ ally
  • identify as pro-choice
  • you must affirm that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election and that you accept the certified Pennsylvania’s election results

Other Q&A’s in this election cycle series. You can read previous cycle Q&A’s here.

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