Legal challenges remain, but the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission has created a 203rd district that is centered in Lawncrest and Castor Gardens.
The home of the incumbent, Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, has been moved to the 200th district.
A Lawncrest activist, Heather Miller, is seeking the Democratic nomination in the May 17 primary.
Miller is a lunch manager at Presentation BVM Elementary School and a committeewoman for more than 20 years. She’s a chair in the 35th Ward, treasurer of the Lawncrest Community Association, secretary/treasurer for the Lawncrest Recreation Center Advisory Council, a member of the Lawncrest 4th of July committee, an organizer for the Lawncrest Youth Council and a coach for Girls on the Run. She also helped organize a trunk-or-treat event last Halloween at Trinity Church, Oxford.
During the pandemic, she was part of a group that, on a weekly basis, handed out boxes of food to needy neighbors.
Miller was among those who led the fight to prevent Royal Farms from building a store at Rising Sun and Longshore avenues. The site will remain home to green space and a new Police Athletic League building, thanks to funding directed by Rep. Jared Solomon and Sen. Tina Tartaglione.
During the campaign, she plans street cleanups and three self-defense classes.
Miller believes her volunteer efforts will translate well to the House of Representatives.
“It’s given me a good understanding of what the community needs,” she said.
Miller’s top issues will be supporting a living wage, improving business corridors, eliminating illegal dumping, increasing after-school programs, cracking down on abandoned and illegally parked cars and making streets safer.
“I’m going to focus on quality-of-life issues,” she said.
A wife, mother and grandmom, Miller attended Frankford High School and Community College of Philadelphia. She’s been a union member and organizer with the Teamsters and SEIU and a member of the Burholme Community Town Watch and Civic Association. She was born and raised in the area and is raising her family there.
Miller believes she’ll be able to have a seamless transition to the House due to her existing relationships with elected officials.
Bill Dolbow, the longtime Democratic leader of the 35th Ward, has endorsed Miller.
Retired police officer Yusuf Jackson is also running in the Democratic primary. Anthony Bellmon, an aide to U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, is also expected to run.
Republicans have not yet selected a candidate. ••