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 benefited for my health.”
Matthew said she feels that some officials are neglecting the health concerns of their constituents to support the fracking and petrochemical industries. “We know these mills are affecting our lungs and our health and shortening lives,” she said. “What is a dollar bill worth if you don’t have a quality of life?” As Matthew made her way back to her seat, the crowd gathered in the Forest Hills Borough Building erupted with applause and cheers.
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.
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