By The Philadelphia Gay News
PHILADELPHIA — LGBTQ community leader Jonathan Lovitz announced on April 19 his candidacy for the 182nd House District seat.
Lovitz has been the Senior Vice President of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce for the past five years. In 2020, he co-organized PhillyVoting.org, an initiative to strengthen voting in the Black and LGBTQ community.
The 182nd district serves a large section of Center City, including the Gayborhood, as well as parts of Fairmount, Queen Village, Hawthorne, and East Passyunk. The seat is currently held by Rep. Brian Sims, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.
Sims declined to comment when asked by the the Capital-Star about both Lovitz’s candidacy and whether he planned to run for re-election to his House seat.
“I won’t need on-the-job training when I get to Harrisburg,” Lovitz wrote in an exclusive op-ed for the Philadelphia Gay News, “I’m already doing the work. In the last five years I have been responsible for writing and passing more than twenty-five state and local laws, including right here in Pennsylvania, opening up billions of dollars in contracts and economic development to small business owners, including minorities, veterans, those with disabilities, and LGBTQ-owned entrepreneurs.”
Lovitz also acknowledged in his op-ed the need for racial justice and called attention to the violence faced by the LGBTQ community and specifically by the trans community.
“The ongoing violence against our communities, especially against our trans siblings, is a stunning reminder that our work together continues. Once again the movement for long-overdue social change in America is being led by communities of color, especially right here in Philly,” he wrote. “And the LGBTQ community must continue to stand in solidarity with them. If you don’t think racial justice is an LGBTQ+ fight too, you simply don’t get it. And that is why my campaign will be guided by community leaders with lived experiences that inform every decision we make on what the least among us need most, and not what the needs of the most powerful might be.”
Among Lovitz’s key issues are strengthening the local economy, passing sensible gun legislation, public health equity, improving schools, and expanding civic confidence. Lovitz has also pledged that “every possible element of [the] campaign be sourced from Philly-based small, minority, and LGBTQ-owned businesses.”
“We need someone who can work across the aisle to build consensus while never compromising convictions about what is right,” Lovitz said in a statement. “I believe that’s me, and I believe my winning record of results for my neighbors makes that case.”