Meet Kyle Siskron-Leonard, running for House of Representatives in Pennsylvania, District 79.
Kyle believes that the current legislature isn’t doing enough to help the people, but rather helping themselves. He is concerned that legislators will continue to infringe on our rights. Kyle pointed to a recent bill that made the Lieutenant Governor position in his state an appointed position, rather than elected. This means that the people would have no say in who gets to hold this position. Kyle strongly believes that nobody should have to worry about maintaining the right to an abortion, voting rights, healthcare, or anything else that the people deserve. Rights should not be in question.
Kyle is a peer support specialist who shares his own mental health recovery journey with his community members who may be going through similar struggles. He helps people access resources and find support for their own mental health along with helping people find housing and jobs. Kyle enjoys this work but believes that the government should be doing more to help people with these services. He personally knows people who can’t find proper mental support, housing, or even a job. Within his district, there is also a lack of public transportation for those who cannot afford cars. Kyle tells us that his community is not very walkable and there are many hills and bridges that make it difficult. These challenges affect underprivileged community members the most and change needs to be made.
We learned that there is also a drug problem within this district that Kyle wants to find a solution for. He aims to increase funding for recovery services, bring in mobile crisis units, and more understanding mental health care. Kyle believes that police officers are not the right people to respond to mental health matters and that we need more trained professionals who can safely help those going through a crisis. Along with this, Kyle wants to find ways to give every child access to free school lunches and a good education. He is a proponent of decriminalizing drugs and making them civil violations. He aims to use the funds from these violations to invest in recovery services. Mandating recovery support is one way that Kyle believes we can help those who are struggling to lead better lives.
Kyle shared with us that one of his friends brought the rebirth of the African American Heritage Festival to his community which brought in many people from different areas! This event is now a new tourist attraction and seeing the representation for African Americans in his community means a lot to Kyle. Something unique about Kyle is that he plays 13 different instruments along with percussion! He says that his favorite instrument is probably the flute since he’s been playing it for the longest and it was one of the first instruments he learned!