Hello. My name is Sara Innamorato. I am a lifetime Pittsburgh-area resident born to a middle-class family in Ross Township. My father was a salesman who worked in the early burgeoning tech industry in the area and my mother worked part-time in retail.
When I was a teenager, our family found out my father had an addiction to opioids, having been prescribed them after a car accident before I was born. Uncertainty became my new reality. After my father went through multiple stints in rehab, my mother, sister and I fled our home and overnight I went from having everything – a college savings account, a home, a future, to an uncertain future. It was by the grace of family, friends, and neighbors that I rarely found myself without food or a place to stay.
After graduating from North Hills High School, I was thrilled to find out despite my financial situation, I would be able to attend the University of Pittsburgh. My dream school and my father’s alma mater.
I did everything I could to pay my way through my years at Pitt – I cleaned locker rooms, nannied children and worked restaurant shifts. I also managed to squeeze in an unpaid internship. The efforts paid off, and I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a business degree, only to be welcomed into the worst economic recession in our economy’s modern-day history. I did what I had to do, work whatever job I could to make ends meet. Moving back home was not an option, it never would be again.
In August 2009, I received a phone call that I do not wish on anyone. My father had died of circumstances related to his addiction and they had found him on the side of a highway in Florida. His life-long struggle with opioids had come to an end.
My father’s death provided clarity in my life path.
I eventually got into a leadership program with a large, international tech company. After working in the private sector, I wanted to do more with my skills. I wanted to change the world and start with my own backyard. I sought volunteer opportunities with community groups, and soon landed a life-changing job at a small nonprofit who worked on environmental justice, job creation and community development.
Knowing that nonprofits, community groups, and government agencies can benefit from business acumen and problem-solving strategies, I embraced my entrepreneurial drive and started my own business. Through my own company, I delivered as much of an impact to the community as possible, working with the local and city government to develop events and initiatives around technology, food access, social justice, and women’s rights.
Inspired by stories of women who serve in elected office and reports of Pennsylvania ranking 49th in terms of women in office during my time in a civic leadership program through the nonprofit Coro, I co-founded an initiative called She Runs SWPA, which aims to empower more women into running for elected office in the region.
I’ve been a proud Lawrenceville resident for nine years, and I volunteer my time in my neighborhood as a member of the Lawrenceville United Housing Committee and steward to our community gardens.
I am running because I believe Pennsylvania's government is in desperate need of young, fresh faces who won’t back down from hard work, aren’t afraid to take a risk to get things done, are strong-willed and resistant to corruption, and truly have a vision for the future of our communities.
I am a Democrat because I believe human rights are not a bargaining chip to pass legislation. We need to put people, not corporations, first when making decisions in Harrisburg.