House Democratic Caucus welcomes two new legislators to Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, April 26 -- Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton today welcomed two newly elected lawmakers to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Rep. Aerion Andrew Abney and Rep. Martell Covington, both of Allegheny County, were sworn in at the start of today’s House session by Judge Tarah Toohil. Both new members will begin voting on legislation this afternoon.

"These two new members of the House Democratic Caucus bring with them years of community advocacy and service, McClinton said. "We're excited about what their voices will add to the thoughtful policy development and debate here in Harrisburg, and how they will elevate the concerns and interests of their neighbors."

“We’re proud to welcome them as the newest members of our state legislature.”

Abney and Covington were elected in a special election in April to represent voters in the 19th and 24th House legislative districts, respectively. Their current terms expire on Nov. 30, 2022.

Abney moved to Pittsburgh from Philadelphia to attend the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. As a former program officer with the POISE Foundation, a grantmaking institution aimed at empowering Black people across the Pittsburgh region, Abney approved more than $1.7 million in grants to local nonprofit organizations. Later he served as the Pennsylvania director of special projects for All Voting Is Local, a national organization fighting to remove discriminatory barriers at the ballot box. He currently sits on the boards of several community organizations.

For more than 12 years, Covington worked in various capacities for the Community Empowerment Association, a social service organization on the east side of Pittsburgh, eventually becoming the assistant director of Youth & Family Services. He is currently chair of its board of directors. Additionally, he served as a legislative aide to state Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa. In 2021, he was elected to serve as vice president for the Young Democrats of Allegheny County and is part of the Black Equity Coalition's Policy Team. Covington is a graduate of Howard University and has coached local youth sports for more than five years.

Abney and Covington’s committee assignments will be announced at a later date.