Rueben Brock is a psychologist, a counselor, an assistant university professor, and now—though he insists he is not a politician—an office seeker. He is the endorsed Democrat in the race to represent Pennsylvania’s 46th legislative district.
If he wins, he would be the first African American to hold the seat, and only the second Black state representative in southwestern Pennsylvania from outside the City of Pittsburgh. He takes inspiration from the first, Austin Davis, who won the special election to represent the 35th District in January.
“Ten years ago, people would have said what he did was impossible, but now we can have a seat at the table we didn’t before,” Dr. Brock told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview. “The concerns of Black and brown people aren’t different from other groups, and I’m hearing that people are tired of the system being run by the insiders. People are recognizing that government is being run by people who have no concern for the average Joe.”
With a private practice that concentrates on treating adolescents, and his university position, it is not surprising that revamping the way education is funded at the state level is one of his major campaign issues. He said relying on local property taxes as the prime mechanism yields too many inequities, condemning poorer children to a substandard education.