Former Pennsylvania State Rep. Dwight Evans officially became U.S. Representative Dwight Evans after being sworn into his congressional office Monday on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Evans was joined by his mother, Jean Evans, as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R, Wis.) administered the oath of office to him and two other new members of Congress.
“I understand our differences, I am not naive, but I know that when we put aside those differences, when we listen to each other, we make great strides,” Evans said during the ceremony.
Evans won the seat through a special election following the resignation of former Congressman Chaka Fattah, who resigned after being indicted on charges of corruption and after holding the seat for 20 years. He also won the general election on Nov. 8, beating Republican James Jones with more than 90% of the vote.
Evans will serve a heavily African-American district of more than 700,000 citizens, spanning a large part of Philadelphia and a slice of Montgomery County. He also faces a Washington where Republicans lead the White House and both branches of Congress.
“A Plan for America’s Cities” was the name of the platform on which Evans ran, calling for access to fresh food, affordable housing, infrastructure, jobs creation, strategically located banks and financial institutions, education reform and community safety.
“I want to talk about cities, neighborhoods and block-by-block building,” Evans said of his congressional game plan. “People ask questions about how you’re going to do things, but I think you only have to look at my record.”
Evans graduated from Community College of Philadelphia and La Salle University, and started his career as a teacher for the School District of Philadelphia.
At the age of 26, he won a seat in the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives, representing the 203rd Legislative District, which he served for 36 years.