Dwight Evans was born on May 16, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After obtaining an Associate’s Degree from the Community College of Philadelphia in 1973 and a Bachelor’s Degree from La Salle College in 1975, he attended graduate school at Temple University. Upon completing his formal education, Evans worked as a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia before eventually becoming an employment counselor with the Urban League of Philadelphia.
Evans was elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature in 1980 and went on to serve as a state representative until 2016. Representing the deeply Democratic districts of Philadelphia throughout his political career, he focused primarily on public policy issues concerning economic development, education, infrastructure, housing, and poverty.
In April 2015, Evans spoke at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) event in Pennsylvania, where he condemned a series of anti-jihad advertisements that conservative political activist Pamela Geller had placed on the walls of buses, trains, and public-transportation stations in several American cities. “I want to send a clear message to this city, state and county that the Muslim community should not in any way be attacked or discriminated against,” said Evans.
In November 2016, Evans was elected (with more than 90% of the vote) to represent Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District the U.S. House of Representatives, where he has been an active member of both the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). He is also a founding member of the Medicare For All Congressional Caucus.
The official House website for Representative Evans features the stances he has taken on a variety of key issues, including:
- Civil Rights: “We have come a long way in our fight for equal rights, protections and justice for all under the law but our fight still continues. In 2017 I traveled with my hero and civil rights icon, Representative John Lewis and many of my colleagues in Congress to Selma, Alabama…. From our African American community to our Jewish community to our LGBTQ community to our Immigrant community we are continually reminded of the similarities we all share and understand now more than ever in today’s day and age an attack against one of us is an attack against all of us.”
- Environment: “Scientific research proves climate change is real and its consequences are serious and evident. Sea level rise, droughts and rising temperatures across the nation show the serious impact of climate change. Climate change is directly related to our national security, economic prosperity and food supply. It is time to take our energy policy down a new path that reduces carbon pollution and promotes a sustainable, greener tomorrow for future generations.”
- Health: “Each and every American should have access to reliable, affordable health care…. In March 2017, the House majority party [Republicans] officially released the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]. I strongly oppose the American Health Care Act, as I simply cannot support a piece of legislation that takes care away from the most vulnerable Americans—the poor, our seniors, people with pre-existing conditions and our working class families.”
- Immigration: “I am a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. I believe in an immigration reform system that keeps families united and develops a path to citizenship…. The incredibly aggressive efforts by the Trump Administration to detain and deport law-abiding immigrants when those resources could be allocated to violent offenders represents a misplaced diversion of resources. I am committed to securing our borders but am exasperated by the talk of building a wall. This idea is offensive and un-American.”
- Women & Family: “From ensuring equal work for equal pay to protecting a women’s right to choose to ending gender-based discrimination in the workplace, I am committed to supporting a policy agenda that promotes and protects equality and opportunity for women. I am disappointed to see the right to choose [abortion] under attack and will continue to speak up and speak out to make sure women have the opportunity to make decisions that are in the best interest of themselves and their families. According to the 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates in my home state of Pennsylvania, the median average earning for women is $40, 214 compared to $50,976 which is the median average earning for men. Closing the wage gap is about making sure all of our families have the same opportunities and access to the resources they need.”
In 2017, Evans was part of a J Street-sponsored delegation of 25 leaders and activists, including 7 members of Congress, who spent 10 days in Israel. There, they met with numerous Israeli and Palestinian leaders, public officials, and others in an effort to gain insight into the causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
From the very start of Donald Trump’s presidency in 2017, Evans was a vocal member of the Democrat “Resistance” to Trump and his Administration. For example:
- In March 2017, Evans called for the resignation of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, alleging that he “may have lied to the American people under oath about his involvement with the Russian government during the 2016 Presidential Election during his confirmation hearings.” This “type of conspiracy and confusion threatens the safety of the American public,” said Evans.
- In the aftermath of President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, Evans expressed support for an “independent investigation into the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia and [to Russian] interference in the 2016 election.”
- In collaboration with notable leftists such as Senator Cory Booker, Senator Mazie Hirono, Rep. Cedric Richmond, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Rep. Judy Chu, Evans introduced the Anti-Voter Suppression Act in July 2017, to combat President Trump’s alleged efforts to promote “voter suppression” against nonwhite minorities.
- Following the infamous August 12, 2017 “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — where neo-Nazis clashed with Antifa fascists in violence that resulted in the death of one woman — Evans promoted the demonstrably false narrative claiming that President Trump had “commended the actions of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the remaining groups in the Alt-Right.” In spite of Trump’s repeated denunciations of such factions, Evans claimed that Trump’s “loyalty lies with hate groups,” and that he “associates himself with white nationalists.”
- Seeking to undermine Trump’s presidency even more, Evans in October 2017 co-sponsored the Strengthening and Clarifying the 25th Amendment Act, which focused on how the president could be deemed incapable of discharging the powers and duties of his office as outlined in the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In a press release, Evans cited a number of influential political figures who had recently “pointed out President Trump’s vulnerabilities.”
- In October 2017 as well, Evans referred to President Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran Nuclear Deal as a “destructive, irresponsible” move that “highlights his utter lack of experience in crafting foreign policy.” Moreover, Evans blamed Trump — not Iran, an officially recognized state sponsor of terrorism — for “risking our security.”
- While affirming that Jerusalem “has been and always will be the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” Evans in December 2017 expressed his concerns “about the further unrest and instability [that] President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel may cause.” “As a nation I believe we have an important obligation to play a crucial role in supporting the State of Israel in order to achieve a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians,” added the congressman.
- In January 2020, Evans declared that President Trump’s recently ordered military strike which had resulted in the killing of Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, had created “increased danger in an already volatile region.” Evans also claimed that former President Barack Obama — and not President Trump – had actually done the most “to DE-escalate tensions in the region.”
- Soon thereafter, also in January 2020, Evans voted in favor of legislation designed to severely limit Trump’s military authority as commander-in-chief, particularly his ability to authorize the use of military force against Iran without first securing congressional approval.
- After immense civil unrest and violent riots began occurring throughout the United States following George Floyd’s death in late May of 2020, Evans blamed President Trump for divisively stoking the angry passions of U.S. citizens and encouraging them to commit “violence against their fellow Americans.”
- In anticipation of the upcoming presidential election, Evans in June 2020 authored a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, calling for their state to rely as heavily as possible on the use of mail-in ballots and on ballot drop-boxes — two modes of voting that are particularly susceptible to fraud and corruption. In August 2020, Evans claimed that the Trump Administration was orchestrating a “sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service” in order to help President Trump win re-election in November. Despite presenting no evidence to support that claim, Evans advocated the passage of legislation to stop the alleged sabotage.
- As a result of the storming of the U.S. Capitol building by several hundred Trump supporters in January 2021, Evans voted for a second impeachment of President Trump, citing Trump’s “incitement of a violent attack on our nation.” Eager to remove Trump from office as swiftly as possible, the congressman said he was “disappointed that Vice President Pence failed to take the quickest route to remove Trump, the 25th Amendment.” Evans further claimed that a “lengthy Senate trial is not needed” for Trump’s conviction and removal.
Over the years, Evans has repeatedly denounced the United States as a systemically racist country. Some examples:
- In support of the highly partisan For the People Act in March of 2019, Evans stated that the bill — which in fact sought to alter election laws in a manner that would federalize and disproportionately favor Democrats for many years to come — would counteract state “voter suppression laws and tactics [that] have been used to try to silence people of color, low-income people, young people and senior citizens.”
- When introducing the Homegrown Act in June 2019, Evans noted that his proposed legislation would “knock down barriers to jobs and entrepreneurship for people most adversely impacted by the war on cannabis, which has been especially harsh for people of color.”
- In August 2019, Evans introduced the No Funding for Confederate Symbols Act to ban Confederate monuments and artifacts on federal property, arguing, for instance, that the Confederate flag is “strongly associated with hate and violence stoked by racists and white supremacists.”
- Following his vote in favor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, Evans co-authored a press release in which he characterized people who questioned the existence of systemic racism and widespread police brutality as being hopelessly “out-of-touch.”
- In September 2020, Evans co-sponsored the CROWN Act to “stamp out hairstyle discrimination, which is often a back-door way to allow racial or national-origin discrimination” in federally assisted programs, housing programs, public accommodations, and employment.
- In July 2021, Evans condemned the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold an Arizona voter-integrity law as an “attack [on] voting rights,” and called for the passage of the For the People Act to “override the new Jim Crow laws that Republican-controlled states are passing.”
As matters of principle, Evans believes that:
- all women should have an unrestricted right to abortion-on-demand at any stage of pregnancy – subsidized by taxpayers, in cases of economic hardship;
- public and private employers alike should be legally required to implement affirmative-action hiring and promotion policies that give preference to African Americans and women, as compensation for historical injustices;
- voucher programs designed to enable low-income parents to send their children to private schools rather than to failing public schools, constitute bad policy because they rob the public schools of vital resources;
- the discretion of judges and juries should not be diminished by formulaic sentencing policies like “Three Strikes” laws;
- the death penalty should be abolished as “cruel and unusual punishment”;
- more guns in the hands of private citizens inevitably result in higher levels of crime, thus the availability of firearms should be restricted by whatever means are effective;
- the government should make few restrictions on immigration;
- voter ID laws make it unnecessarily difficult for people to vote in political elections;
- an ever-increasing reliance on “green energy” sources such as wind and solar should be put in place, along with the phasing out of fossil fuels, the imposition of carbon taxes, and the raising of vehicle CAFE standards;
- federal spending on public infrastructure projects and job programs is crucial to the success of any economic recovery program; and
- the nationalization of banks and corporations is preferable to federal bailouts of those entities.
Evans has had a longstanding, close relationship with union activist and labor political strategist John Meyerson, who in 1975 was elected as a member of the District Committee of the Pennsylvania Communist Party, a branch of the Communist Party USA.