André R. Horton has represented Erie County Council’s District 2 since 2014. The exceptionally diverse district runs east from the Millcreek Township line across the city’s bayfront to the Harborcreek Township line. All of Erie’s First Ward, parts of the Second, Third and Fourth Wards, and Lawrence Park Township comprise this city-centric district.
During his first term, Horton diligently followed through on his campaign promises. He initiated the Summer Jobs and More program, which has provided more than 400 part-time summer jobs for youth ages 16-21 in the city and county.
A committed advocate of inclusion, he introduced the concept of Community Benefit Agreements to the county. He is actively engaging downtown project owners in a development process that benefits all stakeholders in the community, seeking commitments to job training and employment for District 2 residents. As Council-Chair in 2020, Horton supported the oppression of conversion therapy for persons under 18 years of age as a means of shifting gender orientation or expression. In September of his Chairmanship, Horton brought forth a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis in Erie County.
He was a force in advocating for a downtown community college; which was awarded to Erie County June 10, 2020 by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.
Deeply concerned about youth violence and the safety of our children, Horton co-founded the Blue Coats nonviolence initiative in the Erie School District. He is also a board member of the Police Athletic League of Erie.
He is a co-founder of the Judicial Investment initiative Energize ERIE, a character development and soft-skills building program targeting 14-to-18-year-old at-risk males. Energize ERIE is a collaboration with the Erie County Court of Common Pleas, Adult and Juvenile Probation, and the Erie County Public Defender’s Office.
Horton has been a member of Laborers Local 603 for more than 25 years, and has served the Local for many years as an auditor. He is also a current delegate to the Ohio-based Blue-Green Alliance, an organization focused on bringing good, green, family-sustaining jobs to the tri-state region and building cooperation between labor and environmental organizations.
Horton attended Strong Vincent High School and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served as an Instructor in Emergency Preparedness. He also is a former Pennsylvania State Trooper; is a former member of the Veterans Advisory Board of the Erie VA Medical Center; has served as Democratic Committeeman for the First Ward, Second District; and currently serves as First Ward Chairman.
Horton is a lifelong resident of Erie, the youngest of 11 children born to Howard and Mildred Horton. As past president of the Erie Branch of the NAACP, he has always fought to ensure equal rights and fair treatment for all people, saying, “I come from a family of community servants. My parents left us a name, and a legacy, and a mind to work. I think we are making them proud.”
Horton is the first person of color to hold an elected Erie County office since the incorporation of the county in 1803. He currently resides on Erie’s lower east side with his wife, Angella, and his youngest son. He is committed to an open, transparent and diverse Erie County Council.
About District 2
District 2 covers Erie 1st Ward Districts 1 through 8; Erie 2nd Ward Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9; Erie 3rd Ward Districts 1, 3, 4 and 5; Erie 4th Ward Districts 1 through 9; and Lawrence Park Township Districts 1, 2, and 3.
The term expires in 2022.