Issues And Why They Matter
The message my campaign circulators and I have heard during the nominating process is that voters expect their elected officials to solve problems and address issues. No more divisive rhetoric. Get down to business. They express their exhaustion with the polarization that has torn us apart as Americans and Pennsylvanians. I believe that the citizenry in the 48th District can listen to and learn from each other.
Running for the Senate as an Independent candidate, I believe will enable the voters to send the message that they want civility and decency returned to public discourse and the legislative process.
ISSUES AND PRIORITIES
TOLLING OF BRIDGES: Penn DOT’s plan to build replacement bridges, including the John Harris/I-83 bridge, and their plan to pay for the replacement bridges by tolling motorists is a regressive tax that I do not support. It will burden individuals and families who use the highways to reach their employment, shopping, medical care and other essential needs. I believe that we ought to look at other solutions rather than tolling thousands of commuters to subsidize Penn DOT projects.
REAPPORTIONMENT: In 2021, legislative districts will be drawn. Traditional gerrymandering takes away voters’ influence and assures incumbent protection. Visit www.drawthelinespa.org to see how others have drawn the 48th. I will advocate strongly for District Lines that assure good representation.
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING: One of the lessons learned from the pandemic that the world has experienced over the past year is that the gap between high-skill and low-skill workers has grown even wider. We must do something to close that gap and to better prepare young people as well as older workers whose jobs have disappeared for jobs that currently exist and the jobs of the future.
REFORMING THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: During my time in Harrisburg I worked with other House Members including those in the Minority Party to lessen the power of caucus leaders. Being a veteran of the legislative process and belonging to neither Caucus will provide me with needed experience as well as leverage. The remaining term of 18 months is too short for a “newbie” to have an impact.
FARMLAND PRESERVATION: Preserving farmland is important for the 48th Senatorial District & Pennsylvania. Farming and related agricultural businesses are an important part of the economy of this Senatorial District. Farmland Preservation assures land is available for our food supply and encourages soil and water conservation.
SOLVING LONG DELAYED PROBLEMS: Providing sufficient revenue for roads and bridges, increasing state funding for school districts with an equitable formula; assuring high education and career training opportunities for all adult learners wherever they live in Pennsylvania; increasing ways for voter participation and not backtracking from the modest progress that was recently legislated.
RESPONDING TO UNEXPECTED DISASTERS-TWO AMENDMENTS TO THE PA CONSTITUTION FOR YOUR VOTE: Let’s be honest with each other. The proposed amendments are a result of the Republican leadership’s decision to attack the Governor’s management of the COVID 19 pandemic. No governor has had to face such a crisis and yes, decisions were made that angered Pennsylvanians who wanted life to continue as normal. You may be one of those who didn’t want face mask requirements; no businesses or schools closed. Nor did the Governor and his Administration want the economy and Pennsylvanians to suffer. One day there will be another unexpected disaster and the Governor may be a Republican. It makes no sense to amend the Constitution for emotional, political gain. Read the Director of PEMA Padfield’s Opinion in the Patriot News/Penn Live. Flexible disaster emergency declarations are a crucial part of response and recovery process | Opinion - pennlive.com If the Constitution needs amending to respond to disasters, it is much better to wait and allow the vitriolic polarization to go away. Then there can be a more thoughtful process as to what worked and what didn’t work to assure the safety of Pennsylvanians in an emergency. Perhaps, there are legislative remedies rather than amending the Constitution. I strongly believe that constitutional amendments should be on the General Election ballot, not voted in a Primary when few Independents and Third Party voters participate. This is, I believe, another “game” that is played and the voting public loses.
INDEPENDENTS ARE DISENFRANCHISED FOR IMPORTANT ELECTIONS: Over 23,000 voters in the 48th District cannot vote on May 18th for District Justices, municipal officials (mayors, council members, supervisors, school board members) and state judges. I don’t believe that candidates for school board members, DJs, and judges should be partisan. Many states have Open Primaries that allow Independents to vote in a specific party primary election. Pennsylvania uses a CLOSED PRIMARY which only allows registered voters in each of the Parties to vote and yet is paid for by taxpayers at the state and county levels. I support Open Primaries as do former Party Chairmen Alan Novak (R) and T.J. Rooney (D). In June 2019, the Senate passed open primary legislation (SB 300) with a 42-8 vote. However, the Majority Leader in the House refused to have the bill considered. He is now the House Speaker. Was this passage in only one chamber pre- determined? Hopefully, this was not a “game”.