Pre-k is a game changer for the children who have access.
Early learning programs can close achievement gaps before they open. Children with access to preschool and pre-k programs perform better academically and in social settings, leading to better educational outcomes in the long run.
It’s economically sound- invest in our kids now and see a thriving workforce later.
We need to invest in our public schools and raise them to the levels we want, not deprive them of the resources they need.
I absolutely oppose any plan that would further deplete necessary financial resources from our public schools.
Vouchers will only help families who can typically already afford private school. This means that the kids who need the most help will be even less likely to receive it.
Without access to affordable public colleges, many students in PA would not have a path to higher education.
I have degrees from two PASSHE schools (Mansfield and Edinboro), so I have first hand knowledge of their importance academically and economically, especially to the regions in PA that host them.
We are among the worst states in the nation for funding our state system universities, which increases student debt and stifles economic growth. We need to invest in education to strengthen our economy.
Humans are driving climate change, and we need to recognize that and begin to combat it at the state level.
We cannot wait for the federal government to step in, as the president demonstrated by removing us from the Paris Climate Accord.
Instead of preventing the EPA and DEP from new regulations, like many current representatives want to do, we need to allow these departments to take the necessary steps to clean up our air and water.
It is long past time to move to sustainable, green energy sources.
Solar, wind, and hydro power are all areas to explore that can lead to jobs in PA and a much smaller carbon footprint.
As the proud human of 4 rescued cats, I will work to keep animals safe. PA has taken many positive steps in the past few years to protect our animal friends, and I will support continued efforts.
I am opposed to allowing hunters to lure bears with donuts and other junk food. I am opposed to live pigeon shoots. I am in favor of harsher penalties for those who abuse any animal. I also support the puppy mill ban currently being discussed in the legislature.
I believe healthcare is a human right. We need to move away from a profit-driven healthcare system and into an outcomes-driven system.
We need to put the people of PA first, not the profits of the insurance industry and drug companies. I am supportive of a medicare-for-all or medicare buy-in system in PA. People should not have to crowdsource their medical bills, or be driven to financial ruin because they get sick.
I strongly support the work of Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to choose. I believe the government has more pressing work to focus on than the private decisions of women and their families.
As a former patient of Planned Parenthood, I know that the work they do reaches people from all walks of life. At a time when my family did not have health insurance, I'm fortunate that my healthcare providers were able to identify possible pre-cancerous cell growth and provide further testing to ensure my health and well-being.
Mental Health Care
While this topic often comes up when discussing school safety, the fact is that we have countless Pennsylvanians in need of mental health services that they do not currently have access to.
This furthers my belief that a medicare-for-all style healthcare system in PA is the right way to go. We need to do more for our most vulnerable citizens, and work to remove the stigma surrounding mental health.
I support the work that has begun to combat this health crisis, but an emergency declaration will not solve this problem.
We need to stop prescribing these addictive drugs (that have been proven to be barely more effective than aspirin), we need to establish more treatment centers, and we need more boots on the ground identifying and treating those who most need it.
Addiction can affect anyone from any walk of life. This idea that people who suffer from addiction are making these choices and intentionally ruining their lives is partly responsible for the surplus of judgment and lack of action to help those who need it.
I have been very impressed with the work of groups like Fair Districts PA who are drawing attention to our outdated, unfair map-drawing procedures.
The purposeful way we have been divided into districts to benefit one party is absurd. Legislators should not get to pick their voters. We must push for an independent citizens commission to draw our legislative districts. Until we fix this, nothing gets fixed.
I fully support a ban on gifts from lobbyists. PA has the weakest gift regulations in the nation, and it enables those in leadership to continue ignoring their constituents and favoring special interests.
Money in Politics
The federal government needs to overturn Citizens United.
Until that happens, I would sponsor legislation to establish publicly financed elections in PA, taking big-money donors and secretive PACs out of the election equation.
Did you know there is no limit on individual campaign contributions in PA? If you find that as disgusting as I do, let's work together to enact a campaign contribution limit at the state level to match federal guidelines.
I support open primaries and automatic voter registration, as well as early voting and no-excuse absentee ballots. Getting more people involved in the democratic process can help us end this partisan gridlock.
It's time to set aside the R and the D and instead focus on the WE.
I believe in a world where people can be who they are without fear. I believe in a Pennsylvania that protects the LGBTQIA+ community from discrimination the same way it protects others in the PA Human Relations Act.
I am strongly opposed to conversion therapy and any attempts to roll back marriage equality.
America has a gun violence problem. We see it with mass shootings in our schools, but more frequently in our neighborhoods. School shootings grab our attention because they are horrific, but 96 people die of gun violence every day in America, many of those are suicides.
I will work to pass red flag laws, harsher penalties for failing to safely secure weapons, and continue to stress the importance of education and human services in this country.
I understand that gun culture is a way of life in Pennsylvania, and I will not stand in the way of good people and their interests. But the first step to solving this problem is admitting, all of us, that we have one.
Property tax is a hot-button issue in PA, especially SB76 (a bill that claims to eliminate property tax). I am not in favor of that bill in its current form, and firmly believe that property tax would NOT be a hot-button issue if the state fully funded its public schools instead of pushing that responsibility almost entirely onto municipalities and school districts.
From the PA Budget and Policy Center:
"Across all Pennsylvania families, property tax elimination would increase taxes by $334 per family. While property taxes would fall by an average of $1,685 per family, sales and income taxes would rise by over $2,000 on average per family. Moderate-income families (earning between $22,000 and $63,000), many of who live in rural areas, would see the biggest increase in taxes as a share of their income (0.6 percent). In dollar terms, these moderate-income families would see an average increase in taxes of around $300 ($269 to $326)."
In an ideal world, we would be transitioned to renewable energy by now and not fracking at all. But since we are not there yet, I support a severance tax on natural gas because the Impact Fee is stagnant and insufficient.
Also, the myth that Pennsylvanians will pay more for natural gas can be easily dispelled, because the majority of the gas extracted from PA is piped out to other states.
I support raising the minimum wage to $15/hour over time, and then tagging it to inflation.
Despite what many politicians say about the market dictating wages, over 800,000 Pennsylvanians would see a benefit from raising the minimum wage to just $9, and the bulk of those workers are adults (and many of them are women).
No one should work 40 hour weeks and still be at or below the poverty line.
I strongly support workers’ right to unionize and collectively bargain for better working conditions. The modern economy was built with union labor, and instead of tearing them down and doing the bidding of large corporations, we should be encouraging more workers to unionize.
Workers are more productive when they have safe, healthy, fair workplace environments, livable wages, and work-life balance.
From congestion and overcrowding to general road conditions, our infrastructure is in rough shape (much like part of Route 15 right now!).
I am increasingly concerned about the number of accidents occurring on Route 15, especially with cross roads in Franklin Township. Similarly, there are frequent accidents on Route 83, which are dangerous for motorists and cause lengthy delays for commuters.
We need to work with PENNDOT to find solutions to these problems.