What I Stand For
The people of the 160th need a representative who will:
- stand with families
- stand for realizing the American Dream,
- and stand for protecting our Democracy.
In Harrisburg, I will fight for families. Specifically:
- I will stand up for guaranteeing clean air and water, preserving open space, and tackling climate change so that our families and future generations can enjoy the quality of life they deserve.
- I will stand up for common sense gun safety legislation supported by the majority of voters in the Commonwealth, including universal background checks, extreme risk protection orders, and training for first time gun purchasers. And I will fight to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines so we can ALL feel safer.
- I will stand up for a woman’s unfettered right to choose if and when to have children.
Growing up in a working class immigrant family, ‘realizing the American Dream’ wasn’t just a slogan for me…it was my life.
So when I talk about helping all people realize the American Dream, I’m talking about treating all people with respect and dignity. I’m talking about establishing a living wage for all and equal-pay-for-equal-work for women. I’m talking about fair and full school funding so that all of our children–no matter their zip code–can have the same opportunity to realize their full potential. I’m talking about expanding business ownership opportunities for women and minorities.
Finally, I stand for protecting our Democracy, ending gerrymandering, making voting easier and more secure, and ensuring that no one, including our President, is above the law.
Environment & Climate
Regardless of age, gender, race, or political affiliation, we all depend on clean air, land and water. Protecting the environment is a priority we all share, and I will make sure it is a priority in Harrisburg.
I have spent the past 15 years helping to grow The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County into a nationally accredited land conservancy and, working with the Pennsylvania and Delaware Chapters of The Nature Conservancy, creating nature-based solutions to tackle climate change and protect our land and the quality of our water.
You can read my Op-Ed published in Chadds Ford Live presenting a path forward for the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
FIGHTING THE GUN VIOLENCE EPIDEMIC
We are all concerned about the continued increase in gun violence in our nation. What you may not realize is that many gun regulations are determined in Harrisburg.
Gun violence is a complex issue and there is no one solution. But implementing and enforcing stronger background checks, ensuring domestic abusers and stalkers cannot get access to guns and banning bump stocks as well as assault-style weapons for civilians are areas where there is agreement as to a sensible path forward. But nothing will change while our legislators are beholden to the NRA. I promise you that in Harrisburg I will champion meaningful gun safety measures to protect all of us.
INVESTING IN EDUCATION & PROVIDING PROPERTY TAX RELIEF
Providing high-quality public education is one of the most important duties of our state and local governments. Our communities and taxpayers feel the impact when Harrisburg refuses to provide adequate funding for education. Increased unemployment, crime, poverty, drug abuse, and other destructive and expensive consequences can all be traced back to a lack of high quality education.
Our state budget used to fund more than 50% of public education. It now funds slightly more than ⅓, forcing local school districts to raise property taxes to make up the difference. This means that too many working families and those with modest incomes can not afford to live in districts where schools are sufficiently funded. It’s time for the state to pay its fair share of education funding in order to provide local property tax relief and to guarantee every child a chance to realize their full potential.
America has come a long way since the self-evident truth that all men are created equal was included in the Declaration of Independence…but we still have so very far to go to achieve gender equality.
The recent radical abortion bills introduced in our State legislature, the theft that is lower pay for the same work, the failure to process rape kits, and the epidemic of harassment and violent assault in and out of the workplace are all damning testimony to the fact that women in Pennsylvania are still not being properly valued, respected or treated as equals. This is wrong and must change.
In nearly a decade as a public defender, I fought every day to ensure that the criminal justice system treated economically disadvantaged women and girls fairly.
While at Cheyney University, I created and implemented successful programs to foster harassment-free and discrimination-free workplaces. Many of these programs became models for all 14 State universities.
I created an innovative partnership with the State and Federal governments to level the playing field so that women business owners could secure more government contracts.
And most recently, I stood with women against the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and marched with hundreds of thousands in Washington, D.C. for women’s rights nationwide.
I will continue to stand with women until gender equality is a reality and not just a goal.
Quite simply, voters need to be choosing their legislators; legislators should not be choosing their voters. Democracy demands no less. The Congressional Districts Pennsylvania Legislators created in 2011 were a national laughing stock. Thankfully, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court imposed a remedy to correct the situation. Now the residents of the 160th are part of 2 congressional districts (the 5th and 6th) that mirror county boundaries and and have us voting along with our neighbors.
Unfortunately, the state legislative districts are still horrendously gerrymandered and our own 160th is a prime example. The law requires that all efforts be made not to have legislative districts cross county boundaries and not to divide municipalities into different districts. Yet here we are with 4 municipalities in Delaware County and 4 in Chester County, and Upper Chichester Township is divided between 2 different House districts. This needs to change…and the representatives we elect in 2020 will be the ones making the decisions.
There’s more bad news: Republicans in Harrisburg are pushing a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that will change how we elect judges and justices to our appellate courts, including our State Supreme Court. Under their proposal, we would elect judges by districts drawn by members of the General Assembly. This would essentially bring political gerrymandering to our judicial elections. They must be stopped.
INVESTING IN OUR INFRASTRUCTURE TO CREATE JOBS AND GROW THE ECONOMY
I fully support continuing the progress made by the Wolf Administration to increase and further expedite our investment in repairing and upgrading Pennsylvania’s aging and crumbling infrastructure as a budgetary priority. These investments in our infrastructure now will save taxpayers money in the long-term, create jobs, support businesses big and small, and improve the safety and quality of life for all. Infrastructure investment is therefore foundational to building a strong economy for Pennsylvania in both the long and short term.
THE OPIOID CRISIS
As a public defender in both Miami and Chester County, I spent nearly a decade creating and finding alternatives to incarceration for those suffering from the disease of addiction. I pledge to continue to do so in Harrisburg.
Throughout Pennsylvania, the opioid crisis has hit families and communities hard and our community is no exception. Although we have taken some steps to address this crisis, we must do better. This is a complex problem and the best plan involves multiple approaches.
For years, Pennsylvania has faced continued budget battles that have as their origin the structural deficit in the state’s budget. Constitutionally, Pennsylvania must have a balanced budget, a requirement that Republicans in the legislature have used as an excuse to avoid making tough decisions and doing what is right for all of us.
Fiscal responsibility means addressing the budget deficit both now and in the future by making strategic investments in programs and policies that support small and mid-sized businesses, attract and retain our expanding pool of talented workers, and pay all workers a living wage. Increasing economic growth is the surest way to provide for a brighter future for all of us.
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PO Box 402
Chadds Ford, PA 19317