Many communities seem to be losing young people and businesses, and the pandemic did not help. We need to create community programs, before and after school, teen centers, recreation programs, places for our students and our community to meet and spend time together.
Our children are our future. We need to fully and fairly, fund our public schools. We need to stop giving money to charter schools that do not meet the same standards. We need to invest in better schools, more technology and make sure every student has access to broadband internet. We need to move away from expensive standardized testing and to a system of peer reviewed final exams. Our students are depending on us, we cannot let them down.
Our Pennsylvania Constitution demands we protect our air, water and land, so why aren’t we doing better at preserving our environment? We need to have a plan to reverse the damaging impacts of pollution and move to sustainable policies that will provide for our planet.
We cannot allow the same people who have been in office and holding us back from passing policies to also draw district lines that keep their bias in our legislature. We need an independent commission to draw fair lines that provide for democratic process.
Affordable and accessible healthcare is a necessity. We know we can do better. Our families need to be able to see a doctor, and a dentist, without worrying about huge bills, and monthly premiums and copays that are out of control. We need better prenatal care, too many women still do not have adequate care. And we need to protect women’s reproductive healthcare.
All people need a safe and secure shelter. We cannot create strong communities without affordable housing for all. We can and must create a framework for how to provide housing workers can afford. Our communities cannot continue to see increased housing costs and wages staying the same.
We all know we need to do more work on our roads, bridges and tunnels. We don’t need more tolls making travel more expensive for working families. We need to audit the funds we already have and make sure they are being spent as they were meant to be spent, to provide safe roads, bridges and tunnels.
Creating opportunities for job creation and a strong local economy are key to keeping our communities strong. We need students to want to stay here after they graduate. Without good paying jobs in industries that are growing we cannot compete. We need to look at jobs in emerging markets. Robotics, renewable energy, technology and education will be the jobs of the future. We need to provide training and programs to ensure we can provide well-trained employees for the jobs of the future.
Protecting workers rights is a responsibility I will take very seriously. Our workers must have the right to organize and form collective bargaining units. We know labor unions have been fighting to protect workers for a long time and I promise to fight to protect the right to unionize.
OPEN SPACE AND PARKS
We need to protect our communities and understand that parks and playgrounds have a value. We need to develop our communities in a balanced way and take into account the costs of development versus the cost of open space as well as preserving green spaces for all.
Every worker deserves to be able to retire with dignity and security. We must provide for our workers. No one should have to worry about losing their house or not being able to afford medicine.
Over 90% of the businesses in the United States are classified as “small”. Family owned local businesses are the heart of our community. We need to ensure there is capital available for new start ups and to protect existing businesses.
Affordable public transportation is essential. We need to look at the costs for working families and ensure we are not increasing tolls on roads to make travel unaffordable.
Our right to vote is our most important right. Too many people do not feel their vote makes a difference. They do not feel their voice is represented. We need to make voting easier and continue to provide for secure elections. We need to expand early voting and provide education so voters know their elections are secure, whether in-person or by mail.
The minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25, and for tipped workers it is only $2.83. The minimum wage in Pennsylvania has not been increased since 2008. We know the cost of everything has increased and we need to protect workers and make sure every person working a full-time job can afford housing, food, healthcare, transportation and retirement.