I am running to be your state representative because I think Harrisburg needs new leadership and new ideas. I have always challenged the status quo and I will do so when I am elected.
We need to solve the big problems facing this state and this country. Why isn’t our state legislature leading the way to help business create new jobs for the commonwealth? Why isn’t Harrisburg figuring out a way to fully fund our schools and manage our state budget without bankrupting our citizens? Why isn’t cleaning up the environment a priority for every single county in the state? Why aren’t we doing more to make sure that health care is a right? Why aren’t we doing more to make sure that every single student is safe in school from guns and violence?
I have always told my students that government is not a spectator sport. It requires each of us to do our part to make things better, not stand on the outside and criticize. After the Parkland shooting last year, I realized that I needed to do more than ask my students to participate in government, I myself needed to get more involved. And so I am.
I am running to be your voice in Harrisburg. I will listen to you. I will talk to you. I will work 24/7 to be your advocate in the state legislature. And I will never, ever quit on you.
I believe that my lifetime of service to my country and my community will give me the ability to be an effective legislator and representative of you.
I ask you for your support. Together, we can make Pennsylvania a better place for all of us.
I am proud to call myself a teacher. I taught at Conestoga High School for 19 years. I have seen for myself the difference that a great education can make in the lives of our children. We have great schools in our district, but there are schools not too far from us who do not have the same resources or opportunities. I am committed to working to increase funding for all schools so that they can provide a 21st-century education for all kids.
Pennsylvania is the only state that does not institute a severance tax on the oil and gas industry. Billions of dollars have been lost that could have been used for public education. The do-nothing Harrisburg legislature has refused to enact this severance tax and has passed the state’s education responsibility on to you. That is why your property taxes are so high.
Pennsylvania is 47th in funding its public schools. I am also committed to reducing standardized testing and restrictive educational policies. Teachers must be given the resources and the independence to help our children succeed.
I also believe that not every student wants or needs to go to a traditional four year college. We should provide outstanding vocational opportunities, working hand in hand with local businesses to provide students the flexibility to choose their own careers.
I am a strong supporter of common sense gun safety reform. As a teacher, it was my responsibility to keep my students safe. After the Parkland shooting, it occurred to me that I did not have the ability to do so. That is when I became involved in the gun reform movement.
I wrote an article for Time magazine asking the country to consider the rights of students, not just the rights of those who carry weapons: “Let’s not talk about school shootings in terms of gun control and mental health. Let’s talk about school safety. Let’s talk about whether we as a society have the will to keep our precious students safe in the place that most demands safety. It’s about getting all the stakeholders in a room: parents, teachers, police, politicians and students, rather than asking teachers to carry the entire load.”
Harrisburg has refused to tackle this issue. 90% of Pennsylvanians want background checks with no loopholes and red flag laws to prevent mentally ill people from carrying guns. Instead of listening to their constituents, the legislature has bowed to the gun lobby and has done virtually nothing to end the epidemic of gun violence in our cities and in our schools.
We need a new legislature with the fortitude to DO SOMETHING. Send me to Harrisburg and I will.
Hard working Pennsylvanians deserve access to good quality health care. I have spoken to many people in this district who either have no health care at all or have gone bankrupt because their health care coverage costed them so much money. No one should go bankrupt because they are taking care of a sick family member. I will work tirelessly to improve health care access for all our citizens.
I will fight for increased funding for substance abuse treatment and will work to hold drug companies financially responsible for this opioid crisis. They must pay for the destruction they have caused across this Commonwealth.
I will also fight for improved mental health treatment. Mental health counseling and treatment is essential to the health of our communities. I have seen firsthand the increased anxiety and depression in our young people. We must not stigmatize them, or anyone, for needing help.
As a former President of the Tredyffrin Easttown Teacher’s union, I believe that every working person deserves to have a voice. Wealth inequality in the US has risen dramatically in the last 50 years, due in large measure to the decline in union membership.
I believe that we should not only protect worker’s rights by strengthening traditional labor laws, but also by instituting new laws to protect workers in the new economy. Workers should have predictability when it comes to their schedules. Workers who are so-called “independent contractors” but who are actually controlled by one business should be treated as employees and subject to all the protections and benefits that employees get.
The Pennsylvania minimum wage should be increased. Currently, it is the lowest in the nation at $7.25 per hour. I agree with Governor Wolf that it should be increased gradually to be $15 by 2024. The working men and women of Pennsylvania should not struggle to put food on their tables or pay their rent while working 40-hour weeks.
I support a woman’s right to control her own personal health and her own body. Below is an article I wrote for the Delaware County Times on July 4, 2019:
As a Social Studies teacher, I often talk with kids about controversial issues. It’s my job.
It is also my job to help students see that the “in your face” debates they see on TV and online are not how we should be discussing the many challenging issues that face us as a nation. Whether it is guns or climate change or abortion, I ask them to see the many different positions that people hold on any particular topic. They learn that with almost every issue, there is no black or white policy solution. They learn to see their classmates’ perspectives and to understand that there is room for compromise.
Recently, many Republican state legislatures have passed laws that demonstrate that they have no understanding of compromise or perspective. These extreme pieces of legislation outlaw most types of abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. These laws fail to consider or to empathize with the devastating consequences of crimes committed against women or to allow for the medical necessity of ending a pregnancy to save a woman’s life. These laws are wrong on every conceivable level. But they are especially wrong because they are trying to black and white an issue that is every shade of gray.
If you read Roe v. Wade you will see that the court’s decision full of gray. It seeks to balance the privacy rights of women with government’s right to protect the unborn. It seeks to balance the health of the woman and the health of the fetus. The decision even defines when a fetus becomes a person and is protected by the Constitution. You can see that the justices agonized over every word in this decision.
Since 1973, political pundits have translated Roe v. Wade to suit their political needs. This carefully crafted document has become the Rorschach test of Supreme Court opinions: You look at it and see what you want to see.
I reject the framing of this issue as either pro-life or pro-abortion. Both sides value life. To characterize women who have abortions as being against life is wrong and misguided. It is wrong because it is impossible to look into the heart of a woman making perhaps the most difficult decision of her life. It is misguided because who amongst us is qualified to make this judgment?
The pro-choice people I know are not pro-abortion. They are people of conscience who believe deeply in the right of women to make private medical decisions in consultation with their doctor.
The pro-choice people I know are decent, caring people. They are charitable people, working in their communities to help the poor or to raise money for the homeless or the less fortunate. They value life every single day by doing good works and by living good lives.
Laws banning abortion in every circumstance are as wrongheaded as laws allowing abortion in every circumstance. The legislatures passing such anti-abortion laws are deaf to the 67% of U.S. voters who, in a recent CBS poll, say they still support the guidelines outlined in the Roe v. Wade decision.
Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and has been the law of the land for 46 years. I support this decision and the premise behind it: women should control their own bodies and should make decisions about their body privately, in consultation with their physician. I implore the Pennsylvania Legislature to listen to their constituents and demonstrate to the students of Pennsylvania that discussion, compromise, and common sense is the hallmark of our state legislature – not absolutist rule.
The first time I got involved in government was as a young person, when I lobbied President Nixon to pass the Endangered Species Act and I marched at the first Earth Day. As a college senior at Penn State, I travelled all over Pennsylvania to produce a documentary on hazardous chemicals and the waste dumps that were created that poisoned our water supplies and ruined the land. We only have one environment and one earth. We must do everything we can to protect it.
I will fight for sensible environmental policies that protect our land, our water, and our air. These policies will not only benefit our citizens, but also our economy. In the 21st-century, green policies will create green jobs and will make Pennsylvania a leader in attracting the kind of good paying jobs that our citizens need and deserve.
I will fight to protect not only the environment, but also our resources. The land and all that is in it belong to the people of Pennsylvania.
Additionally, Delaware County residents deserve to be safe in their homes and schools, without fear of explosions or harm from pipelines carrying hazardous chemicals. There must be a moratorium on fracking in the county until oil and gas companies have provided safety plans and protocols for all.