MARK ON THE ISSUES
FAIR SCHOOL FUNDING
We all want our children to grow up with the tools they need to pursue their dreams, whatever paths they choose. That’s why we need our schools to be funded fairly, because the quality of our students’ education should not depend on their ZIP code. Let’s do right by our kids and our families. Let's implement the fair school funding formula across Pennsylvania and give them the education they deserve.
I’ve worked in restaurants; I work in construction. I know what it’s like to work in industries with hazardous jobs, erratic pay, and no benefits, and I know how much of a difference a strong union can make. We need to continue to fight against right-to-work legislation so hardworking Pennsylvanians can continue to get the pay, benefits, and safe working conditions that they deserve.
SAFER COMMUNITIES AND FEWER PEOPLE IN PRISON
Most of us know someone who’s been involved in the criminal justice system. There are too many people incarcerated. There are too many barriers to their re-entry after their release. We know that the current system disproportionately affects people of color, and we can’t ignore it. We can address these problems, reduce recidivism, and make our communities safer all at the same time. The mandatory minimums and the restrictive drug laws and the lengthy parole conditions that create this system are all laws created in Harrisburg, and it’s someone’s job to fix them there. If you send me to Harrisburg, I will make it a priority to do just that.
Protecting Abortion Rights
Pennsylvania is always in danger of losing access to safe abortions. We must protect women's rights to choose what happens to their bodies. I wholeheartedly and unequivocally support reproductive rights for everyone.
Healthcare is necessary for all people to live good lives. We need to ensure everyone can seek care without going into debt for injury or illness that is no fault of their own.
Raising the Minimum Wage
The minimum wage in Maryland is $12.50. In New Jersey it's $13. It's anywhere from $13.20-$15 in New York. In PA? It's $7.25. We're falling behind, and pulling working people down with us. Its time for us to raise the minimum wage.
PASSHE schools provide an essential, affordable service to thousands of Pennsylvania students and communities. We need to ensure they are well funded and that we are doing everything in our power as a state to guarantee their continued success. That includes adequate state funding.
Common Sense Gun Safety
Tragedies like those in Buffalo and Uvalde cannot continue to be the norm. We need common sense reforms to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. I grew up in Lock Haven, PA. Guns are a part of our culture. I've owned guns myself. Universal background checks would make our communities safer. Firearms safety training is just as important. There isn't a gun-owner I know that doesn't think every carrier needs to be taught firearms safety. When it comes to reducing the number of shootings by people who should not have access to guns, the most important thing we can do is to keep guns out of the hands of convicted perpetrators of domestic violence. The vast majority of gun owners in our state are responsible ones who support this measure.
Responsible gun owners don't want their guns taken away because of the actions of someone who shouldn't have one. We need extensive universal background checks and red flag laws.
Protecting our air, land, and water is a top priority. Too many Pennsylvanians deal with environmental hazards that affect their health and communities. Pennsylvanians shouldn't have to worry about cancerous pollutants and the destruction of local wildlife.
Protecting Voting Rights
The right to vote must be protected at all costs. Furthermore, we need to expand voting rights. Every Pennsylvanian should be registered to vote automatically at the age of 18, and voting by mail should continue to be an option for every voter.
The Legislative Redistricting Commission's maps that will be utilized are a step in the right direction for PA. Far too often, we see partisan legislators rig the process to protect incumbents and ignore the will of the people. Taking redistricting out of the hands of politicians and giving that power to our citizens requiring bipartisan cooperation is the logical next step for ensuring that our democratic institutions work as intended.
At the moment, our legislature is dysfunctional. Many of the issues with widespread bipartisan support amongst voters do not even see the floor of the House and Senate. It's time to alter legislative rules to ensure that the bills we all want to see passed make it out of committee and receive a vote. If our elected officials are opposed to popular reforms, they should be forced to put that on the record.
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