We support a state mandated minimum wage of $15 an hour. Wealth inequality is the biggest problem facing our society today. The cost of living continues to rise, while wages have stagnated. The market has proven incapable or unwilling to pay a living wage so I will work to raise wages for all Pennsylvanians. I will work to ensure that workers who wish to form or join a union can do so. It is my belief that billionaires should not exist.
Fair Tax Structure
Corporations should pay their fair share of taxes. Corporations have been taking advantage of our state and local tax structure for years, and in some cases actually writing the legislation, giving themselves these advantages. This has starved our communities of valuable tax dollars which should be used for infrastructure and education. This corruption has crushed small businesses and allowed a massive consolidation of wealth. We need to make sure our government is not being corrupted by corporate money or corrupt politicians.
Marijuana should be legalized and used as an economic driver for PA small businesses and farms. Grants or incentives should be given to those communities most affected by the failed drug war and I will work to prevent large or out of state corporations from monopolizing this industry. As a member of the PA state farmers union, I worked on SB 350 that would bring these economic benefits to our communities.
Healthcare is a basic human right. People should not have to risk losing their life savings or going bankrupt because of an accident or a medical condition. Health insurance companies do not charge fair rates for their services, healthcare cannot be a for profit business as has been demonstrated on our citizens for 40 years.
Medicare For All is the only answer. We will prioritize continued funding for state programs, such as CHIP, and work towards achieving bi-partisan solutions for the healthcare crisis we face.
Campaign Finance Reform
A major problem in our political system is special interests influencing politicians. We support capping donations and only allowing individuals to donate to campaigns to ensure the integrity of our elected officials.
Pennsylvania has no limits on campaign donations to politicians. We can’t expect our representatives to act in our best interests and truly represent us within that framework. This situation has created our state government’s inability to act in the interest of the people.
Equal School Funding
Education is the most important thing we must provide for our children. Most funding for Pennsylvania schools comes from property taxes within a school district’s boundaries. This creates a great disadvantage; an inequitable system where wealthier communities receive much more funding for their schools than less affluent districts, leading to a vicious cycle for less affluent communities. Without a proper education, the opportunities for economic prosperity won't be reachable. I will support and help craft legislation that will create a level playing field.
Keeping Public Assets Public
We must not allow the privatization of our public infrastructure and utilities. We must advocate for and protect our public parks, water companies, and public transportation agencies against the interests of their shareholders and administrators over citizens. We need to keep these public unions strong. Creating a profit motive in industries involving our basic necessities is ridiculous.
Currently, the state of PA has no protections for workers being fired from their jobs for their sexual orientation or gender identity, this needs to be rectified. I will call out legislators and their sources of funding from such groups as ALEC that push bathroom bills, conversion therapy and other ludicrous ideas. It is a travesty that in 2020 these rights are still under attack.
I will support and advocate for passing legislation which will prohibit any form of discrimination in the public and private sector. We also need to protect children who a persecuted for their identities and make sure that we all protected and allowed to be who we want to be.
Women’s rights are under attack in Pennsylvania. A heart beat bill is currently a discussion in the legislature.
I recognize that diminishing reproductive rights, harassment, lack of equal pay, insufficient parental leave, domestic violence and discrimination still plague our society. As an advocate, I will fight to end these injustices in our society.
Criminal Justice Reform
The drug war has failed and has disproportionately affected poor and black communities. Our state prisons are overcrowded, and we need restorative justice to ensure healthy and safe communities. I will work towards: treating drug possession as a medical issue not a criminal issue, supporting reintegration of prisoners into society, rolling back laws seeking to over-incarcerate and end cash bail.
The current gun policies and the damage from guns outweighs the positives they have in our society. We need to to make some serious efforts to curb the unstable and violent from possessing guns. I deal with rural PA regularly and I understand the importance of guns in rural areas but we need to think this through as a society.
There are too many mass shootings to pretend that out current policy is working. We need an honest conversation about freedoms we are willing to lose for the well being of our society.
I believe that the hopelessness and stress in our society is the driver behind these types of behaviors. We need to address the healthcare system, living wage and overall stress we feel as citizens of PA.
Environmental Justice/Green New Deal
The public is entitled to clean air, clean land, clean water and clean food. We can not allow corporations to profit off of destroying the environment and our communities. We will hold these companies accountable and support legislation moving us away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. We understand PA's reliance on fossil fuels as an economic driver but this is not the way forward and we need to wean ourselves off this path. Continuing to build this infrastructure will only lead us to a crash as the returns on fracking continue to weaken, we need to look forward. We need to ban new fracking wells and wean our economy off of plastics and fossil fuels. We need to transfer those employed in these industries to other similar paying jobs, a just transition.
Public transit is an integral part of the PA economy. Public transportation is essential to a healthy economy and the reduction of pollution. State funding for public transit has been slashed again and again. This disproportionately affects poor communities and creates transportation deserts. We will support adequate funding to ensure timely reliable public transit. Public transit should be treated as an asset, not a liability.
Housing costs have continued to squeeze the budgets of citizens across Pennsylvania. This is a complex issue that involves policy beyond the states control such as the federal reserves interest rate, foreign investment and bank leverage issues. The Federal Government is not going to deal with these issues so we need to be realistic.
I own multiple properties and understand the burdens of ownership yet I understand how hard it can be to survive as rents increase and wages are stagnant. As a politicians and landlord, I would support rent control in a workable system.
We will support policies which work to alleviate the burden of rising housing costs on families while trying to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
We also need outreach and programs that encourage home ownership, not in a predatory manner. Communities that have high rates of ownership are much better positioned to deal with gentrification and other housing issues. We do not need our communities being owned by out of state real estate conglomerates who can do as they wish.
We support the idea and implementation of cooperative electrical generation in PA. We do not need to ensure the power of the utilities over the people. I would support both SB705 and HB531 which are bills that allow energy cooperatives.