Very pleased to announce that I have received the “Gun Sense Candidate Distinction” from Moms Demand Action. This is a group of hard working citizens devoted to passing sensible gun laws while still supporting and protecting our 2nd amendment rights. We all need to work together to find reasonable measures that keep guns out of the wrong hands, compromises that will have a real impact on making our communities safer. To find details about my views on sensible gun laws please check out my webpage on Sensible Gun Laws.
Fair Districts PA, a grassroots organization in Pennsylvania, has been hard at work for over two years trying to pass legislation to end the partisan-controlled drawing of voting districts called GERRYMANDERING. This process is an abuse of our political process whereby politicians are choosing their voters instead of the voters choosing the politicians. It weakens the power of every voter by diluting and disenfranchising Pennsylvania voters. It is a practice that must be stopped.
Fair Districts PA was having remarkable success. In April 2017 Representative Eric Roe, a Republican, and Representative Steve Samuelson, a Democrat, introduced a bipartisan proposal, House Bill 722 (HB722), which seeks to establish a non-partisan independent citizens commission to redraw the election maps, which are scheduled to be redrawn after the 2020 census. Fair Districts PA lined up 110 of the 203 PA State Representatives (38 Republicans and 72 Democrats) as co-sponsors of HB722, an encouraging effort in bi-partisan legislation. It was looking very hopeful that we might finally be able to end gerrymandering.
On April 11, 2018, Daryl Metcalfe, Republican and chair of the House State Government Committee, pushed through an amendment to HB722 that eliminates the independent citizens commission and again places all the power of drawing our legislative districts in the hands of the politicians. I personally condemn this blatantly political abuse of power. If I am elected as a PA State Representative from the 107th, I pledge to fight for a non-partisan system of drawing our political districts.
I encourage everyone to call or write your PA State Representative and insist that redistricting legislation support an independent citizens commission to draw the districts because EVERY VOTE MATTERS!
Full disclosure note: I have been an activist for the Fair Districts PA plan, spending many hours in the summer of 2017 tabling at local community fairs. I have personally spoken to hundreds of people at these events, and I can say without hesitation that whether Democrat, Republican, third party affiliated voter or an Independent voter, a vast majority agrees that GERRYMANDERING must be stopped.
We all want to see Pennsylvania prosper, passing anti-discrimination laws is an important step to promote economic development in the state.
Consider that North Carolina’s HB 2 (passed in March 2016) and Indiana’s “Religious Liberty Bill” (passed in March 2015) unleashed a torrent of backlash. These states lost hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs as expansion businesses located in other states and conventions and athletic events were relocated to other venues. Their tourism industries were hit hard.
- PayPal withdrew their planned expansion in North Carolina
- The NBA pulled the All-Star Game costing the region more than $100 million in revenue.
- In September of 2016 the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced that it would relocate 7 championship games out of North Carolina due to HB 2.
- It is estimated that Indianapolis alone lost more than $60 million in economic opportunities, including the loss of at least 12 conventions.
States that legislatively allow LGBT discrimination simply cannot compete.
Businesses are investing in states with laws that encourage diversity and inclusion, Pennsylvania needs to be one of those states!