ACHIEVING OUR POTENTIAL
Forging a new Pennsylvania
"After hundreds of years searching the stars we have failed to discover any planet which could support our life. We must treat the Earth as the special jewel it is; this means sustainable energy sources are key."
There are 200 million trillion stars in the universe with 1,000 new solar systems created every second. For the last thirty years we have peered farther and deeper into space than ever and we have yet to discover a planet like our Earth.
Yet we continue to poison our drinking water and pollute our air, ruining our only home and possibly hastening our demise.
The science is clear; our planet is warming, causing our oceans to rise and the climate in which we thrive, to change. Philadelphia is the 17th fastest-warming city in the United States and by 2100 will have a “normal” summer like one from southern Texas today. Aside from the health impact, the economic ones are just as staggering.
With one out of every 10 jobs in Pennsylvania associated with agriculture and producing almost $27 billion annually in associated revenue, how will a warming climate affect those Pennsylvanians? The Trump administration weakened numerous environmental laws which decreased the quality of life for Pennsylvanians and threaten their health and economic security.
There is no greater threat to our future than the self-inflicted one the Trump administration made worse.
"Healthcare may be an industry but more than that, it is a fundamental human right.
The Republican Senate voted a dozen times to take away health coverage without saying how they would cover those who would be harmed. No matter the flaws of the Affordable Care Act, it is irresponsible to eliminate coverage from Americans, especially during a pandemic. I will work not only to protect and improve the affordable care act but to move us to a system of universal healthcare that treats healthcare as what it is, a human right.
Additionally I will push for:
Transparent billing practices that apply insurance before patients are billed
Ending balanced billing and the practice of emergency cases being ruled out of network
Controlling out of control prescription prices and ending price gouging in the pharmaceutical industry
No American should have to choose between a meal and their prescription or cancer treatment and their mortgage
We can and must do better!
"Primary and secondary education needs attention. We need to make not just kindergarten mandatory but also pre-K. We need to stop profiting from college student loans. Loans should be interest free enabling individuals to avoid crushing debt."
As a graduate of Pennsylvania’s public school system, I felt prepared for my next step. That was 35 years ago and, for many Pennsylvanians, the education system today is not working.
School districts and states by themselves cannot fulfill the promise of a good quality education. The current education system has enormous gaps in the resources available to each student based on geography, income, and race. A student in Ardmore or Altoona should have the same opportunity to achieve their potential.
If we increase the graduation rate in this country by seven percent, we will add $5.7B to our Gross Domestic Product and create millions more involved and productive Americans. We need to require full day kindergarten, Pre-K programs, and provide interest-free loans to college students to insure that all Americans have the ability to achieve their potential regardless of income, geography, race, or gender.
For the first time in our history, a majority of parents say that they do not want their kids to become teachers. Moreover, enrollment in teacher preparation programs is down by over 30 percent since 2012 as fewer high school students are interested in teaching careers.
There needs to be a comprehensive program to raise the prestige of the teaching profession to that of other professions, provide advance training to help teachers meet the needs of a changing student population, and increase the standards for who can become a teacher.
"Mental health programs, conflict resolution and banning assault weapons will work much better than thoughts and prayers."
Once every 15 minutes in this country someone is killed by a gun. Teenagers are 80 times more likely to die from gun homicide in this country than their international peers.
The answers are simple, despite what my friends in the Republican party might have you believe:
Background checks for all gun purchases, ending the gun show loophole, straw purchases, and private exchanges of weapons to avoid background checks
Red flag laws that will allow judges to temporarily remove guns from the homes of those suspected of planning harm to themselves or others
A federal law banning perpetrators of domestic violence and other forms of violence from ever owning a gun in the future
Allowing the CDC to study gun violence as a public health issue
Permanently reinstituting and expanding the assault weapons ban
The reality is that most other developed countries have had sustained success in curtailing violence by focusing on mental health and getting guns off their streets. We can do the same, and anyone who says otherwise is lying.
See how you can get involved by getting in touch today.