A Better Future for Pennsylvania
Public service in our country is at a crossroads. Positions of public trust are increasingly held by grandstanders and career politicians, twitterholics and demagogues. I look at those who are meant to serve us and see them too often choosing to serve themselves. It is with all of that in mind that I am writing to you today in order to announce my candidacy for the US Senate.
I grew up the son of an Irish Catholic steelworker and an Italian-American working mother. I grew up in a family that understood the importance of organized labor and believed in the Democratic Party. When I was 20 years old, I ran for city council in my hometown of Norristown, PA because I believed that the city deserved better. I became the youngest elected official in the state of Pennsylvania.
I am choosing now, 31 years later, to announce my candidacy for the Senate because I see that our state and our country deserves better. Citizens feel distrust in their government, that they are ignored, and that the government can’t get things done. Those feelings sent many voters to the polls for Donald Trump; and have deep roots in Pennsylvania.
Despite Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris' victory last year, those sentiments still exist and have only been made worse by the large-scale mismanagement of a year-long pandemic.
I have that same sense of frustration that our government isn’t working for us, that career politicians care more about creating headlines and getting attention than they do about getting things done, and they leapfrog from one office to the other without so much as a single accomplishment.
I find myself thinking of the words used in earlier, equally turbulent times, spoken by Robert F. Kennedy fifty some long years ago, yet--sadly--as true today. As RFK stated with humility, sincerity and grace “I run because I am convinced that this country is on a perilous course and because I have such strong feelings about what must be done, and I feel that I'm obliged to do all that I can.”
In the tradition of RFK, I am running to propose changes which fulfill our ideals of equality. We will end the business of mass incarceration. We will hold our police forces, and our elected officials, accountable for racial injustice. We will protect the environment and restore the balance needed to sustain our existence while creating sustainable union jobs. The American dream must be restored by stopping the erosion of the middle class, welcoming those seeking to better themselves through effort and opportunity, implementing Medicare For All, and properly funding public education at all levels. And, we must reform government itself; institutions like the Electoral College and rules like the Senate filibuster--historically rooted in preserving slavery now used in undemocratic ways to impede the progress of civil and human rights.
For these reasons, I proudly enter the primary contest for Senator from Pennsylvania.