Happy Weekend, All.
It’s Capital-Star Editor John L. Micek, sitting in for Associate Editor Cassie Miller this week, who’s taking some much deserved time off.
Beginning on Friday, May 21 and lasting through Sunday, May 23, Gov. Tom Wolf has called on Pennsylvanians to celebrate the third annual “1-4-3 Day” in honor of children’s TV star, and western Pennsylvania native, Fred Rogers.
Adopted in 2019, 1-4-3 Day is named for a numerical abbreviation. Rogers used it as an alternative way to say “I love you.” The numbers 1-4-3 represent the number of letters found in each word of the phrase.
“Today is just the beginning of a three-day weekend of door holding, thank you note writing, and coffee buying. It’s as simple as that to celebrate 1-4-3 Day,” Carrie Fischer Lepore, the Deputy Secretary of the Office of Marketing, Tourism, and Film for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, said in a statement. “We also hope that kindness becomes contagious as people share their good deeds on social media with #143DayInPA.”
So how serious is the commonwealth and Pennsylvania’s top executive about 1-4-3 Day? Well, the day has its own “kindness generator,” helping Pennsylvanians choose a random act of kindness. You can find it on this state government webpage.
Random acts of kindness don’t need to be grand, Lepore said, offering a few examples:
- Volunteering at a local charitable organization in your community,
- Making someone smile with an unexpected compliment,
- Paying for the person behind you in the drive-thru or at the store,
- Bringing coffee to your co-workers,
- Donating blood,
- Sending someone a handwritten card or note,
- Getting outside for a Kindness Walk (1.43 miles),
- Dropping off new or gently used clothes/toys to those in need,
- Preparing a meal for your household or family members, or
- Creating inspiring sidewalk art using chalk.
Here’s to a peaceful — and kind — weekend. As ever, the week’s Top 5 Most Read stories start below.
All day this Election Day, the Capital-Star will bring you the very latest on the 2021 primary election. Keep checking back here today for continuous updates from our staff, social media posts from the campaigns, material submitted by readers, and other stuff that catches our eye.
A Franklin County voter spied a legislative Republican graphic in her polling place Tuesday that she says is slanted in favor of two constitutional amendments restricting the governor’s emergency powers.
Sarah Shupp, a 36-year-old Southampton Township resident, said she was filling out her paper ballot in a cardboard cubby when she noticed the graphic pinned to the cubicle.
The graphic says that a “yes” on the first ballot question “helps to restore a legislative ‘check’ on executive powers” and that the second question would “establish more local control in emergencies.”
The two questions would allow a simple majority of lawmakers, down from the current super- majority, to end a gubernatorial disaster declaration, and require legislative approval for emergencies longer than 21 days.
The graphic didn’t change Shupp’s mind, “but reading it I can tell it was a Republican-leaning advertising or graphic,” she told the Capital-Star. “The minute I started reading it, it seemed really partisan.”
If past elections are any indication, incumbent Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto would seem to be a shoo-in to win the Democratic primary on May 18, and re-election in November. The Steel City has not elected a Republican mayor since the 1930s, so the Dems’ primary is typically a reliable predictor of who will win the November general election.
And even though incumbents are still tough to beat at every level of Pennsylvania politics, the tides have been shifting ever so slowly in deep blue Allegheny County in the past few contests; during the 2018 midterms, Reps. Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato, who ran with the support of the Democratic Socialists, both won state House primaries over Paul and Dom Costa, respectively, both of whom were well-established local politicians.
The first post-Trump election in Pittsburgh follows last summer’s demonstrations, which saw Black Lives Matter protesters arrive literally at Peduto’s doorstep to question what they saw as a lack of action by the two-term mayor on issues of racial justice.
In addition to casting a vote in municipal and judicial races, Pennsylvania voters will have to vote “yes” or “no” on May 18 on four ballot questions.
For weeks, Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly have been spreading the word about two proposed constitutional amendments that would change how Pennsylvania responds to emergencies.
But recent methods have raised ethical questions.
In a recent mailer to constituents, Sen. Mike Regan, R-York, argued that voters in his suburban Harrisburg district would have a “stronger voice” if they voted in favor of two ballot questions that will appear on the May 18 primary ballot.
These questions — which are among four total — are tied to the year-long feud between GOP leaders and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And that’s the week. Have a great weekend. We’ll see you all back here on Monday.