Pa. voters are sending a message: We have the plan that responds to it | Opinion

March 16, 2020 6:30 am

Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Philadelphia, (Capital-Star photo).

By Pennsylvania House Democrats’ Leadership Team

When we return to Harrisburg after spending time in our legislative districts, we always bring back with us a pretty simple and clear message from the people we represent.

The families, local business owners and community leaders we speak with at home want a Pennsylvania where public officials are fighting for them, not just the special interests and politically connected who lobby at the state Capitol every day. 

Working families are tired of struggling day after day to get by while big corporations and special interests get all the breaks. Our neighbors tell us it’s time for Harrisburg to stop putting politics ahead of the people, and it’s time to for us to stand together for a Pennsylvania that works for all of us.

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 That’s why Pennsylvania House Democrats have made the priorities we share with the people we represent the engine that drives our Plan4PA policy agenda. 

  • We want to grow our economy and create Good Jobs everywhere. That’s why our Plan4PA calls for jobs that pay real wages and support families. Our plan protects workers, gives them a voice in the workplace and a chance to retire. It supports careers and financial stability, not just a temporary job and the constant fear of insecurity.
  • We want people to have access to Affordable Health Care so they can visit the doctor when they are sick. That’s why our Plan4PA protects people with pre-existing conditions so they have the health insurance they need, addresses exorbitant prescription costs so seniors can afford their medications, and strengthens the Children’s Health Insurance Program so all kids get the checkups and routine care they need.
  • We want Quality Schools that open the door to a lifetime of opportunity for every child, no matter how much their family earns or where they live. That’s why our Plan4PA supports schools that are modern and safe and where children have the resources and teachers have the support and supplies they need. Our plan also gives young people and adults access to affordable higher education and skills training for the successful careers that will allow them to realize their full potential.
  • We want a Fair Economy where special interests are no longer writing the rules and getting all the breaks. Our Plan4PA rewards people for working hard and playing by the rules and makes sure everyone shares in both the cost and benefits of a successful economy.
  • We want to live in a state with a Safe and Healthy Environment, where the air we breathe is safe and the water we drink is clean – just like our state constitution promises. Our Plan4PA protects our resources and preserves our natural heritage not just for us but for our children and their children in the future. Our plan invests in the companies and technologies that will make our industries and communities cleaner and safer, and our plan holds the polluters accountable for the cost of their recklessness and negligence.
  • We want Justice for All so everyone can live and work without fear of discrimination or harassment. Our Plan4PA values every Pennsylvania resident and treats them equally under the law, while respecting the things that make all of us unique. Our plan creates a criminal justice system that’s focused on protecting the innocent and keeping our communities safe while allowing people who have made mistakes and served their time to return to the workforce so they can support themselves, their families and our economy. And, it makes sure people suffering from substance use disorders get the treatment and recovery they need, not expensive and wasteful warehousing in prison.
  • Finally, we want Secure Elections so everyone trusts that their vote is counted accurately and securely, and that their voice is heard. Our Plan4PA makes registering and voting as convenient as possible so every voter who is eligible can participate in our democracy, and fixes our broken campaign finance system so government is accountable to the people, not the special interests.

It’s time to put Harrisburg to work for the people, not the special interests. It’s time for our state government to focus on the many, not the few.

It’s time for a Plan4PA that responds to our families and our priorities. As House Democrats, we begin this new legislative year with a renewed dedication to advancing the policies and issues that the people we represent care most about. You can join us by encouraging your state lawmaker to support our Plan4PA and help move our state forward in a way that benefits all of us. 

More information about House Democrats’ Plan4PA, and an opportunity to add your voice to our fight to advance the values we all share, can be found here.

The Pennsylvania House Democratic leadership team includes: state Reps. Frank Dermody, of Allegheny County leader; Jordan Harris, of Philadelphia, whip; Matt Bradford, of Montgomery County ranking member, House Appropriations Committee; Rosita Youngblood, of Philadelphia, caucus secretary; Joanna McClinton, of Philadelphia, caucus chair; Neal P. Goodman, of Berks County, caucus administrator; and Mike Sturla, of Lancaster County, policy chairman.

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