We need a swift reopening plan that restores normalcy, gets people back to work, and protects the health and safety of all citizens.
On my first day in office, my immediate priorities will be to:
Fight for our local small businesses and increased rehiring initiatives
Fight for new employment opportunities and getting people back to stable work
Fight for expanded food donations and access to local food pantries
Fight for increased property tax rebates to an expanded number of taxpayers
Fight for increased health and safety funding so teachers and students can safely return to school this fall
These unprecedented and uncertain times call for strong leaders who can work with colleagues across the aisle to put citizens first, pass legislation that actually helps people suffering due to unforeseen COVID-19 impacts, and gets us back on track as fast as possible. When my campaign completed our COVID-19 district-wide check-in, we found way too many people unnecessarily suffering from food and housing insecurities, unemployment office backlogs, stimulus check hiccups, safety equipment delays, indecisive or inconsistent legislative actions, and many other breakdowns, all due to ineffective leadership, non-responsive representation and a broken government.
While the federal government delayed much needed action and support to states, Harrisburg couldn’t cope without federal aid or respond swiftly. Pennsylvania’s Unemployment office was completely overwhelmed and unemployed workers were unable to pay bills and feed their families. We bolstered unemployment funding, but didn’t provide the office with efficient staffing to execute disbursements. The federal government dropped the ball when allowing way too many large corporations to take advantage of funding that was specifically earmarked for our smallest, neighborhood local businesses, and I don’t believe the state legislature did enough to support them as they tried their best to weather these closures, some of whom may now never reopen.
The state legislature didn’t do enough to bolster food supplies at local food pantries. My campaign delivered food to citizens claiming they had lost their jobs, were dealing with unemployment fund delays, and couldn't feed their family with only one allowed trip to the pantry a month. It was not enough, and I believe those reps who claim they represent citizens unfortunately did nothing for this growing number of district residents.
No doubt, we need an aggressive reopening plan, and a swift return to normalcy. But neither employees, nor customers, should have to compromise their health and safety because representatives couldn’t think ahead or plan appropriately. We need forward-thinking leaders to put citizens first, now and always, and make certain the precautions are in place to reopen quickly and safely.