Our Voice For Allentown & Lehigh County
Our Voice For Allentown & Lehigh County
June 2nd, 2020
About What’s Going On
In Allentown & Lehigh County!
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Important COVID-19 Information
Governor Wolf Announces Date for reopening of Lehigh Valley:
Governor Wolf announced that Lehigh and Northampton Counties will be moving from the RED category to YELLOW on June 5th. Not only does this mean that parts of our economy will be re-opening, but more importantly it means that our community is safe enough to begin a return to normal life.Click to Learn More
Your Polling Place Might Have Moved:
Lehigh County has been forced to change a number of polling locations. For more information, check out this Morning Call article. You can also email my campaign HERE and someone will get back to you ASAP.Morning Call Article
An Important Message From Peter Schweyer
We Must Protect The ACA And Healthcare For Millions
“We are staying with the group…with Texas and the group” might not sound like much, but this sentence could end up costing millions of Americans access to their doctors, even as the Coronavirus pandemic rages.
On Wednesday, May 6th, President Trump made this declaration, one that essentially means he will continue to support a lawsuit that would completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
Here is the backstory:
Several years ago, a group of conservative states led by Texas banded together to sue the federal government arguing that the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) is unconstitutional. You should know that Pennsylvania is not part of this lawsuit. If these states succeed in this legal effort, the Affordable Care Act would be thrown out immediately.
Since the very early days of Donald Trump’s time as Commander in Chief, his Justice Department has refused to defend the ACA in court. Wednesday’s declaration that he is “staying with the group” reaffirms his commitment to this strategy of killing the ACA through the federal court system.
And with that, the 20 million Americans who have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act would be left without coverage.
Now, we are suffering through the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu of 1918. COVID-19 has cost 33 million Americans (and counting) their jobs. Along with their lost employment, many of those have seen their employer-provided health insurance disappear. Without the ACA to turn to, where will they get health care?
“Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.”
This simple wisdom is listed on the Center for Disease Control’s Coronavirus website. But what happens if you do not have medical insurance and therefore may not have a medical provider? For the millions of Americans who STILL do not have health insurance even with the Affordable Care Act in place, that will always be a barrier when seeking medical attention.
Knowing all of this, who could possibly argue that kicking more than 20 million Americans off their health care plans makes any sense? Who could possibly make the case that that is wise when we need people to visit their doctor when they are symptomatic if for no other reason so the virus doesn’t spread to more Americans?
Any criticism (legitimate or otherwise) of the Affordable Care Act notwithstanding, the idea that we as a nation would dismantle this key safety net during this crisis is unfathomable.
Let’s be honest: the controversy surrounding the ACA is nothing really more than a contrived sound bite used by some politicians to score cheap political points.
It’s certainly true that ACA doesn’t cover enough people, as there are far too many Americans without health insurance.
But that doesn’t mean that the ACA is a failure. It is a highly successful health care policy that has covered 20 million Americans without bankrupting our federal or state governments. And it is very popular.
Recently, voters in two very conservative states, Louisiana and Kentucky, chose Democrats as their governors who promised to embrace Obamacare. And recently in Pennsylvania, we adopted even more aspects of the Affordable Care Act through legislation crafted by none other than the House Republican Leader.
But still, Donald Trump continues his dangerous legal crusade.
No one should be surprised that he opposes the ACA as it was a central tenet of his campaign, but even the most grizzled partisan should be shocked that he’s willing to continue down this path during the middle of this crippling and deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 has taken more American lives than the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined. It is not political-speak to say that in spite of this fact, Donald Trump is telling millions of Americans that they should lose their health care.
One would like to think that as the circumstances in our Nation have so drastically changed, our President would adapt. It appears that this is too much to ask for.
Statement: Campaigning During the Coronavirus Crisis
From my first run for office in 2002, I have relied on a grassroots approach to campaigning that took me to the front doors of thousands of Allentown residents. In living rooms and on doorsteps, I met with people and have listened to their ideas on how to make our community better. Not only have I gotten my best ideas from folks this way, but I made many new friends along the way.
Regrettably, the COVID-19/Coronavirus has changed everything. In an abundance of caution and in consultations with the PA House Democratic Campaign Committee, I am suspending all direct, in-person voter contact. This includes talking with people in their homes and postponing upcoming community events. Volunteers and I will still be leaving information on doorsteps, making phone calls and campaigning through digital means.
Additionally, I am strongly encouraging people to vote by mail during this election cycle. You can apply online at www.votespa.com and an official ballot will be sent to you. Completed ballots must be received by the Lehigh County Office of Voter Registration by May 26th.
As soon as this crisis passes, I will resume the same grassroots, person-to-person campaigning that folks have come to expect from me. In the meantime, please follow all appropriate precautions so that you and your loved ones stay safe from COVID-19/Coronavirus.
Thank you and please do not forget to vote (hopefully by mail) on or before the June 2nd Primary Election.
Statement: Inappropriate Sexual Behavior and the General Assembly’s Responsibility
I read with great disgust the recent media reports detailing inappropriate sexual behavior by members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The victims deserve our support for their bravery in approaching this incredibly difficult subject head on. They, along with every resident of Pennsylvania, have my commitment that we as elected Representatives will dramatically change the culture and rules in Harrisburg. We can no longer enable legislators who prey on others and we can no longer use taxpayer dollars to conceal their actions.
As a member of the House Ethics Committee, I cannot comment on any specific member or incident.
However, I will unequivocally state three specific points:
- We must establish clear guidelines for victims to report incidents that protect their privacy and prevent workplace retaliation;
- Taxpayer dollars should never be used to pay for the appalling personal behavior of individual members, and I strongly support legislation being drafted that would end this practice;
- The Bi-Partisan House Ethics Committee must be empowered to review each and every claim brought forward against a member of the House and be allowed the authority to recommend appropriate action.
Americans are no longer staying silent about hostile work environments and abhorrent behaviors in the workplace. The Pennsylvania Legislature has a moral responsibility to not only make these necessary changes but to take a leadership role in creating an environment welcoming to our employees and the public at large.
It is well past the time that we lawmakers take a stand on behalf of the victims, employees, taxpayers and public at large and declare that those in power can never use their position to abuse.
Rep. Schweyer calls President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program cruel and irresponsible.
DACA was authorized in 2012 by then President Obama as a compromise between his administration and Congress after the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act failed. DACA provides temporary deportation deferral to individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children, known as “Dreamers,” who pass vetting so they may live, study and work legally in the only country they know as home.
“My neighbors of all diverse backgrounds and nationalities contribute to the fabric of Allentown, Pennsylvania and America. When we go to each other’s barbecues on our block, I don’t ask them their status. Why? Because we’re one community. We should be embracing our diversity. It’s high time for the federal government to take a stand on behalf of basic human decency,” said Schweyer.
Rep. Schweyer congratulates Yorman De La Rosa on his mission to help others in the world. Yorman heads to Morocco via the PeaceCorps where he will live and work in cooperation with partnering organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects to improve the lives of the people in Morocco and as a way to develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills. Read More.
Statement: Allentown Mayor Should Resign
“As someone born and raised in the city of Allentown, someone who has dedicated my entire adult life serving the people of my city and is proud to follow in the footsteps of my father and his 33 years serving the city of Allentown, I am truly dismayed and saddened. Ed Pawlowski should tender his resignation as mayor immediately if he truly values Allentown and its people.
City Hall needs to be a place government works to move Allentown forward so it can remain an amazing place to live, work and raise a family.”
Statement Regarding August 12 th Domestic Terror Attack and Neo-Nazi Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia
August 19, 2017
“Like so many people on August 12th and in the days that followed, I took to Twitter. There I expressed my outrage at the Neo-Nazis and those leaders who encourage them, offered my sincere sympathy for those who died and restated my commitment to be part of the solution to America’s racial divide. But honestly, I had more to say.
First and foremost, the unspeakable hate, racism and violence expressed in Charlottesville by Neo-Nazis, the KKK, White Supremacist and other members of the ‘alt-right’ are disgusting and reprehensible. Those people and organizations that espouse those beliefs are un-American and must be defeated if we are ever able to move forward as one nation.
Further, Americans who are on the right side of unity, compassion, love and respect must soundly rebuke President Donald J. Trump, those in his Administration, members of Congress and others in positions of power who give quarter to the forces of racism, hatred and bigotry. As Elie Wiesel once said, we must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.