EDUCATION

 

The Allentown School District lost over 400 teachers due to budget cuts in the last four years. This disturbing trend has to stop because our children’s futures are at stake. A commitment to reversing these budget cuts and properly investing in our children is a top priority. Every child in our Commonwealth deserves the best education.

Within the district, we continue to hold school supply drives for children and families. Many times, it’s a challenge for parents to purchase school supplies and tools their children need to go to school. Teachers also have difficulties reading into their own pockets to buy supplies to help their classrooms thrive. By holding school supply drives, we’re doing our small part to help kids succeed at school.

The Allentown School District lost over 400 teachers due to budget cuts in the last four years. This disturbing trend has to stop because our children’s futures are at stake. A commitment to reversing these budget cuts and properly investing in our children is a top priority. Every child in our Commonwealth deserves the best education.

Within the district, we continue to hold school supply drives for children and families. Many times, it’s a challenge for parents to purchase school supplies and tools their children need to go to school. Teachers also have difficulties reading into their own pockets to buy supplies to help their classrooms thrive. By holding school supply drives, we’re doing our small part to help kids succeed at school.

THE ECONOMY

 

Speaking to Pennsylvania workers daily and our working class is critical to truly understanding their needs and then in turn expanding our job market. Too many are working longer hours with less security. Low wages remain yet the cost of living continues to rise. Our economic investments should focus on the long-term, not the short-term, where we promote innovation, entrepreneurship and enhanced job training.

My legislation in the State House would direct the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee to conduct a study on income inequality in Pennsylvania. Before fixing this problem, we much truly begin to understand it. Children who are born to families in the lowest fifth of earnings are more than 10 times likely to remain there as adults than they are to earn as much as those in the upper fifth. Unless we invest in building a level playing field, we all lose.

The middle-class in the Lehigh Valley continues to shrink. Pennsylvania is long past due in raising our minimum wage. I will continue to fight to support a minimum wage increase that provides families with sustainable wages. The end goal is to spur economic growth that will create good-paying jobs and increase wages across the board.

PUBLIC HEALTH & SAFETY

 

Keeping our local communities safe, whether urban or rural, should be the focus of every public official. Ever since my time serving in local government, there has always been a concentrated effort to work with law enforcement and our neighborhood crime watch groups to keep our neighborhoods safe for children and families.

I have also introduced legislation would expand Neighborhood Assistance Programs by including “public health concerns” as we continue to battle the public health epidemics of opioid addiction and lead poisoning. These programs work and are excellent public-private partnerships that incentivize corporate investment through corporate tax credits to help rebuild our community.

The ongoing safety or our veterans is also critical as we find ways to assist them after they come home. Sadly, approximately 22 veterans die by suicide daily. My bill would establish the Veteran Suicide Grant Program.

INFRASTRUCTURE

 

Smart investments in Pennsylvania’s and the Lehigh Valley’s infrastructure is critical to our way of life. That is why the approach to maintaining our roadways, bridges and core infrastructure should never be accomplished with band-aid solutions. Long-term plans are the key because in the end, our business – large and small – will have the ability to compete in an expanding global marketplace.

The goal is to “Restore Pennsylvania” and continually look at the Commonwealth’s infrastructure needs. This must be an ongoing and basic function of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

INFRASTRUCTURE

 

Smart investments in Pennsylvania’s and the Lehigh Valley’s infrastructure is critical to our way of life. That is why the approach to maintaining our roadways, bridges and core infrastructure should never be accomplished with band-aid solutions. Long-term plans are the key because in the end, our business – large and small – will have the ability to compete in an expanding global marketplace.

The goal is to “Restore Pennsylvania” and continually look at the Commonwealth’s infrastructure needs. This must be an ongoing and basic function of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

EQUALITY

 

Pennsylvania’s population is more diverse today than ever before. This is what makes our communities and neighborhoods strong. Yet a level playing field isn’t always the case. Women are still underpaid. That needs to change. Greater diversity in the workplace makes good business sense and we should strive to be inclusive instead of divisive.

Further, I have been a proponent of Pennsylvania’s Diversity Network that was formed by Allentown residents as well as community and LGBT leaders. Further, my legislation would create the LGBT Senior community Grant Program. Funds would be awarded to non-profit organizations and county or municipal governments for health care, cultural competency, computer training, and job placement that specifically target the LGBT senior community.