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.

My thoughts continue to be with the friends and family members of Heather Heyer and Virginia
State Troopers Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates who were killed during the
Charlottesville hate rally along with the dozens of actual good people injured who were
protesting the racist organizations.

As a lifelong Allentownian and the parent of two young daughters, both of whom are students in
the Allentown School District, I know that our incredible diversity is not only one of our
community’s defining characteristics, but one of our strongest attributes as well.
Allentown’s embrace of our cultural diversity should serve as a shining example of how people
of diverse backgrounds can and should live together with mutual respect and love, thus creating
an incredibly strong community.

My community elected me to do more than share words during a time of crisis; they rightfully
expect action. Just some of my actions as state representative include:

  • Authoring legislation that would help DACA students (aka ‘DREAMERS’) afford higher
    education;
  • Writing legislation that would support those aging members of our LGBTQ community;
  • Fought against efforts to curtail voting rights;
  • Opposed measures that would put unnecessary hardships on those folks who are
    struggling economically; and
  • Hosted a public hearing on increasing minimum wage.

In the coming weeks, I will once again be proposing a study to help understand and combat the
issue of income inequality and along with Representative Mike Schlossberg, will be announcing
a pathway to pardons event focusing on non-violent offenders.

You have my word that I will continue to pursue legislation and policy initiatives that will help
ensure that all Pennsylvanians, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or
gender identity have the opportunity to live happy and healthy lives and have the opportunities
needed to achieve the American Dream.

And you have my word that I will, always be in the fight for racial, ethnic, cultural, religious and
gender-based equality.”