Leadership requires vision.
I believe healthcare is a human right. No one should have to go without. While the Affordable Care Act was a solid starting point for universal healthcare, partisan politics and an inability to compromise derailed its promise. We can fix that. A comprehensive, single-payer system would provide affordable coverage to all Pennsylvanians, regardless of their medical history or their employment status. Your police force doesn’t get to pick and choose who it protects. The same should be true for your health insurance.
Livable Wages/Fair Labor
Every citizen of our state should be able to support their family. But that is not currently the case. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour lags behind that of West Virginia and Ohio, and is simply not enough to live on. We have to do better. I am a dedicated supporter of organized labor, which has long advocated for a living wage, workplace safety, and worker benefits. I consider paycheck protection and Right-to-Work laws direct assaults on workers’ security. I will always support union workers, and I will always champion a higher minimum wage—because when people earn a fair living, the whole community benefits.
A healthy community and a strong economy require strategic investment. By bringing together private and public stakeholders, I will assemble the resources needed to improve roads and transportation, modernize our communications systems, and attract the industries of the future. We must invest in clean energy jobs to provide opportunity and safeguard our environment. To get there, I support investment in educational and job-training opportunities to make Pennsylvania a leader in green energy and technology for the future.
I believe that gerrymandering—manipulating the boundaries of a district to favor a particular political party—undercuts democracy and subverts the legislative process. Meaningful progress on important issues is blocked, voters become frustrated, and the resulting cynicism leads people to give up on our democracy. I fully support an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, as proposed by the League of Women Voters and by Fair Districts PA. Every citizen deserves a vote that counts.
Every Pennsylvanian deserves respect and dignity. It’s that simple. Gender and LGBTQ equality will always be a priority for me, because every one of us should have the same opportunities and the same benefits. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania remains one of the few states without anti-discrimination policies or equal rights protections. This is bad for business—most Fortune 500 companies favor states that stand up for equality—and it’s bad for us.
Strong Public Education
Education is the foundation of success. We must guard against schemes to privatize our education system by allowing for-profit corporations to decide how to educate our children. Our students deserve dynamic schools that prepare them for the jobs of the future, while maintaining a commitment to the arts, science, history, and math. Our children are our future. Let’s teach them to be our Commonwealth’s next leaders.