We The People–PA Action campaign releases 2022 agenda
Harrisburg, PA: We The People–PA Action was joined by legislative leaders and representatives of supporting labor and community groups today at the release of their 2022 agenda, which can be found on the campaign’s website.
A video of the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=635795928109529
Marc Stier, the chair of We The People–PA Action, opened the press conference, saying, “We The People is a campaign of, by, and for all the people of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians face a dramatic choice in 2022. Too many legislators have embraced an agenda that threatens to undermine our democracy and restrict the rights of voters, to eliminate the right to have an abortion, and to help the ultra-rich owners of corporations at the expense of working people. We The People believes in a different plan. All Pennsylvanians work hard, take care of their families, and contribute to their communities. But we also need and deserve the opportunities that only government can guarantee.
Stier pointed out that more than 70 members of the current General Assembly, including the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate, have endorsed the We The People–PA Action agenda as have dozens of candidates who are running for office in the November election. He then turned the program over to some of those legislative leaders.
Democratic Senate leader Jay Costa (Allegheny) said, “I want to thank We The People PA- Action for advancing a program that we can advance in Harrisburg. What is unique about this program is the breadth of policy proposals in it—health care, child-care, education, environment. It includes all the things that are really important to the people of PA. This is a plan and program derived from the people of PA. We The People has taken the time to go out and listen to the people around the state. They have developed a blueprint to advance the lives of Pennsylvanians that we can, and should, implement in Harrisburg.”
Democratic caucus whip Jordan Harris (Philadelphia) focused on the higher education plank of the We The People-PA Action agenda, saying, “Higher education and post-secondary options can create positive generational change in a student’s life, and we need to make them more readily available. We can’t tell our young people that education is the elevator out of poverty and then give them a broken elevator.”
Democratic caucus administrator Mike Schlossberg (Lehigh) spoke on K-12 education and mental health care. He said, “Government matters. What we do matters. And we can—and should—do a lot more to provide more funding for education and mental health.”
Democratic caucus chair Dan Miller (Allegheny) focused on wages and working conditions, saying, “Every Pennsylvanian deserves fair wages for a fair day’s work, a safe work environment, access to adequate benefits and health care, and the free ability to organize if they so choose. It’s not asking too much for employers to provide these rights to working Pennsylvanians, and it’s really unacceptable that in 2022, workers still have to fight tooth and nail for basic workplace conditions.”
Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler (D-Philadelphia) focused on how to secure the revenues needed to carry out the We The People–PA Action agenda saying, “We can have a society that protects and advances the dignity of everyone and an economy where hard work is rewarded, not plundered. But to get there, we will need a government that taxes corporations and millionaires and uses that money to invest in our neighbors and neighborhoods!”
Representative Sara Inammorato (D-Allegheny) said, “I’m a member of the People’s house, so naturally I’ve signed on to support the We The People agenda. My job is to be closest to the people who are most vulnerable in our communities. Forty percent of Pennsylvanians are living paycheck to paycheck. Hundreds of thousands of families are not making enough to thrive. But our state’s 17 billionaires more than doubled their collective wealth in the first two years of the pandemic. But they paid little to nothing in taxes. Decades of a Republican-controlled General Assembly have created a tax system that allowed wealthy individual and corporations to hoard their wealth, while hardworking Pennsylvanians foot the bill for public amenities that we all use. This is an injustice. Together we can elect a We The People majority and build an economy that works for all of us.”
Representatives of three members of the We The People–PA leadership team, SEIU, CASA in Action, and For Our Future Fund, spoke as well.
Hillary Rothrock of SEIU Healthcare PA said, “[The] We The People PA – Action campaign combines and coordinates efforts from elected officials and partners to help lead Pennsylvania in the direction of positive change for all Pennsylvania residents. As we begin to build this positive sustainable future here in PA, myself and my colleagues at SEIU support the We The People campaign’s emphasis on strong unions in our workplaces, a thriving wage for all workers, affordable access to quality care for all PA residents and strong sustainable communities and families. I’m calling on our elected officials, many of which stand here with me today, to work as hard as Pennsylvania workers ARE to ensure that our right to join a union, bargain for good contracts with our employers, access affordable health care, and work good union jobs with thriving wages and benefits is the future for all PA residents.”
Melissa Mejia, a member of CASA in Action, said, “I’ve been a member of CASA five years. I’m an immigrant to this country looking for a better life for myself and my five children. Immigrants make a major contribution to the economy of Pennsylvania. And we can make a bigger contribution if all immigrants can secure a driver’s license and get a college education at in-state tuition levels. We would also benefit, and have more time to spend with our children, if the minimum wage were increased to the same levels as found in our neighboring states.”
Ted Bordelon, For Our Future–PA Fund said, “Our organization knocks on doors all over the state. Over the last five months we have had conversations with thousands of voters. We’ve heard that they support the We The People agenda. They want to protect our democracy. They want to ensure that everyone gets a good education no matter their zip code. They want to ensure that every family can get the child care, senior care, and health care they need so that they can support their families and contribute to their communities. They want to protect our environment and reduce the threat of global warming. They want to ensure that wealthy individuals and multi-national corporations pay their fair share of taxes. This is what we hear from the real working people of PA—they want the We The People agenda.”
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