A Roadmap to a New Pennsylvania: State Policy Towards a Safer, Healthier, More Prosperous and Equitable Commonwealth
“ We need a state government that invests in Pennsylvania’s communities and people. State legislators need to present a positive, proactive vision for how we can do this.“
–State Rep. Frank Dermody is the Democratic Leader in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Last month, We the People – Pennsylvania, a non-partisan, issue advocacy campaign in support of middle and working class Pennsylvania families and marginalized communities, released its new campaign and PA House Democrats are on board! The new campaign includes a comprehensive public policy manual for lawmakers and advocates.
We the People – Pennsylvania’s policy agenda was endorsed by 121 state House and Senate candidates during the 2018 campaign. The new campaign, “A Roadmap to a New Pennsylvania: State Policy Towards a Safer, Healthier, More Prosperous and Equitable Commonwealth,” is already gaining support from legislators in Harrisburg, including House Democratic Leader Rep. Frank Dermody.
Please read Leader Dermody’s op-ed in PennLive to learn about why Pennsylvania House Democrats are proud to support the ‘We The People’ campaign.
Why are Pa. House Democrats focusing on economic security for working families? | Opinion
Updated Jan 31; Posted Feb 2
By State Rep. Frank Dermody, guest contributor
Many Americans have become discouraged with today’s politics of personal destruction and the influence of big money in campaigns. They are looking for something different. People want to vote for candidates up and down the ballot who will stand up for their ideals and fight for their interests.
In 2018, more than 120 candidates for the General Assembly embraced the “We The People – Pennsylvania” policy agenda. Inspired by public meetings with everyday Pennsylvanians from across the state and drawing on the best policy research, “We The People – PA” created a policy agenda that should serve as a roadmap for legislators like my colleagues and me.
Pennsylvania House Democrats are proud to support the “We The People” campaign – and in doing so we join a national effort this week led by the State Innovation Exchange to fight for working families across the country.
By talking with voters, the “We The People – PA” campaign learned that, regardless of where we come from, what we look like, how we call our family or how we work to make ends meet, we have a common vision of what a state government that works for us would look like.
We deserve a government that offers a path to prosperity that will work for all of us, not just the wealthiest 1 percent. Prosperity for all comes from raising wages and benefits so that working people and the middle class can afford to buy more from our businesses. It comes from making sure families can secure the basic necessities of life: food, housing, and health care, among other things. And it comes from to investing in education at all levels in order to create a stronger work force.
In short, we need a state government that invests in Pennsylvania’s communities and people. State legislators need to present a positive, proactive vision for how we can do this.
That’s why House Democrats are responding to the grassroots energy of “We The People – PA” with “The Plan for Pennsylvania,” a reflection of our core values.
On education, we want to improve the public-school classrooms that serve more than 90 percent of Pennsylvania students. Our state thrives when it invests in classrooms and teachers. Good public schools make stronger communities and create opportunities for everyone to have access to good jobs.
On wages, Democrats know hard-working Pennsylvanians deserve a raise. The state’s minimum wage has not changed in a decade. No one who works hard and plays by the rules should live in poverty. A higher minimum will send positive ripples throughout Pennsylvania’s economy, raising wages and increasing people’s buying power. It’s time for the middle class and small business to get a raise.
On infrastructure, House Democrats want to put more Pennsylvanians to work fixing the things that matter in our daily lives. These investments will mean you can drink clean water, travel on sturdy roads and bridges, and have truly affordable and accessible mass transit. And for everyone in Pennsylvania to have a fighting chance in today’s world, broadband internet access must reach the entire state. Let’s help small businesses grow and let’s end the sweetheart subsidies and huge tax breaks that give the biggest corporations an unfair advantage in our state.
On health care, nobody knows when a personal health crisis may occur. Democrats are committed to protecting access to good, affordable health care for all, including those with pre-existing conditions. For too long, Republican leaders have let big health insurance companies get in the way of the health care we all need and seeing the doctor of our choice.
After hearing “We The People” speak, House Democrats are more determined than ever to respond to them by putting people first in Harrisburg. We have a Plan for Pennsylvania and we are working to restore faith in a state government that fights for families by creating a more prosperous, fairer, safer, healthier Pennsylvania.
State Rep. Frank Dermody is the Democratic Leader in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and serves the 33rd Legislative District in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
For Our Future PA is proud to serve on the We The People – Pennsylvania steering committee. Follow We the People – Pennsylvania for updates.
We The People seeks to mobilize our fellow Pennsylvanians behind a pro-active policy agenda. We will encourage our fellow Pennsylvanians to vote with the agenda in mind, and then, after the election, to help us amplify our voices above those of the rich and powerful so that once again Pennsylvania has a government – and economy – of, by, and for the people.