I’m running because I love my home. I want to fight for the dignity of every citizen, worker, family, and community in the 171st. I have the record to prove that I will do it.
I have a proven record of volunteerism. A decade ago, I was a journalist and editor for a non-profit paper, Voices of Central Pennsylvania. Today, I work on environmental education and outreach with the Penns Valley Conservation Association with my wife, Lexie.
I’m an award-winning third-generation teacher. From a boy’s boarding school to working with career and technical teachers at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology to my work at Penn State, I’ve worked with teens and returning adults, to graduate students as well as nurses, architects, engineers, and future teachers. Education is my life.
From 2016 to today I have served in public office. I won election for the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors where I was both vice chair and chair. It was an honor every week to work on what makes people’s daily lives better:
- Keeping their local government so fiscally sound that it earned a Moody’s AAA bond rating and never raised taxes;
- Put body cameras on our police officers to protect police and citizens;
- Purchased land for passive recreation for all ages and created native habitat;
- Worked with the Public Works department and architects to design a LEED Gold facility that works for the workers, our land, our climate, and our water; and
- Advanced environmentally sustainable solutions that have inspired action across Central Pennsylvania.
I have taken action. I will take action.
We opened our campaign at the Penns Valley EMS because the legislature cut the budget for emergency services and it’s hit rural EMS the hardest. I can’t imagine why the legislature would cut their budgets when these folks make the difference for us in the most pressing moments. We are going to restore that funding and fight for better healthcare for all people.
I support broadband access in rural Pennsylvania. To keep up with schooling, to deal with medical specialists, and to gain access to markets, rural families and businesses need broadband. According to Sasha Meinrath at Penn State, the absence of good broadband access is costing families $1000/year in opportunity. And it’s far passed the time for the legislature to ensure Pennsylvanians have a living wage.
I support unions. Rampant corporatism is undoing the fabric of our democracy and undermining working people’s security. I believe that the First Amendment guarantees us the right to organize in order to advance workers’ rights, to fight for safety, to bargain for wages and benefits, for a level playing field for all people regardless of age, race, gender, or religion, and to secure work in a world of dizzying technological transformation.
I support a living wage. Lower-income workers in Central Pennsylvania are barely above the poverty line. It’s time to go to $12.50 and march to $15/hour.
Pennsylvania has an unfair and wasteful school system. We are going to fight for your state constitutional right to a “thorough and efficient” system of education from Pre-K to higher ed, from career and technical schools to state universities. This tragedy has next to nothing to do with local districts and teachers and almost everything to do with bad state funding that overburdens local property taxpayers and lets legislators shirk responsibility. We will also tackle the black box system of charter schools. As Auditor General DePasquale said, "You are either public or you're not." As a teacher educator, you can bet I will stand with teachers to advance their pay, their security, and respect them as professionals.
Now more than ever in our history, we need a legislator who will fight to protect our environment from the effects of climate change. We must safeguard health, our forests, streams, and infrastructure, by advancing clean renewable energy and reducing fossil fuel and industrial emissions, working with farmers and foresters, and changing the transportation sector. I’ve done this as part of the team that secured the state’s largest solar power purchase agreement at Penn State.
You better believe that I will hold polluters accountable who've run roughshod over families and property owners, our forests, streams, and aquifers, our roads, and exposed workers to undeniable risks. I am fed up with the natural gas kleptocrats who've done everything they can to turn the legislature into their wholesale subsidiary. Enough is enough.
Finally, no matter who you are, who you love, where you were born, what color or gender you are, you are welcome here. At the end of the day we have been endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. And I will work every day to ensure that your government dignifies you and your family.