Putting People First, Working For All
Strong Public Education is a key piece of our economic success in York County and the Commonwealth, and the cornerstone of this campaign. Judith’s experiences as a lifelong learner, educator, human resources administrator, public school board director, and veteran informs her advocacy for quality public education and effective job training. Our investment in people is an investment in our communities to thrive, not just survive. Investing in public education is more cost-effective for the state than investing in prisons and other social and economic consequences from underfunded, low-quality schools.
Universal Healthcare for All will help our communities prosper. Affordable healthcare and access to services is critical for individuals and families today, as many employers no longer offer healthcare, even to fulltime employees. The fear of losing jobs, livelihoods, and homes is very real when health is jeopardized due to illness or injury. Judith’s experiences as a family caregiver for her sister, and receiver of health care as a two-time breast cancer survivor inform her advocacy for universal healthcare. No one should go bankrupt trying to battle an illness or recover from an injury. No one should die because they are too poor to live. An important part of family stability is based on the availability of health care that ensures women have control of their own bodies and are able to make the health and family planning decisions that are best for them.
A Livable Wage in Pennsylvania is important to our success and will make our Commonwealth more competitive with our neighboring states. No one can survive on $15,080, which is the annualized minimum wage rate of pay before taxes. If we are honest about ending poverty, lowering the demand on social services and, reducing crime then it’s time to determine a “livable” wage. Judith’s education and more than 21 years of experience in human resources management informs her advocacy for the economic benefits to support a livable wage. Assumptions will have to be addressed, as there are teenagers who are supporting families and adults who have not escaped minimum wage jobs for many reasons. We need to review and revise our perceptions of governmental roles in establishing minimum pay. She would like to see the minimum wage raised from $7.25 to $9 by the end of 2018, and $1 each year until we hit $15.
Quality Transportation Infrastructure is vital for communities to prosper. Pennsylvania has the highest gasoline taxes in the country, earmarked for roads and bridges, but the legislature is using funds to pay for other things like increased demands for state police coverage, as more local governing bodies eliminate local police forces. This has severely impacted the available funds for fixing roads and bridges. Judith wants to ensure dedicated funds go where they’re intended and are used on a triage of need. Within the discussion of infrastructure, Judith supports efforts to bring affordable broadband to all Pennsylvanians to level the playing field for students and parents. There are too many areas where parents have to park at a McDonald’s to enable their students to do their homework. Unacceptable. Long term, pursuing high-speed rail in the region (New York to Washington, D.C.) would be a boon to the economy of our county and Commonwealth by creating jobs, benefiting the environment, and reducing commutes and expanding access to public transportation.
Budgets that Reflect the Needs in the State, Passed On Time must advance the people of the Commonwealth, as well as attract business and industry. We are past the time of cutting taxes just to follow the drumbeat to “cut, cut, cut” while putting our most fragile groups and environment at risk. We need common sense budgets, passed on time every time or withhold legislators’ pay until a budget passes. As Senator, Judith will ensure the efficiency, expediency and appropriateness of the votes she casts for all residents of the county and Commonwealth. She will advocate for government that’s accessible, bills that are available for review and input prior to vote, and elected officials accountable to the people.
Civil Rights Protections that Prevent/Eliminate Systematic Discrimination. There should be no distinction between/among the citizens of our Commonwealth with respect to integrity, dignity, and justice, as well as political and social equality. Judith will work with Governor Tom Wolf to ensure that the stalled LGBT non-discrimination protections move forward to passage because our citizens should not have to worry about the patchwork of protection afforded them. Currently, only 44 of over 2,500 municipalities have protection for individuals based on gender identity and sexual orientation. That is unacceptable to Judith, who will fight to change the disparity experienced by our residents in the judicial system, housing, education, and access to services critical to ensuring equality across Pennsylvania. Judith believes that everyone has the same value to society, that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, and that the laws of the Commonwealth should reflect those values.
Women’s Rights and Pay Equity, Judith’s advocacy is informed by her personal experiences, as well as her studies, including her dissertation on the ways women learn about politics, and how societal structures impede their journey. She will be a strong voice in Harrisburg for equal rights and pay, protection against discrimination and violence, and for women to make their own health and family planning decisions.
Common Sense Gun Laws. One of the recurring observations is that knowledge of the individual, of concerns regarding behaviors in particular, is not being shared between agencies tasked with protecting our public areas and residents. As the balance between privacy issues of individuals and the need for protecting the public is evaluated, it becomes more important for legislation to be sensitive to both sides of the discussion. The creation of “silos” of information, held within one group or agency, is creating concerns that will need to be legislatively addressed. Judith will work to ensure that existing gun controls are universally upheld, background checks be consistently applied, and common sense is the guiding principle.
Position on Gerrymandering
Gerrymandering is a process that seeks to redraw political boundaries in order to create more favorable conditions for whichever party is in control. It is done, to be quite honest, by both sides of the aisle. That is why I am in favor of the process being advanced by Fair Districts PA.
By creating an independent board to draw district lines that are based on population, not voting patterns, there is less chance to create some of the crazy legislative districts we now have! It is critical that people have representation, without bias or statistical manipulation.
If elected, I will support the creation of an independent commission that will be able to work with the 2020 census data to draw legislative regions that reflect population, not parties.