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Op-ed

Stop the New Steal

Stop the New Steal

Op-ed By Senator Tim Kearney

In the days and weeks leading to the violent January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol, ex-president Trump’s most ardent supporters believed they were fighting to “stop the steal” of the US Presidency. Suddenly, many months later, the Republican Party of safety and security wants to share your private information, steal your freedom to vote, and reverse the voice of the American people. 

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Help is Here

Help is Here

OpEd by Senator John Kane

It’s been a challenging month for working Pennsylvanians: the Supreme Court struck down the federal eviction moratorium; expanded pandemic unemployment benefits are ending; Hurricane Ida devastated our communities. But there are also still an unprecedented number of support programs available to help families get back on their feet. This is what we, as elected officials, should be doing right now: supporting working families as best we can. I wanted to take a few minutes and highlight some of the resources available to Pennsylvanians.

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It’s time to change solitary confinement in Pennsylvania

It’s time to change solitary confinement in Pennsylvania

OpEd by Senator John Kane

“I can emphatically say I have more trauma from six months in solitary than four combat tours in the Marines.”

This is what we heard from a solitary confinement survivor, Reverend Dr. Chris Kimmenez, at our policy hearing this past Tuesday in the city of Chester. Over the past year, each of us has experienced the effects of isolation, separated from friends, family, and loved ones by the pandemic.

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GOP Senators, Accept Reality, Move on

GOP Senators, Accept Reality, Move on

OpEd by Senator Marty Flynn 

I must address the call for an investigation into the results of the 2020 Election made by Pennsylvania Senate Republicans. To be honest, folks, I had a hard time deciding if I should even write this. It’s frustrating to have to respond to claims so absurd. The Republicans are living in a fantasy world, and they want us to pay for their room and board. This is beneath us. It should be beneath them, too.

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Protecting the People Who Protect Pennsylvania

Protecting the People Who Protect Pennsylvania

Op-ed by Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti

There’s a common perception that first responders – police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and veterans are tough. We see first responders as thoroughly trained experts, ready to handle a multitude of high stakes, stressful scenarios. In a similar vein, we perceive veterans as strong, selfless individuals who can handle extreme situations with discipline and fearlessness. In many instances these generalizations can be true, but I think they rarely tell the whole story.

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OpEd: ‘Sweet Swag’ A Gross Reward for Mocking Philly Gun Violence Deaths

OpEd: ‘Sweet Swag’ A Gross Reward for Mocking Philly Gun Violence Deaths

Op-ed by Senator Sharif Street

Every day in America over three hundred people are shot.  On Tuesday night 18-year-old Nasir Marks was fatally shot multiple times in West Philadelphia at around 7:30 p.m. A half-hour later, just before 8 p.m., a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in my district in North Philadelphia. On Wednesday morning a mass shooting left a total of 10 people dead in California. Gun violence dominates the news cycle and threatens to numb us to routine reporting of loss of life comparable only to the pandemic in its infancy.

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Governor Wolf Exercised His Constitutional Powers to Save Lives

Governor Wolf Exercised His Constitutional Powers to Save Lives

Op-ed By Senator Sharif Street

On Tuesday Pennsylvanians will have the opportunity to select ballot measures, two of which fundamentally alter the Governor’s executive powers and ability to respond to emergencies.

In March 2020, Governor Wolf signed a COVID-19 Disaster Declaration to provide increased support for the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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No one wins: U.S. Steel to ‘Set Aside’ Investment in the Mon Valley

No one wins: U.S. Steel to ‘Set Aside’ Investment in the Mon Valley

Op-ed by Senator Jim Brewster

U.S. Steel recently announced plans to shelve a $1.5 billion investment in the Mon Valley Works. The three steel plants that would have benefitted from this historic investment are in Braddock, West Mifflin and Clairton and they employ thousands of skilled workers. All three facilities are in my Senate district and represent Allegheny County’s largest manufacturing employer.

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We Can & Must Do Justice

We Can & Must Do Justice

Op-ed by Steve Santarsiero, State Senator

Earlier this week it was revealed that the Pennsylvania Department of State failed to advertise the 2019 passage of a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would allow the victims of child sex abuse, whose claims had been barred by the statute of limitations, a two-year window in which to file suit against responsible individuals and institutions.  The failure to do so means that any such amendment must now wait at least another two years before it can be enacted.

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COVID Policies Must Give Restaurants A Fighting Chance

COVID Policies Must Give Restaurants A Fighting Chance

Op-ed by Senator Lisa Boscola

Imagine a longer-than-anticipated workday that leads to a late dinner with a desire for an adult beverage.  Pre-COVID, this was not only a common occurrence, but also legal with plenty of dining options.  However, in Pennsylvania, it is no longer feasible to enjoy a quick late-night meal while sitting at your favorite bar.  While we have taken great care to protect the citizens of the commonwealth during the pandemic, we also have been inconsistent with the implementation and guidance associated with risk mitigation policies, especially for the restaurant industry. 

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Will Black voters again allow Trump to be elected?

Will Black voters again allow Trump to be elected?

By Sen. Art Haywood

After winning in November 2016, Trump thanked Black voters for staying at home.

“We did great with the African American community…They didn’t come out to vote for Hillary. They didn’t come out,” he said. “And that was big— so thank you to the African American community.”

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The true fight for police reform is in statehouses across the U.S.

The true fight for police reform is in statehouses across the U.S.

Op-ed by Sen. Art Haywood

Black Lives Matter protests erupted in the US and beyond following the cruel killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis. Weekly, and in some places daily, rallies and marches demand an end to police brutality and to systemic racism.

And less than two months later, at least 13 states have passed legislation to curtail police brutality.

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Changing the rules to combat racism

Changing the rules to combat racism

Op-ed by Sen. Art Haywood

Nationwide, Americans continue to staunchly protest systemic racism. The country has not seen action like this since the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s. Sixty years later, the demands for action by the people remain loud and clear.

Much like the rules of a game, rules put in place by those in power cause Black people to lose in destructive ways.

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The hard truths of racial injustice

The hard truths of racial injustice

Op-ed by Senator Tim Kearney

As a member of the Pennsylvania Senate, I am generally reluctant to call out my individual colleagues. I know my fellow senators love our Commonwealth and our country – we just have different ideas about how to best serve our people.

However, times arise when a fellow public servant’s statement demands a response. Senator Mike Regan, my colleague from Cumberland and York counties, recently published an op-ed on the recent protests against police brutality and racial injustices that requires such a response.

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PA must be sure to re-open in just, equitable way

PA must be sure to re-open in just, equitable way

Op-ed by Sen. Art Haywood

While small businesses owners and politicians have demanded that the state reopen quickly, the reopen health risks are largely on black, brown and white low paid workers.  Essential grocery store, restaurant, food service public transit workers stayed on the job to save us as many of us stayed at home, even worked from home.

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