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Op-ed

Open Access to the Ballot Box: Allow Independents to Vote in Primary Elections

Open Access to the Ballot Box: Allow Independents to Vote in Primary Elections

Op-ed by Senator Lisa Boscola

With primary election season upon us, it is apropos to talk about our Independent voters who are disenfranchised from these elections.  For nearly 25 years, I have been a leading voice, unrelenting advocate, supporter and prime sponsor of bills to give voters unaffiliated with any party the right to participate in our primary elections. Membership in a political party (or the decision to avoid joining a political party) should not dictate whether a voter can vote in a primary. 

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Senator John I. Kane Reflects on First Year in Office

Senator John I. Kane Reflects on First Year in Office

OpEd by Senator John I. Kane

Its been just over a year since I was sworn in as the state Senator for the 9th Senatorial District, representing parts of Delaware and Chester Counties. During that time, I’ve met with business owners, community leaders, veterans, educators, nurses, and neighbors. I’ve connected with you at district events and open houses, via phone call and over Zoom. And its been an honor to learn about the issues that matter most to you and connect with you and your families about the work I’m doing right here in the district and back in Harrisburg.

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The change Philadelphia needs

The change Philadelphia needs

Op-ed by Senator Art Haywood

There were 499 homicides in Philadelphia in 2020. That grim number was surpassed in 2021 when 562 were murdered in the city. We are only a month into 2022, and the City of Philadelphia has reported another 44 murders. However, in Boston, Dallas, Jacksonville, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., Miami, Seattle and St. Louis, murders declined in 2021.

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To honor Dr. King’s legacy, raise the minimum wage

To honor Dr. King’s legacy, raise the minimum wage

OpEd by Senator John I. Kane

59 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He asked the audience of 250,000 how, a century after the end of slavery, Black Americans still “live[d] on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.” For Dr. King, the protesters were at the capital to “cash a check”, and to finally make the promise of the American Dream a reality for everyone, regardless of the color of their skin.

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It’s time to Free the Funds

It’s time to Free the Funds

OpEd by Senator John Kane

About six months ago, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, a historic investment in the working families and communities who had been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, I applauded that bill – it was proof of what good government can do, of how we can invest in working people to build our economy back.

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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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