SOUTH PHILLY AGENDA

My main priorities as your state representative will be to deliver effective and responsive constituent services and to bring South Philadelphia working families, students and seniors their fair share of state funding.

Beyond those priorities, I am committed to a progressive legislative agenda that supports our South Philadelphia families and communities:

Jobs and economic development

Increase the minimum wage
Pennsylvania's minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and hasn’t been changed since 2008, when it was increased by only 10 cents per hour. The rate is unacceptable in Pennsylvania, and it is not possible to support a family in Philadelphia at this rate. We must increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Funding our ports
Developing and investing in our ports creates thousands of local jobs and impacts our South Philadelphia communities. I am committed to continuing the work done by State Representative Keller and State Senator Farnese to rehabilitate our ports and create thousands more family-sustaining jobs.

Buy local
We shouldn’t spend our tax dollars on products that are made overseas and companies that offshore American jobs. I will support sensible legislation that requires state expenditures to prioritize products and services that are made in Pennsylvania, or at least in the United States.


Labor rights

I have lived in South Philadelphia my entire life and grew up surrounded by friends and family who were able to raise their families with good-paying union jobs.

I will fight to protect the fundamental bargaining rights of organized labor, oppose the privatization of state services, oppose reduction of workers’ compensation benefits, and support legislation that assures all workers the legally protected right to union representation.

In addition, I will fight against any efforts to impose so-called “Right-to-Work” or “Paycheck Protection” legislation, which are designed to undermine the rights of organized workers.


Voting Rights

Voting is our most fundamental right. As your state representative, I will work to pass laws that make voting more accessible to eligible citizens. My plan:

Establish early voting and same-day registration
Forcing Pennsylvanians to vote on a single day hurts working families, who often don’t have the flexibility to skip work or childcare commitments and make their way to their local polling place. I will fight in Harrisburg to create early voting centers in our communities that will give people the opportunity to vote in the weeks preceding primary and general elections.

Grace period registration
Our voter registration deadline is 30 days before an election. That is much too restrictive and prevents young people and new residents from registering during a crucial time when election awareness is at its highest.

I will work to create “grace period” registration access for voters within 30 days of an election. Once the deadline to register passes, citizens should still be able to register to vote in person at local election authorities.

Automatic voter registration
We need to encourage all eligible citizens to participate in the democratic process. That starts by making sure we enroll as many eligible voters as possible.

I will work to pass a law that automatically registers eligible voters when they interact with government services like the DMV, DHS, or veterans services. Pennsylvania residents who do not want to be registered will be given the option to opt-out.


Crime

Our community will only remain strong as long as South Philadelphians feel safe. I will support:

  • Keeping violent criminals behind bars

  • A statewide ban on assault weapons

  • Comprehensive background checks on all gun purchases

  • Better resources for investigating and cracking down on gang and drug activity


Education

Philadelphia schools are continually shortchanged by Harrisburg politicians. I will protect our public schools by:

  • Fighting for a fair school funding formula that provides Philadelphia students with the resources they need

  • Supporting increased overall funding for public schools with the goal of smaller class sizes, better facilities, and modern educational materials

  • Providing teachers with the training and materials they need to help their students thrive

  • Working towards better funding for full-time nurses, counselors and after-school programs


Environment

Philadelphia has a proud industrial legacy, but we must address the environmental damage left behind by previous generations and keep our communities healthy for future generations. My priorities:

  • Regular lead testing in our parks and schools and funding lead removal when problems are identified

  • End tax breaks and increase fines for corporate polluters

  • Restore funding to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection

  • Protect and clean up our city’s rivers, waterways, and air

  • Put the state on a path to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050


LGBTQ+ rights

We must fight in Harrisburg to protect our LGBTQ+ community from harmful laws and policies. I will work to:

  • Prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination for employment, housing, and other areas

  • Establish tougher hate crime laws to protect LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians

  • Support the needs of our aging LGBTQ+ population