Ballot Question Causes Concern

press release from Lisa Longo

Why are we allowing budgets to be balanced on the backs of children?

Phoenixville, PA, October 10, 2017– Serious questions are being raised about a ballot question approved by the PA Legislature. This question is asking voters to approve an amendment to our State Constitution, potentially reducing or eliminating taxes based on the assessed value of the primary residence of a homeowner. If this ballot question passes, it would force an increase of other local taxes, such as the Earned Income Tax (EIT), causing irreparable harm to the working poor and middle class.

This ballot question, based on legislation drafted by Republican legislators, leaves open the replacement for these taxes which fund both County and local public services as well as public schools. Some of the ideas floated include an increase of sales and income taxes. The potential harm to those on a fixed income including Veterans, disabled and retired taxpayers cannot be ignored. This regressive tax plan, supported by conservative organizations, including anti-tax groups, anti-public school groups, and groups that want to privatize and create for-profit schools, has not been endorsed by a single organization that serves workers, students, Veterans, retired taxpayers, or disabled taxpayers. This becomes a very clear issue of moving the tax burden to those who can least afford it.

“While property tax absolutely needs reform, this is not the way to create a stable funding plan,” explained Lisa Longo, a school board member and education advocate. “I believe we need to discuss a freeze on property taxes for those on a fixed income and limit it to a percentage of income. I would favor a Constitutional Amendment that allows us to have a progressive tax and develop equity funding for school districts but not one that potentially creates harm to both our students and our community.”

Property tax reform is a hot topic in Pennsylvania and many other states; it should be noted that there is no state that has eliminated all property tax to fund schools.

Many Pennsylvania residents question why state funding has decreased. In 2006 the Democratic-controlled legislature started to move to a higher percentage of overall funding from the state, with a goal of 50% total funding. Once Republicans took control of the legislature the trend reversed. Currently the state provides only 35% of the funds needed and local taxes are forced to make up the difference.

The PA State Constitution requires education funding for all students. Why are legislators passing the buck to local authorities who are forced to make up the difference by increasing property taxes? Another community leader asked, “Instead of passing the debt to our children and playing 3 card monte with our children’s future, why won’t the Republican controlled legislature pass a severance tax on Marcellus shale drillers?”

And there are other concerns about tax revenues:

Longo explains, “Corporate tax revenue has decreased at both the State and Federal levels but school districts must still provide mandated services. When the legislature cuts funds to education, it is our children and families that are forced to pay the price. We see a nationwide increase in the number of children attempting suicide and diagnosed with anxiety and depression, as a society, do we want to cut funds from children to give tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest among us? Who is going to protect our children?”

And others also voiced their concern. Jeremy Winch, Communications Chair of the East Penn Democratic Club, added, “This referendum has the potential to harm our children for years to come by negatively impacting funding for public education in the Commonwealth. Rest assured that, if passed, the resulting shell game will not cut taxes.”

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Lisa Longo at 215-527-9705 or email at lisa@consultcts.com.

‘Herrin’s Heroes’ saluted at Melton Center

By Bill Rettew Jr., Daily Local News, 10/24/17

WEST CHESTER >> Democratic candidate for mayor Dianne Herrin applauded seven community heroes at a fundraiser Saturday night at the Charles A. Melton Center.

Jim Salvas shot pictures at the event and nominated businesswoman Holly Brown.

“Bringing people together is what Dianne does best,” Salvas said. “Look at the range of people: young and old; men and women; black and white; Republican and Democratic.

“Dianne, you will be a mayor for everyone.” …

read more at Daily Local News

October 21st: Lunch with Bret Binder

What?
All are welcome to our Fall Lunch Fundraiser at The Marrshalton Inn with Bret Binder! Lunch will be included with your ticket purchase and you will get a chance to speak with Bret and our event co-hosts about why they believe he is the best candidate for Magisterial District Judge of #15-1-01.

Where?

The Marshalton Inn
1300 W. Strasburg Rd.
West Chester, PA 19382

When?
Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 12:00pm – 2:00pm

RSVP
Please click on “Purchase Tickets” here (at the bottom) to RSVP and buy your tickets for this event!
$30/ticket; $100/Silver Sponsor; $250/Gold Sponsor

DONATE
If you can’t make it on the 21st please consider still donating to Bret’s campaign. Simply click on this donate link or send a check made out to Bret Binder for MDJ to the address below.

Bret Binder for MDJ
Campaign Committee
350 E. Market St., 2nd Floor
West Chester, PA 19382
Manager@BretBinderForMDJ.Com
(484) 356-3862
http://bretbinderformdj.com/

CHESCO DEMS LIVING HIGH WITH PURCHASE OF HEADQUARTERS AND STRONG ROSTER OF CANDIDATES

Daily Local News
Staff Report. Posted: 08/06/17   F
OR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Settlement On
37 S. High Street In Heart Of West Chester Borough Complete

West Chester, PA (August 8, 2017) – After years of renting, Chester County Dems are finally homeowners. And the timing could not be more ideal as Chester County is home to one of the most active and rapidly growing Democratic organizations in Pennsylvania.

Philanthropist and 37 S. High Street owner Vivian Lasko turned over the keys to the historical building, built in 1893, at settlement on July 27. For the last 16 years, Chester County Democratic Committee (CCDC) ran its headquarters out of the building with approximately 800 SF of first floor office space.

Lasko, widow to long-time West Chester businessman Oscar Lasko who died at age 96 earlier this year, recently put the building on the market. Jim Salvas, the Democratic committee person in Lasko’s precinct, was liaison between her and the CCDC. Salvas noted, “this purchase would not have been possible without Vivian’s generosity, allowing us a right of first offer and help with financing.”

“While the party has always maintained a year-round office in West Chester,” continued CCDC Chairman Brian McGinnis, “we have never owned our headquarters. After searching the county for new space, we were pleased to be able to remain in the midst of West Chester’s vibrant downtown and county seat.”

Chesco Dems, riding high on changing demographics and an increase in voter turnout, decided to put down roots this year, in anticipation of the November 2017 local elections and next year’s national and statewide races.

“This purchase is the result of the hard work and dedication of the members of the Chester County Democratic Committee,” added McGinnis. “I am very humbled to be their Chairman during these exciting times in county politics. We are moving forward with a ton of momentum!”

Under McGinnis and the Executive Board of CCDC’s leadership, ballots in county and local elections are brimming with Democratic candidates, many for the very first time.

“Don’t underestimate the importance of local elections such as school board directors (ensuring that our school districts are solvent and promoting public education) and township supervisors (keeping our townships and boroughs safe places to live and raise a family),” wrote McGinnis earlier this month to his membership. “Local elections matter. Our county-wide candidates will restore integrity, trust, and transparency to government, and our judicial candidates will represent the interests of people over the powerful.”

Election Day 2017 is Tuesday, November 7. There is good reason for optimism in the suburbs.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote after May’s primary, “In Chester County, where Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton outperformed Republican Trump in November by more than 25,000 votes despite a GOP registration advantage, 18 percent of Democrats came out to vote on Tuesday, compared with just 10 percent four years ago.”

For information about Chester County Democratic Committee, visit their website at chescodems.com and follow them on Facebook.

Primary election turnout May 2017

Dem voters in the Borough turned out on May 16 at a 20% rate. Sure, we’d like 100%, but 20% is the highest anyone can recall for an “off-year” primary election.

The trend began by 2013, when D turnout increased 5% over 2011. In 2015, D turnout gained 48% over 2013. And in 2017, about 400 more Dems voted than in 2015, a 31% increase over 2015 compared to a 13% R increase.

As a result, in 2017 almost twice as many D’s voted in 2017 as in 2013, for an increase of 94% compared to 9% for R’s. The largest % Dem increases were in wards 2E and 4, the lowest in 5 and 6.

Now our task is to hold all our primary voters, and to add a lot more for the November vote!

Dianne Herrin wins mayoral primary

from WCDem chair Stephanie Markstein:

Congratulations to Dianne on her primary win! She did an outstanding job and should be commended on her efforts. Let it also be said that the Democratic Party in West Chester had three hard-working candidates. Thanks to Cassandra Jones and Kyle Hudson for their contributions of integrity and effort in this primary. May we continue to work towards a better community and be united in our vision as we look towards the fall.

See more on this primary in “Dianne Herrin wins Democratic Primary for West Chester mayor” by Bill Rettew, Daily Local News, 5/17/17:

WEST CHESTER >> Voters overwhelmingly gave the nod for mayor on the Democratic ballot to Dianne Herrin in Tuesday’s Primary Election.

Herrin received 756 votes or 61 percent of the tally. Cassandra Jones was second with 286 votes, or 23 percent, and Kyle Hudson placed third with 182 votes, or almost 15 percent.

All election results are unofficial until verified by the county board of elections.

No Republican candidate was listed on the primary ballot. Herrin will likely run unopposed in November during the General Election, unless a write-in candidate surfaces from the Grand Old Party.

Herrin will likely succeed Mayor Jordan Norley, who was chosen by borough council to serve as interim mayor. He is completing the final eight months of Carolyn Comitta’s term and decided not to run for a full term. Comitta was elected as a Democratic state representative for the 156th Legislative District in 2016, after a lengthy recount.

Herrin is vice president of a local West Chester-based energy consulting firm. She has a history as an environmentalist, was the only mayoral candidate endorsed by the Sierra Club and worked on the borough’s climate action plan….

read more at Daily Local News

West Chester’s Bruno faces primary challenge from Binder

[n.b. This MDJ race will be on the 5/16/17 primary ballot in WC wards 3, 6, and 7 as well as in East and West Bradford. Candidates can cross-file, and thus both candidates will be on the D and R ballots. For more on the endorsed Democrat, Bret Binder, see OUR CANDIDATES at CCDC.]

By Michael Rellahan, Daily Local News, 5/13/17

WEST CHESTER >> The two men seeking nomination to run for the position of magisterial district judge in West Chester and surrounding townships in Tuesday’s primary election are offering voters a choice between years of judicial experience and bold plans for new approaches to the court system.

Incumbent Mark Bruno points to his three terms on the bench and proven record of dispensing justice in the court as reason why he should be returned to office, while challenger Bret Binder proclaims that he would begin initiatives in the court that would reach out to workers, students, and veterans….

read more at Daily Local News

Close Races

Candidates need your vote; your local and state governments need your vote; your nation needs your vote. You choose who you want to run your government, your democracy. “If you stay home, you’re voting for the other side.”

West Chester has eight (8) precincts. Mayor Comitta’s 23-vote-win in the 2009 Primary meant that if just three people (3) from each precinct stayed home, she would have lost.

If you stay at home, you’re voting for the other side. So, don’t vote for the other side. Get up, get dressed, and go to your polling place, which is open from 7AM to 8PM.

This is what your vote means — why each vote counts …

  • 2000, WC Borough Council President, Ward 2, Diane LeBold tied the general election and won by a coin toss. She is now President of Borough Council.
  • 2006, State Representative, 156th District, Barbara McIlvaine Smith, won the general election by 28 votes.
  • 2009, Mayor, Borough of West Chester, Carolyn Comitta won the primary election by 23 votes.
  • 2015, Magisterial District Justice, Marion Vito won the general election by 44 votes.
  • 2016, State Representative, 156th District, Carolyn Comitta won the general election by 25 votes.

So, don’t vote for the other side. Get up, get dressed, and go to your polling place.

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