2018 Mid-Term Election Results!

Congratulations to Chester County Democrats for an Outstanding 2018 Election Result!

See the press release below for County level winners.

Congratulations also to statewide winners:
Governor Tom Wolf and new Lt. Gov. John Fetterman
US Senator Bob Casey

Press release from CCDC:
CHRISSY HOULAHAN MAKES HISTORY AS FIRST DEMOCRAT AND WOMAN TO WIN 6th CONGRESSIONAL SEAT

Two State Senators, Six PA Representatives Including First African American Democrat Plus Special Election of Old 7th Congressional District Confirms Blue Sweep

West Chester, PA (November 7, 2018) – Chester County is known for its rich history and news of a blue wave of historic proportions is being felt this morning. Air Force veteran, systems engineer and businesswoman Chrissy Houlahan spearheaded a Democratic wave that included the entire Democratic ticket from Governor and U.S. Senator to two PA State Senators and six PA State Representatives. The county elected its first Democratic African American State Representative, Dan Williams. The 2018 Midterms brought another stunning first – Democrats now hold the majority of the Chester County delegation in Harrisburg!

“We wake up today to multiple historic accomplishments,” declared Dick Bingham, Chester County Democratic Committee Chair. “With a gap of 11,500 fewer registered Democrats than Republicans, the wins across the county were astounding. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of thousands of volunteers and a dozen strong candidates, we turned the county blue despite the heavy Republican advantage. We went from one to six State House Representatives. We moved from one to three State Senators. And we celebrate our first Democratic Congresswoman, ever, heading off to Washington.”

CONGRESSWOMAN HOULAHAN

Speaking to a standing-room-only audience at Phoenixville’s Franklin Commons late last night, Houlahan began her remarks by thanking her opponent, Greg McCauley for answering the call to run. She then noted the “new and improved” 6th Congressional District where her “people-driven campaign” covered all of Chester County and parts of Berks County.

“This victory is not mine but it is yours, it is ours,” she told the cheering crowd. “Our politics and our government have been turned upside down. Now we can turn it right side up.”

She then touted the five top causes she campaigned on over an almost two-year run including: quality and affordable and accessible healthcare for all; a living wage; a great education that everyone is owed and due; a safe planet, safe community and safe schools; and finally decency, respect and the knowledge that truth matters.

SPECIAL 7th ELECTION

For a few weeks, Chester County will have a Congresswoman in 2018 representing the state’s old 7th District. Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon won the election in Pennsylvania’s 5th congressional district and the special election. The latter district, which includes parts of Berks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster and Montgomery counties, was restructured to the new 5th District. Scanlon won the open congressional seat in the 5th district, which had been under Republican control for eight years but was redrawn by the state Supreme Court.

WAITING SINCE 1855

According to the county’s newspaper, Daily Local News, Democrats would have to go back 163 years to recall a winning election night for a national office.

“A former county district attorney, Hickman, a Quaker, ran on the party ticket in 1855 and was elected to three more terms, first as a Democrat, then as a so-called Anti-Lecompton Democrat opposed to slavery, and finally as a Republican in 1861 when that party led the charge against slavery and elected Abraham Lincoln president. Hickman did not seek a new term in 1863, and the GOP has been winning elections for Congress in the county since, even as it has been split into halves and sometimes thirds because of redistricting.”

HARRISBURG-BOUND

Voters elected the following Democrats to the PA State Senate and House seats:

Tim Kearney – PA Senate District 26
Katie Muth – PA Senate District 44

Dan Williams – PA House District 74
Danielle Friel Otten – PA House District 155
Carolyn Comitta – PA House District 156
Melissa Shusterman – PA House District 157
Christina Sappey – PA House District 158
Kristine Howard – PA House District 167

CONTACT: Bill Phifer, CCDC Communications Committee, PressRelations@chescodems.org, 484-639-2345


Our 2018 Winners!

US Senate: Bob Casey (incumbent)

Bob Casey was raised to believe that “all public service is a trust, given in faith and accepted in honor,” and he has brought that to every office he has held, including Pennsylvania Auditor General, State Treasurer, and U.S. Senator.

read more

Pennsylvania House, District 167: Kristine Howard

Kristine Howard is a mother and Rutgers Law School grad currently working in child protective services. She seeks to improve state programs for education, healthcare and career opportunities for all, including two-income families and single women. She has recently been endorsed by President Barack Obama.

read more

County commissioner Kathi Cozzone seeks re-election

Daily Local News, 11/20/18 WEST CHESTER—Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone has announced she is seeking re-election as Commissioner. “I am honored the citizens of Chester…

© 2018 Chester County Democratic Committee

‘Dangerous’ to sit out vote: Obama rallies Democrats for Bob Casey and Gov. Wolf at The Dell

By Chris Brennan, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/21/18

Former President Barack Obama warned Democrats against sitting out the midterm elections during a North Philadelphia rally Friday for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Gov. Wolf, and the party’s other candidates in Pennsylvania.

He singled out young, African American, and Latino voters amid concern that the traditional drop in turnout from presidential years could harm the Democratic Party’s chances of gaining ground in Congress and statehouses amid low approval ratings for President Trump.

And he chided Trump, without naming him, for bragging about improving economic conditions that started before the Republican moved into the White House last year.

“So when you hear right now, folks, right now, taking credit for this economic miracle, c’mon, they act like it all just started. Please,” Obama told a raucous crowd of about 5,000 at the Dell Music Center….

read more at Philadelphia Inquirer

Remarkable First-timers

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 8.07.44 PM
Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 12.16.30 AMBy Frank Bruni and Liriel Higa

 

Usually you only get to dream about a candidate like Chrissy Houlahan. People in the Philadelphia suburbs actually get to vote for her.

She’s brainy: a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Stanford, a master’s in technology and policy from M.I.T. She’s bold: service in the U.S. Air Force. She has entrepreneurial bona fides from her years as the chief operating officer of an athletic wear company but also had a top job for a group promoting childhood literacy. She’s a wife and mother, with two grown daughters.

So why, at 51, has she set her sights on the House of Representatives, when she never ran for any office before?

The answer is Nov. 8, 2016. To vote for Hillary Clinton, she put on a pantsuit. Her gay daughter wore all white, honoring suffragists. That night they broke out the Champagne. “I thought that history would be made,” Houlahan recalled.

When it wasn’t, her father, a Holocaust survivor, cried, fearing what Donald Trump’s victory could mean for the vulnerable and the powerless. Her daughter panicked about L.G.B.T. people. “Unnerving,” Houlahan called it, and her response was “to be part of the solution.” She has since raised about $3 million and emerged as one of the Democratic Party’s best bets to turn a red seat blue.

There are many ways to measure the urgency with which Democrats are approaching the 2018 midterms but perhaps none better than the mettle, motivations and number — much larger than in recent congressional elections — of first-time candidates who have jumped into the fray.

They’re creatures of an atypically tense moment with especially high stakes. They’re mirrors of the anxieties that so many Americans feel. They’re emblems of a yearning for new faces and approaches. They’re the year’s biggest stars and stories.

Full Story • Links to New York Times article

THE DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM

The Chester County (Pennsylvania) Democratic Committee believes in Freedom, Fairness, and Opportunity for all Americans, regardless of what they believe, who they are, and where they came from. Join CCDC in making Chester County a better place for all!

We have a chance to fundamentally shape the future of our country.
But that will only happen if all of us work together — starting right now.

Watch Our Video!

Every four years, the Democratic Party puts together our party platform, the ideas and beliefs that govern our party as a whole.

What follows is our 2016 platform — our most progressive platform in our party’s history and a declaration of how we plan to move America forward. Democrats believe that cooperation is better than conflict, unity is better than division, empowerment is better than resentment, and bridges are better than walls.

This party platform was voted on and passed by our membership at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016. The platform will be updated and re-approved at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Download 2016 Party Platform PDF

Platform Contents

To read the entire platform, choose a section to jump ahead or scroll down.

Preamble

Raise Incomes and Restore Economic Security for the Middle Class

Create Good-Paying Jobs

Fight for Economic Fairness and Against Inequality

Bring Americans Together and Remove Barriers to Opportunities

Protect Voting Rights, Fix Our Campaign Finance System, and Restore Our Democracy

Combat Climate Change, Build a Clean Energy Economy, and Secure Environmental Justice

Provide Quality and Affordable Education

Ensure the Health and Safety of All Americans

Principled Leadership

Confront Global Threats

Protect Our Values

A Leader in the World

Supreme Court refuses to stop new congressional maps in Pennsylvania

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 2.40.38 AM

March 19 at 3:20 PM

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request from Republican legislative leaders in Pennsylvania to block a redrawn congressional map that creates more parity between the political parties in the state.

The practical impact is the 2018 elections are likely to be held under a map much more favorable to Democrats, who scored an apparent victory last week in a special election in a strongly Republican congressional district. The 2011 map that has been used this decade has resulted in Republicans consistently winning 13 of the state’s 18 congressional seats.

Monday’s action was the second time that the court declined to get involved in the partisan battle that has roiled Pennsylvania politics. The commonwealth’s highest court earlier this year ruled that a map drawn by Republican leaders in 2011 “clearly, plainly and palpably” violated the free-and-equal-elections clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court deliberated nearly two weeks before turning down the request to stop the map from being used in this fall’s elections. Generally the justices stay out of the way when a state’s highest court is interpreting its own state constitution.

WHAT IS GERRYMANDERING?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/e447f5c2-07fe-11e6-bfed-ef65dff5970d

Supreme Court upholds new Pa. congressional district map, rejecting Republican challenge

Supreme Court upholds new Pa. congressional district map, rejecting Republican challenge

by Jonathan Lai & Liz Navratil, Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/19/18 [Good! All Chester County is definitively within one district, PA-06, in line with the anti-gerrymandering principle.]

HARRISBURG — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to the new congressional map imposed by the state high court, assuring that the redrawn lines would be used in the 2018 elections.

The action came hours after a federal-judge panel dismissed a similar suit, saying Republican lawmakers who brought it had not legal standing. With the back-to-back rejections — both coming on the eve of the petition-filing deadline for congressional candidates — no legal challenges to the map remained.

The new map lines could have an impact on the makeup of the 2019 Congress, with Democrats hopeful that they could pick up at least a few more seats in Pennsylvania….

keep reading at Philadelphia Inquirer

Gerrymandered no more?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released its new maps of U.S. Congressional districts today. West Chester remains in the 6th District, but the district itself is very different, now encompassing all of Chester County plus Reading in Berks County. If this maps holds up to the expected Republican court challenge, the new districts will go into effect for this year’s elections.

WHAT IS GERRYMANDERING? https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/e447f5c2-07fe-11e6-bfed-ef65dff5970d

 

Vouchers Are Back! Senate Education Committee to Vote on Senate Bill 2 Tomorrow

email from PA Schools Boards Association, 12/11/17

URGENT: Tell your Senator to vote NO on Senate Bill 2

After a failed attempt to run voucher legislation under Senate Bill 2 (Sen. DiSanto, R-Dauphin) in October, the Senate Education Committee has scheduled a meeting for tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 12, to push out the bill. This legislation creates a voucher program for taxpayer-dollars to be taken from public school subsidies and given to nonpublic schools. Your calls and emails are needed immediately to stop this flawed scheme from being moved on a fast track.

Under the bill, parents of students in low-achieving schools can receive funds in the form of Education Savings Accounts (ESA) to attend a participating nonpublic school and for other expenses. Low achieving is defined as the lowest performing 15% of elementary and secondary public schools, based on PSSA and Keystone Exam scores. (This does not include charter schools or CTCs.) Those school districts would see their basic and special education subsidies reduced by the amount calculated for each participating student, with that money put into an ESA account for parents to use for “qualified education expenses.”

We need to block passage of Senate Bill 2 and this latest attempt to sell vouchers. If the bill is approved by the Education Committee, it could go to the full Senate for a vote. Please take a moment to contact your senators, even if they are not on the Education Committee. …send a letter to your senator or craft your own message using the talking points below to make the case against vouchers. (click here for links to additional contact information for senators.)

Talking Points:

There is no academic oversight or accountability for voucher schools. There is no public, objective way to evaluate how well private schools meet student needs because there is no oversight of the education provided at private schools. There is no state accountability for academic outcomes, no state assessments for students required, no oversight or regulation of the education provided at private schools. How can parents who are considering enrolling at a school properly assess the value of the school? How can taxpayers who are funding this program measure its success?

The few provisions intended to provide some accountability, both academically and financially, are shallow, inconsistent and vague. The bill does little to prevent fraud and abuse of the system, while serving to take more money from the public school system to subsidize private education.

Vouchers reduce fair access to educational opportunity for all students and are unresponsive to the issue of poverty. They divert scarce resources from public schools that serve all students to pay for private schools for a few. Many of the lowest-performing schools are already struggling financially and cannot afford to receive less resources.

Vouchers do nothing to improve the education of all students. Creating a separate education system does nothing to address inadequacies or issues with the existing public school system. Most high-poverty schools still operate with fewer instructional resources and supports compared to schools in wealthy communities.

We should focus on fixing public schools – where 90% of children go – not taking money away from them for the 10% who go to private schools. Taxpayers cannot afford to fund both private and public schools. Private schools pick and choose students. Public schools do not pick and choose their students. Public schools are open to every child.

Vouchers weaken the rights of students, especially those with with disabilities because private schools are not subject to federal special education law and can deny services to students. Students in public school are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education. They have protections related to discipline and mandated help for behavioral issues. None of these protections are applicable to private school students. Students with disabilities and their families must waive hard-won legal protections when enrolling in a nonpublic school.

Vouchers will create greater fiscal distress/budgeting problems for school districts. With no deadlines, timelines or notifications required about students who will participate in the program, school districts cannot prepare for the impacts on their budgets. In addition, vouchers divert resources from public education but do not adequately reduce costs. When a student leaves a school district to enroll in a nonpublic school, the district’s fixed, semi-fixed and some variable costs associated with that student do not just disappear (costs such as building operations and maintenance, utilities, technology, food service, staff salaries and benefits, etc.). And requirements to transport students to nonpublic schools within a 10-miles radius will increase transportation costs for affected districts.

Tell your senator that the ESA voucher plan robs public schools to enrich private schools. This amounts to a taxpayer giveaway to private schools. Senate Bill 2 falls short of the mark in too many areas to be worthy of support.

Thank you for your advocacy efforts!

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/oj32WWQWrXEE5sGsNAmdsg

Rep. Comitta (D-156) proposes Pipeline Communication and Safety Board

See her video announcement “Comitta Fighting To Keep Pipelines Safe” at YouTube. Text there:

Published on Jun 19, 2017

The creation of a Pipeline Communication and Safety Board is needed, as our state government struggles to keep residents up to date on pipeline construction, operation and maintenance. The Pipeline Communication and Safety Board will ensure timely and effective dissemination of relevant information to help all citizens, and make our government agencies more efficient.

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