Posted by: wcdem2 | November 5, 2017

Who’s on the ballot?

See candidates here.

Democrats should receive a handout before Tuesday with recommended votes and other information. The West Chester Democratic Committee urges you to vote Straight Dem on the front and then on the back NO on the ballot question and YES to retain Judge Todd.

Please also check for any updates with your committeeperson or other Dem greeters when you go to vote on Tuesday.

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Posted by: wcdem2 | November 5, 2017

Interview with Bret Binder

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 11/1/17

I had a chance last week to interview Bret Binder, an East Bradford attorney who is running for the position of Magisterial District Judge in West Bradford, East Bradford, and West Chester wards 3, 6, and 7.

Why are you running for MDJ?

Too many people have lost faith in the Pennsylvania judiciary because of a series of scandals from the Magisterial District Courts up to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Given that most people’s only experience with the law is in the Magisterial District Court, I would like to bring accountability, transparency, professionalism, and respect to this Court. I believe there is a chance to make a large impact in my community as well as to attempt to implement changes in the court itself that could help all Pennsylvanians receive a better, fairer judicial system.

What does an MDJ do?

A Magisterial District Judge handles small claims cases (under $12,000.00), landlord tenant cases, traffic citations, summary offenses, and emergency protection from abuse orders. He or she also issues arrest and search warrants and sets bail and rules on preliminary hearings for those charged with felonies and misdemeanor. These cases range from routine to quite serious and require a judge familiar with rules of procedure, evidence, and applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. …

read more at Politics: A View from West Chester

Posted by: wcdem2 | November 1, 2017

Help Save the Historic Tax Credit

from Herrin for Mayor’s BOROUGH BRIEFS, October 31, 2017

Arguably, the UPTOWN! Knauer Performing Arts Center would not have been possible without the federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC). It’s the most significant investment the federal government makes toward preserving historic buildings, and it was a key financial incentive for investors who helped make UPTOWN! possible for our community.

Unfortunately, several tax reform proposals circulating in Congress recommend a repeal of the HTC – even though it stimulates economic growth and returns more to the Treasury than it costs, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The HTC is an important tool for West Chester, as we work together to preserve our history. Without it, historic rehabilitation projects can face lender and investor bias because they often have higher costs and greater design challenges.

Add your name to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s campaign to save the HTC and protect West Chester’s historic brand! Sign on here. Thank you!

Posted by: wcdem2 | October 29, 2017

Schools oppose state ballot question

Letter in Daily Local News, 10/22/17, from WCASD superintendent Jim Scanlon

As a supporter of our public schools and the belief that every American child deserves the right to a quality public education, I’m writing to ask for your action at the polls regarding a legislative proposal that could seriously impact the quality of our schools.

Many educators are very concerned about a November 7 ballot question that asks whether the Pennsylvania Constitution should be amended to allow local taxing authorities to exempt homeowners from paying property taxes. We strongly feel the answer to this question should be “NO.”

This ballot question doesn’t include the critical piece of information that according to state law, another source of revenue must be created to replace local property taxes. Legislators are considering that the new revenue source could come from increases in other taxes, in the form of Senate Bill 76. Under SB 76, Income Tax will go up from 3.07% currently to 4.95%, sales tax will go from 6% to 7% and the list of items to be taxed would increase. Those new revenue sources would go directly to the state, and it would be up to the state to determine how much each school district would receive.

This means that under this new funding formula, the state could decide to give more money to urban districts and less to suburban ones, like West Chester. Or, they could determine another complicated funding formula that would once again leave funding up to the state and take away our local control.

Harrisburg struggles to balance its own budget. The General Assembly currently doesn’t have a revenue budget for the current year. How can we leave our own school funding up to them?…

keep reading at Daily Local News. See also downloadable statement at WCASD. The WCASD School Board voted 8-0 on Oct. 23 to recommend a No vote. We need to protect ourselves against more budget antics in H’burg, where months ago the R majority passed an unfunded budget. You can’t just hope money will appear from somewhere!

Posted by: wcdem2 | October 27, 2017

Trump’s Tax Scam: rally and background

CALLING ON COSTELLO: Trump’s Tax Scam, Part Deux

Date: Oct 27, 2017, 11:30am to 1pm
Host: Concerned Constituent Action Group
Location: 21 W. Market Street, West Chester

Despite all the other news coming from the current administration and our own representative, the Republican tax plan is so heinous that we need to continue to protest against Trump’s tax scheme yet again this week. Bring your top hats, Monopoly money, monocles, and handlebar mustaches.

TRUMP TAX SCHEME FAQs:

1) The top tax rate will come down, the bottom rate will go up. Tax deductions used by the middle class will be eliminated. The national debt is projected to increase by $1 Trillion. Some estimate POTUS will save $1 Billion. What a great plan… if you are mega wealthy!

2) Do you save for your retirement with a 401K plan? They want to tax the money you pay into your retirement fund UP FRONT, and not when you withdraw it when you are retired and have a lower taxable income. See here.

We are going to call this by its real name: more wealth for the wealthy. And we want to declare “not one penny”!! Not one penny in cuts to rich people taxes! Not one penny stolen from our Treasury. We need every penny for health care, social security, hurricane relief and diplomacy around the world. Come join us in a rally and send letters, faxes, emails and phone calls to say ” not one penny!”

Posted by: wcdem2 | October 26, 2017

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.”

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

Posted by: wcdem2 | October 25, 2017

‘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

Posted by: wcdem2 | October 6, 2017

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/

Posted by: wcdem2 | October 5, 2017

Neighborhood University – Stormwater

West Chester resident Emily Pisano is kindly contributing her observations on the content of Neighborhood University, a good background for all interested in civic life. And as anyone reading this knows, “government is us!” For week 2 and a link to the more info about the program, see here.

Walking into the West Goshen municipal building for last week’s Neighborhood University, I must admit my expectations were rather low. The topic was stormwater and I don’t know about you, but the word stormwater doesn’t typically elicit feelings of fun or excitement.

We were greeted by our speaker for the evening, West Goshen township manager Casey LaLonde. Won over immediately with his snack selection (pretzels, candy, water, and soda), we grabbed us handout and sat down ready to learn.

Within the first five minutes of Casey’s presentation I realized I had been all wrong about the topic of stormwater. Well, almost entirely wrong. While not necessarily fun, it is a very exciting, interesting and stressful area to be a part of. Without getting into the nitty gritty of all the acronyms and definitions, I’ll share with you why the management of stormwater is essential to our community and environment.

First of all, decision-making surrounding the management of stormwater is left to your elected officials. So, here is yet another reason why voting is so important. November 7th, mark it on your calendars!

Recently, the DEP has had its focus on stormwater and has put pressure on PA’s municipalities to create updated systems for managing it. Unfortunately, PA is more than a little behind the curve when it comes to stormwater, the reason being, the DEP did not know how to handle PA’s many municipalities.

Putting the changes that need to be made into effect does not come at a low cost and funding the projects is left to the discretion of local elected officials. In West Goshen either a stormwater fee will be activated or federal tax money will be used.

To emphasize the importance of managing stormwater properly, just look at the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Houston’s reservoirs didn’t break and they weren’t in bad shape. They simply could not handle the fifty inches of rain dumped on Houston in a twenty-four-hour period. Meteorologists have referred to Hurricane Harvey’s effects on Houston as a 500-year flood. What that means is, a flood the size of the one cause by Harvey should only occur once every 500 years. But there has been one 500-year flood every year for the last three years.

In light of the collection of natural disasters that has affected the US and Mexico recently, we all need to come together and work as a team to help restore our environment. Part of helping to save our planet is electing those that understand how serious a situation we are in and keeping those that deny something is wrong out of the decision-making.

To learn more about stormwater management visit your townships website. West Goshen has a very detailed site dedicated to their recent projects including a plan to replace outdated systems across their township.

For those of that live in West Chester Borough, our Borough Council recently passed a resolution to use 100% clean renewable electricity by 2035 and 100% clean renewable energy for transportation and other uses by 2050. The Borough will also be testing a “green curb” extension plan. This will start on S. Everhart Street between Sharpless and Nields. The plan will help the ground to better collect and retain stormwater runoff.

While we can’t reverse the damage that has already been done to our environment we can and need to work together to prevent any more from occurring.

Posted by: wcdem2 | October 2, 2017

Just Do It — Today

from GunSense Chester County

On Monday we awoke to news of yet another tragic mass murder. How many times do we go through this before we demand our elected officials change gun laws?

While Gun Sense Chester County is not “anti gun” we are for common sense gun regulation. The permissiveness of gun purchase and carry regulations has gone well beyond the bounds of common sense.

And as we sit here absorbing yet another mass gun murder…

Today, the National Rifle Association is working to pass Federal law making it easier to purchase gun silencers. (House of Representatives Bill 3668)

Today, the NRA is working to overturn a Maryland regulation banning the sale of semi-automatic rifles.

And, today, you are…?

I am sure the words sad, upset, frustrated and more may come to mind. The truth is, those words without action are not going to change anything.

If you think we need to find a different path forward — call and tell your elected officials. Do it TODAY.

And then, watch how they vote on gun related issues.

If you give us your email, we’ll be happy to keep you informed. (gunsensecc@gmail.com)

Join us at our meeting Tuesday, Oct 3 at 7:15 p.m. at 10 W. Pleasant Grove Rd., West Chester 19382 (Westminster Presbyterian Church) if you’d like to share your thoughts about this tragedy and learn more about about gun violence and gun regulation issues.

The meeting is free and open to all.

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