Honoring American workers

Email from Chrissy Houlahan, Dem candidate for US House PA-06, 9/5/18

Earlier this week, we observed Labor Day, a time to honor America’s workers and their families who, generation after generation, have carried this nation forward on their shoulders.

Labor Day was started in the 1880s, a time when many Americans worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week just to cover their basic needs. Many states without meaningful child labor laws saw 5 and 6-year-olds working in dangerous conditions in mills, factories, and mines all across the country.

America’s labor movement brought an end to many of these practices, banding together to bargain collectively for the 40-hour work week, safer working conditions, fair pay among other employment protections we take for granted today.

Despite this progress, Labor Day remains as important as ever. Workers and workers’ rights remain the backbone of the middle-class, something I’m committed to protecting in Washington — sign your name if you agree.

I am proud to have the support of the labor community and I am proud of the hundreds of quality jobs I have helped bring to Southeastern Pennsylvania over the course of my career.

I am now running for Congress to fight for middle class families and bring more good paying jobs to our community. Thousands of American workers still die on the job every year. Many workers are forced to put in overtime hours for no additional pay. Female workers and workers of color too often work for less than their counterparts. And if you account for inflation, our middle-income families haven’t gotten a meaningful pay raise in more than 40 years.

We have real work to do to build up the middle class, and I can’t think of a better way to honor the men and women who sparked this movement that made this progress possible than to continue building on their work in Washington.

FDR and Labor Day

Image from email from Progressive Democrats of America. Our added comments:

FDR proposed this “economic bill of rights” in his January 11, 1944, State of the Union message to Congress. Some but not all of these rights have been embedded in American life since the New Deal and even those have been imperfectly implemented and subject to erosion, especially in today’s political climate.

From FDR’s speech:

“It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth- is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill housed, and insecure…. We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence…. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

There was a real leader! FDR, your country needs you today, on Labor Day, every day!

from CCDC

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

Hundreds walk to end gun violence in East Goshen in a tribute to Bianca Roberson

by Bill Rettew, Daily Local News, 8/5/18

EAST GOSHEN>>About 250 walkers laced up their running shoes on Sunday while remembering Bianca Nikol Roberson who was killed during a June 2017 road rage shooting.

The inaugural rally and 2.5 kilometer walk, “Walk for Me,” was held in East Goshen Park. Participants in the fundraiser walked to end gun violence.

Roberson, 18, had just graduated Rustin High School and was headed for Jacksonville University when a 10-second argument during a highway merge on the Route 100 Bypass turned deadly.

Delaware County resident David Desper sits behind bars while awaiting a September murder trial….

read more at Daily Local News

Local legislators join fight to bring clean energy solutions

Daily Local News, 7/26/18

State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-156, right, Mayor Dianne Herrin, and West Chester University Director of Sustainability, Bradley Flamm, take questions at a clean energy forum promoting clean energy solutions Wednesday night.

West Chester >> On Wednesday night, PennEnvironment was joined by state Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-156, Mayor Dianne Herrin, and West Chester University Director of Sustainability, Bradley Flamm, to hold a clean energy forum promoting clean energy solutions and calling on Pennsylvania to transition to 100 percent renewable energy as quickly as possible.

Almost 90 Chester County residents joined the panelists Wednesday night at Mitchell Hall at West Chester University, filling the room to the point of standing room only. Event attendees submitted questions for the panelists, and an engaging discussion ensued about how residents can work together to push for clean energy and ensure a healthy, livable climate for all.

With record heat waves and torrential downpours hitting the state and wildfires burning across the West Coast, the need for clean energy solutions and moving off of fossil fuels to solve climate change could not be any clearer.

“As Pennsylvanians, we have a constitutionally-protected right to ‘clean air, pure water and the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.’ We must continue to assert ourselves in defending and supporting those rights,” said Dinniman.

The state-elected officials in attendance both cosponsored legislation in the General Assembly that would require Pennsylvania to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. This legislation is HB2132 in the state House and SB1140 in the state Senate. Continue reading

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

“Families Belong Together” rally, West Chester, June 30

Our elected representatives were there in force, all speaking eloquently to the crowd of about 600. Some highlights:

West Chester Mayor Dianne Herrin:

“We are here because we are facing a crisis that transcends politics.”

“We will not be accomplices to this cruelty that is before us.”

“We are going to insure Liberty and justice until we win.”

156th district representative in Harrisburg Carolyn Comitta serves on the Governor’s Commission on Women, which together with the Commission on Latino Affairs, Asian Pacific American Affairs, and African American Affairs has issued a joint statement denouncing the separation of families and the use of children as “political pawns.”

See the text at “Governor’s Advisory Commissions Urge Reunification of Immigrant Families,” 6/26/18.

State Senator Andy Dinniman (D-19) noted that he has spoken many times on the court House steps, but never thought he’d be there protesting the separation of families by the US government.

His remarks received sustained applause, including “It’s cruel, it’s immoral, it’s wrong, and we’ll make sure that it stops” and “We are here today to reclaim the soul of America.”

See the full video of the rally, courtesy of Chester County Community TV Live, here. And don’t miss WCDem singer par excellence Stephanie Phillips, in the video at 7:50.

Senator Dinniman (D-19) at rally against Mariner East pipeline

Over 200 people attended the Rally for Community Safety – Mariner East, hosted by Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety and Food & Water Watch – Pennsylvania, on Saturday, June 9 at the Historic Chester County Courthouse steps.

Speakers received vocal support from the crowd. The citizens have never gotten answers, said Senator Dinniman, who in April filed a formal legal complaint against the the Public Utility Commission over its inadequate attention to safety and siting. The Mariner East case is as important as the Valdez oil spill in Alaska or the Love Canal in New York state, Dinniman said, and Pennsylvania government should be standing up for the PA constitution and private property rights. As he and other speakers emphasized:

Article I, Section 27

The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.

photo thanks to Dianne Herrin

Stop the Mariner East 2 Pipeline: Rally in West Chester June 9

Saturday, June 9 at 3 PM, Historic Chester County Courthouse Steps, 2 North High St., West Chester, PA

We all need safe food and clean water.

Sunoco is infamous for reckless drilling and polluting local communities — we can’t let them build hundreds of miles of new pipeline, especially next to elementary schools and homes!

On June 9, we will rally with affected communities to say No Mariner East!

Photo from Food and Water Watch

How did West Chester Dems do in the 2018 primary election?

The interesting part of primaries is usually the turnout, which measures the enthusiasm and commitment of voters and, through that, also the effectiveness of party activists.

We usually compare unofficial results right after each election to the corresponding election 4 years earlier, but so much has changed so fast that the 4-year comparison isn’t as meaningful any more as comparing to 2017, a breakthrough year in Dem turnout and success.

Dems comprise 53% of all registered voters in the Borough and slip to 49% only in wards 1 and 5. The registration high point is wards 2E with 72%. The County as a whole is only 39% Dem compared to 43% R and 18% I), but the County D to D+R ratio did increase by .4% in the past year. Chesco Dems are probably in a good period for registrations, though not comparable to 2008. The countywide R lead in registrations (now a bit over 15,000) has been declining slowly since the Dem Obama surge in 2008; but fortunately, our candidates clearly received a good number of R and I votes in the 2016 and 2017 general elections.

Overall the Dem share of D+R registrations in West Chester has risen about 1% in the last year. That makes up for lost ground since the Dem share went down 1% in 2013-17. The D % of D+R reg declined only in precincts 2E (probably reflection Union Station’s continued growth) and 4 (due maybe to large number of I’s, the highest of any precinct at 26%).

WC Dem turnout was 1% less than a year ago. That isn’t surprising, because Dems were extra-ready to act in May 2017, the first election after the surprise of Nov. 2016. Also, 2017 had an exciting the 3-way mayoral primary; and WC D turnout already almost doubled from the 2013 to the 2017 primary. 2018 Dem turnout was down from 2017 by 5% in wards 1 and 2E and by 3% in ward 7, but up slightly (though still low) in wards 5 and 6. As usual, wards 7 and 1 led the way in turnout with 31% and 30%. Overall D turnout of 20% in the Borough, though not intrinsically impressive, was way above R turnout of 12%.

The County Dem turnout increase of 4.4% from 2017 to 2018 is very encouraging. As usual (though not the case in 2017) West Chester Dem turnout was somewhat lower than the County’s, by 3.3%, reflecting our younger and more mobile demography.

Our job now is to hold all our primary voters, and to add a lot more votes, of whatever party, for our candidates in November.