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Allyson Schwartz
Hello Daily Kos! 

First, I wanted to take some time to introduce myself. My name is Allyson Schwartz, and I am running for Governor in Pennsylvania. I am running for Governor because I am fed up with the dysfunction and misplaced priorities in Harrisburg.  

Under Governor Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania is moving backward. He has cut education by nearly a billion dollars, led our state to the bottom in economic growth, and used his platform as Governor to demean women, the LGBT community, minorities, and working men and women.  He embodies everything that's wrong with Harrisburg.

We need a Governor who will take on the status quo and has the experience to get big things done for the people of Pennsylvania. I have broken down barriers to create positive change for families across Pennsylvania. As Governor I will bring my unique experience to take on the status quo in Harrisburg to fight for working families.

At age 26, with a group of like-minded women, I founded the Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center, one of Philadelphia’s first women’s health clinics, only a short time after the law changed with Roe vs. Wade. Since then, I have carried that same passion to my career in public service – bringing big ideas to the table and getting things done. 

In 1990, I took on a right wing Republican and won election to become just the third woman to ever serve in the Pennsylvania Senate. In 2004, I took on another tough election fight in a swing district and have had the privilege of serving Pennsylvania’s 13th District ever since. I am currently the only woman in Pennsylvania’s twenty-member Congressional delegation. 

I’m proud of my record in taking on the toughest fights for families, and succeeding in making a difference. I worked to pass the Affordable Care Act, to ensure that women receive the same pay and treatment as their male colleagues, and lead the fight to pass the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).CHIP was a hugely successful initiative that, under President Bill Clinton, became a model for the nation and provides coverage for millions of American children today.   

Pennsylvanians are hungry for a different direction and a different type of leader. As I told the audience at the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics at Chatham University when I accepted their 2012 Hollander Award for Women’s Leadership,

“It is so important that women participate at every level to ensure our voices and our expertise is at the table. We must learn to keep fighting when we meet obstacles, and to push through barriers even as we pave a new way for ourselves and other women.”
As the first woman Governor of Pennsylvania, we will change politics and government in Pennsylvania forever.

As Governor, I will fight for a progressive agenda, including: 

          · Universal access to pre-kindergarten for all Pennsylvania four-year olds;
          · A state infrastructure bank to pay for transformative transportation and                      infrastructure improvements, including public transit;
          · A tuition freeze and scholarships for community college graduates to get a bachelor’s degree;
          · A minimum wage increase and pay equity for women;
          · Full marriage equality for Pennsylvanians; and
          · Medicaid expansion to cover 500,000 Pennsylvanians.

Governor Corbett and his allies in Harrisburg must be replaced if Pennsylvania is to fulfill its potential and be a place where every citizen has the opportunity to thrive in the 21st century.

I look forward to continuing the conversation here on Daily Kos about how we can work together to create a Commonwealth where all Pennsylvanians can share in and benefit from the many great assets and great future our state has to offer.  


Originally posted to Allyson Schwartz on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pittsburgh Area Kossacks, Philly Kos, and DKos Pennsylvania.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you Congresswoman Schwartz (9+ / 0-)

    We look forward to hearing more from you.

    I do have a question about Education though.  As you are likely aware, Pennsylvania has been hit by huge cuts to education.  I am curious as to what you would do about Education in PA and specifically where do you stand on Charter Schools and Common Core.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:56:14 AM PDT

    •  Their full plan's here (5+ / 0-)

      Link.  There was also a debate on education issues recently, which was recapped here and elsewhere.

      [As y'all know, I am the campaign's lawyer, but I didn't write this diary.]

      •  Thanks Adam. Good stuff. I'm impressed. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, Adam B, mallyroyal, Mannie
        Schwartz called charters a “burden” on public schools. If elected, she said she would not allow taxpayer money to go to online-only charter programs and use the $336 million saved from such a move on public education.

        All four candidates were skeptical of the reliance on standardized testing, though Schwartz said she would not eliminate the state’s new Keystone Exams for high school students because “we need to make sure that diploma means something.”

        Also her plan on Education is pretty impressive.  I was pleasantly surprised, especially on her positions on Charter Schools and Education funding.  

        I think this cannot be stressed enough.  There's a place for Charter Schools in addition to public schools, but too many Dem politicians like Dan Malloy in CT and Andrew Cuomo in NY see Charter Schools as a substitute to public schools.  The fact is they're draining much needed funds from the public schools and are diverting it to Charter Schools instead.  Public schools are becoming grossly underfunded while Charter Schools are getting all the perks and yet the outcomes, when Charter Schools aren't fudging the numbers by expelling underperforming children, are about the same.  You would think that if public schools got some of the added funds and perks Charter Schools are getting maybe the outcomes would be a bit better.  It's nice to see a Dem who recognizes this and won't be wasting money on failed for profit programs like online-only schools but instead will be investing that money in public schools.  

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 10:40:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Re: Education in Pennsylvania (8+ / 0-)

      Making sure our schools have the resources they need will be my top priority as your governor - and I believe that public education is what makes this country so great. As the former Democratic Chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee, I fought for fair funding for our public schools. As governor, I will restore the almost $1 billion that Corbett cut from school subsidies by the end of my first term in office. I was the first Democratic candidate for governor to call for a 5 percent tax on Marcellus Shale gas production, and I will use the profits from this tax to recommit Pennsylvania to public education. I will establish a data-driven funding formula that provides fair, adequate and sustained funding for every school district. My formula will take into account a district’s economic and demographic profile, including variances in income and learning capabilities (including students with special needs), and the local community’s ability to raise local funds.

      In addition, I will improve charter school transparency and accountability to guarantee that public dollars are used wisely, to prevent fraud, and to guard against unacceptable conflicts of interest. This includes ending state funding for cyber-charter schools in Pennsylvania.

      Last fall I released a comprehensive plan for education in the Commonwealth that includes Common Core and charter schools which you can find here.

      Thank you for the great question!

  •  I wish you good luck. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm a Pennsylvanian, and I will vote in the primary for the Democrat who I believe has the best chance of unseating Gov. Corbett this November.

    It would strike me that you or Rob McCord would be that person.

    I know nothing about Tom Wolf other than he has deep pockets. My concern about him is that, unlike you and Mr. McCord, he has no political experience and has never been vetted by the voters or an opposing campaign.

    Are you our best shot at ridding us of Corbett?

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:01:49 AM PDT

  •  How will you change politics in PA forever (5+ / 0-)

    when culturally, this is a state that likes to drag its feet on doing anything?

    and what precisely will that change look like?

    I have an idea to start: do something about the ridiculously stupid municipal fragmentation. Too many regions of Pennsylvania are paralyzed by this because too many of these locales are run by people who are incapable of thinking regionally. 2600 different municipal governments, when over half of them are broke, is not sustainable. An example? the 6 block long 2 block wide borough of Millbourne on the west edge of Philadelphia. 800 people. half of its land area is a vacant lot that used to be Sears. It has barely any tax base now, since Sears abandoned the site in the late 1980s.  Another portion is the parking lot for a transit hub. Millbourne maintains its own police department and fire department when Upper Darby Township, which it borders and whose school district Millbourne uses, is more than capable of handling emergencies there. As a seperate political entity this municipality should not exist and its existance is a disservice to its residents who pay far higher property taxes than people who live on the south side of Market Street.

    501 seperate school districts is not sustainable. There's a change that'd change PA forever, and for the good, I think.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:10:22 AM PDT

  •  and don't/frack (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64, marina, Mannie

    decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

    by renzo capetti on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:25:19 AM PDT

  •  "conversation" implies back-and-forth dialog. (3+ / 0-)
    I look forward to continuing the conversation here on Daily Kos about how we can work together...
    We are here to converse.  Where are you?  

    We have seen a decade of politicians come and treat us like the Great Orange ATM;  post and run.  Few actually stop in and have dialog.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:50:19 AM PDT

  •  Go get 'em Allyson! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26, Mannie

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:03:53 AM PDT

  •  Good luck to you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26, JamieG from Md, Mannie

    I hate to see pols post and run. There are a number of questions for you, but an hour and a half after posting, you have but 1 comment, the tip jar.
    Not exactly a conversation. I think you will do better around here to at least have a staffer post answers for you, with disclosure that it is a staffer doing it. Better yet: hang around after posting and converse.

    Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

    by emmasnacker on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:28:59 AM PDT

  •  Late resignation from Third Way raises questions (7+ / 0-)

    in mind of many subscribers to DailyKos, where Third Way has been regarded as a tool for Wall Street to control the Democratic Party's policies.

    Any comments you can make to address this would be very welcome.

    DailyKos subscribers also like Democrats who can beat Republicans, so also welcome would be more on why you are best equipped (among Democratic primary candidates) to win the general election.

  •  How do you square your commitment (5+ / 0-)

    to "working families" with your vote for Bush's bankruptcy bill?

    Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

    by psychodrew on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 10:11:12 AM PDT

  •  Welcome to Daily Kos, future Governor. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md, Mannie
    Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
    ---> Bertrand Russell

    by smileycreek on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 10:12:31 AM PDT

  •  I'm 90% there in voting for you in the primary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, Mannie

    I enjoyed reading the posted link to your education policy, but I'd like to see some firmer language about Keystone Exams. In particular we need a pledge to end any further possible expansion of those exams. HS students are already required to take 3 for graduation and the addition of an additional 2 for the class of 2020 will place far too many high schools in an untenable position for exam administration vs. instructional days. In particular the Civics exam needs to be permanently mothballed. Many schools and teachers, my school and myself being one, currently instruct American Government to our 12th grade students. The Keystone Exams are mandated to be taken by every student prior to the completion of 11th grade. The Civics exam is currently "proposed" and will only be implemented based on available funding. Rather than compel far too many schools in the Commonwealth to take on expensive and developmentally unwise course order changes in Social Studies, can you pledge to save the money on a new (and disruptive) exam and spend it on some of your other educational initiatives?

  •  What is your position on medical marijuana? (4+ / 0-)

    There's a little girl in PA that has over a hundred seizures a day that our current Governor won't even look at. Thousands of people who by all rights should be patients face the choice of living in pain or being criminals. Where do you stand on the issue?

    I shave my legs with Occam's razor~

    by triv33 on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 10:49:56 AM PDT

    •  what she's said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, triv33

      Phila Weekly, Feb. 11 2014 interview:

      Lots of our readers favor decriminalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes and recreational purposes. What’s your take on that?

      I would be supportive of medical marijuana [that is] well-regulated by the state or federal government, should we get to that point. And secondly, I do believe marijuana is over-criminalized. What we should do is decriminalize possession....

      So — we have the Small Amounts of Marijuana law in effect in Philadelphia, as you’re aware. Do you favor something along those lines? If someone is caught with a small amount of marijuana, should law enforcement give them a ticket instead of handcuffing and fingerprinting them? How do you see decriminalization happening?

      Many DAs across the country and in Philadelphia have weighed in on this, and Philadelphia has it right: Simple possession should not be an arrest, it should not send anyone to jail.

      Part of the deal in Philly is, you have the option of taking a drug rehabilitation class instead of going through the whole process. Some have argued that if you get caught smoking a joint, drug rehabilitation probably isn’t for you.

      I think that’s right.


      I do. I think someone should not be sent to drug rehabilitation. But, let me just say it this way: I want to work with law enforcement, I will work with experts in the field about what amounts are acceptable and what are not. But what I’m very clear about is, simple possession and personal use should not be criminalized.

      And I think some of that also has to do with the discrimination on marijuana. Some of these laws are not applied very evenly. That is a concern. I will work with the communities and stakeholders involved to make sure that we are not using law enforcement or our jails, or even drug treatment, for simple possession of marijuana.

      Right now, depending on where you are in Pennsylvania, there are different laws. You can plead down in some parts of Pennsylvania; in some places you get arrested; in some places you can go through the SAM program; in some places you just get a ticket. Would you want a uniform law for Pennsylvania in this regard?

      That’s the reason we need to have the discussion at the governor’s level. It should be consistent across Pennsylvania, and if we can get this handled at the state level, that would really help make sure there’s a consistency in application of the law and enforcement of the law.

      You said you support medicinal marijuana. There’s a bill state Senators Leach and Folmer are pushing right now that would legalize a cannabis-derived medicine that doesn’t even get anyone high at all. So, you would be in support of something like that?

      Yes. If that bill came to my desk, I would be supportive.

  •  Thank you for coming, Representative (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I would like to know about your views on fracking and renewable energies, and what kind of ideas you have for Pennsylvania's future energy needs.

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

    by skohayes on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 11:01:33 AM PDT

  •  welcome. I might be putting feet to concrete for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you in NW Philly.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 11:50:19 AM PDT

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