Lack of affordable housing is a critical issue in our city. What are your positions on key issues such as a Homes Guarantee, rent control, and increasing the number of affordable housing options?
The problem of affordable housing is both a result of stagnating wages and a steady increase in rental rates. Nationwide, rent control policies have taken on a new wave of popularity, and are a positive move towards affordable housing. Philadelphia and Pennsylvania at-large currently have no rent control policy in place, which could assist cost-burdened residents in affording their homes.
Opponents of these policies claim that they would result in decreased construction, but in cities that implement rent control there has been no evidence of this phenomena. Rent control is a major possibility for providing affordable housing in Philadelphia, and this is shown in areas where rent control policies have been put into action. Currently there is an estimated shortage of 279,009 houses affordable for low income renters. Rent control will be a move towards closing this gap, but even still we need new developments as well.
At this same time as we push for more affordable housing, legislators must ensure responsible management of quality housing. The Philly Tenants Union recently won a huge victory in the success of its “Good Cause Eviction Legislation”. I would support enacting such a law statewide, protecting tenants from bad actors.
Also, it is difficult to discuss housing policy without mentioning transportation. In reality, the home and the workplace present an interesting challenge of getting from point A to point B. Often, this challenge is a great ordeal, particularly for those with lower income. This past election cycle, progressive candidates gained future control of the SEPTA board through victories in the Philadelphia collar counties.
With potential expansions of SEPTA resources on the horizon, it is important to guide those resources to where they are best fit and most needed. With more accessible transportation, there would be much more autonomy involved in where they choose to live and work.
Do you believe PA’s current criminal justice system is equitable? Please explain your positions on ending cash bail, mandatory minimum sentencing, PA’s judge selection process, Marsy’s Law, and the death penalty.
Our criminal justice system is rife with inequities. My background with the criminal justice system comes from my time working at the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and clerking on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
During law school, I worked a year at the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, advocating for individuals wrongfully incarcerated. The appellate process though, regardless of how clear cut a case is–takes an outrageous number of years. Cases I worked on in law school are still pending.
We need more resources put towards work like that being done by the Conviction Review Unit in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to help combat the injustices that resulted from our gravely flawed justice system. We also need to invest in restorative justice programs that help bring closure to both the victims of crime and those who are found innocent. Furthermore, we need to prepare those who leave prison for reentry back into society and to set them up for success.
Towards the specific policies mentioned, I support the elimination of cash bail–particularly in low-level, non-violent offenses. A multitude of factors should be considered when determining whether or not an individual should be detained pending prosecution. Your financial ability should not determine whether or not you are held in detection.
Mandatory minimum sentences often result in unfair outcomes, namely unnecessarily, tragically longer sentences than should often be applied. By removing them, we would render our justice system more fair and I support this move.
We should have merit selection of judges. Period. Taking money and politics out of the placement of judges would be a major move forward for the judicial system in the Commonwealth.
I do not support Marsy’s law and did not endorse it during the election in the 5th Ward, 5th Division. I of course support the rights of victims, but they are different from those accused of a crime. A defendant, for example, is entitled to a presumption of innocence and has a right to due process, as, if found guilty, he or she may be deprived of life, liberty, and freedom. Additionally, the Pennsylvania law is arguable duplicative and unconstitutional.
In the United States, the death penalty is applied in an unfair and unjust manner. People of color are far more likely to be executed than white people, especially if the victim is white. Additionally, the death penalty is a waste of taxpayer funds and has no public safety benefit. The vast majority of law enforcement professionals surveyed agree that capital punishment does not deter violent crime; a survey of police chiefs nationwide found they rank the death penalty lowest among ways to reduce violent crime. In fact, the FBI found the states with the death penalty have the highest murder rates. Innocent people too often sentenced to death. Since 1973, over 156 people have been released from death rows in 26 states because of innocence. Nationally, at least one person is exonerated for every 10 that are executed.
Lastly, I would note private prisons should not exist. Putting folks into jail shouldn’t be something that anyone is profiting from. Furthermore, with the legalization of recreational cannabis, we must extend clemency to those that have been jailed for non-violent cannabis related crimes.
Gun violence is a major public health issue. What is your position on gun control and what would you do at the state level to combat our gun violence epidemic, including universal background checks and imposing liability for gun deaths upon manufacturers?
It is unacceptable to do nothing on gun violence. For too long, gun lobbyists have had an iron grip on the Pennsylvania, and every, state legislature, and we are now reaping the “benefits” of this system. Every other day in the news there is a new shooting, whether mass or otherwise. Well, I have had enough.
In Philadelphia, Mayor Kenney’s 5 year plan to address gun violence is an effective response to the crisis, and I support implementing such a program statewide. I am also in favor of expanded background checks, training for concealed carry permits and gun ownership, and extreme risk protection orders. These policies have been shown to succeed in lowering gun deaths elsewhere, and I think it is time for Pennsylvania to take action on gun violence.
Currently, the possibility of passing any gun control legislation is very low, with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Kauffman stating that his committee would not even address any bills on the matter for a year. Beyond fighting for good bills and supporting policies that have been shown to work, it is essential to support Democrats across the Commonwealth. Flipping the General Assembly would do more for gun control measures than any bill. Once we succeed in changing the old guard, there is much more potential to pass legislation.
How do you plan to tackle the opioid crisis across the city and state? Do you support safe injection sites, such as the one proposed for Kensington?
The opioid crisis is a statewide, and nationwide issue, but Kensington sits as an epicenter of the epidemic. So far, the Pennsylvania legislature has done too little to address the crisis, relying on instituting Opioid Awareness Months instead of implementing actual change. With one very simple law change, we would instantly be saving lives: decriminalizing or legalizing fentanyl test strips. Currently they are characterized as drug paraphernalia, illegal to use or distribute. This needs to change as soon as possible.
Regarding safe consumption sites, I absolutely support them in Kensington and elsewhere. They are proven to be effective in saving lives from overdose, and shown to be approved of by community members once implemented. We should be doing everything we can to fight this epidemic.
In Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner has decided to stop prosecuting those with buprenorphine, a weaker opioid which, when decriminalized, has been shown to lead to a decrease in overdose deaths. By implementing this policy statewide, and changing the restrictions on doctors to distribute buprenorphine, we would be making a move towards saving lives.
Employment was a major issue for Pennsylvanians in 2016 and will be again in 2020. What are your stances on paid family leave, increasing unionization of workers, and reducing poverty in general? What do you see as the cause of Philadelphia’s high poverty rate and will you do at the state level to address this?
Corporate lobbying and assistance from anti-worker lawmakers has chipped away at the collective bargaining rights of workers. These corporations have managed to protect their profit margins and shareholders while shirking responsibilities to pay livable wages. Union support among workers is at an all time high. Unions are an invaluable tool that has resulted in such worker benefits as the weekend, the 40-hour work week, paid vacation and others. Yet, there are still battles to be won. It is time for the government to support workers’ right to organize.
I plan to be a staunch and vocal opponent of any right-to-work laws. These policies restrict union efforts under the guise of providing freedom to workers; right-to-work laws consistently result in lower wages for workers, less protection from abuse by employers, and overall lower work conditions, benefits that have come from union efforts. If such a law comes to pass, I will continue to be an opponent while also supporting any attempts to undo the effects.
I will also work towards any efforts to protect workers’ rights on other fronts. For instance, I am a supporter of the PA Workplace Freedom Act, aka the “Card Check” law. By strengthening the ability of workers to form unions, lawmakers would be helping them to fight for their rights, collectively bargain for benefits, and stand up against workplace abuses. Unions help the working class fight against oppression, and they should be empowered to do so.
Stagnating wages have led to this crisis; we must protect workers’ rights to unionize and we have to increase wages. Efforts to increase the minimum-wage have been made across the nation, but the fruits of this labor are still not enough. Policies like paid family leave, paid child care, and paid overtime are essential. Families often can’t afford to leave their child, but also can’t afford to stay with their child. By providing childcare to working families, Pennsylvania would be taking a major step toward improving the quality of life for its residents and providing for the next generation.
There is a national push for states to adopt the gig-work law that was recently passed in CA as AB5, which allows employers to apply for exemptions to recognizing basic employee rights for gig workers. Do you support this law, and if so, how will you navigate the fallout for the many workers who need and want flexible careers and schedules (writers, musicians, photographers, etc.)?
As an attorney who has practiced employment law, I am very familiar with issues surrounding the proper classification of workers. It is a difficult issue that has plagued legislatures and courts for decades–and continues to grow in complexity as our technology and the way we work continue to evolve.
AB5 was a law enacted with good intentions–namely to ensure that employees are not misclassified and denied benefits or wages they would otherwise be entitled to as employees under California law. When employers (often these are large corporations that want to save money by avoiding having to pay for costly benefits, etc.) misclassify employees as independent contractors, workers are denied protections they would otherwise be rightfully entitled to. AB5 was enacted to combat this rampant problem that is hurting workers. In implementation, however, it was not written narrowly enough to exclude from classification those workers who are more properly characterized as independent contractors. Employment law in California tends to be the most employee-protective law in the country. Accordingly, I would be hopeful that the legislature in California amends AB5 to ensure that those who are more properly classified as independent contractors continue to have that option available to them either as an exemption or other classification.
Pennsylvania and other states can take note in drafting any similar legislation to balance the need to properly classify those workers who should be treated as employees under the law (and thereby keep employers from denying them rights and protections they are otherwise entitled to) with those more properly classified as independent contractors. There are plenty of examples of tests that can be applied to determine if an individual is an employee versus an independent contractor. I think some of the most important factors are considering who controls the worker’s schedule (the individual or company), the content of the work (who decides what is being done), and where assignments come from (is the individual or company initiating). Ensuring that these types of considerations are included are essential to protecting both those who choose to work as independent contractors and those who are more rightfully classified as employees.
Our schools in Philadelphia are environmentally unsafe, with toxic levels of lead and asbestos. What is your plan to ensure that students have a safe place to learn? How will you ensure the Board of Education is held accountable in their spending on and effectiveness in addressing this issue?
Worrying about long-term educational outcomes is a luxury when Philadelphians cannot be sure that their schools are physically safe. The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News published the results of their investigation into unsafe conditions in the city’s schools in May 2018. Their results were shocking, and a clear call to action. Of 14 elementary schools they tested for lead, 10 had unsafe levels of lead dust; 9 of 11 schools tested for asbestos had elevated levels of asbestos fibers in student-accessible areas. Reporters also documented mold, toxic bacteria, and dangerous silica dust in classrooms, among other environmental hazards threatening students. They found that the district’s lax oversight of contractors was exacerbating the problems. According to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, over 110,000 Philadelphia schools students enter buildings with lead and asbestos and more than 88,000 students attend schools with hazardous mold.
On November 19, 2019, the district announced an Environmental Improvement Plan to accelerate cleanup efforts, which will be funded over the next 5 years using a
$500 million infrastructure improvement bond. The plan also aims to revamp some of the procedures that led to lax oversight. The district estimates, however, that it will take
$4.5 billion over time to catch up to its backlog of capital improvement needs. According to the district’s 2019-20 budget, “[a]s recently as the 1990s, the District was spending as little as $40 million annually on repair and reconstruction of its facilities, leading to a deferred maintenance backlog.” Optimal annual spending on life-cycle capital replacement would be $320 million, far more than the current $99.2 million.
The physical safety of public school students in Philadelphia must come first. In light of the dangerous conditions throughout the Philadelphia public school system, the state should provide funding to thoroughly and carefully remediate hazards as quickly as possible. The state should provide additional funding to ensure proper local oversight of cleanup efforts, including opportunities for parents to observe efforts to restore trust. At a minimum, the state should enact the pending emergency repair bill, but higher levels of funding will be needed to meet the full extent of the problem.
The PA Fair Funding Formula still does not address the vast inequities in funding and therefore quality of educational experience between districts. Once in Harrisburg, how would you create more equitable educational opportunities statewide, and how would you address this problem particularly for Philadelphia students? Include your position on charter school funding.
All funding, not merely a 6% share, should be allocated according to a fair funding formula that accounts for logical considerations. The current formula has flaws (such as inadequate consideration of resource needs for students with varying disabilities), but implementing that formula for all funding would be a vast improvement. Poorer districts in the state exert more tax effort than wealthier districts, and get less revenue per student for their efforts.
The present situation should be reversed. In addition, the level of funding should be tailored to meet the state’s educational goals based on a new assessment of the resources needed to get there. The new funding level should consider each district’s need to overcome capital repair backlogs to avoid a return to the current health emergency.
There is strong evidence that increasing funding leads to better outcomes for students. A recent study, cited by Senator Elizabeth Warren in her Education Plan, shows that increases in per pupil spending brought about by post-1990 state-level reforms increased student achievement more cost-effectively than reducing class sizes, and led to increased earnings for students in states that increased education funding (the present value of the income gains were more than $1 for each $1 spent). Once funding levels are adequate to meet basic needs, the state should explore additional measures to improve academic outcomes.
Once in Harrisburg, what will you do to protect a woman’s right to choose and ensure that adequate reproductive healthcare remains accessible in PA?
Reproductive rights are under constant attack in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Once in office, I will continue fighting to protect those rights, pushing for increased funding and expanded access to reproductive health care, including abortion. But it’s not enough just to fight against attacks on women’s health. I will author or co-sponsor legislation codifying Roe v. Wade in Pennsylvania so that no matter who’s in the White House or on the US Supreme Court, our Commonwealth remains a beacon of hope for women and families.
Additionally, I would co-sponsor legislation that was introduced last session by Rep Leanne Krueger to protect access to birth control provided by the Affordable Care Act, eliminate co-payments for birth control and contraception, allow women to receive six months of birth control at one time, provide insurance coverage for over-the-counter contraceptive medications, i.e., emergency contraception like Plan B, take away co-payments for vasectomies for men, and lift pre-authorizations on IUDs and LARCs.
With the current makeup of the General Assembly however, it is also essential to continue fighting to flip the legislature blue. As Democratic nominee in this district, before I ever make it to Harrisburg, I look forward to being a strong advocate for pro-choice candidates across the state, supporting them in the general election. With a majority in both chambers and the Governor’s mansion, there is potential for major improvements in reproductive care and also health care generally. Without the majority, we can only attempt to block attacks on basic human rights and hope that our Governor’s veto is upheld. Choice is a winning issue in the 175th and across Pennsylvania, and I will be unabashed in my support for pro-choice candidates as I have all along.
As of today, Maryland is threatening to sue PA for its failure to address water quality concerns, infrastructure funding is limited, state legislatures across the Commonwealth are encouraging renegade municipalities to ignore state regulation on water pollution, and the EPA is allowing cities like Pittsburgh to roll back their clean water policies. How would you balance clean water goals and equity concerns? Would you be willing to support the position of the Republican MD governor on clean water in PA?
The right to clean air and pure water is written into the Pennsylvania Constitution, and that right is being alienated at the cost of our residents’ health and quality of life. However, our residents are not the only people being affected by the lack of oversight. This is a national issue and state issue; we need to put more restrictions on polluters, and also introduce fees for pollution. By doing so, we will both hold those accountable who are poisoning the proverbial watering hole and also gather funds for a just transition to a green economy, investing in public infrastructure, etc.
In the absence of legislation holding polluters accountable, it is essential that there is something done to address the issue. The status quo is not cutting it, and we need to take action. The decision of Governor Hogan to sue the Commonwealth just might be the action that results in change on this matter, and if our government is doing wrong, it needs to be held accountable. I support the lawsuit, and any actions against polluters.
We can’t afford to do too little too late on climate, our lives literally depend on it. The climate crisis is taking effect as we speak, and has been damaging lives across the world for some time. Answers to these issues do not have to be innovative to be effective. The Kenney Administration has announced hopes to reduce Philadelphia’s carbon emissions 80% by 2050, and this represents a major move forward for the City. There is still much work to be done; we need a comprehensive set of laws that address the ways our world is changing.
As we work to protect the state against potential damages, we also need to look toward the future by fighting to slow climate change. Investing in climate renewal efforts such as supporting renewable energy sources, stopping any further growth of fossil fuel infrastructure, holding polluters responsible for their damages, promoting public transit growth, etc. are important first steps towards this effort. These efforts will save money in the long run, and be a move towards improving quality of life for future generations.
Many of the largest unions have opposed the Green New Deal. How would you tackle that issue between environmental and labor communities?
By striking against anti-union efforts, and supporting the usage of union workers in green energy jobs, we will be strengthening the standing of unions across the state. At the end of the day, unions are the most effective method of strengthening the working class. When you are supporting unions, you are supporting the working class. In implementing Green New Deal policies, we must work with Union leaders, business leaders, community leaders, everyone to ensure that no one is left behind in this transition. I understand the fear of losing a job, especially when it had nothing to do with your efforts, but not transitioning to a green economy would be a failure to address the very real dangers of climate change and would be a detriment to the Commonwealth’s future.
Do you support a ban on fracking in PA? If so, what is your solution for income loss and immediate job opportunities for 609,00 people that a fracking ban would create in Western, PA?
The effects of fracking on our environment are widespread, and have led to Pennsylvania having some of the worst rated drinking water in the nation. The same people who work these jobs are often the ones whose families are affected. In transitioning away from fracking, it is essential that these folks are protected instead of being left by the wayside. By working with business leaders and unions in this transition, we can make sure this goal is met. This transition towards a green economy is not just one move by way of banning all polluters at once. It would be a system of changes including infrastructure improvement, buildup of alternative energy systems, and more. Many of these other ideas could potentially solve the issue of job loss.
Given our minority status and political dynamics in the PA state houses, how have you or will you work to advance your agenda and pass legislation? In the past, how have you made progress with those you did not align with politically?
First, I hope to play as large a part as I can to ensure that the legislature does not remain Republican-dominated. With just nine seats in the House to get to a majority, whether I win or lose the primary, I will work hard to help Democrats win in swing districts and ensure that a Democrat holds the speaker’s gavel come 2021.
State legislature races in Philadelphia often have no legitimate challenge during the general election due to the party make-up of the city. This means that during the general election, there is a great opportunity for nominees to spend their lame-duck season supporting candidates across the state. As the Democratic nominee, I will work towards electing progressive Democrats statewide. The 175th sits as one of the wealthiest districts in the Pennsylvania legislature, and I believe that our efforts are essential to turning PA blue.
If we do not succeed however, legislators still have a job to do the day after the general election. As representative, I will fight to make ground where there is the possibility for bipartisan support. I will at the same time, however, still be a staunch advocate for progressive policies.
During law school, I had the chance of serving as a clerk for a conservative member of the PA Supreme Court. In this time, I learned much about bipartisan effort and how the system can be improved through collaboration. I hope to bring this same attitude to Harrisburg, because at the end of the day I see this position as an opportunity to help people, and I won’t let taking sides get in the way of that.
What measures would you take to protect immigrant communities in Philadelphia and throughout the state? Would you propose legislation stipulating that family separation is an “extreme hardship”?
After college, I worked in an immigration law firm. I will never forget the first phone call I received from a father who had just arrived in the US with his family. Up to that point in my life, I am not sure I ever truly reflected on how lucky I am to have been born in America–what privileges I had been afforded and what rights I had taken for granted. Working in immigration, I witnessed first-hand how the law could vastly change and improve others’ lives. This work was a large part of my decision to attend law school.
As State Representative, I would take those experiences with me, and I would oppose any legislation, which would threaten to punish or withhold funding for any municipality that represented itself as a sanctuary or welcoming city.
With the climate surrounding immigration, there is a constant fear of being punished for citizen status. This has resulted in a massive under reporting of crime against undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants who do report crimes against them or civil complaints do not always feel safe going to Court. This must be changed. We need to fix this system so that our most vulnerable are not taken advantage of.
Recognizing family separation, correctly, as an “extreme hardship” would render the practice illegal, protecting families. State funds should not be used to support Trump’s immigration detention centers. Families should not be separated at the border. Children should not be imprisoned. Why does this even need to be said? By changing the interpretation of the law, and recognizing the unbearable heartache that comes with family separation we would be making a move towards a more just society.
Do you support the E-verify law? Please explain your position. What will you do to protect our immigrant and undocumented population’s ability to support themselves and their families?
Unlike the Representative who is currently in the 175th, I would never have voted to support e-verify legislation under the guise of protecting workers. The law does not protect workers, or work to hold business accountable, but instead punishes immigrants for existing. As legislator, I look forward to supporting immigrant and undocumented populations, while also holding businesses with unjust hiring and wage practices accountable.
Also, Healthcare is a human right and undocumented workers should be just as entitled to healthcare benefits as any other worker. I would fight to ensure that undocumented immigrants are insured.
Do you believe that our current economic system works for everyone or that it could be improved upon to ensure quality of life for all Pennsylvanians?
This district contains a diverse community, spanning from Kensington to Bella Vista. Across the neighborhoods, there is a massive disparity in economic status between zip codes, school districts (as mentioned prior), and neighborhoods. Beyond the differences in wage and family wealth, there are also differences in healthcare access, transportation access, food supply, and education quality.
In my opinion, the government is meant to assist in improving quality of life, meant to listen to peoples’ needs. Government bodies have the incredible task of attempting to balance the scales somewhat, to hold bad actors accountable. Instead, what we see is a system that fails to protect workers’ rights, ends the general assistance program, and allows for massive destruction to our environment to the point that nearby states are threatening to sue the Commonwealth.
In office, I will be an advocate for all people, pushing for progressive policies that work to improve quality of life. I will support bringing back the general assistance program and raising the minimum wage. I will protect workers rights by fighting against any work-to-right laws, and pushing for union jobs in the transition towards a green economy.
What reforms would you propose to PA’s current tax code? How, if at all, would you improve PA’s inheritance tax?
Pennsylvania is a state rich with both natural and financial resources, these profits ought to be shared with all of our residents. With the hope that 2021 will see a Democratic majority in the House, I would introduce or co-sponsor an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution to repeal the uniformity clause (without restriction), allowing the legislature to implement a progressive income tax.
Next, I would introduce/co-sponsor/support existing legislation to end combined reporting, also known as the “Delaware Loophole.” This will force out-of-state corporations to pay their fair share in Pennsylvania taxes.
Additionally, I would continue to join the majority of my future Democratic colleagues in their pursuit of an extraction tax on natural gas.
Regarding the PA Inheritance tax, I would move to replace it with an estate tax/gift tax structure so that the burden of paying tax on inherited income is placed on the estate, not the recipient. Finally, I would join many of the newer Democrats in the caucus who champion a Green New Deal for Pennsylvania, investing in new industries, like solar and wind energy, industrial hemp, and cannabis legalization.
Election security is a major national and state concern. Philadelphia recently spent $29M on new voting machines. What is your position on the legality and propriety of Philadelphia’s recent voting machine selection process? Do you think Philadelphia should keep or replace the new machines? Please explain your position.
Ensuring secure elections is essential. Current legislators have done too little to support this goal, pushing vulnerable and expensive systems that go against expert recommendations. We need to fight for more transparency in the selection of voting machines. The current ExpressVote XL machines are the result of over a million dollars in lobbying to Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Between the spending on the machines, and the current lawsuits surrounding them, the General Assembly has succeeded in wasting large amounts of taxpayer dollars.
It is difficult to take an absolute side on whether or not we should replace or keep the new machines. As they exist, they are clearly not the ideal, but the money has been spent and replacing them now seems only a furthering of the initial mistake. In the long run however, it is estimated that we would save money by switching to a hand-marked paper ballot system (which are also more accurate and less vulnerable). With the long term savings and increase in accuracy, I see no reason why we should not switch over to this system.
Once in office, I will be a voice for accessibility and visibility, two things that went by the wayside in the decision to purchase the voting machines. With such a large and important purchase, it is essential that there are multiple points where public feedback is accepted. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, the lobbying effort surrounding these new machines did nothing to take public opinion, or expert opinion, into consideration. As legislator, I look forward to serving as an advocate for transparent and accessible processes, and will fight to make sure another we avoid similar decisions.
Please include a short bio with the following: your job experience, your major endorsements and achievements, your reasons for running, why you think you are well-positioned to represent your community, the top three policy issues you care about, and what you will do in your first 100 days in office – if elected or re-elected.
My sister and I were raised by a single mom in her hair salon. We watched my mom standing on her feet most days for over 8 hours with very little breaks. We saw her tireless hard work and perseverance. Growing up in a hair salon you also learn the importance of listening.
I was the first person in my family to go to college. I went to Ursinus College—close to home—near my family. After college, I worked in immigration law. The best part of the job was getting a phone call or excited email that a family had arrived and was settled in the United States. I saw the way the law could so vastly impact and improve the lives of individuals and families. That is when I knew I wanted to go to law school.
I went to Temple Law School and then clerked on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. I spent most of my legal career working at a woman-owned law firm. As a full-time attorney, I volunteered on five non-profit boards, such as NLC, a national progressive training organization which is building a pipeline of progressive leaders in Philadelphia, and Philasoup, which gives microgrants to Philadelphia school teachers to fund innovative classroom projects. Currently, I am employed as the Assistant Director of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the continuing education branch of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
I am running for office because I deeply care about people. I believe the government should listen to what people need and then act to make their lives better and happier, and be held accountable if it doesn’t. That is not happening in the 175th District, and I know that we deserve better. My experience as a Committee Person in the 5th ward has shown me the extent of this corruption, and I am proud to be a founding member of Open Wards Philly.
Three policies that I am deeply passionate about are education, the opioid crisis, and the environment. In my first 100 days in office, I would attempt to address these three issues in any way I can, starting with legalizing fentanyl test strips, pushing for the funding that Governor Wolf is introducing to address the issue of school toxicity, and standing up for our environment by supporting progressive bills that address climate change.