Who am I?

I came to Harrisburg, PA from Washington DC, where I was an attorney at the Departments of Justice and Treasury to run John Kerry's campaign in 15 counties. I fell in love with the people and the state and decided to stay in Pennsylvania. I got involved in the community and decided to run for City Council in 2007. Through hard work and shoe leather, I won the election by four votes out of 10,000 cast. In addition to my work on Council, which I will discuss in greater detail below, I served as a Policy Analyst with the Department of the Auditor General for two years, helping protect taxpayer funds. I left that position to run Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign in Central Pennsylvania. I was then the Statewide Controller for the Obama-Biden effort later that year. That led to an opportunity to be Senator Arlen Specter's Political Director, when he returned to the Democratic Party for the 2010 primary. That Fall, I helped Joe Sestak and served as Special Counsel for the Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee. In 2011, I ran Kathryn Boockvar's effort for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court and in 2012, I helped a variety of state and congressional candidates in the primary and general elections. I am an attorney and have volunteered my time with local community groups and the YWCA Legal Clinic, where I have worked to obtain Protection From Abuse orders from the court.

I live in Midtown Harrisburg with my dog Truman.

Why am I running?

Harrisburg was saddled with a $350 million debt due to a botched incinerator project (which occurred before I was elected to City Council). During my time on Council, I have consistently worked to solve our debt crisis without harming the taxpayers who had nothing to do with getting the city into the situation. Every time I put forth a different solution in the form of new revenue streams or legal options, the Commonwealth would put up roadblocks to prevent them from being implemented. Through a years long process of battling to make Wall Street take a haircut and make sure the taxpayers are treated fairly, a solution was finally reached for a global solution with shared pain.

Going through this process made me realize that all of our municipalities are either in financial distress or close to it and that our Commonwealth is not listening to their concerns. The Lt. Governor is the head of the Local Government Advisory Committee. I want to take the Committee and develop it into the conduit to build better relationships with our boroughs, townships and cities. We need to give our municipalities better access to revenue streams, more infrastructural support, and incentives for consolidation of services, so they can serve their constituents better.

I am also running because the Lt. Governor is the head of the Marcellus Shale Commission. I believe New York has a moratorium on drilling, in part because they are looking to see how Pennsylvania is screwing it up. And we are doing so - with our current Governor taking $2 million dollars in donations from the industry and in return giving the them hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks, by not making them pay a severance tax - unlike every other state with gas drilling. We should look at a moratorium - but at the very least we need a severance tax and we need to know what is in the fracking fluid that they are pumping into our land. We have a Commonwealth here in Pennsylvania and our natural resources should be for the benefit of all of our citizens.

I also want to expand the responsibilities of Lt. Governor - including having the office conduct a review of our state's animal welfare laws and practices, with the goal of improving life for our animal friends in Pennsylvania.

My Goals

1. Use the Lt. Governor’s responsibility as Chair of the Local Government Advisory Committee to improve the relationship between our Commonwealth and its municipalities. My experience as a Harrisburg City Councilman and my attempts and success in fighting to get my city out of fiscal distress has made making sure that our municipalities are treated better by the state is a top priority.

2. The Lt. Governor is also the head of the Marcellus Shale Commission. New York has a moratorium on drilling and I believe that Pennsylvania should examine the option as well. It is vital that we use that Commission to make sure that the natural gas industry is held to account. This means, at the least, insuring that they pay a reasonable severance tax for the gas they are taking out of our land and take steps to tell us what is in the fracking fluid that the industry pumps into our ground to extract the gas.

3. Advocate for and push to pass progressive legislation as President of the State Senate including an LGBT anti-discrimination law, marriage equality, a $10.10 minimum wage and increased worker protections, enacting equal pay, greater animal welfare laws, marijuana reform and stopping the assault on woman’s right to choose.

My DFA Values

I have a long history of helping to protect choice. During the mid-1990's, while in law school participated in clinic defense of reproductive health service clinics, when blockades spiked after Planned Parenthood v. Casey was decided by the Supreme Court. Later, I helped enforce the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which I worked at the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Most recently, our Harrisburg Planned Parenthood facility asked me to put forth legislation to establish a buffer zone around their clinic, after they started performing abortions.

On LGBT concerns, I was instrumental in passing a Domestic Partner Registry in the City of Harrisburg. Additionally, I have participated in Harrisburg's Freedom To Marry rallies for many years. I am very proud of all of these actions to protect our liberty.

I have worked for years to build a better community in the City of Harrisburg. It is the reason why I ran for City Council in 2007. There were too many needs of the community not being served. As stated above, I fought to make sure that Wall Street took a haircut and the people of Harrisburg didn't foot the bill. That effort built a stronger community that was unified around doing the right thing for the people - so they could have economic security - without the fear of unnecessary tax increases. I want to use the Local Government Advisory Committee to make sure that municipalities have a better relationship with the Commonwealth, so they can give their residents more stability, security and better services. This will build stronger communities, ensure economic security and build more confidence in government.

My Campaign is People Powered!

Politics is about relationships. In working with Democratic campaigns, I have spent the last 10 years building relationships throughout Pennsylvania. Our campaign has built a grassroots army in every corner of the Commonwealth. This is most evident by our over 250 endorsements by Democratic elected officials and activists - including over 30 county Democratic chairs, over 30 mayors, and dozens of local elected officials. Additionally, I recently received a majority of the votes from the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee, in a field of six candidates.

The Progressive community is vital part of our campaign. I have worked with Progressive groups throughout our effort. I have spoken multiple times before Philly For Change, DFA's affiliate there. Addtionally, as I have for years, I have attended and participated in PRIDE festivals in multiple cities throughout Pennsylvania and spoken to members of some of strongest LGBT organizations here including the Steel City Democrats, Capital Stonewall Democrats, Equality PA and the Gertrude Stein Club.

Through these efforts, our campaign has hundreds of volunteers that will help us get signatures on petitions, make phone calls, put up signs and be at the polls on Election Day and put us on the path to victory.

Voice support

Supporters:

  • Anthony Gomez, OH
  • Lori Elias
  • Zack Byrnes, PA
  • Celia m Janosik, PA
  • Lou Hancherick, MA


About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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