Clean, sustainable energy
There is nothing sustainable about finite resources. There is nothing sustainable about relying on dirty fuels that damage our biosphere and contribute to climate change. All fossil-based fuels are finite and at some point will be exhausted. They also contribute to the pollution of our air and water and are a major source of climate change. Sustainable energy is a 21st century solution to power America’s communities and economy. We support significant investments in sustainable energy such as wind and solar so America can become independent from foreign fuels, reduce its carbon footprint and create long-lasting jobs here in America.
If you’re worried about government over-reach, you should really be concerned with corporate over-reach. In recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented power grab by corporate entities. The U.S. Supreme Court in its Citizens United decision granted 1st amendment rights to corporations and thus the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. Recently, corporations’ 1st amendment rights have been expanded to include religious freedom which can enable corporation’s “religious” beliefs to trump individual freedoms. Corporations invest huge amounts of money in lobbying efforts to promote their best interests – which often run counter to the best interests of the community. We support a constitutional amendment that would clarify that constitutional rights apply to persons, not corporations; and an amendment that clarifies that freedom of speech pertains to words, speech…not money.
Education is the corner stone of our society. Our founding father Thomas Jefferson wrote “I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowlege among the people. no other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness.” An educated society is a free society and an empowered society. We support investing in excellence and accountability when it comes to our public education system.
America was founded on a promise: equality for all. Regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion – all Americans are afforded the same constitutional rights. Unfortunately, there are still forms of discrimination that are legal in Pennsylvania. Employers can fire a worker because of his or her sexual orientation. A business may deny service to a person because of his or her sexual orientation. Equality is the absence of discrimination and something for which we strive.
To be held accountable, government must operate in transparency…with existing technology, local, county and state government can make public information easier to find and more accessible to its citizens.
Every industrialized nation, with the exception of the United States, has some form of universal healthcare…medical care that covers all citizens regardless of age or income. Obamacare was a step in the right direction and established basic patients’ rights; however, it doesn’t go far enough. We support a comprehensive health care system for every Pennsylvanian. Learn more on how a universal health care system could benefit Pennsylvania.
The working class is working harder and longer for less. Median household incomes are decreasing and the average number of hours worked are increasing. Plus, the cost of living -the cost of clothes, energy, food, healthcare, college-is increasing. Yet while the middle class declines, the wealthy are getting wealthier. In fact, as the average american saw his/her salary decrease at worse or stagnate at best, the top 5% has seen their wealth increase dramatically. We support an economic system where the working class enjoy the benefits of a thriving economy, and the gains are not just for those at the top.
We support the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, as a natural pain killer and treatment for a variety of conditions including glaucoma, muscle spasms attributed to multiple sclerosis, nausea due to chemotherapy, Crohn’s disease and seizure disorders. We also support the decriminalization of marijuana use. 69% of Pennsylvania voters would like to see marijuana legalized in some form — 47% of those polled were in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, while 22% were in favor of legalizing marijuana for any purpose, including medical.
Protecting our natural world
We understand that without the basic necessities of life (air, water, food) life would not exist. Climate change, if not acted upon, threatens our way of life and the future of generations to come. The protection of our natural world and the resources that support life are a critical priority. All other needs are secondary.
Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals–environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity. In basic terms, sustainability is the principle that society provides for the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. There are a number of local farms that implement sustainable practices, growing local food while actively serving as stewards of the land.
Voter rights, Fair Representation
Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, which was passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Corbett in March of 2012, was one of the most restrictive in the nation and did not allow many commonly used identification cards for voting. Thankfully the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. Most voters would have been forced to travel to one of only 71 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation locations to obtain state-issued identification. The law especially burdened the elderly, those with limited mobility and disabilities, individuals with fewer resources and the homeless. (learn more)
SVP also believe Pennsylvania needs to reform its redistricting rules and make the process of drawing districts impartial, transparent and accountable – promoting competitive elections and partisan fairness so our government truly is of, by and for the people. We endorse Fair Districts PA.
Don’t be fooled by Right to Work campaigns. They are nothing more than corporate-driven efforts to limit worker rights and circumvent unions. American workers have fought hard over the decades for fair pay, fair treatment and safe working conditions. Workers deserve a voice and the right to representation.