Thursday, April 24, 2014

Allyson Schwartz TeleTownhall Meeting This Evening

This evening Allyson Schwartz, 13th district congressional representative and candidate for governor, held a teletownhall meeting.  Unsuspecting Pennsylvanians all across the Commonwealth were quietly fixing dinner when the phone rang.  A recording said to hold on the line and the listener would be connected to a teletownhall.  Sure enough the Congresswoman came on the line.

She spoke about her record, with an emphasis on health care, her work on the CHIP program for kids, her support for the Affordable Care Act, and her work with the Philadelphia Health Services Department.

This was a relatively short call, with eight questions from people around Pennsylvania.  The first was on fracking.  Schwartz said she would maintain the 2% impact fee for local communities and add a 5% extraction fee.  That would put Pennsylvania in the mainstream -- West Virginia has a 5% tax, Texas 7%, and Oklahoma 7.5%.  She would use the money for education, universal pre-K, new energy (hydro, wind, and solar), and infrastructure.

In answer to a question on minimum wage she said she would support it, as well as pay equity for women.

A blind woman talked about losing her job at a call center and the trouble she is having finding another company willing to pay for the adaptive technologies she needs to work.  Schwartz talked about the cuts Gov. Corbett has made, and said if the caller is a congressional constituent she should call her office.

There was a question on her ad saying she would break up the "old boy's club" in Harrisburg, and asking how she would do that.  Schwartz said she would create relationships, not try to make friends and that she would speak to the public.

A woman on the school board of a small school district in a rural area asked about education funding.  Schwartz said she had been the Democratic chair of the State Senate Education Committee for 10 years.  She worked for a fair funding formula, and that education would be her top priority.

She is in favor of marriage equality.

She is in favor of an infrastructure bank, using money from fracking tax for infrastructure, and making smart sustainable choices in transportation projects.

A woman from Scranton asked what Schwartz would do to help the economy in that area.  Schwartz talked about building up assets, like colleges, medical systems, and tourism.  She said we shouldn't just try to find one company or employer to come in.  She also mentioned the possibility of passenger rail service to New York City or Philadelphia.

The call ended after that question.

No comments: