PA State House - District 47
Residency: I have lived in Hellam Township for the past 13 years.
A Bit About Fred: I built my career as a teacher and researcher at Franklin and Marshall College. My dad was a public school teacher, too, so education runs in my family. I have seen how a quality education can open doors to opportunities and cultivate the creativity and leadership of the next generation. I was also taught that each of us is called to fight for "the least of these" in our community. I serve on the Hellam Township planning commission because I want to make sure that what gets built in my community is going to work for everyone in my community.
Why run for office: I am a lifelong educator and a grandfather to five. Young people don't have the same opportunities that I had when I was growing up. Our public schools are underfunded. Students are crippled by college debt. Our economy is working great for wealthy people, but not so well for working families. Our current representative is an eight-term career politician who is not fighting for the families of this district. I am running for office because we need a leader who will work for all of us -- and that is what I promise to do.
Hope to achieve in office: Working together, we can expand a Fair Funding Formula for our public schools, so that every child receives a quality education, regardless of where they grow up. We must address the generations-long legacy of systemic racism, and work to reverse the harms done to communities of color. We can fight to ensure that families and businesses on Main Street are looked after as our community recovers from COVID. We can take on the big corporations and their lobbyists, who have rigged the rules of the economy against regular working folks. We can build an economy and government that work for all of us, but it is going to take all of us working together to do that.
Biggest issue/priority in your District: My neighbors' kids are sent to schools that are underfunded. Meanwhile, state education dollars are flowing freely to suburban schools in other parts of the Commonwealth. I don't understand why teachers are expected to buy pencils and posters with money from their own pockets. It's a tragedy to me that not all education aides and school staff are paid a living wage. We have to support the people who help our kids grow up. That's why we are fighting for a Fair Funding Formula for all of Pennsylvania's education dollars. Our kids deserve it, our teachers deserve it, and taxpayers in our district deserve it.”
Most optimistic about for our future: “What brings me the most hope for the future is the young people in my community. The young people I have met are enthusiastically picking up the work where my generation is leaving off -- carrying our values into politics, government, and community institutions with vigor. I cheer them on and hope that their kids will grow up in a world where healthcare and access to education are treated like human rights, where government works for the good of every person, and where the color of your skin does not determine the opportunities available to you. I hope that my generation offers as much support as we can muster to provide guidance and courage to the young people in our community who will carry this struggle into the future.
Importance of civic involvement today: I believe that America is for all of us, not just the wealthy and well connected. Unfortunately, lawmakers in Pennsylvania have allowed corporations and wealthy people to buy political influence by erasing the limits on campaign contributions. Communities have had the power of their vote reduced by career politicians, who have gerrymandered our voting districts. Voting is still more difficult for urban communities of color, who must constantly fight for full enfranchisement. The right to vote is sacred, and my campaign is working to ensure every eligible voter can exercise their right this November.