Growing up my family and I were never handed anything and hard work was something we expected of ourselves without anyone needing to push us or reward us for our efforts. I can still remember a time in America where we knew and respected workers, where a hard day’s work brought home a hard day’s wage, and that job security and good paying jobs meant your family could meet its needs. Times have changed, but I still believe in a basic social contract that says hard work leads to a good life for you and your family.

When elected I will do everything within my power to pursue sustainable economic growth across our state. In particular, my priority will be to bring back to Pennsylvania, and our district, good-paying jobs which can support families and our community because too many Pennsylvanians are still struggling from the results of the economic crisis, job outsourcing, and crippling debt. The future requires innovative, sustainable, responsible efforts by business people and entrepreneurs to work together with local, state, and federal officials. Vision is required to lead our community. It is through such Public-Private partnerships, working with experts, and people on the ground, that we will lead our economy out of the crisis and into a future that benefits all citizens. A sincere and thought-out plan is necessary and this cannot get bogged down in partisan politics or ideology. We must rise above in order to put people first. The livelihoods of too many families are at stake to let politics get in the way.

First, let’s talk REAL fiscal responsibility. That begins with being truthful. The Pennsylvania budget pays for common goods we all value: education, parks, roads, clean air and water, and so on. We value these and therefore we need a budget that is truthful and admits that we need to pay for common goods. Too many politicians try the con game of saying they won’t cut the things we value while they will cut taxes. And the con gets worse when state leaders cut goods like education forcing local leaders to pick up the slack.

Secondly, we need an economy that works for everyone. We need to measure economic health by jobs and wage growth, not just corporate profits. We need to look at investments that create jobs that can’t be exported. While there will always be some jobs in manufacturing and coal-mining, those sectors cannot possibly employ all the people who want to work in today’s economy.

While fixing today’s economy, one of the most important ways to improve tomorrow’s economy is our education system. Our schools need to teach all children. We need to unleash the creative professionalism of our teachers. We must find ways to reverse the “brain drain” and keep our college graduates in the commonwealth, in our small towns and on our farms. We must find ways to make college affordable now and to ease the crushing debt burden of recent graduates.

We know that a healthy population is a win-win for all of us. A healthy population can work more. A healthy population costs less. And, at the most basic, moral level, all people need access to quality care. We need to find ways as a state to build towards a future where there are viable markets for health insurance. We must absolutely ensure that every child has access to medical care.