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Pennsylvania State Representative District 123

Description of office: The General Assembly is the legislative branch of government in Pennsylvania. It is composed of two houses: the Senate is the upper house, and the House of Representatives is the lower house. A majority vote in both houses is necessary to pass a law. The PA House of Representatives consists of 203 members representing one district each, with an equal number of constituents. Representatives must be at least 21 years old, have been a citizen and a resident of the state four years and a resident of their respective districts one year before their election, and shall reside in their respective districts during their terms of service. The House develops budget packages, makes taxation decisions, allocates spending, and passes laws (including redistricting in collaboration with the Senate). The House also has the exclusive authority to impeach public officials. Representatives also serve on various policy committees that may propose legislation. Term: 2 years Salary: $106,422 Vote for ONE.

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    Michael Zvalaren

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    Tim Twardzik

Biographical Information

What do you see as the most pressing issues facing Pennsylvanians, and how would you address them?

What changes would you support making to Pennsylvania’s voting laws to expand access, ensure security, and support local election officials and processes?

What legislation would you support to comply with the Commonwealth Court's ruling that Pennsylvania’s school funding system is unconstitutional and must be reformed?

What changes, if any, would you support making to Pennsylvania’s abortion laws?

County Schuylkill
Occupation Kitchen Designer
Education Ph. D.
Qualifications Secretary of Schuylkill Country Democratic Party, 18 years teaching college history
Campaign Website
The most pressing issues facing voters today are civil rights, economic inequality, climate change, and blight. The slow erosion of civil rights, from women's reproductive rights to LGBTQ+ rights to the rights of minorities to suffrage itself, has quickened its pase in recent years. At the same time, the income gap has never been wider, and the ability of people to take action is seriously constrained by financial concerns. Climate change has progressed almost to the point of no return, and recent developments have made it less and less likely that it WILL be reversed, if it still can. Finally, blighted properties in communities in this district have been a problem for decades, one whoe solution could lift all boats.
Pennsylvania needs to codify the franchise in unequivocal terms. There needs to be certainty that voting rights will not be infringed based on race, religion, gender, or any other limiting factor. Voter ID laws need to be avoided, as these are generally used to keep POC from exercising their voting rights. Secure elections in PA are paramount, and using both paper and electronic ballots has worked to ensure security in the ballot box and beyond. Automatic voter registration is another tool that will expand access to voting to every Pennsylvanian and ensure that no one is tossed off the rolls for illegitimately. Furthermore, strong legislation needs to be passed to discourage the kind of threats against election officials seen in 2024.
Funding schools entirely via property taxes has led to extreme stratification in school quality throughout the state, only exacerbated by pushes to funnel public funds to private school coffers through voucher programs. While property taxes can and should still be used to fund local schools, the inequities created there can be levelled off through state funding. Any legislation that imagines a new system for Pennsylvania is going to have to be both creative and expansive. Means-testing the $430mm the state gives to subsidize private school tuition would be a good beginning in that regard. Closing the Delaware Loophole and forcing corporations that do business in PA to pay taxes in PA would help fund those schools, too. That's just a start!
Access to reproductive healthcare for women needs to be codified in the Commonwealth. The Dobbs decision has made plain that women's rights are under attack across the nation, and the sooner Pennsylvania states in no uncertatin terms that women have control over their own bodies, the better. I would write, cosponsor, and vote for legislation that would ensure that women's reproductive rights were ensconced in Pennsylvania's constitution, and would go a step further to say that the rights of LGBTQ+ folks and those of POC should be given the same treatment, too, because the Dobbs decision in general, and Clarence Thomas's concurrence in particular, have made clear that an all-out offensive on marginalized groups is in the offing.
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