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Pennsylvania State Representative District 59

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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  • Candidate picture

    Margie Zelenak

  • Candidate picture

    Leslie Rossi

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 Westmoreland
Occupation Retired Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Assisted Living Association
Education Greensburg Central Catholic HS, Westmoreland County Community College, Seton Hill University
Qualifications 24 years working in senior living. 8 years working as an advocate for seniors and aging issues in Harrisburg and Washington, DC. I serve on the Governor's Long-Term Care Council that is facilitating the 10 year strategic plan for aging, Aging our Way, PA.
Campaign Website
Workforce Crisis - affordable and available childcare to help people enter the workforce. Reform to allow immigrants to work in PA. Evaluate regulations that restrict employment opportunities especially immigrants and those with criminal records. The minimum wage needs raised to competitive levels. Safety and Security - encompasses more than gun violence and crime. Residents must feel safe from losing their jobs, homes and incomes. An aging infrastructure in the district can lead to unsafe conditions with utilities, roads and housing. Aging Population - In 2020 23.6% of the population in Westmoreland County was over 65. The workforce is declining who will care for the seniors. Support the Aging our Way PA 10 year strategic plan.

Education on the mail in voting process is needed so that residents understand how their mail in ballot vote is secure from the time the application is issued through to the process by which it is counted. A change in the law so that pre-canvassing of MIB could begin a few days earlier. That would allow results to be reported on a timely basis. Westmoreland County needs to provide drop boxes for mail-in ballots at several locations around the county not just at the courthouse. PA should expand its early in-person voting for those who want to vote in person but cannot on Election Day. Increase the compensation for poll workers. They play an essential role for the in-person voting. Provide appropriate security at polling places.
Legislation must look at the actual cost to educate each student in a specific district. Then review the property tax funding stream to support the school districts. The property tax income in Fayette County versus Chester County will be very different. The decreasing population of school age children, especially in Westmoreland County, must be review to determine if there is an opportunity to realign school districts or establish a county school district. I support the Governor's proposal for a flat rate per student across PA for cyber schools. There needs to be an audit of the schools to verify compliance.
The current PA laws support a women's right to make her own health care decisions. I will continue to support this right. As other states begin to restrict women's right, PA must be vigilant to proved the necessary safeguards for women, their families, and their healthcare providers. We must protect their right to IVF and contraceptives. I have been endorsed by Planned Parenthood.
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