Monday, May 09, 2005

I think the top three issues in the 42nd PA Senate District are as follows:

A number of great questions came from the renewed message board at They were directed to me there -- but here goes some of my replies.

The top issues, as I see it, are more global. They can be organized as:

1. Status quo nonsense:
City's downward spiral.
Same old, same old.
Band-aid mentality.

2. Uncertainty in properties:
Rising taxes.
Flat or declines in home values.
Overall condition of neighborhoods, infrastructure, services, protections (in both perception and certainty)

3. Economy:
Budgets (state, county municipals and schools)
Expanding government in size and weight
Small business hostilities
Bleek job prospects and outlooks
False hope in gambling's windfall (suckers' bets)

Of course there are some other pressing issues, depending upon who you talk to. Some are interested in national and internation matters. Social Secuity, War and its funding, Abortion, Corporate agendas, Cronies', Transporation (roads, PAT, getting to and from work), Violence (among kids, distressed neighborhoods, drug dealings, home invasions, hitting elderly), Corporate Welfare, Schools (costs, accountability, NCLB, true learning).

Within the campaign, I have a voice that is dedicated to certain issues. As a state senator, I'm not going to have much sway within the debates on Social Security, military conduct and mission in Iraq, nor southern border patrole.

I need to make mentions that resonate with the people, that I'm confident in speaking about, and are able to be done while a state senator.

I understand that parks are not the most pressing issue today among the people of the 42nd. But, it is one of my main talking points. I try to connect the dots and illustrate that our kids are shooting guns at each other, dying on the streets. The kids are not being challenged in extra activities and are being ignored. However, this means we have vandalism with the spray painting of the city, with idle violence and intimidation of seniors.

We can build more prisons. Or, we can build up our engagements among our kids, coaches, parents, seniors. We need serious challenges for the kids. The young people need to learn how to play well with others. They need friends and excuses to stay locally -- not leave when they need a job because they have no real network of friends and opportunities.

So, my talk of the parks also deals with the issues of democracy, outward migration, crime, better school usage afterhours, more volunteerism, city-county consolidation and better quality of life. Plus, it talks about making investments into our health, wellness and human side of life -- not corporate welfare for new shopping malls.

Same too with the esablishment of the Youth Technology Summit. This goes to workforce development, academic cooperation, effective governmental services with better technology utilizations and helping small business while using the white elephant convention center.

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