First, I wanted to take some time to introduce myself. My name is Allyson Schwartz, and I am running for Governor in Pennsylvania. I am running for Governor because I am fed up with the dysfunction and misplaced priorities in Harrisburg.
Under Governor Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania is moving backward. He has cut education by nearly a billion dollars, led our state to the bottom in economic growth, and used his platform as Governor to demean women, the LGBT community, minorities, and working men and women. He embodies everything that's wrong with Harrisburg.
We need a Governor who will take on the status quo and has the experience to get big things done for the people of Pennsylvania. I have broken down barriers to create positive change for families across Pennsylvania. As Governor I will bring my unique experience to take on the status quo in Harrisburg to fight for working families.
At age 26, with a group of like-minded women, I founded the Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center, one of Philadelphia’s first women’s health clinics, only a short time after the law changed with Roe vs. Wade. Since then, I have carried that same passion to my career in public service – bringing big ideas to the table and getting things done.
In 1990, I took on a right wing Republican and won election to become just the third woman to ever serve in the Pennsylvania Senate. In 2004, I took on another tough election fight in a swing district and have had the privilege of serving Pennsylvania’s 13th District ever since. I am currently the only woman in Pennsylvania’s twenty-member Congressional delegation.
I’m proud of my record in taking on the toughest fights for families, and succeeding in making a difference. I worked to pass the Affordable Care Act, to ensure that women receive the same pay and treatment as their male colleagues, and lead the fight to pass the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).CHIP was a hugely successful initiative that, under President Bill Clinton, became a model for the nation and provides coverage for millions of American children today.
Pennsylvanians are hungry for a different direction and a different type of leader. As I told the audience at the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics at Chatham University when I accepted their 2012 Hollander Award for Women’s Leadership,
“It is so important that women participate at every level to ensure our voices and our expertise is at the table. We must learn to keep fighting when we meet obstacles, and to push through barriers even as we pave a new way for ourselves and other women.”As the first woman Governor of Pennsylvania, we will change politics and government in Pennsylvania forever.
As Governor, I will fight for a progressive agenda, including:
· Universal access to pre-kindergarten for all Pennsylvania four-year olds;
· A state infrastructure bank to pay for transformative transportation and infrastructure improvements, including public transit;
· A tuition freeze and scholarships for community college graduates to get a bachelor’s degree;
· A minimum wage increase and pay equity for women;
· Full marriage equality for Pennsylvanians; and
· Medicaid expansion to cover 500,000 Pennsylvanians.
Governor Corbett and his allies in Harrisburg must be replaced if Pennsylvania is to fulfill its potential and be a place where every citizen has the opportunity to thrive in the 21st century.
I look forward to continuing the conversation here on Daily Kos about how we can work together to create a Commonwealth where all Pennsylvanians can share in and benefit from the many great assets and great future our state has to offer.