As you may know, the primary election is coming up Tuesday, May 21st. If you saw Plain Speaking, you heard us talk about some of the people that you might consider for office. We took a little extra time on school board elections and the advantages of the digital age. Until fairly recently you had to do some serious leg work to find out about school board candidates, but today it’s as easy as logging into Facebook. If you’re on Facebook you should take a few minutes and check out some of the school board candidates that are there.
If you haven’t received our flyer, please also remember the Jury Commissioner election. Vince Frank will be on the ballot, but current Democratic Jury Commissioner Donna Cohen is running as a write-in. If you’d like to vote for her you’ll have to write her in.
For Superior Court Judge we’re supporting Joseph C. Waters.
John Pentland is running unopposed for Altoona Mayor.
Also, in Altoona, we’ll be voting for whether or not we want a Government Study Commission and – if we want it – the seven people we’d like to see on it. You’ll be able to vote for up to 7 people and the Blair County Democrats are supporting:
Remember, voting is both a duty and a privilege. Take the time and get out there on Tuesday, May 21!
As you know, women’s reproductive health care has been under constant attack in Pennsylvania.
There’s never been a better time to join fellow supporters from across the state and urge your State Senator and State Representative to oppose these misguided efforts to restrict reproductive health care all while showing your support for Planned Parenthood’s services in your community!
Your voice can help stop the attacks on women and reproductive health care. Act now!
Join us for the 2013 Planned Parenthood Day of Action at the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg on Monday, April 15th, 2013.
Your experience at the 2013 Planned Parenthood Day of Action will include:
This past Monday was our March meeting. In case you missed it, here’s a run down of what was discussed.
Petitions were available for Dave Andrews (Judge), Joe Waters (Judge), Joe Donley (School board), Donna Cohen(Jury Commissioner) and several others.
Tickets are available for our Mother’s Day Lottery. It’s one of our two big yearly fundraisers. You can call Ann Rosenhoover about tickets. They’re $5 a piece. If you’d like to sell tickets, please let her know. Money and stubs for the tickets are due no later than the May meeting.
We also discussed the Senator Ted Kennedy Memorial Scholarship. We are still accepting donations toward the scholarship fund or if you know of a student that you think deserves to be considered for the scholarship, please contact Kathy Muller (email@example.com). If you know someone who wants to apply for the scholarship, you can download it here. The Senator Ted Kennedy Memorial Scholarship
The sale of Valley View was discussed. The Altoona Mirror published a cartoon that depicted Terry Tommasetti on one side of a see-saw and Ted Beam on the other with Diane Meling in the middle. The impression has been, up this point, that Diane Meling was strongly for the sale, but we wondered whether – as indicated – Diane Meling may not be as strongly for the sale as she has seemed to be. Additionally we discussed the fact that Terry Tommasetti has said that the commissioners intentionally underfunded the pension fund for Valley View employees by only contributing $200,000 a year. Richard Flarend pointed out that up to about 15 years ago, the fund was running a surplus, but instead of reinvesting that money it was used to help the county budget. We are extremely concerned that, if Valley View is sold to a private company the clients of Valley View will suffer as well as the current employees, not to mention that Blair County will still be on the hook for the $30 million by which the pension fund is underfunded.
Gillian Kratzer told us about her upcoming meeting with Rep. John McGinnis, to discuss LGBT equality. She has since had her meeting and you can read about it on her blog.
Tyrone is having a St. Patrick’s Day parade and event. They have asked if we’d like to represent ourselves in the parade. The committee members who usually do that will not be available, and so if anyone would like to take responsibility for organizing people to go down to the parade, please let Ann Rosenhoover (firstname.lastname@example.org) know by Friday, March 15.
This Saturday is the Cove Dems breakfast at the Spring House in Roaring Spring.
Tickets are available for the NAACP Banquet. See Robin Aurendt or Don Witherspoon for tickets. Tickets are $40.
Tickets are also available for the Blair County United Way’s banquet ($45).
Finally, the only way that we can get our word out is to speak out. Please consider writing a letter to the Altoona Mirror on a topic that you are passionate about.
The SEIU will hold a demonstration and rally tomorrow (February 27) at Valley View Nursing Home to send a message to the commissioners. The demonstration will be from 12 – 4 and the rally will be at 3:15. Please come and show your support for retaining the home.
If you’ve been following the local news, you know that Altoona is going through Act 47. Part of that process has been a suggestion that Altoona moves to “Home Rule”. If you’re not familiar with Home Rule, please check out this site which does a fantastic job of explaining what Home Rule is and why some municipalities choose to pursue Home Rule as a way to govern.
Currently, Altoona is looking for someone to lead the Home Rule Study Committee and the Blair County Democratic Committee would like to see some Democrats on that Committee. There are to be seven members and in order to be on the May 21st ballot, you must have 200 signatures turned in by March 12. Questions about the petitions should be directed to Sarah in the Elections office at 814-693-3287.
Please consider running to be on the Home Rule Committee. If you do want to put yourself up for the Committee and you’d like help collecting signatures or just to let us know that you’re doing it, please call (844-914-9924) or email us.
The 2013 Pennsylvania Progressive Summit is going to be the most important event for progressive leaders and activists this year. This year, it will be in Harrisburg on March 2. It’s an incredible opportunity to learn from the best and brightest progressive leaders, network with activists from around the state and have a chance to reenergize for the battles ahead.
We’ve posted all of the sessions on the website. Click on the agenda tab to see the list of workshops and presenters.
Some of the highlights:
All of our PA Row Officer—Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Treasurer Rob McCord—talking about how PA will be different now that they are in office.
Representatives from the White House answering your questions.
About a dozen State Legislators providing insight on what is happening in the General Assembly this year.
· Practical, how-to sessions on everything from running a campaign to enhancing your social media abilities.
· In-depth presentations on many of the key issues being proposed in Harrisburg and Washington.
This is our fourth Summit, and I honestly believe it gets better every year. You need to be there if you want to see Pennsylvania become a more progressive place to live, work and play.
If you’re staying overnight, make your discounted reservations at the Hilton here.
Check out the Public Access channel through Atlantic Broadband at 9am and 6pm on Thursdays for Plain Speaking with Frank Rosenhoover. Some of his guests will be Marsha Hunter, Robin Aurandt, George Thompson, and Gillian Kratzer.
We are always looking for new panelists for upcoming episodes. If you’re interested in being a panelist contact Frank Rosenhoover at email@example.com.
We’re picked a date for our summer picnic. Save Saturday, June 29 and join us at Duncansville Community Park from 12pm to 4pm. Meat and beverages will be provided. Please bring a covered dish and your own place settings. The Duncansville Community Park is a new location for our park. It’s near Sunbrook Manor.
If you’re interested in helping set up or tear down contact Georgia Chilcoat at 814-940-1241.
On Sunday, February 17, thousands of Americans will head to Washington to make their voices heard on the issue of the Keystone XL Pipeline. If you’d like to join them, please check out 350.org for more information.