REFORMING GOVERNMENT

Pennsylvania is regarded as one of the most gerrymandered states. The GOP held 13 of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional seats after the 2016 election cycle despite the Commonwealth being more evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Similarly, Pennsylvania has issues with campaign finance accountability, bullying and harassment within public workplaces, and the judicial selection process. The DCDC believe it is time to reform governmental institutions, so they are more representative of the people of Pennsylvania

Fair Redistricting in 2020, ending gerrymandering:

●  We support fair redistricting in 2020 and beyond. The current process is far too partisan and creates opportunities for the majority party to manipulate district lines to enshrine advantages in the maps.

●  In order to combat these issues Democrats have fought tirelessly to pass legislation such as PA House Bill 23 (2019) which would establish an Independent Redistricting Commission, and provide for congressional and legislative redistricting. Similarly, State Representative Mary Jo Daley introduced PA House Bill 402 (2019) to provide for congressional and legislative redistricting.  

 

Campaign Finance Reform to include ending secret and unaccountable money campaign contributions:

●   Pennsylvania (PA) scored an "F" for campaign finance, finishing 43rd in the nation, on a 2015 report card put together by the Center for Public Integrity. PA has no contribution limits and only direct corporate contributions are banned.

● We want to remove the unbalanced influence of major corporations from our elections and ensure that the voices of the people of Pennsylvania are heard over the interests of big business.

●  We support reforms by Democrats, such as Gov. Tom Wolf who introduced what he described as a 21st-century voting reform plan for Pennsylvania that includes an independent commission to draw electoral maps, same-day voter registration and campaign finance reform. Democrats in the PA House and Senate such as Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa sponsored PA Senate Bill 11 and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody who sponsored  PA House Bill 1332 to further this reform agenda.   

 

Judicial Merit Selection in Pennsylvania

 

● We support creating a system of merit selection to choose judges because the current system is too partisan. Merit selection is a way of selecting judges that uses a  nonpartisan commission of lawyers and non-lawyers to locate, recruit, investigate, and evaluate applicants for judgeships. The commission then submits the names of the most highly qualified applicants (usually three) to the appointing authority (usually the governor), who must make a final selection from the list. Often this selection must then be approved by the Senate. For subsequent terms of office, judges are evaluated for retention either by a commission or by the voters in an uncontested election.

 

● Merit selection has become the most popular judiciary appointment at a state level in the country. Our neighbors such as Delaware and Maryland have already incorporated this system to great success.

 

● House Democrats such as Paul Schemel and Joanna E. McClinton have already sponsored PA House Bill 111 with the aim of passing a constitutional amendment to change the way statewide appellate court judges are chosen in order to implement a merit selection system.  

 

Ensure that Elected and Appointed Officials Encourage Just Behavior by Example

 

●  We believe that elected officials and local governments should lead by example on issues such as treating women equally and appropriately, diversifying staff and leadership positions, and supporting minority candidates.

 

● President Obama’s Executive Order 13583 on Establishing a Coordinated Government-Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce developed a commitment to promoting diversity in the federal workplace and we believe this commitment should extend to the state level. Thus, we support Governor Tom Wolf’s Executive Order: 2015-11 which aims to improve the participation of small and diverse businesses in state government contracting and the Commonwealth’s economy.

 

● We encourage the eradication of sexual harassment from the workplace. Pennsylvania state employees have reported more than 600 sexual harassment and workplace misconduct claims in the last five years. In fact, 85% of women and 19% of men report suffering from sexual harassment in the private or government workplace. We support legislation by PA lawmakers to ensure the workplace is a safe and friendly environment for all employees. In particular, DCDC advocates for legislation such as PA House Bill 495 and PA Senate Bill 480 which aim to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.   End Bullying in Governmental Workplaces so that employees perform, and public funds are spent well

●  We support policies that end bullying in state and federal agencies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has committed to becoming a workplace free from any form of bullying and other federal agencies are adopting similar policies.

●  States such as Maryland and California have introduced policies to combat workplace bullying. These pieces of legislation include anti-bullying education, clear and consistent definitions of bullying, and a standardized complaint process. We believe that Pennsylvania should follow the example of these states.  

● Ending workplace bullying within government institutions will ensure that all employees enjoy a friendly and productive work environment which could lead to increased productivity and ensure that public taxes are well spent. Fair Redistricting in 2020, ending gerrymandering:

●  We support fair redistricting in 2020 and beyond. The current process is far too partisan and creates opportunities for the majority party to manipulate district lines to enshrine advantages in the maps.

●  In order to combat these issues, Democrats have fought tirelessly to pass legislation such as PA House Bill 23 (2019) which would establish an Independent Redistricting Commission, and provide for congressional and legislative redistricting. Similarly, State Representative Mary Jo Daley introduced PA House Bill 402 (2019) to provide for congressional and legislative redistricting.   Campaign Finance Reform to include ending secret and unaccountable money campaign contributions:

●  Pennsylvania (PA) scored an "F" for campaign finance, finishing 43rd in the nation, on a 2015 report card put together by the Center for Public Integrity. PA has no contribution limits and only direct corporate contributions are banned.

● We want to remove the unbalanced influence of major corporations from our elections and ensure that the voices of the people of Pennsylvania are heard over the interests of big business.

●  We support reforms by Democrats, such as Gov. Tom Wolf who introduced what he described as a 21st-century voting reform plan for Pennsylvania that includes an independent commission to draw electoral maps, same-day voter registration, and campaign finance reform. Democrats in the PA House and Senate such as Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa sponsored PA Senate Bill 11 and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody who sponsored  PA House Bill 1332 to further this reform agenda.   Judicial Merit Selection in Pennsylvania ● We support creating a system of merit selection to choose judges because the current system is too partisan. Merit selection is a way of selecting judges that uses a  nonpartisan commission of lawyers and non-lawyers to locate, recruit, investigate, and evaluate applicants for judgeships. The commission then submits the names of the most highly qualified applicants (usually three) to the appointing authority (usually the governor), who must make a final selection from the list. Often this selection must then be approved by the Senate. For subsequent terms of office, judges are evaluated for retention either by a commission or by the voters in an uncontested election.

● Merit selection has become the most popular judiciary appointment at a state level in the country. Our neighbors such as Delaware and Maryland have already incorporated this system to great success.

● House Democrats such as Paul Schemel and Joanna E. McClinton have already sponsored PA House Bill 111 with the aim of passing a constitutional amendment to change the way statewide appellate court judges are chosen in order to implement a merit selection system.   Ensure that Elected and Appointed Officials Encourage Just Behavior by Example

● We believe that elected officials and local governments should lead by example on issues such as treating women equally and appropriately, diversifying staff and leadership positions, and supporting minority candidates.

● President Obama’s Executive Order 13583 on Establishing a Coordinated Government-Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce developed a commitment to promoting diversity in the federal workplace and we believe this commitment should extend to the state level. Thus, we support Governor Tom Wolf’s Executive Order: 2015-11 which aims to improve the participation of small and diverse businesses in state government contracting and the Commonwealth’s economy.

● We encourage the eradication of sexual harassment from the workplace. Pennsylvania state employees have reported more than 600 sexual harassment and workplace misconduct claims in the last five years. In fact, 85% of women and 19% of men report suffering from sexual harassment in the private or government workplace. We support legislation by PA lawmakers to ensure the workplace is a safe and friendly environment for all employees. In particular, DCDC advocates for legislation such as PA House Bill 495 and PA Senate Bill 480 which aim to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.   End Bullying in Governmental Workplaces so that employees perform, and public funds are spent well

●  We support policies that end bullying in state and federal agencies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has committed to becoming a workplace free from any form of bullying and other federal agencies are adopting similar policies.

●  States such as Maryland and California have introduced policies to combat workplace bullying. These pieces of legislation include anti-bullying education, clear and consistent definitions of bullying, and a standardized compliant process. We believe that Pennsylvania should follow the example of these states.  

● Ending workplace bullying within government institutions will ensure that all employees enjoy a friendly and productive work environment which could lead to increased productivity and ensure that public taxes are well spent. Fair Redistricting in 2020, ending gerrymandering:

●  We support fair redistricting in 2020 and beyond. The current process is far too partisan and creates opportunities for the majority party to manipulate district lines to enshrine advantages in the maps.

●  In order to combat these issues, Democrats have fought tirelessly to pass legislation such as PA House Bill 23 (2019) which would establish an Independent Redistricting Commission, and provide for congressional and legislative redistricting. Similarly, State Representative Mary Jo Daley introduced PA House Bill 402 (2019) to provide for congressional and legislative redistricting.   Campaign Finance Reform to include ending secret and unaccountable money campaign contributions:

●   Pennsylvania (PA) scored an "F" for campaign finance, finishing 43rd in the nation, on a 2015 report card put together by the Center for Public Integrity. PA has no contribution limits and only direct corporate contributions are banned.

● We want to remove the unbalanced influence of major corporations from our elections and ensure that the voices of the people of Pennsylvania are heard over the interests of big business.

●  We support reforms by Democrats, such as Gov. Tom Wolf who introduced what he described as a 21st-century voting reform plan for Pennsylvania that includes an independent commission to draw electoral maps, same-day voter registration, and campaign finance reform. Democrats in the PA House and Senate such as Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa sponsored PA Senate Bill 11 and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody who sponsored  PA House Bill 1332 to further this reform agenda.   Judicial Merit Selection in Pennsylvania ● We support creating a system of merit selection to choose judges because the current system is too partisan. Merit selection is a way of selecting judges that uses a  nonpartisan commission of lawyers and non-lawyers to locate, recruit, investigate, and evaluate applicants for judgeships. The commission then submits the names of the most highly qualified applicants (usually three) to the appointing authority (usually the governor), who must make a final selection from the list. Often this selection must then be approved by the Senate. For subsequent terms of office, judges are evaluated for retention either by a commission or by the voters in an uncontested election.

● Merit selection has become the most popular judiciary appointment at a state level in the country. Our neighbors such as Delaware and Maryland have already incorporated this system to great success.

● House Democrats such as Paul Schemel and Joanna E. McClinton have already sponsored PA House Bill 111 with the aim of passing a constitutional amendment to change the way statewide appellate court judges are chosen in order to implement a merit selection system.   Ensure that Elected and Appointed Officials Encourage Just Behavior by Example

●  We believe that elected officials and local governments should lead by example on issues such as treating women equally and appropriately, diversifying staff and leadership positions, and supporting minority candidates.

● President Obama’s Executive Order 13583 on Establishing a Coordinated Government-Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce developed a commitment to promoting diversity in the federal workplace and we believe this commitment should extend to the state level. Thus, we support Governor Tom Wolf’s Executive Order: 2015-11 which aims to improve the participation of small and diverse businesses in state government contracting and the Commonwealth’s economy.

● We encourage the eradication of sexual harassment from the workplace. Pennsylvania state employees have reported more than 600 sexual harassment and workplace misconduct claims in the last five years. In fact, 85% of women and 19% of men report suffering from sexual harassment in the private or government workplace. We support legislation by PA lawmakers to ensure the workplace is a safe and friendly environment for all employees. In particular, DCDC advocates for legislation such as PA House Bill 495 and PA Senate Bill 480 which aim to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.   End Bullying in Governmental Workplaces so that employees perform, and public funds are spent well

●  We support policies that end bullying in state and federal agencies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has committed to becoming a workplace free from any form of bullying and other federal agencies are adopting similar policies.

●  States such as Maryland and California have introduced policies to combat workplace bullying. These pieces of legislation include anti-bullying education, clear and consistent definitions of bullying, and a standardized compliant process. We believe that Pennsylvania should follow the example of these states.  

● Ending workplace bullying within government institutions will ensure that all employees enjoy a friendly and productive work environment which could lead to increased productivity and ensure that public taxes are well spent. 

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© 2020 Dauphin County Democratic Committee | 4811 Jonestown Road, Suite 233, Harrisburg, PA 17109 | 717-233-1321