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Contact: Eddy Foster FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [12/10/13]
Elected as Downingtown’s Mayor in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 with 68% of the vote, Democratic Mayor Josh Maxwell today announced his attention to run for the 74th State House District.
“I am running for State Representative because we need to grow our economy, fight for our schools, and ensure everyone gets a fair shake,” Josh Maxwell said.
“After growing up in a twin on Jefferson Avenue with my brother and two sisters, I understand what it means to have to work hard to make ends meet. A top-tier education system and sustainable economic growth can make a difference for our families. In order to meet these challenges and secure a brighter future for our community we need strong leadership that can bring results. That leadership is lacking in Harrisburg, which is why I proudly announce that I will be running for State Representative.”
Democratic Mayor Josh Maxwell was named the Best Young Politician in the area by Philadelphia Magazine in 2011. Re-elected in 2013 by nearly 40 points, Democrat Josh Maxwell has repeatedly touted the importance of our education system in the community. “Creating more opportunities for working families and businesses starts with two things: a strong, properly funded School District and an environment conducive to strong economic growth that allows businesses to open, hire and grow.”
Mayor Maxwell restarted the Downingtown Main Street Association, which has helped grow our economy by facilitating partnerships between residents, businesses, and elected leaders. He served as President of that organization, and currently serves on the Board of the Downingtown Community Education Foundation.
Mayor Josh Maxwell was immediately endorsed by County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone, Former State Representative Paul Drucker and officials from Caln, Valley, Sadsbury, South Coatesville, Downingtown, and the city of Coatesville.
Pastor Randall Harris, the President of the Coatesville Minister’s Alliance, has also endorsed Josh Maxwell, claiming “he represents the best of our values. His humble upbringing and focus on making our community better give him the right credentials to help the people that need it the most. I look forward to supporting Josh Maxwell for State Representative.” Read more »
Watch the NBC video on YouTube, 12/10/13
By Ginger Dunbar, Daily Local News, 12/08/13
The Steel City and Paper Mill City — rivals in high school football but the old heart of blue collar Chester County — will be joined in new state representative district.
Coatesville and Downingtown areas are now part of the 74th state Assembly District.
Chester County’s increased population means a new state representative district was added from Clearfield County where population is declining.
There are three hopefuls preparing to run for office in the new district that includes Downingtown, Caln and Coatesville.
Democratic Caln Commissioner Josh Young was the first to announce his plans to run, putting out a statement last week.
Downingtown Mayor Josh Maxwell, also a Democrat, and Republican Harry Lewis Jr. have indicated they plan to announce their candidacies sometime this week.
More candidates for the newly formed district might announce their interest in coming weeks.
The primaries to nominate the party candidates will be in May.
The 74th District encompasses Caln, Coatesville, Downingtown, East Caln, East Fallowfield, Modena, Parksburg, South Coatesville, Sadsbury and Valley. …
keep reading at Daily Local News
from Lois Herr, 12/9/13
I know that this holiday season, you will be asked to donate from every direction. But if you ask me, the best way to kick off the giving season is by encouraging more women to run for public office!
As you know, She Should Run is focused on recruiting more women to run for office, and has supported me since the early days of my political career. On behalf of this organization, which has done so much for me and other women seeking public office, I ask you to make a tax-deductible donation to She Should Run.
We need more women running for public office at all levels. Please donate to She Should Run, so we can ask more women to run in 2014.
Your donation to She Should Run will ensure that women get closer to equal representation at all levels of public office. With the 2014 election upon us, now is the time to make sure that more women are running. She Should Run has set a very ambitious goal of raising $50,000 in small, grassroots donations. Please give as much as you’re able.
Progress on increasing the number of women in elected office has remained stagnant over the past two decades. Today, only 18% of Congress is made up of women, only 5 out of 50 governors are women, and the country has never elected a female president.
Please donate to She Should Run, so we can increase women’s presence in public leadership after 2014.
I know that you will show up at the voting booth next November. But by making a donation to She Should Run today, you have the chance to vote with your purse – right now – and increase the chances of electing more women to public office.
Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, and for everything you will do, so women are represented equally at all levels of office.
She Should Run National Leader
PS: She Should Run is a 501(c)(3), which means that your donation is 100% tax deductible. Do check with your accountant for details.
She Should Run · 1900 L St NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036, United States
The White House, 12/4/13 [excerpt]
…we know that people’s frustrations run deeper than these most recent political battles. Their frustration is rooted in their own daily battles — to make ends meet, to pay for college, buy a home, save for retirement. It’s rooted in the nagging sense that no matter how hard they work, the deck is stacked against them. And it’s rooted in the fear that their kids won’t be better off than they were. They may not follow the constant back-and-forth in Washington or all the policy details, but they experience in a very personal way the relentless, decades-long trend that I want to spend some time talking about today. And that is a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain — that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.
I believe this is the defining challenge of our time: Making sure our economy works for every working American. It’s why I ran for President. It was at the center of last year’s campaign. It drives everything I do in this office. And I know I’ve raised this issue before, and some will ask why I raise the issue again right now. I do it because the outcomes of the debates we’re having right now — whether it’s health care, or the budget, or reforming our housing and financial systems — all these things will have real, practical implications for every American. And I am convinced that the decisions we make on these issues over the next few years will determine whether or not our children will grow up in an America where opportunity is real.
Now, the premise that we’re all created equal is the opening line in the American story. And while we don’t promise equal outcomes, we have strived to deliver equal opportunity — the idea that success doesn’t depend on being born into wealth or privilege, it depends on effort and merit. And with every chapter we’ve added to that story, we’ve worked hard to put those words into practice.
It was Abraham Lincoln, a self-described “poor man’s son,” who started a system of land grant colleges all over this country so that any poor man’s son could go learn something new.
When farms gave way to factories, a rich man’s son named Teddy Roosevelt fought for an eight-hour workday, protections for workers, and busted monopolies that kept prices high and wages low.
When millions lived in poverty, FDR fought for Social Security, and insurance for the unemployed, and a minimum wage.
When millions died without health insurance, LBJ fought for Medicare and Medicaid.
Together, we forged a New Deal, declared a War on Poverty in a great society. We built a ladder of opportunity to climb, and stretched out a safety net beneath so that if we fell, it wouldn’t be too far, and we could bounce back. And as a result, America built the largest middle class the world has ever known. And for the three decades after World War II, it was the engine of our prosperity.
Now, we can’t look at the past through rose-colored glasses. The economy didn’t always work for everyone. Racial discrimination locked millions out of poverty — or out of opportunity. Women were too often confined to a handful of often poorly paid professions. And it was only through painstaking struggle that more women, and minorities, and Americans with disabilities began to win the right to more fairly and fully participate in the economy.
Nevertheless, during the post-World War II years, the economic ground felt stable and secure for most Americans, and the future looked brighter than the past. And for some, that meant following in your old man’s footsteps at the local plant, and you knew that a blue-collar job would let you buy a home, and a car, maybe a vacation once in a while, health care, a reliable pension. For others, it meant going to college — in some cases, maybe the first in your family to go to college. And it meant graduating without taking on loads of debt, and being able to count on advancement through a vibrant job market.
Now, it’s true that those at the top, even in those years, claimed a much larger share of income than the rest: The top 10 percent consistently took home about one-third of our national income. But that kind of inequality took place in a dynamic market economy where everyone’s wages and incomes were growing. And because of upward mobility, the guy on the factory floor could picture his kid running the company some day.
But starting in the late ‘70s, this social compact began to unravel. Technology made it easier for companies to do more with less, eliminating certain job occupations. A more competitive world lets companies ship jobs anywhere. And as good manufacturing jobs automated or headed offshore, workers lost their leverage, jobs paid less and offered fewer benefits.
As values of community broke down, and competitive pressure increased, businesses lobbied Washington to weaken unions and the value of the minimum wage. As a trickle-down ideology became more prominent, taxes were slashed for the wealthiest, while investments in things that make us all richer, like schools and infrastructure, were allowed to wither. And for a certain period of time, we could ignore this weakening economic foundation, in part because more families were relying on two earners as women entered the workforce. We took on more debt financed by a juiced-up housing market. But when the music stopped, and the crisis hit, millions of families were stripped of whatever cushion they had left.
And the result is an economy that’s become profoundly unequal, and families that are more insecure. I’ll just give you a few statistics. Since 1979, when I graduated from high school, our productivity is up by more than 90 percent, but the income of the typical family has increased by less than eight percent. Since 1979, our economy has more than doubled in size, but most of that growth has flowed to a fortunate few.
The top 10 percent no longer takes in one-third of our income — it now takes half. Whereas in the past, the average CEO made about 20 to 30 times the income of the average worker, today’s CEO now makes 273 times more. And meanwhile, a family in the top 1 percent has a net worth 288 times higher than the typical family, which is a record for this country.
So the basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed. In fact, this trend towards growing inequality is not unique to America’s market economy. Across the developed world, inequality has increased. Some of you may have seen just last week, the Pope himself spoke about this at eloquent length. “How can it be,” he wrote, “that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
But this increasing inequality is most pronounced in our country, and it challenges the very essence of who we are as a people. Understand we’ve never begrudged success in America. We aspire to it. We admire folks who start new businesses, create jobs, and invent the products that enrich our lives. And we expect them to be rewarded handsomely for it. In fact, we’ve often accepted more income inequality than many other nations for one big reason — because we were convinced that America is a place where even if you’re born with nothing, with a little hard work you can improve your own situation over time and build something better to leave your kids. As Lincoln once said, “While we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.”
The problem is that alongside increased inequality, we’ve seen diminished levels of upward mobility in recent years. A child born in the top 20 percent has about a 2-in-3 chance of staying at or near the top. A child born into the bottom 20 percent has a less than 1-in-20 shot at making it to the top. He’s 10 times likelier to stay where he is. In fact, statistics show not only that our levels of income inequality rank near countries like Jamaica and Argentina, but that it is harder today for a child born here in America to improve her station in life than it is for children in most of our wealthy allies — countries like Canada or Germany or France. They have greater mobility than we do, not less.
The idea that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth is heartbreaking enough. But the idea that a child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care, or a community that views her future as their own, that should offend all of us and it should compel us to action. We are a better country than this….
read the full statement at The White House
letter from KATHI COZZONE, Chester County commissioner, Daily Local News, 11/18/13
There seems to be near universal agreement that Pennsylvania faces daunting infrastructure needs. I echo the concerns I hear from Chester County commuters, business leaders and local officials that our crumbling roads, bridges and mass transit networks are a drain on our economy and lower our quality of life. It has been over two years now since the governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission issued its report. Now is the time for the Legislature to act on these proposals.
Pennsylvania’s tepid job growth compared to other states would get a much-needed boost from new transportation projects. Drivers snarled in traffic tie-ups would get some welcome relief. For our local businesses, transportation improvements mean cheaper access to supplies and easier access to customers. For job seekers, transportation upgrades allow a wider search due to shorter commutes. There are no shortage of reasons to get a transportation bill done and get it done fast.
But as usual, politics may get in the way. Unfortunately, some legislators are using this impasse to push ideological pet projects, which may endanger passage of legislation at all. Some legislators want to decimate funding for public transit. Everyone needs to remember that every county has some form of public transportation – not just Philadelphia. Chester County workers need SEPTA to get to jobs in Philadelphia; but even those who don’t use the train should be glad that all those riders aren’t sharing the road with them on Route 202. Furthermore, senior citizens in every county rely on a variety of public transportation options to see doctors, shop for groceries and maintain their independence….
keep reading in Daily Local News
by Ed Pilkington Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, 12/5/13
Conservative groups across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers’ compensation and the environment, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.
The strategy for the state-level organisations, which describe themselves as “free-market thinktanks”, includes proposals from six different states for cuts in public sector pensions, campaigns to reduce the wages of government workers and eliminate income taxes, school voucher schemes to counter public education, opposition to Medicaid, and a campaign against regional efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
The policy goals are contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.
The documents contain 40 funding proposals from 34 states, providing a blueprint for the conservative agenda in 2014. In partnership with the Texas Observer and the Portland Press Herald in Maine, the Guardian is publishing SPN’s summary of all the proposals to give readers and news outlets full and fair access to state-by-state conservative plans that could have significant impact throughout the US, and to allow the public to reach its own conclusions about whether these activities comply with the spirit of non-profit tax-exempt charities.
Details of the co-ordinated approach come amid growing federal scrutiny of the political activities of tax-exempt charities. Last week the Obama administration announced a new clampdown on those groups that violate tax rules by engaging in direct political campaigning.
Most of the “thinktanks” involved in the proposals gathered by the State Policy Network are constituted as 501(c)(3) charities that are exempt from tax by the Internal Revenue Service. Though the groups are not involved in election campaigns, they are subject to strict restrictions on the amount of lobbying they are allowed to perform. Several of the grant bids contained in the Guardian documents propose the launch of “media campaigns” aimed at changing state laws and policies, or refer to “advancing model legislation” and “candidate briefings”, in ways that arguably cross the line into lobbying.
The documents also cast light on the nexus of funding arrangements behind radical rightwing campaigns. The State Policy Network (SPN) has members in each of the 50 states and an annual warchest of $83m drawn from major corporate donors that include the energy tycoons the Koch brothers, the tobacco company Philip Morris, food giant Kraft and the multinational drugs company GlaxoSmithKline….
keep reading and see links at The Guardian
Posted: December 7th, 2013 under Education, Healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid, Right wing, Taxes Budget Public funds.
Tags: IRS, Koch Brothers, non-profit taxes, right wing, State Policy Network
WhiteHouse.gov, December 05, 2013
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, 5:25 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
And Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal, and he made it real. He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today, he has gone home. And we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us — he belongs to the ages.
Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa — and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings — and countries — can change for the better. His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable. As he once said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life. My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid. I studied his words and his writings. The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears. And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.
To Graça Machel and his family, Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us. His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him the most. And I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.
To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal, and reconciliation, and resilience that you made real. A free South Africa at peace with itself — that’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation he loved.
We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace.
[View the video here]
by Mike McGann, The Times of Chester County, December 3, 2013
He’s first to declare candidacy in what could be crowded field for 2014
CALN — Township Commissioner Joshua Young became the first declared candidate for the new 74th District State House seat in 2014, announcing his candidacy, Tuesday afternoon.
Young, a Democrat who just won reelection to a third term as Township Commissioner, describes himself as a local small business owner and graduate of Coatesville Area School District — and also was the youngest college Board of Trustees Chairman in the history of the state higher education system, at his alma mater, Slippery Rock — said he would run for the new seat.
The new 74th District includes Caln, Coatesville, Downingtown, East Caln, East Fallowfield, Modena, Parkesburg, South Coatesville, Sadsbury and Valley.
He is the first candidate to announce his intention to seek the seat. Fellow Democrat Josh Maxwell, the mayor of Downingtown, is expected to run for the seat. Republican Harry Lewis — a former Coatesville High School administrator, teacher and coach — is expected to run as well. And rumblings continue of at least one other candidate — although nothing has been confirmed as yet.
“I am running for State Representative because I want to see our community and our commonwealth realize its greatness,” Young said in a statement. “Our community is great because of its people, and I know there is no challenge we cannot overcome and nothing we cannot achieve. The voters of the 74th deserve a leader who recognizes our potential to be great, and has the desire, the skills and the experience to help us achieve that greatness. I am that leader.”…
keep reading at The Times of Chester County