My name is Antonio Pedulla. I'm a resident of West Nottingham Township and I am exploring a run for State Representative of PA House District 13.
A little about me, I moved out to Southern Chester County almost 15 years ago to buy my first home and have more space for my dogs and poultry. I enjoy the rural aspect of this part of the county and hope to preserve that. I also work as a Nurse in the county which I feel has given me great insight on some of the challenges residents of District 13 face, especially regarding healthcare.
I'm approaching this office from a different angle that previous candidates have. I can't help but feel that many of our representatives are missing their mark, regardless of party. They focus on fundraising and they often swirl around the same generic ideas because this is what donors, local political parties and the most likely voters tell them they want. This only serves to alienate those who feel their representatives are not doing much for them or that all politicians are the same.
I have a few ideas you've heard of and some that may be new to you. Below you will see where I stand on many issues. I am open-minded and encourage discussion to flesh these ideas out. It is my belief that Ideas can't be tested if they are never shared. So I am sharing with you now to gauge support for a legitimate run for office.
- Public Funding for elections – Fundraising is not Representation but it has become a large part of the American Political system. To limit campaign influence from large donors, I propose public funding with limits for candidates running for public office.
- Shortened campaign season – In order to allow your representative to focus on representing you, rather than non-stop fundraising, I propose a Primary Campaign season of one day after the New Year's Day to Primary Election Day. I propose a General Election Campaign season from one day after Labor Day up until Election Day.
- Fair Districts - I support bills to create an impartial, independent citizens commission to redraw our district voting lines to better represent the voters of PA.
- Open Primaries – to allow every PA resident to participate in our primaries, regardless of their political affiliation.
- Ranked Choice Voting – Passed in Maine and on the ballot in Massachusetts, I will supports this method to allow more choice in candidate selection.
- National Popular Vote – I will support a bill for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to join the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote
A new take on Representation
- I want to have discussions with residents of this district on their time. I understand that people work, a lot. And that they don't have time to visit a representatives local office when they are there. Representatives should regularly go out into the community to speak with residents, at their places of work, in their homes, not at fundraisers and events where representatives can appear unreachable, even to those who have come to see them. I also hope to do everything in my power to not you canned responses to concerns you might have. This is probably one the most discouraging things a representative can do.
- Rewilding - I would promote Rewilding in addition to or in place of Open Spaces. Rewilding areas aka allowing them to return to nature, is a lower maintenance method versus keeping “Open Spaces” and it promotes and maintains biodiversity in the region.
- As part of promoting rewilding and saving taxpayer money, I would recommend a study to determine the necessity for mowing highway medians throughout the state.
- Sustainability requires we build more densely populated areas while preserving our wild and open areas. This should result in an overall lower tax burden for PA residents. I propose tax incentives to build or renovate already developed or dilapidated areas and increased taxes on developers turning farms, forests or other raw land into developments and shopping areas.
- Promote Green Energy Production to get us away from Fossil Fuels and also to help create more high tech jobs based on technology required for green energy production.
- Ban exemption from FLSA – A ban on FLSA no salary positions, paid hourly and paid for overtime. This is a simple solution that assures PA residents receive pay for the work they put in and only requires that we follow the current FLSA with no employer exemptions to the law.
- I support a path to a minimum wage of $15/hr
- Opioid Epidemic - This is an issue that effects communities all over the US. Many people think the issue is access to opiates and many controls have been put in place in order stop the flow of these drugs into our communities. However, there are other important precipitating factors that lead to opioid addiction and one of those is poverty. It may seem indirect, but I feel that assuring people our community and our state are paid a fair wage, will lead to a gradual decrease in opioid addiction. I don't think anyone has to contort their mind too much to understand that a lot of people use opioids as an escape and often that is to escape all the challenges that come from living in poverty. A multi-faceted approach is required to deal with this issue fully but I believe this is one piece that is missing from most of our currently proposed solutions.
- Control costs for vital medications such as insulin - Other states have done it, and it is important for PA residents to receive the medications they need. This also lowers overall costs related to hospital admissions due to patients not being able to afford these critical medications.
- State Run Ambulance – Pilot program in District 13. Lower cost of healthcare for consumers. Even those with insurance often have to pay for an ambulance and the prices are often exorbitant.
- Pennsylvania Basic Care - Pilot program in District 13. State Employed Medical Professionals offering a low cost, fee for service model, to provide basic care for chronic diseases. This could be free for low income residents, dependent to finding new sources of income for the state. Prevention and treatment of chronic diseases leads to lower healthcare costs for everyone whether its through your taxes or your health insurance premiums.
- Education to address knowledge deficits regarding medical treatment and treatment for chronic diseases. When to go to urgent care vs when to go to the ER.
- Free birth control - If you want to decrease the costs of social services, long term, this is a great way to do it.
- Nurse Practitioners Practicing Independently - As a Nurse, I support giving more autonomy to Nurse Practitioners, just as they have in the surrounding states, in order to address the healthcare needs of the underserved area that we live in.
- I do not believe in public funding for charter schools – They take money from other public schools but are selective of who is allowed in their schools, skewing their outcomes, making them appear better than public schools while utilize funds that should only go to public schools.
- Incorporate practical knowledge into school curriculums. Grade level appropriate education that will better prepare students for when they graduate.
Medical – Prevention and Care of Chronic Diseases, First Aid and CPR. Health class isn’t real world Medical, students can handle much more.
Agriculture – Understand where our food comes from, how it’s made and what it takes to run small and large ag operations.
Conservation/ Ecology – Understand the importance of balance in our environment.
Skill-Based Physical Activity – Archery, Karate, Aikido,etc
Life Skills – Change a tire, basic carpentry/plumbing/electric, budgeting, etc
Music/Art - Creativity should be nurtured and Music and Art are great outlets for students to find other ways of expressing themselves.
- Free Community College – It should be available to every resident. Dependent on new sources of revenue.
- Difficulty in communicating creates Animosity. To remedy that, I propose an increase in access to ESL classes as well as funding for SSL ( Spanish as a Second Language ) classes.
- Legalize Recreational Cannabis – a source of new revenue for the state that can help maintain property taxes at current levels. Revenue can also be used towards Educational goals as has been done in other states that legal. PA already has medical marijuana. NJ will likely have legal cannabis after the 2020 election, losing millions of dollars of potential revenue from Philadelphia to New Jersey. This revenue can be used right here in PA, why lose it?
- I will look to commission a study to see if this will save money for PA residents in the long term and determine if this could be paid for with new sources of revenue.
- Farm Stewardship Program – I propose a program that allows the State to buy farmland in order to allow beginning farmers to become stewards of the land, for a one time fee and covering annual property taxes. This prevents farms from becoming developments. This is to assure that we preserve farm land and that it remains productive, providing food for local communities and residents throughout PA.
- 0 Mile Food Initiative – Centralization of Food Production was a breakthrough in the 20th century, It created a land of abundance but Factory Farms have since taken over food production, often producing low quality and sometimes inhumanely sourced food. I would promote decentralization of food production within the State. As part of that I would re-evaluate regulations to allow small farmers to supply high quality, locally grown food to immediate areas while maintaining the health and safety of PA residents.
If you've made it this far, I appreciate your time. Will I or anyone be able to pass this sort of legislation in 2 years? Not really but ideas have to be shared first in order to see if there is support. Please contact me if you have other ideas or even just to tell me I'm a ridiculous person for supporting any of this. Again, I encourage discourse.
Donate, but not to me!
As a candidate, I will not actively fundraise in order to focus on interacting with real residents of District 13 versus spending your time and your money filling your mailbox with flyers that will immediately go into the trash. In lieu of donations to my future campaign, please donate to the following causes:
PA SPCA or your local animal shelter or animal rescue - Donations to these organizations provide funds for animals to be spayed, neutered or other preventative and emergency medical care.
The Statue of Unity/ The Statue of Destiny - This is my own project that I hope will inspire all Americans. Please visit my GoFundMe page to learn more about these inspirational monuments.
In order to get this campaign off the ground, I am looking for support and volunteers. A lot needs to happen between now and the last day to petition to run. If you're interested in working on this campaign, sharing ideas, or even starting your own campaign, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and please share with anyone else who might be interested.