For Immediate Release: Democratic PA Senate District 16 Candidate Mark Pinsley Receives the Endorsement of Fellow Progressive and PA Lt. Governor Candidate John Fetterman

  Democratic PA Senate District 16 Candidate Mark Pinsley Receives the Endorsement of Fellow Progressive and PA Lt. Governor Candidate John Fetterman  ALLENTOWN, PA— On Friday John Fetterman endorsed PA State Senate District 16 Candidate and progressive activist, South Whitehall Commissioner Mark Pinsley. Pinsley is running for the PA Senate 16th District seat currently held … Continue reading For Immediate Release: Democratic PA Senate District 16 Candidate Mark Pinsley Receives the Endorsement of Fellow Progressive and PA Lt. Governor Candidate John Fetterman →

Source: For Immediate Release: Democratic PA Senate District 16 Candidate Mark Pinsley Receives the Endorsement of Fellow Progressive and PA Lt. Governor Candidate John Fetterman – The Valley Ledger | Its All About The Lehigh Valley

Democrat Meredith Buck announces run for 144th state house district

Meredith Buck, of Chalfont, is running for the state house with the endorsement of Bucks County Democrats.

First a nurse, then a lawyer and now she’s hoping to be a state legislator.

Meredith J. Buck, of Chalfont, announced her candidacy this week for the Democratic nomination in the race for the 144th District state House of Representatives seat held by retiring Rep. Kathy Watson.

The 58-year-old Democrat comes to the race with her party’s endorsement and so far is running unopposed in the May 15 primary. Buck is taking aim at health care, education and safety as campaign issues.

“The partisan politics in Harrisburg has neglected our senior population for way too long and has shortchanged our public education system,” she said, in a statement.

The race won’t be Buck’s first. In 2015 she ran for district judge, which she lost to District Judge Regina Armitage. Since that campaign, Buck has focused on her legal practice, especially in the field of family law, and on pro bono work representing protection from abuse victims, the candidate said by phone Friday.

On the Republican ballot, Realtor Todd Polinchock is seeking his party’s nod, touting his military service, small business experience and involvement with his community.

The two are likely to square off for Watson’s seat in the fall.

Watson was one of four state-level Republican legislators in mid-January to announce intentions to retire, along with Sens. Chuck McIlhinney, R-10, and Stewart Greenleaf, R-12, and state Rep. Bob Godshall, R-53.

Source: Democrat Meredith Buck announces run for 144th state house district

Resistance is mail-odramatic for ‘Persistent Postcarders’

by Barbara Sherf

Frustrated and angry over Trump-ism? Take your pen next Wednesday, March 7, 5:15 p.m., to the High Point Café at the Allens Lane Train Station, to meet with a group known as Persistent Postcarders, working with Turn PA Blue. They will hold a Coffee Bar celebration with refreshments to mark the one-year anniversary of local resistance to Trump-ism via handwriting and sending over 2,000 handwritten postcards to city, state and federal elected and appointed officials.

The idea came to Rabbi Dayle Friedman, 61, following the first Women’s March in Washington, D.C., in January, 2017.

“I was eager to find a way to save the many aspects of our social fabric that were imperiled by the ascension of Donald Trump to the presidency,” said Friedman, a Mt. Airy resident, graduate of Hebrew Union College and expert/consultant on issues facing the elderly.

“After the announcement of the Muslim ban the next week, I knew I needed to do something, so I announced through e-mail and Facebook that anyone who wanted was invited to come to my house on Friday afternoons from 2 to 3 to write postcards.”

According to Friedman, the name Persistent Postcarders was coined after U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the Senate floor in February of 2017, as Sen. Mitch McConnell justified his action by saying, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

“Thanks for the new battle cry,” one person tweeted. And a slogan was born: Nevertheless, she persisted.

The group of more than 20 women, mostly from Mt. Airy, now rotate the Friday afternoon sessions at different homes. From two to six show up in a typical week and send out an average of 40 postcards. Thus, in the past year about 2,000 postcards were handwritten and mailed.

“We always discuss what issues concern us, and most often some women bring information about issues they have been following. We then each write to local, state and national representatives,” said Friedman, noting that the group is open to having men as well.

“We then divide our writing between exhortation of representatives to do the right thing on these issues and letters of thanks and congratulations to those who have been bold leaders and/or have had success.”

Friedman tapped Mt Airy artist, author and activist Betsy Teutsch, 65, to help organize the group and design two postcards to offer as part of a fundraising effort for the PA Blue campaign. One very patriotic postcard has a blank box on the front on which the writer titles the issue, like gun control.

The other postcard has a “Thank You” box to thank a representative for support of or introduction of legislation or to thank a journalist for researching and writing about a particular issue.

“I think we are a demographic of well-educated women who are old-fashioned communicators at heart, though digitally capable,” Teutsch noted. “Postcards just make a statement in a satisfying way, and being together is soul-nurturing in what seems like our state of permanent crisis.”

On a recent Friday, a half-dozen women gathered at the Mt. Airy home of Jane Century, where tea and chocolate-covered coconut flake treats she made from ingredients at Weavers Way were served.

Mt. Airy resident Ann Mintz, 70, was clearly up in arms about an array of issues and had done her homework. “For me,” she said, “the Friday postcarding has been a lifeline at a really challenging time. I’m from a Holocaust family, named for my father’s sister who was murdered at Auschwitz.

“I always took comfort in the belief that it couldn’t happen here, only to see images of terrified small children separated from their parents, an old woman in a wheelchair detained for hours for no rational reason and a five-year-old boy in handcuffs, and it showed me in no uncertain terms that it could happen here.

“When I am feeling despair, I focus on writing thank you postcards. It reminds me that there are people in government doing the right thing. I’ve written thank you cards to people I often disagree with, which helps me remember that we can disagree with people without demonizing them.”

At the end of the hour, Mintz took a photo of the pile of postcards along with the hands of the signers and the American flag to post to social media.

While the women are writing longhand, they have their phones at the ready to research issues, find additional information or addresses.

“This is an app called ‘Five Calls,’” said Paula Spivack, 61, of Mt. Airy. “If Ann isn’t around, we might turn to this to find out the top five important phone calls to make on any given day. In our case, it’s not phone calls but postcards being sent.”

The March 7 event runs at High Point Café at the Allens Lane Train Station until 6:45 p.m. Candidates and elected officials will be on hand as well as organizers of the group in an effort to share their knowledge and resources.

More information at, or go to their Facebook page for additional information. Flourtown resident Barbara Sherf can be reached at This is one in a series of stories on area activists.

Robert E. Lee opposed Confederate monuments

BY LISA DESJARDINS August 15, 2017

At the center of the “Unite the Right” rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville last weekend was a protest
of the city’s plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. White supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have
made monuments to the Confederate commanding general a flashpoint — at times marching to keep
them standing.
But Lee himself never wanted such monuments built.
“It’s often forgotten that Lee himself, after the Civil War, opposed monuments, specifically Confederate war monuments.”
“I think it wiser,” the retired military leader wrote about a proposed Gettysburg memorial in 1869, “…
not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to
obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.”

Lee died in 1870, just five years after the Civil War ended, contributing to his rise as a romantic symbol of the “lost cause” for some white southerners. But while he was alive, Lee stressed his belief that the country should move past the war. He swore allegiance to the Union and publicly decried southern separatism, whether militant or symbolic.
“It’s often forgotten that Lee himself, after the Civil War, opposed monuments, specifically Confederate war monuments,” said Jonathan Horn, the author of the Lee biography, “The Man Who Would Not Be Washington.”
In his writings, Lee cited multiple reasons for opposing such monuments, questioning the cost of a
potential Stonewall Jackson monument, for example. But underlying it all was one rationale: That
the war had ended, and the South needed to move on and avoid more upheaval.
“As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated,” Lee wrote of an 1866 proposal,
“my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the
present condition of the Country, would have the eect
of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment; [and] of continuing, if not adding to, the diiculties
under which the Southern people labour.”
The retired Confederate leader, a West Point graduate, was influenced by his knowledge of history.
“Lee believed countries that erased visible signs of civil war recovered from conflicts quicker,” Horn
said. “He was worried that by keeping these symbols alive, it would keep the divisions alive.”
Lee himself was conflicted about the core issues of his day. He was a slave owner who some say was
cruel and a general who fought to preserve the institution. But he personally described slavery as a
“moral and political evil” that should end. Before the war, Lee opposed secession, but once his native
Virginia voted to leave the Union he declared he was honor-bound to fight for the Confederacy.

Academics and writers vigorously debate his sentiments and strengths, but historians seem to agree
on Lee’s views about memorials.
“He said he was not interested in any monuments to him or – as I recollect – to the Confederacy,”
explained James Cobb, history professor emeritus at the University of Georgia, who has written
about Lee’s rise as an icon.
“I don’t think that means he would have felt good about the people who fought for the Confederacy
being completely forgotten,” Cobb added. “But he didn’t want a cult of personality for the South.”
Lee advocated protection of just one form of memorial: headstones in cemeteries.
“All I think that can now be done,” he wrote in 1866, “is … to protect the graves [and] mark the last
resting places of those who have fallen…”
Would Lee have opposed his own monument today? Horn leaned toward yes, though he noted that
it’s impossible to compare Lee’s views in the 1860s with the situation today.
“You think he’d come down in the camp that would say ‘remove the monuments,’” Horn posited. “But
you have to ask why [he would remove them]. He might just want to hide the history, to move on,
rather than face these issues.”

Dinniman introduces package of pipeline bills

West Chester >> State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19th Dist., has introduced a package of legislation designed to protect local communities, natural resources, and individual property rights in the crosshairs of the ever-growing number of pipelines planned in Chester County and across Pennsylvania.

“While southeastern Pennsylvania and Chester County may not be home to actual drilling operations, our neighborhoods, communities, and natural resources are significantly impacted by the growing network of pipelines,” Dinniman said.

The Mariner East 2 pipeline is currently under construction in portions of Chester and Berks counties and has drawn opposition from residents, concerned about damage to drinking water sources.

The bills are as follows:

• Senate Bill 605, introduced by Dinniman and state Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr., R-44th Dist., calls for establishing an impact fee that pipeline companies would pay to the municipalities and counties bisected by their pipelines. Under the legislation, the amount of the impact fee would be based on the acreage of linear feet plus right-of-way width of a pipeline using the county average land value in an affected area. Fifty percent of the impact fee would go to the county that is home to the respective pipeline. Forty percent would go to the municipality that is home to the pipeline. The remaining 10 percent would go to Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for administration and enforcement of the law. The bill is currently in the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

• Senate Bill 574 would allow local municipalities and school districts to tax natural gas pipelines. The bill would amend Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to allow local governments and school districts to impose a real estate tax on natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. Currently, they are exempt from local taxation. Twenty other states allow for the local taxation of natural gas pipelines and this bill is very similar to existing laws in neighboring states like New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia. This bill is currently before the Senate Finance Committee.

• Senate Bill 835 calls for holding pipeline land agents accountable by defining their role and requiring registration with the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission. In addition, the bill calls for allowing public access to a listing of registered agents, requiring criminal history background checks, and providing the commission with the authority to revoke or suspend them for a number of reasons such as fraud or misrepresentation. Currently, land agents in Pennsylvania operate with no oversight whatsoever. The bill is in the process of being referred to committee.

“It’s high time for pipeline companies to support the necessary emergency response preparations, environmental protection, and reclamation measures, and other local efforts directly related to their operations,” Dinniman, who serves on the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, said. “And it’s only right for pipelines companies to pay a real estate tax just like property owners, and it’s only right for their land agents to be held accountable to ethical standards.”

Dinniman is also currently drafting legislation that would require automatic shutoff valves on natural gas pipelines in Pennsylvania.

In addition, Dinniman is the first co-sponsor of Rafferty’s Senate Bill 604, which calls for centralizing pipeline safety inspection within PennDOT, rather than the PUC.

“While the Legislature has not been responsive to the needs of the Southeast regarding pipeline issues and it’s been extremely difficult to get these bills out of committee in the past, I remain undeterred and will continue to fight for our region in putting the interest of my constituents before special interests,” Dinniman said.


A key to our success will be our ability to build and execute a strong campus program. With a large focus of getting our supporters on campus and in the areas immediately surrounding campus to turnout during Election Day, every second will be critical to creating the constant buzz on campus necessary to do this. Our program will focus on maximizing our registration efforts, building and executing engaging events, and implementing an efficient and effective turnout strategy. Please select the college or university that your team is willing to “adopt.” We will then send you follow up information on how to get started on your campus program and upcoming voter registration opportunities.