Op-Ed: Students grade Rep. Boyle on job performance

By Raymon Shi and Justin Ott

Kevin J. Boyle is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and represents the 172nd district. Boyle has done a wonderful job as our representative. His views on education, taxes, gun control and crime-related issues are quite similar to our own.

As students, we believe that our education needs to be a higher priority for politicians. Most of our schools need more funding to function better. With more funding and better budgeting, schools can buy newer resources and introduce different types of learning that will help educate the next generation of genius minds. The education of the younger generation is important because they’re the ones who will continue to make the world a better place. Rep. Boyle strives to increase funding for education and also tries to limit the cost of college tuition.

On his stance on taxes and the economy, Rep. Boyle wants to close corporate tax loopholes. He says, “Pennsylvanians lose hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year by allowing large corporations to avoid state taxes using loopholes not available to small businesses or you and your family.” We agree with Boyle. Large corporations shouldn’t be allowed to avoid state taxes through the loopholes they’re using; it’s just unfair to the other people who have to pay those taxes as well. Additionally, the millions of dollars we’re losing out on could be used to benefit the state in areas such as education. Boyle also wants to increase the minimum wage of workers. He believes that people who work 40 hours a week shouldn’t be living in poverty. We agree with Boyle’s notion. There are many families out there who work long hours and multiple jobs, just so they can put food on the table. With an increase in the minimum wage, this will help out those people in poverty.

Boyle wants to protect the people of the 172nd district and all of Pennsylvania. In order to do so, he believes there should be more gun control laws. He is 100 percent in support of gun safety measures. Boyle also tried to pass a bill that limited the amount of ammunition a person was allowed to carry. He also supports legislation that strengthen hate crime laws in Pennsylvania as well as the elimination of the amount of years a victim can report sexual violence. We support Boyle’s views, especially on hate crimes and sexual assault victims. Hate crime is intolerable, and people who commit hate crime should be severely punished. As for sexual assault victims, we also agree that there shouldn’t be a limit on the number of years a victim can wait to report a sexual assault against him or her.

Although we agree with many of Boyle’s policies, there are other aspects we don’t agree with. For example, in 2016, Kevin Boyle voted for House Bill 1538. This bill specifically prohibits public officials from identifying police officers who seriously injured or killed someone within 30 days of the incident. A violation of this ban would be considered a second-degree misdemeanor. We believe this isn’t the right approach, especially in today’s world where there are countless times police officers abuse their power and the system helps them get away with it without punishment. By supporting laws like this, it will only encourage police brutality and the oppression of minorities. It will also create a transparency issue. In the past, Boyle has voted for the limitation of abortion clinics and he has also disapproved of the Philadelphia sanctuary city policy. We disagree with both of these actions because we find no reason to limit the number of clinics that offer abortions. We also are in support of the sanctuary city policy that Philadelphia has.

While Boyle is doing a good job, going into the future, we would like him to focus more on education. Our schools desperately need funding, and programs are being cut or threatened to be cut in the future due to the lack of funding. The only way we’re going to get that funding is by getting our voices heard through our representatives. We want to stress that the education of the younger generation is crucial because they are the future leaders of the next generation and we should be giving them all the resources possible to make them grow and become successful. Additionally, we suggest that Boyle focus more on crime in the Northeast, whether it be violent or nonviolent crimes. Although the crime rate has been steadily declining over the past several years, it is still a major issue concerning the residents. Keeping all the residents of the 172nd district safe should also be another higher priority. This can be done through many ways such as introducing stricter crime laws and/or providing more police units to the Northeast district.

We hope that Kevin Boyle considers some of our suggestions and continues to provide his wonderful service to the 172nd district. ••

Raymon Shi, of Castor Gardens, and Justin Ott, of West Mayfair, are seniors at Julia R. Masterman High School. Members of the senior class have been assigned to write about their state representatives.