Op-ed: While not perfect, Neilson does a lot to help constituents

Students praise State Rep. Ed Neilson.

TIMES FILE PHOTO

By Eduardo Paez, Nassim Motya and James Ciardullo

We are students from Julia R. Masterman and constituents of state Rep. Ed Neilson.

We want to voice our opinions about Neilson’s political stances. Recently, we have looked into the variety of the issues that he’s involved with, one of which was the Real ID Act.

We are supportive of his view on the Real ID Bill and believe that protecting people’s identity and following federal law is important. Public privacy is a topic that is becoming increasingly important in today’s society, especially in the United States, due to constant online surveillance and databases that store personal information. And with the recent slew of database hacks, the exposure of people’s private information is a real concern.

We were also intrigued by Neilson’s support of senior citizens against a bill last year to expand legalized gambling to bars, airports and private clubs. About 25 percent of the people living in our area are senior citizens, and we like to see that politicians like Neilson are looking out for them.

Prescription assistance and property tax relief are programs that need to continue being funded; those revenue streams shouldn’t go toward slot machines.

We also find Neilson’s idea of hosting senior expos a great way to help senior citizens, as they provide free information and health screenings that they may have otherwise lacked access to.

We appreciate Neilson’s sympathy toward those with disabilities, like dyslexia. Educational success is something that we definitely value at Masterman, and The Dyslexia and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program makes a huge difference for those who don’t realize they have dyslexia and need resources to compensate for the learning disorder.

However, we do have a common concern that involves our neighborhoods.

Transportation in the Northeast, we believe, is limited, in that there is a lack of bus routes. Many Northeast Philadelphians have to walk a great distance in order to use public transportation at their nearest bus stop. And as Masterman students, this makes the already difficult trip into the city slightly more laborious. We feel that if there were an increase in the number of buses running in the Northeast, this would eliminate many of our concerns.

Another issue we have with transportation are the traffic accidents. There are numerous traffic accidents per month in our area, mainly on Roosevelt Boulevard. These accidents cause massive amounts of traffic backups, which are an inconvenience to everyone. In addition to this, there are a large number of unnecessary traffic cameras that are placed above intersections in the Northeast. These cameras, in some places, generate vast amounts of revenue from intersections that are most likely to be the sites of car accidents. We understand how important traffic safety is, but we think as though there are cameras in too many intersections. Some of these cameras are placed in already relatively safe intersections, which doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of safety and seem to be used only as a means of gaining extra money.

Throughout our research, we came across many of Neilson’s stances on a variety of topics but we could not find anything involving transportation in our district.

Although we think that Neilson has more to do, we think that he is a great representative of our area in Northeast Philadelphia. ••

Eduardo Paez, Nassim Motya and James Ciardullo are seniors at Julia R. Masterman High School. Members of the senior class have been assigned to write about their state representatives.