Op-ed: We’ve made a lot of progress, but still work to do

State Rep. Martina White gives her opinion on the upcoming election.

White

By State Rep. Martina White

When you elected me in 2015, it was based on my promise to always put the concerns of our Northeast communities first in Harrisburg. That is a promise I believe I am keeping every day.

With Election Day just around the corner, I wanted to take a moment to thank the people of Northeast Philadelphia for the honor of serving as their state representative, and give you an update on the progress we have made together, and once again ask for your vote.

By working together with Democrats and Republicans, we delivered record funding to our Philadelphia schools from the state. We are helping ensure a successful future for Pennsylvania. The state’s unemployment rate has dropped by 20 percent in the last two years. That means more good jobs for local residents — and greater opportunity for our families to reach the economic security they deserve.

At the same time, I have stood strong to protect taxpayers. We defeated efforts that would have increased income taxes and expanded the sales tax to everyday essentials like daycare, diapers, over-the-counter medicine and home healthcare. You told me these increases would have been disastrous to our small businesses and our family budgets, and I helped stop them. Instead of higher taxes, I worked for bipartisan, balanced budgets that control spending by focusing priorities; the result has been an economy that is moving again and state revenues that have allowed us to once again invest in the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

We are also taking concrete steps to combat the opioid epidemic. Working with Gov. Wolf, we implemented a package of initiatives that include increased funding for addiction treatment and focus on prevention programs. We’ve enhanced tracking to end the overprescription of opioids and focus on finding and punishing drug dealers. The opioid epidemic has cost us the lives of too many in our community and state, and I will not give up this fight.

There is more I have done than I can’t convey in this brief letter — from addressing issues specific to the Northeast, to providing strong constituent services to the people I serve, to attending countless events and knocking on doors so I can hear your concerns and ideas. Quite simply, I try to work as hard for you as you do in your own job. You deserve no less.

Even with what we have accomplished, I know there is more we can achieve for the Northeast. I hope I have earned your vote to return to Harrisburg so we can continue our work, together. ••