Op-ed: Driscoll still has a lot to prove in the 173rd

Work in progress: Michael Driscoll needs to communicate with the people of his district. TIMES FILE PHOTO

By Erin Byard and Mohammad Chowdury

In the 173rd Legislative District, Michael Driscoll has shown that he wishes to serve his district, however, he still has a lot that he could do.

Driscoll has shown a lot of his concern toward important issues such as sexual abuse victims, gun control and mental health.

He contributed toward the bill that favors the increase of the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse. Furthermore, he voted yes on a bill that would require people with abuse records to surrender their firearms.

Driscoll expressed a lot of concern over the mental health of school children.

He sponsored a bill that would require schools to go through a certification to become a Certified Suicide Prevention Institution. It is great that he is aware of mental health issues in youth and is making an attempt to help individuals who suffer from these problems.

However, Driscoll has performed actions that can be questionable to the residents of his district. For example, Driscoll voted “yes” on prohibiting the performance of abortion based on the fetus’ gender or potential diagnosis of Down syndrome. It is disappointing that he would vote yes on such a bill without seeing the issue from another point of view.

He voted “yes” on that bill because of his pro-life ideals. But, he needs to understand that he needs to put his views aside and communicate with the people of his district and see their views on abortion issues.

Additionally, no records show Driscoll sponsoring a bill or any sources that show his opinion on the cost of college. College education in Pennsylvania can be extremely expensive and cannot be ignored.

He needs to look more into the cost of college in the state and attempt to do something in order to help the people he represents. In the current state of the college debt epidemic, Driscoll should not be silent on the issue on higher education tuition.

Driscoll has carried out reasonably good actions, as well as some questionable actions, but an area he completely fails in is communication. Driscoll did not campaign enough in his district or let the people know him.

This may be because no one ran against him in the 2018 election, but honestly, it would not be surprising if the people of the 173rd district never heard his name. As the representative, it is his duty to communicate with his people and hear their opinions. Overall, Driscoll needs to communicate with the people of his district and hear their concerns about issues where he has the ability to help. ••

Erin and Mohammad are seniors at Julia R. Masterman High School. In their social sciences class, they have been assigned a project to write an op-ed on their local state representative.