Issues

Health Care is a Human Right

Tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians are one medical emergency away from financial disaster, as are tens of millions of Americans. Many more cannot afford routine care, leading to shorter lives of decreased quality and productivity. In the world’s wealthiest country, it is unconscionable that we continue to ignore these solvable problems. Medicare for All provides a simple, practical path toward better healthcare outcomes with dramatic cost reductions throughout the system.

But we need not wait for a national solution. Kristin Seale supports HB1688 and SB1014 to bring single-payer health coverage to all Pennsylvanians, eliminating copayments and deductibles while ensuring free choice of providers. Moving to single-payer health care will also stimulate Pennsylvania’s economy by reducing the overall cost of care—not to mention that healthy, happy citizens are also more productive.

Living Wage and Worker Protections

It’s a simple notion of fairness, hard-won over a century ago, that has become lost in recent decades: a 40-hour work week should pay a worker enough to provide for a family. Kristin Seale supports a $15 an hour minimum wage, and will pursue legislation to provide it for all Pennsylvanians.

As a past member of two unions, Kristin Seale knows personally how vital organized labor protections are for all workers’ rights, safety, and interests. In the Pennsylvania General Assembly, she will aggressively defend unions’ rights to organize and collect dues, and pursue legislation to increase whistleblower protections.

K-12 Education

PA is 46th in state share of public education funding, with the state contributing only 36% of the total cost of education (compared to a national average of 45%)—an all-time historic low for the Commonwealth. Even worse, we rank dead last in funding inequity, with the best-funded districts spending 33% more per student than impoverished districts—more than double the national average disparity. The most underfunded school district in America is in Pennsylvania. We are underfunding our future.

Kristin Seale will pursue legislation to substantially increase the state’s investment in our children’s futures, and to ensure that a fair school funding formula properly allocates a larger share to struggling districts with the greatest needs, while eliminating the current incentive to overtax those under resourced districts.

Kristin opposes school vouchers, because the purpose of funding public education isn’t simply to educate your own children; it is to educate your neighbors’ children as well, because your neighbors’ success or failure in life affects your own. Parents who choose private school still bear this social responsibility to their community.

As a School Director for Rose Tree Media School Board, Kristin worked with her colleagues to early negotiate a new teacher contract providing competitive compensation. She’s determined to recognize, reward, and recruit top-notch educators and districts, as well as equalize opportunity for struggling districts, and she’ll take that determination with her to Harrisburg.

College and Trades Education

Essential employment training should be free to students. It’s long past time to communally invest in college and trade education, so all Pennsylvanians have the knowledge and 21st century job skills they need in order to not just survive, but thrive in the modern economy.

We’re experiencing a national crisis in student debt, and Pennsylvania ranks first in debt load per student. Graduating Pennsylvanians owe an average of $35,000, far above the national average. We cripple young graduates with hefty debt service payments when they can least afford them, at the beginning of their career. In addition to eliminating undergraduate tuition, we must also abate or restructure existing student debt, so that the burden of repayment does not fall so heavily at the low end of the career earning potential curve.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania and the nation at large face a huge shortage in skilled tradespeople. Decades of cultural insistence that “college is the only way” have left us with too few electricians, plumbers, construction and building trades workers to build and maintain our essential infrastructure. We need not just a policy shift, but a cultural shift to embrace the essential nobility of trade work in our society.

Kristin Seale will pursue legislation to make college and trade school education in essential fields available free of charge to all Pennsylvanians.

Gerrymandering

Despite the 2018 court rulings invalidating Pennsylvania’s outrageously partisan Congressional map, the state remains the poster child for gerrymandering at the Legislative level. With the 2020 Census and subsequent redistricting on the horizon, we must elect representatives who will deliver fair district maps.

As a staunch advocate of small-d democracy, Kristin Seale strongly supports the creation of an independent citizens’ commission for redistricting.

Women's Rights

Representation matters. Only 19% of the Representatives and Senators in the Pennsylvania General Assembly are women. The 168th House District is 52% women, yet has never had a woman represent it to this legislative body.

This is not abstract or academic—Kristin’s rights, her daughters’, her friends’, neighbors’ and loved ones’ are under attack every day in this state. Well-meaning democratic men in Pennsylvania’s legislature have had decades to secure our rights and ensure our freedoms, and they’ve consistently failed. Time’s up. We’ll legislate for ourselves now. Our lives depend on it.

Poverty, lack of quality health care access, food insecurity and income inequity are just a few of the issues that disproportionately impact the women in our community. Kristin Seale will fight every day for the rights, opportunities and freedoms of women and girls in the district and across the Commonwealth.

LGBTQ Equality

There is no part of the American Constitution which stipulates that freedom and the pursuit of happiness is contingent upon whom you love, or what you look like, least of all underneath your clothing. Kristin Seale firmly and unequivocally believes that all freedoms Americans enjoy, including workplace protections, the decision of whom to marry and to raise a family with, property ownership, sharing benefits with a partner and participation in the economy should extend to all of us, including to all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We have the right to live free of discrimination in our communities across the Commonwealth.

As an out, Queer candidate, Kristin has demonstrated her commitment to equality with committed lifelong advocacy for LGTBQ rights and freedoms, and that has not gone unnoticed, earning her an endorsement from Equality PA and the LGBTQ Victory Fund. It is Kristin’s dream to convene the first LGBTQ Caucus with more than one elected, out legislator in the PA General Assembly in 2019, and to continue to build that bench at every level across the state until true representation for the community in electoral politics is realized.

Gun Safety

It’s time we stop ignoring the first four words of the Second Amendment, and rein in the scourge of gun violence by ensuring that gun ownership is truly well-regulated. We can and must go further than background checks — only automotive-style licensing, registration, and insurance requirements will place the burden of accountability and responsibility where it properly belongs.

Kristin Seale will pursue legislation to require all Pennsylvanians to fulfill these responsible requirements before taking possession of firearms, and to provide current firearm owners a reasonable timeframe for coming into compliance.

Mariner East 2 Pipeline

Sunoco’s dangerous, ill-conceived pure profit hazardous natural gas liquids pipeline places thousands of Pennsylvanians, their homes, schools and places of business at risk, in exchange for virtually no public benefit. It will move an unconscionable quantity of undetectable, highly compressed and highly combustible liquids through residential neighborhoods that are ill-equipped to respond to a potential leak. It should never have been permitted in the first place, and it must not enter into operation.

How did we get here? As a provider of residential and commercial utility natural gas, Sunoco has purchased the privilege of Eminent Domain through the acquisition of historic pipelines with a public utility designation, which allows it to repurpose private property when there is a compelling public good at stake.

No such local benefit derives from ME2, which is designed to pipe heavier-than-air, undetectable natural gas liquids to a port facility for shipping overseas, where they will be used in the manufacturing of plastics. Any pipeline leak or failure puts citizens at grave risk, because any spark can ignite these substances -- and no odorants are added to them to help detection, because overseas consumers don’t want their plastics to smell bad.

The Mariner East 2 pipeline represents a profound overreach in the application of the Eminent Domain privilege. In the state legislature, Kristin Seale will continue to fight tooth and nail to prevent Sunoco and Energy Transfer Partners from endangering her constituents by bringing ME2 into service, and she will pursue legislation to curb further abuses of Eminent Domain.

Kristin has been involved in the local, grassroots fight against the Mariner East II pipeline since August of 2016, working with her Borough Council, School District and the Middletown Coalition for Community Safety to stop this imminent danger threatening her neighbors and friends. She was proud to take part in the first ever public action of this movement, and will continue to stand with DelChesco United and other communities and organizations across the Commonwealth fighting for public safety.