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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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  • Thursday, September 24, 2009

    Progressive Majority Candidates in Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania is the quintessential battleground state — it has been a swing state in every presidential election for more than 70 years. And it is a state where deep political work must be done to reverse the stranglehold conservatives have on the government, build a durable political infrastructure, and tip the state for progressives once and for all.

    Pennsylvania is the slowest-growing of any major state in the nation. Since few new people move in, progressives must build lasting political relationships that address people's core needs and take into account their core values. Pennsylvania is a conflicted state — voters hold conflicting views on economic and social issues in different parts of the state. In short, a "one size fits all" political strategy will not work here.

    That's why Progressive Majority's long-term, state-based approach to candidate recruitment and development is so well-suited to meet this challenge. Our work to identify community leaders and activists, authentic candidates who care about what's best for people and who will lead on a local agenda, is what's needed here.


    PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES RUNNING IN PENNSYLVANIA: Here is the slate of candidates endorsed by Progressive Majority:

    Rose Jacobs: Candidate for Bensalem School Board (Incumbent)



    Rose Jacobs is a retired school teacher and former member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association. Rose is a past president and present member of the Bensalem Association Dedicated Gifted Education, the Bensalem High School Home and School Association and has been awarded Parent of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education. Rose had her first campaign volunteer experience in 1964 for Lyndon Johnson and recently volunteered for the Patrick Murphy for Congress Campaign and Obama for President. In spite of conservatives on the board having a tradition of patronage hiring, Rose has been able to push qualified candidates to diversify the teaching staff. Rose believes that the staff should reflect the cultural diversity of the rapidly changing and diversifying student population.


    Carol Jones: Candidate for Bensalem School Board (Incumbent)



    Carol Jones is a retired public school teacher, social activist and was one of the four progressives who won in 2005. Carol is an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Bensalem Democratic Organization and a member of Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers. As a retired math teacher, Carol was instrumental in getting traditional math courses back into the curriculum to address the high remediation rate that Bensalem High School graduates were experiencing in college. Whereas, the Interactive Math Program left many students with low SAT scores; traditional math has delivered higher scores and better math skills. Other important initiatives include full-day kindergarten, the introduction of Japanese and Chinese to the language curriculum and innovative technologies.


    Carol McGuire: Candidate for Bensalem School Board (Incumbent)



    Carol McGuire is a member of the Bensalem Township Education Association, Pennsylvania State Education Association, National Education Association and Education Support Personnel Association. Carol has been very active in candidate recruitment and helping other progressives get elected due to her dissatisfaction with the previous school board chair. The board made decisions without input from parents, community members or students. Carol has been a leader of the candidates and has organized door-knocking schedules and serves as the team motivator. As a school board director, Carol instituted the wellness and fitness policy for the district in order to bring the district in compliance with state requirements. As the board liaison for the co-curricular committee, which works with parent suggestions to get youth involved in clubs and athletic activities, Carol is very visible at school events as a parent and board director.


    Richard Salzman: Candidate for Bensalem School Board (Incumbent)



    Richard is an IT specialist and member of Teamsters Local 837. His community involvement includes serving on the Bucks County All American Soap Box Derby, Vice-President of the Bensalem Village Association, Habitat for Humanity, Bensalem Boy Scout Troop 130, Cub Scout Troop 301 and Girl Scouts of Bensalem. Richard is dedicated to helping the Bensalem School District become one of the best in the state by working hard to get the whole slate of candidates elected to the mayor's Office, township council and school board. Richard believes that a cooperative relationship will provide the leadership, creativity and ideas needed to improve schools without raising taxes in the Township.


    Sheldon Per: Candidate for Bensalem Mayor (Challenger)



    Sheldon Per is know in Bensalem as ''Coach Per,'' and now he is running for mayor of Bensalem. Coach Per recently retired from Bensalem High School where he served as the director of athletics and extracurricular activities. He is a retired National Education Association member. Coach Per received various awards of recognition during his tenure at Bensalem High School, including Coach of the Year five times. He is also involved with many local civic groups: NAACP, Fairless Hill Masonic Lodge, Historical Society of Bensalem, The Rotary Club, Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees and the Bensalem Democratic Organization. Coach Per's extensive network has to be put to work in order to challenge the three-term conservative mayor. Progressive Majority started working with the Bensalem Democratic Organization in 2006 to recruit and train candidates to win office. Through much hard work and changing demographics, the organization has outpaced the conservatives registering 2,500 new voters. Progressive Majority has provided on-going, in-kind assistance with campaign plans, fundraising strategies and messaging.

    Carolyn Comitta: Candidate for West Chester Mayor (Open Seat)



    Carolyn Comitta is running for mayor of West Chester, Chester County. Carolyn is currently a West Chester Borough Council member, a member of the National League of Cities and a member of the Pennsylvania League of Cities. As chair of the Borough Council's Public Safety Committee, Carolyn has been recognized nationally for cutting-edge public policy. Carolyn works as a member of World Information Transfer, Inc., promoting health and environmental literacy in conjunction with the United Nations. The mayor's office has been held by conservatives since 1992 and has never been held by a woman. Since 2007, progressives have dramatically increased democratic registration in West Chester - so much so, that there are now more registered Democrats than Republicans and Independents combined.

    Bryan Allen: Candidate for Bensalem Township Council (Incumbent)



    Bryan Allen was able to win the Bensalem Township Council seat in 2005 with the support and as a member of the Bensalem Democratic Organization. The Township Council consists of five seats where Bryan served as the only progressive and the only Democrat. The conservative strong hold in the county is threatened by the persistent organized effort of progressives, and Bryan will face stiff opposition. Bryan is a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local #1776. Bryan is running with two other Democrats to take over the Township Council.

    Robert Framo: Candidate for Bensalem Township Council (Challenger)



    Robert will bring strong analytical and problem solving skills to Bensalem Township Council. He currently works as a vice president for inventory logistics for royal china & porcelain. Robert decided to get more involved in local politics when he took on the role as campaign organizer in Bensalem for the Obama Campaign and displayed extraordinary organizing skills and understanding of the political process during that campaign. Robert is also active in the community, recently raising money for the food bank to help residents in these tough economic times.

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