Our UU principles of respect for the dignity of all, and for the democratic process, call us to extend the principles of justice into the economic sphere. We join in the struggle to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have the basic means of survival, access to living wage work, and the right to organize for justice and dignity on the job.
2023 Meeting Dates
Our Team meets monthly via Zoom.
In 2023, our meeting will remain the 2nd Tuesday of each month, but with a new meeting time of 7 p.m.
(No meeting July & December)
To attend our meetings on Zoom:
From your PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android,
click this link:
Or by phone:
1-408.638.0968 or 646.558.8656
Meeting ID – 713-234-7624
Our Main Initiatives for this legislative session:
- Fair Funding for Public Education
- Raise the Wage – Living Wage for All
- Affordable Healthcare for All
“Fight For $15”
- the campaign to raise the minimum wage and help working families
- 20 states raised the minimum wage on January 1, 2021; Pennsylvania was not one of them
- We are working to change that! Our allies include Rep. Patty Kim and Sen. Art Haywood
to link to our Calendar!
We support these bills:
Co-Sponsorship Memoranda Raise the Wage to $15/hr by 2027
SB12 Raise the Wage to $15/hr by 2027
HB272 – Fixing PA Charter School Law to protect kids and taxpayers
HB1167 – Level Up for Equitable School Funding
SB579 – Create a review board to study high cost of prescription drugs
Equitable Funding for PA Public Schools
- PA’s schools are underfunded by $4.4 billion, and our state is ranked 46th in national public school funding.
- Our students experience gross disparities in the allocation of resources in schools, contributing to severe achievement gaps.
- Research shows that education funding has a positive impact on student achievement and career readiness. We believe that education is one of the wisest investments of our tax dollars, so we continue to urge lawmakers to uphold our state constitution and look for new ways to both fairly and adequately fund education in PA.
- We believe PA students should have the economic building blocks necessary for a full and productive life. This includes public schools that finance equitable resources for a quality education.
More About School Funding
In the late 70’s the state provided 54% of school funding. Today that number has dropped to 38%.
Our PA Constitution Article III, Section 14 states: “the General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.” The “educational disparity in PA school districts is as shocking as it is irrefutable.”
Another issue: local school districts are obligated to turn over tuition money to PA Cyber charter schools. Cyber/charters will receive over $1 billion in taxpayer money this year with little oversight. According to former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, the budget cuts to the auditor general’s office
resulted in a staff decrease from 600 down to 375 and it is “physically impossible to complete all the audits”. Sidebar: there are 14 PA charter/cyber schools and they have spent $12.7 mil taxpayer dollars on advertising.
The PA School Funding Lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in September 2021. The suit was filed on behalf of six PA school districts, parents, the Association of Rural and Small SD, and other statewide organizations, alleging that the state’s school funding system violates the PA constitution resulting in significant underfunding and gross disparities in allocations that penalize students in low-wealth districts.
To learn more, visit www.fundourschools.org
Affordable Healthcare for All
Despite improvements to the health care ACA marketplace in PA and Expanded Medicaid, there is a constant struggle for access to affordable quality health care in Pennsylvania. Our ally, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, helps educate us on current problems and current pending legislation.
In 2020, the invasion of Covid-19 showed the need for universal health care. We need to be ready to make calls, visit legislators, and write letters to the editor. Goals: lower the costs of prescription drugs, expand health care to everyone, and ensure it is affordable.
In the News
Check back soon for the latest updates!
More About Our Team
Some “Good Trouble” We’ve Made!
- Successfully opposed Gov. Corbett’s “HealthyPA”
- Helped with advocacy for Expanded Medicaid under Gov. Wolf
- Participated in advocacy that maintained PA’s strong laws preventing payday loans
- Participated in advocacy for “Fight for $15” in Dallas, PA; Delaware County, PA; and Centre County, PA
- Created a 2020 survey of candidates for PA House and Senate on our current issues
Mardys Leeper, UU Church of Delaware County
Tara Stephenson, UU Church of the Lehigh Valley
Anita Mentzer, Unitarian Church of Harrisburg