Mark Smith For PA
Lieutenant Governor in PA http://www.marksmithforpa.com/
P.O. Box 148
Primary Election Date: 2014-05-20 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
In 2008, at age 29, I became the youngest Chairman of the Bradford County Commissioners in history. I am now serving my second term as Commissioner, having been re-elected in 2011.
In this reliably Republican county, I am one of only two Democrats ever to hold the position of Chairman.
I served as Chairman for four years, overseeing enormous economic development and job growth along with important government modernization and reform initiatives.
As Bradford County became the number one county in the state for Marcellus Shale development, I became a recognized expert on the state, regional and local impacts of natural gas industry. I have been a strong supporter of a severance tax.
Since 2010, I have been an outspoken critic of the Corbett Administration and Department of Environmental Protection's failures to properly engage with county and local leaders on the oversight and regulation of the natural gas industry.
As Chairman, I passed four balanced budgets, refinanced the county's debt and revamped the county's energy usage and efficiency policies, saving taxpayers millions.
Why am I running?
I am running for Lieutenant Governor to represent the people of Pennsylvania. Tom Corbett and his Administration have wreaked havoc on our environment, job growth and our public school systems.
Under Tom Corbett's watch, Pennsylvania has slipped to 48th in job creation in the nation. I could no longer sit back and watch my state suffer under the current administration.
Being from the heaviest drilled in county in the State of Pennsylvania, I know first hand how the gas industry has affected our state. When Tom Corbett appointed his Marcellus Shale Commission, he appointed a billionaire from Florida, but not one Republican or Democrat from our county. This is not real representation. It was time for our voices to be heard.
Lastly, I grew up on the harder side of life. Raised by a single parent in a trailer in the countryside, my father had to raise me and my three sisters on a shoestring budget. We survived by going to the food bank every week, receiving the free school lunch, and relying on our communities and government for support. As democrats we lead by picking people up, not by leaving them behind. The current administration has left so many of our children and families behind. I could no longer stand by and watch so many children who grew up like me get ignored and disregarded.
When elected, my top three policy goals will be creating long-term, sustainable, middle class jobs, refunding our public education system, and correctly taxing the natural gas industry in the State of Pennsylvania with a severance tax.
In 2007, I was elected the Chair of the Bradford County Commissioners. In the four years of being Chair, I oversaw an enormous amount of job growth and economic development. With my leadership, Bradford County's private sector employment increased 15% while statewide and national employment decreased by 2% and 4%, respectively.
Growing up, public education didn't only mean a good education, it meant receiving a warm meal and support from my teachers. For children that grew up like me, public education is a necessary outlet. My teachers, who I am still friends with today, made the difference in my life and pushed me to excel. We need to be sure that we aren't leaving our children behind. When I get elected, I will fight for every child to make sure they have the same opportunities that I had.
I stood beside Governor Rendell when he first introduced a severance tax on the natural gas industry. Since then, I have been an outspoken advocate for properly taxing companies who are drilling for natural gas in our state. I have also been an outspoken critic of the Corbett Administration's failed leadership on protecting our environment and not allowing our local communities have a voice when regulating the industry.
My DFA Values
So far, my campaign for Lieutenant Governor has received fourteen labor union endorsements as well as endorsements from state, county, and local officials. I have built my campaign from the ground up with support from communities across our commonwealth. Tom Corbett has often bypassed the voices of our communities to further his agenda. I will not do that. I will involve our local communities in every decision I make as Lieutenant Governor and I'm looking forward to working with them more throughout my campaign.
Security is one of the pillars of my campaign. When I was growing up, my father raised me and my three sisters on $22,000 a year. We did not have economic security. I have and will continue to be a voice for families who struggle to put food on the table every night. We need to be creating good, middle class jobs here in Pennsylvania that provide economic security for our families and future generations to come.
In the last few years, we have seen attacks on one of our most basic liberties: the right to choose. Across the nation we've seen legislation that attacks a women's right to make her own healthcare decisions. I believe that as a male political leader, I do not have the right to attack a woman's liberty by taking away a choice she makes between her family, doctor, and herself. I am pro-choice and protecting a woman's right to choose is a platform of my campaign.
My Campaign is People Powered!
When I first started my campaign for Lieutenant Governor, one of the first speeches I gave was in front of the Montgomery County Chapter of Democracy for America. Since then, I have spoken in front of dozens of progressive organizations around the state and I'm looking forward to speaking in front of dozens more. From LGBT organizations like the Liberty City Democrats in Philadelphia to progressives attending the PA Progressive Summit, I plan on bringing my message to as many progressives as possible.
Also, I have the endorsement of fourteen labor unions from around the state. From the Ironworkers in Philadelphia, electricians in Williamsport, to the Building Trades in the Lehigh Valley, I am proud to have the support of so many progressive labor organizations.
I am a proud progressive and when I win in May and November, I will bring our progressive values to the Office of Lieutenant Governor.