Pennsylvanians for Representative Cohen

Who am I?

I am a strong progressive Democrat who, in forty years of legislative service has pioneered in many issues--including raising the minimum wage, legalizing same sex marriage, legalizing medical marijuana, having the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact determine that the Presidential candidate with the most popular votes wins the electoral college, establishing a state system of organ donor awareness and responsibility, and establishing district service offices for House members. Politically, I was an early supporter of Howard Dean and Barack Obama for President, and actively opposed the decisions to go to war in Vietnam and Iraq.

Why am I running?

I am running for a 22nd term in the PA legislature (21st full term) because I believe I can continue to work successfully for progressive goals. In this session, at age 64, I have sponsored more than 1600 bills and resolutions, have helped enact a major transportation package, including almost $500 million for mass transit, and led the House effort to pass the broadest state purchasing Buy American bill in PA history. If the elections go favorably, the 2015-2016 legislature can raise the minimum wage to $11.50 or thereabout, legalize both medical marijuana, and same sex marriage. These are all issues that I have pioneered, and my presence will help speed up their realization.

My Goals

As I wrote above, my three top policy goals for 2015 are (1) raising the minimum wage to $11.50 ( with a COLA thereafter) or as close to that as possible, (2) legalizing same sex marriage, and (3) legalizing medical marijuana. Legalizing same sex marriage may be achieved through the federal or Pennsylvania state courts, but raising the minimum wage and legalizing medical marijuana will certainly require state legislative action. These goals can be achieved by informal conversations among legislators, strong public mobilizing, and effective gubernatorial leadership. Numerous public polls show all three to be very popular among the voters of PA.

My DFA Values

I am both the son and brother of presidents of different local community organizations. I believe that we are our bother's keeper, and that all of us have a mutual responsibility to our fellow citizens. Community should not just be a casual phrase: its pursuit should be an integral part of one's life, as it long has been for me.

Security includes following sensible foreign policies abroad that are based on knowledge and respect for others as well as American power. It also includes being able to walk the streets safely at home, with fair laws and sensible understandings of different drugs and the unequal systems of punishment for drug abuse in different communities.

Liberty includes the freedom of self-expression, separation of church and state, and respect for the diversity of opinion and backrounds of Americans. I seek the liberty of each individual to grow to reach his or her potential, and strongly oppose the liberty of the powerful to oppress the weak.

My Campaign is People Powered!

I am seeking the support of the Philly for Change, the DFA affiliate there, of which I have been a member since the days in which it was Philly for Dean and I was Pennsylvania's only elected Dean delegate. I am also seeking, and expect to receive, the support of the PA AFL-CIO (I have already received the support of the Philadelphia Building Trades Council, AFSCME District Council 88, UFCW Local 1776, and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, among others. I intend to have a
comprehensive field organization, to reach out all the Democratic voters in my legislative district.

Voice support


  • Demetrios Karambelas

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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