Liz Forrest for State Representative
PA House District 189 in PA http://www.LizForrest.com
Dingmans Ferry, PA
Public Email: [email protected]
Primary Election Date: 2014-05-20 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
A 20-year resident of Delaware Township, I have my own consulting and technology business which provides business management, technology consultation and training to clients in the United States and abroad. Working with clients in the communications, manufacturing, legal services, pharmaceutical, chemical and finance industries, my company also owns the rights to Aspen ipWorkflow, a web-based intellectual property management software package, which I helped design in 2000 for Aspen Grove Inc.
I also served part time as legislative aide to former Rep. John Siptroth in the 189th District from 2005 to 2010, where I worked in a strictly non-partisan capacity with constituents, and advocated on a wide range of issues, including gas drilling, utilities, community development, seniors' concerns, veterans affairs and transportation. I was instrumental in the grant acquisition process for Akenac Park, emergency services equipment for Delaware Township and other county projects.
Originally a native of a small town in Virginia, where community and public service were duties to be revered and not condemned, I later lived for sixteen years in New York City where I worked as a singer, actress and writer, before finding a niche in technology. I possess a BA in History from Old Dominion University and a BA in Music from The College of William & Mary, where I was a member of both Phi Alpha Theta Honorary History Fraternity and Pi Delta Epsilon Honorary Journalism Fraternity.
Why am I running?
Since 2011, Tom Corbett’s conservative agenda has negatively impacted women’s access to affordable healthcare, cancer screenings, contraceptives and family planning. The Corbett administration and Republican dominated legislature have failed to solve the education funding crisis that threatens Pocono school districts; failed to increase minimum wage with paid maternity leave and sick days; failed to increase protection for victims of domestic violence; failed to support more resources for women-owned businesses; and failed to make full wage equality for Pennsylvania women a priority. Women living and working in Monroe and Pike Counties are paid at approximately $0.59 to each dollar earned for similar work by men – when they can find work at all.
There are broad differences between my opponent, incumbent Republican Rosemary Brown, and me. She has supported Tom Corbett’s agenda by voting for cuts to Medicaid, CHIP, Pre-K Education and Planned Parenthood. Until we called her out on it in 2012, she also infamously co-sponsored the “Mandatory Ultrasound” bill. The American Conservative Union rated Rosemary Brown 100% on her votes in 2012 and 80% for her support of conservative legislation last year.
In 2012, Rep. Brown repeated most of her 2010 election promises but failed again to deliver them. Her party has controlled Harrisburg 100% for more than three years, and yet Monroe and Pike Counties have much higher unemployment rates than the rest of Pennsylvania. We are no closer to real school property tax reform or fairer statewide education funding, which are the primary things that would bring relief to struggling taxpayers in the 189th district. Photo ops and publicity stunts without meaningful legislation achieve nothing. Lip service without leadership is useless to us.
FIGHTING FOR JOBS PAYING LIVABLE WAGES
Drawing on high-tech experience, I have a plan to create new, good-paying jobs by establishing Monroe and Pike counties as a world-class hub for technology research and development.. And with Pennsylvania women still earning only 78% (59% by some counts) of what men make for equal work, I will fight to close that gap, providing benefits throughout our local economies.
PROTECTING SCHOOLS AND TAXPAYERS
I will fight to restore and maintain fair public school funding, but will also open a dialogue about needed cost saving changes across the Commonwealth, such as school district consolidation, pension contributions and getting control of “rainy day funds.”
PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
I will work to protect the rights of localities to regulate drilling activities inside their own borders, and prevent irresponsible gas drillers from destroying our water supplies and tourism industry overnight.
My DFA Values
Good jobs, good schools and a clean environment are the bedrock of any community. They provide a place where responsible job creators will seek to relocate; families will want to raise their children who will stay here because they too will have good jobs to go move into after education; the economy provides for a broader tax base that can support seniors, the disable and working poor.
I support Second Amendment rights and its reflection in PA's own constitution, but with the state's cuts to mental illness prevention and treatment; emergency services; police services; and programs for domestic violence prevention, far too many Pennsylvanians feel insecure in their own home or in public places. On August 6, 2013, a mentally unbalance resident of Ross Township in Monroe County walked into his township's public meeting and killed 4 people, and wounded several others. A few weeks ago, another Monroe County man was released from treatment for mental health issues, "acquired" a gun on the same day and killed 4 people. Something has to be done to balance the rights of gun owners and all citizens to live in peace and safety.
I have already committed to supporting legislation that will bring equality to women, minority communities and LGBT, and I will vociferously work against any legislation that seeks to curtail the rights of any group based on the prejudices of others. Economic liberty is prime goal of mine, and to that end I will introduce, co-sponsor and otherwise support a rise in the minimum wage and gender pay equity.
My Campaign is People Powered!
Issues are what engage the progressive grassroots, and we believe that we are the correct side of those issues for progressives. In 2012, we spoke aggressively against Voter ID, Mandatory Ultrasounds, Act 13 and irresponsible development of the natural gas industry. We have spoken out for the rights of women, equitable public school funding, and voting rights for the minority community.
Last week we were proud and pleased to be Keystone Progressive's first female state legislative candidate to be endorsed in the 2014 cycle. Added to the endorsements by Progressive Majority and several trade unions, we believe that they can tap help from their memberships, which will add to our numbers from the Monroe County Progressive Committee, Monroe County Action Team (a spin off of the local OFA), and both Pike and Monroe County Democratic Committees.