WE THE PEOPLE is a campaign of, by, and for all the people of Pennsylvania. Our goal is to ensure that everyone can thrive, no matter whether they are Black, brown, or white; native-born or immigrant; Asian or Latinx; poor or rich, and live in cities or suburbs or rural areas. We call for decisive leadership and bold action from state lawmakers to keep our families safe today—and to build a stronger, healthier, and more just future..
We launch our 2020 campaign under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic afflicting our state and country, the resulting economic recession, and the protests of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others in an long exhausting list of victims of police violence. WE THE PEOPLE—Black and white, Latinx and Asian, native-born and immigrant—are working together to protect the lives and health of all Pennsylvanians. And we are standing up together to say that Black Lives Matter.
The pandemic and our efforts to contain it has shown us that no matter what we look like or where we live, how much we have or where we work, we are dependent on one another and on the efforts we make together to stay safe, go to a doctor when sick, and provide our families with the necessities of life. There will be no real recovery from economic distress unless it is a just recovery that generates prosperity by focusing first on people with low and moderate incomes and small community-based businesses.
It’s time for WE THE PEOPLE to embrace a new path forward for all Pennsylvanians. Here we state our core goals. Elsewhere we provide detailed policy prescriptions.
Because some politicians have tried to divide us, too many of us have ignored how many people work long hours for wages that don’t allow them to support their families. Now it’s impossible to ignore the frontline workers in hospitals, grocery stores, and farms—who are more likely to be Black, brown, or immigrants—who do not receive fair wages or the protective equipment they need. Nor can we ignore the small, community-based businesses that are suffering and need both help from the government and customers who can afford to purchase what they produce and sell. So WE THE PEOPLE GO TOGETHER not just to protect and reward frontline workers during this crisis, but to ensure that everyone—with no exceptions—can secure a fair return on their work and give their kids a better life in the future.
Because politicians have set some of us against others, we have not come together to insist that every child—regardless of their income level, their learning styles or abilities, the color of their skin or nation of origin—can secure an education that excites and stimulates them and that prepares them to make the most of their lives, not just to benefit themselves but all of us. The pandemic has made it impossible to ignore the stark economic and racial inequality in our schools and the differences in the computer equipment, technical support, and number and quality of teachers available to members of different communities. So WE THE PEOPLE GO TOGETHER IN support of providing every child and every school the means to continue receiving education during the crisis and ensuring an equal education for all once it ends.
Some politicians have encouraged us to ignore our common vulnerability to illness and disease so they don’t have to ensure that everyone, no matter their race, income, or immigrant status, can go to a well-trained doctor or a hospital with the best equipment. COVID-19 has made it impossible to ignore that some of us are struggling to get tested or see doctors. And it has reminded us that we are all better off when all of us, regardless of where we live or where we came from, can get the care we need. So WE THE PEOPLE GO TOGETHER to ensure that everyone can secure testing and treatment for COVID-10 and receive quality, affordable health care in the future.
Some politicians have lifted up developers and builders while setting communities against one another. Too often we forget that some people can easily find affordable homes while those with low and moderate incomes, as well as many people of color and immigrants, both documented and undocumented, spend too large a share of their income to put a roof over their head. The current crisis is showing how many of us are just one disaster away from homelessness. So WE THE PEOPLE GO TOGETHER in protecting both homeowners and renters during this crisis and beyond.
We have let some politicians split us from one another so they can cut taxes for the rich and corporations again and again even though that does nothing to create jobs, increase investment, or foster growth. Our tax system asks working people to pay too much—especially those who are Black, brown, or immigrants, both documented and undocumented—and lets corporations and the rich pay too little. That’s not only unfair but it prevents us from raising the funds we need to invest in our future. The response to the COVID-19 disaster reveals similar inequities as too much relief funding is going to large corporations and too little to small businesses and working people. So WE THE PEOPLE GO TOGETHER TO provide everyone with the economic support they need right now and to ensure that everyone pays their fair share for our common needs.
The murder of George Floyd has reminded all of us of something that Black and brown people know in their bones and the rest (of us) have shamefully ignored for too long: police violence is endemic and disproportionately affects the lives of Black and brown people. Some politicians use the threat of crime to divide us and justify rapidly growing police forces as they cut the critical services we have identified. They create police forces that engage marginalized people as threats, and too often injure and kill Black and brown people, people who are experiencing homelessness; people experiencing trauma; and people living with developmental, physical, or mental disabilities. So WE THE PEOPLE GO TOGETHER in the belief that the safest communities are not those with the most police but those that have the most resources. We are committed to ensuring that Black Lives Matter.
For too long, we have allowed some politicians to make our very democracy an object of division because they know that when every voice is heard and every vote is counted, the power of WE THE PEOPLE will overwhelm the money of their corporate sponsors. So WE THE PEOPLE GO TOGETHER to eliminate the barriers that prevent everyone—especially Black and brown people and those with low incomes—from playing a role in shaping our government now and in the future.