Guest Speaker Series

A new feature of our monthly meetings will be our guest speaker series. These will be local residents with expertise and insight into issues that affect our community.

January 7 – Tom Casey – Proposed Sunoco Pipeline in Goshen Township

Tom is director of the Chester County Community Coalition, a local not-for-profit group working to inform residents about Sunoco Pipeline’s quest for public utility status for its Mariner East Project. Construction of this pipeline will run adjacent to East Bradford Township and will include a newly constructed pumping station in West Goshen Township.

February 4 – Kim Slocum – Term Care—Healthcare’s Bermuda Triangle

Kim will be speaking on the benefits of Long Term Health Care, the issues and challenges facing long term health care policy, some of the existing responses and a national-level policy solution. Kim is the author of ‘Consumer Directed Health Care, A 360 Degree View’, and President of KDS Consulting, LLC. His work involves health care policy and strategy and he advises health plans, providers, medical technology firms, and industry trade associations on emerging issues in the field. Mr. Slocum is a Fellow Member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) as well as a former member of the Society’s Board of Directors. He is also the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Texas Health Institute in Austin. He received his BA from the State University of New York at Geneseo and his Master’s in Business Administration from Xavier University. He has addressed audiences such as the National Governors’ Association, the National Lieutenant Governors’ Association, the Deputy Commissioners of the Food and Drug Administration, US Senate Staffers, and several state legislatures.

March 4 – Bret Binder – Brandywine Valley Business Council

Bret will be speaking about the startup business group, Brandywine Valley Business Council, a business group friendlier to Democratic ideals than the Chamber of Commerce, of which he is a co-founder. Bret is also the founder and managing member of Binder & Canno, LLC, a law firm located in East Bradford Township. Before founding his law firm, Bret was law clerk to Justice Sandra Schultz Newman of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He credits his interest in the law to his father, David F. Binder, Esquire (author of “The Hearsay Handbook” and “Binder on Evidence”). He was the Democratic candidate for the 156th District State House in 2012. He frequently hosts Democratic events at Windon Hall, his historic home in East Bradford Township.

Public Information Meeting January 7, 2015 – Pipeline Issues

East and West Bradford Democrats Meeting 7:30 PM January 7, 2015 (first Wednesday each month) Old Schoolhouse 666 Copeland School Road, West Chester, PA

Our meeting on January 7 will feature guest speaker Tom Casey.   Tom is director of the Chester County Community Coalition, a local not-for-profit group working to inform residents about Sunoco Pipeline’s quest for public utility status for its Mariner East Project. Construction of this pipeline will run adjacent to East Bradford Township and will include a newly constructed pumping station in West Goshen Township. Future meetings will include talks by Kim Slocum, author of ‘Consumer Directed Health Care, A 360 Degree View’, on the benefits of Long Term Health Care and Bret Binder of the Brandywine Valley Business Council, a  business group that will be friendlier to Democratic ideals than the Chamber of Commerce. Please feel free to attend and learn about local issues that affect us all. Meetings are on the first Wednesday of each month beginning at 7:30 at the old schoolhouse next to the East Bradford Township Building at 666 Copeland School Road.

Governor Corbett’s Plan for Education – It’s not good for Pennsylvania’s children, parents and teachers!

From the time he took office in early 2011, it’s clear that Tom Corbett had a very different plan for public education that matched the extreme agenda set forth by the Tea Party: starve public education, break teacher unions, kill state pensions, and privatize our schools with a voucher system.

KickOutCorbett

Recognizing that equal education opportunity for all is only possible through a strong public school system, the drafters of the Pennsylvania State Constitution (Article III, Section 12) included a specific mandate requiring the state to provide a “thorough and efficient” public school system. In order to ensure that all are educated equally, it also prohibits funds from being provided to sectarian schools or other schools outside of state control.

One can debate the amount of public education funds cut by the governor and his Republican legislature, but not that school districts have had to or plan to raise property taxes, that 27,000 educators have been laid off, and that tuition at state-related universities has increased dramatically from reduced funding.

Corbett and the Republicans’ Plan for Destroying Public Education

Want to know Tom Corbett’s Plans for Public Education?

Democrats, who care about students, parents and teachers, say NO to these strategies!

Corbett to Legislature: “Cut Public University funding in half!”

Tom Corbett proposed reducing state funding for state-owned and -related universities by 50% in the 2011-2012 budget; he signed into law an 18% cut. The next year he proposed a 20% to 30% cut, and proposed flat-funding them in 2013-2014, despite the growing costs of higher education. Added to this is the Republicans’ refusal at the national level to lower college federal loan rates, which currently earn a huge profit ($51B in 2013, greater than Apple or Exxon Mobil) for the government, while adding overwhelming long-term debt to students.

Democrats, who recognize that higher education is the best ticket to the middle class, and that it drives innovation and keeps the USA competitive, understand that our state colleges and universities deserve more from our governor and legislature.

Keystone Exams – Tom Corbett’s Unfunded Mandate to Public Schools and Taxpayers: WE DON’T WANT IT!

Chester County public schools and school boards are united in opposition to Governor Corbett and his appointed state Board of Education’s requirement that all public high school seniors take three one-size-fits-all exams (initially literature, biology and algebra, with others added later) to qualify to graduate.  Despite the high academic achievement of our area public schools, there are financial, academic and social consequences:

  • School districts will need to pay (without state funding support) to implement the exams
  • They will also need to cover costs for remedial courses for students who do not score proficient in the exams needed to graduate
  • Students required to take remedial courses will have severely curbed access to elective courses that so often serve as the spark for future careers
  • Test preparation robs schools of time and energy that should be focused on classroom instruction; in some districts, the number of calendar days devoted to high-stakes testing will jump 3X to 120; some students take biology in 8th grade, but will need to remember content five years later
  • Some students who would otherwise graduate with a good education are just bad test takers – a single test score does not reflect a student’s knowledge, ability or potential

Even with the graduation requirement, school superintendents can “waive” out up to 10% of students, rendering the exams meaningless (although still required). And private and parochial schools are exempt – is this an attempt to boost vouchers for private schools???

Tom Corbett, with his twisted logic and unconstitutional plans for public education, must go – vote NO to Tom Corbett, November 4th!

 

August Meet & Greet

Thanks to all who came out to our August picnic. Despite weather that did not fully cooperate, we had an enthusiastic crowd to socialize and meet two of our great candidates – Susan Rzucidlo, for the 158th PA legislature seat being vacated by Chris Ross, and Manan Trivedi for the 6th US House of Representatives seat that Jim Gerlach is leaving.