The graphic above shows the extraordinary progress we have made in Pennsylvania from six years ago. Long considered a swing state up for grabs, the state currently sends 9 democrats and 8 republicans to the US House of Representatives. Historically, a Democratic governor has fought to hold the line against a Republican state legislature.
Cut to 2022: We flipped a US Senator (and now both PA senators are Democrats), and we took back the PA State House of Representatives. A slim margin, but the culmination of 6 years of ground-level hard work.
Now we have two candidates for a May 16 special election- important to protect or even add to the slim majority of one. We know what is at stake: reproductive rights and voting rights. We know Pennsylvania will continue to be hotly contested as a path to the presidency.
This election will determine which party controls the Pennsylvania State House. On May 16, Republicans will need to win both of the special elections in order to gain control of the State House. Democrats only need to win one of them to keep control.
And that’s why we are turning to you. Voting reminders are especially important for special elections, or really any election that doesn’t occur on the second Tuesday of November in a presidential year. Also confusing – these two special elections are being held on the same day as primaries.
If you haven’t tried phonebanking yet, this is an ideal time. Just try it for 30 minutes! You may be surprised how rewarding it is to talk to like-minded voters who just need a reminder!
More about our Candidate, Heather Boyd
From Pennsylvania Capital Star: The 2010 election, when Democrats lost the U.S. House two years after President Barack Obama’s election, was a wake-up call for Boyd “that everything wasn’t peachy keen,” she said.
Since then, Boyd said, she has volunteered in every election since.
Boyd, a former school director and mother of two students in the Upper Darby School District, said she sees education funding as the most pressing issue for the state Legislature this session following the landmark court decision declaring Pennsylvania’s system of funding public schools unconstitutional.
In addition to Upper Darby, the district includes William Penn School District, where the legal challenge originated. Boyd said that not acting swiftly to remedy the funding system would be a disservice to children across the state.
“I don’t want to lose a whole generation of kids,” Boyd said. “We have to fix that in a way that recognizes that it can’t take 20 years. It has to be now.”
Protecting women’s right to bodily autonomy is Boyd’s paramount reason for running.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that established the right to abortion, the need to fight efforts to restrict reproductive health care in Pennsylvania is more dire than ever, Boyd said.
Boyd said she would also work to protect labor rights and support immigrant communities, including by pursuing legislation to allow people to obtain driver’s licenses regardless of their immigration status.