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Dems Notes a quarterly newsletter



Spring 2023

School Board Races: Students Above Party 
You are probably already aware of some of the troubling things happening at our school boards, and the efforts of extremist groups like Moms for Liberty to exert control over the educational  experience we offer to our children. Book bannings, homophobic and racist attacks on curriculum and even lawsuits over programs that simply aim to encourage students to be kind and considerate of the perspectives of others.

Unfortunately, our school boards are at risk, extremist candidates who don’t even believe in the value of public education, are running to transform schools into places where anyone who is different is unwelcome, challenging ideas are censored, and extreme conservative ideology trumps educational enrichment. 

School Board races are usually non-partisan affairs. Most candidates cross-file, meaning they appear on both the Democratic and Republican Primary ballots. While plenty of candidates this year are cross-filed, that does not mean that all cross-filed candidates are committed to non-partisan approaches to managing our schools. 

I am proud to report that in several communities across our county, Democratic candidates for school board have put students above party and have teamed up with like-minded candidates, including reasonable Republicans, to run as a slate. These teams include highly qualified individuals who bring a diverse set of skills and expertise. I strongly support the teams that our candidates have joined, and now it is up to us to educate ourselves and our voters on who they should support in our upcoming primary. I encourage everyone to do the following: 
1. Find out who is running for school board in your community by visiting 
2. Talk to your local school board candidates and find out if they are teaming with any Republicans who have cross-filed on the Democratic ballot. 
3. Talk to your friends and neighbors, including Republicans, about who you are supporting for school board and encourage them to vote for our Democratic candidates who have cross-filed on the Republican ballot. 

Together we can protect our schools from extremism and elect School Board members committed to non-partisan collaboration, candidates who put students above party. 


I am so appreciative that I’ve always been able to count on you for help.  Your voices have made a difference in so many things at the County level.  I need your assistance once more.

Since 2009, Cumberland County’s population has grown and there’s been an upsurge in demand for mental health services, yet we’ve received no increase in base state mental health funding for 12 years.   As I write this, we are facing a $2.5 million dollar deficit in the county mental health budget.

Cumberland County held the first of three Town Halls on April 3 to discuss our mental health funding crisis.  The link to the FB live is attached in case you want to watch. So many people testified as to the importance of county-provided mental health services. The loss of those services would create a negative ripple effect for everyone, children, families, adults, schools, county human services, community law enforcement and EMS.

What can you do?  Call your state legislators and let them know how important sustainable mental health funding is to you. Let them know we need state support and dollars to meet the need. Come to the next Town Hall and voice your concerns. Please email or call me with any questions at or 717-240-6156.


During the Winter 2023 State Committee Meeting, The Rural Caucus offered a Deminar that focused on “messaging” and how we can consistently and effectively communicate our Democratic values and belief.  The main presenter was the author of the book Democrats 101 wherein the essence of his message in embodied in the following creed.


  • All people are created equal, that this is America’s fundamental ideal.
  • That America is a democracy, by and for the people: ruled by the Constitution and its interpretations, protected by the Bill of Rights, and inspired by the Declaration of Independence.
  • These founding documents demand Freedom, Justice, and Opportunity for all Americans, in full and equal measure – regardless of who you are, what you believe, or where you live.
  • That the Duty of government is to strive endlessly to make the ideals of Freedom, Justice, and Opportunity a reality for all.
  • That the Purpose of government is to protect our nation, defend our democracy, and to endlessly promote the welfare of each and everyone of us.
  • That fighting for these ideals is our purpose as a political party.

With its gaze upon the 2024 elections, the PA DEMS Rural Caucus held a conference on April 1, 2023 named “Reclaiming our American vision and values – how we can win in 2024 and beyond!”.