ROXBOROUGH — State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio hosted her 87th town hall meeting at the Roxborough YMCA on Thursday, Aug. 22.
The event, held at the Roxborough YMCA, was DeLissio's 87th town hall and featured three speakers that discussed resolutions that would amend the U.S. Constitution.
DeLissio led a panel of presenters who represented an array of political viewpoints involved in the process in calling for a convention to bring about a Constitutional ratification.
Steve Davies, Pa. State Director for the Convention of States Project, addressed the issue of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. John Poole, Community Director for Pa. United to Amend, focused his presentation on the need for campaign finance reform. Micah Sims, Pa. Executive Director of Common Cause, discussed the complexities and pitfalls of trying to bring about a Constitutional Amendment.
The meeting began with Davies discussing fiscal restraints on the government, such as spending. The director spoke about how government spending can lead to issues that may affect future generations.
“We have a lot of problems in this country," Davies said. "We need to focus on our children and grandchildren. What they’re doing is taking money from people who haven’t earned it and spending it," a reference to massive federal deficits that will have to be paid down by future generations. "We need to have a conversation about inter-generational theft. We are creating problems for future generations.”
Davies says the first step to resolving this issue is having a conversation and moving to reverse the actions contributing to the deficits.
“The Supreme Court is not the final say," Davies stressed. "There is no action that cannot be reversed. This effort is about having a conversation about what we should do.”
The event then transitioned into discussing free and fair elections.
“This will be the third session that the free and fair election has been introduced,” said Rep. DeLissio, D-194, who represents parts of Montgomery County and Philadelphia. PA United to Amend Community Director Poole discussed free and fair elections and how important it is to end dark money being transferred throughout Pennsylvania.
“When we talk to legislators they feel stuck DeLissio I realized that there is a ton of national money coming to Philly. There’s ways to amend the constitution.”
The meeting concluded with Common Cause of PA Executive Director Sims discussing his thoughts on amending the constitution.
“Our main thing is holding power accountable. I think getting money out of elections is a huge concern."
While the other speakers agreed on an Article 5 convention, Sims disagreed.
“There’s a wide spectrum of issues that are calling for states to come together. Everything is open at an Article 5 convention. Why don’t we try to invest in everyday people? Pennsylvania could pass a bill.”
Following the presentations, DeLissio and her guest speakers entertained questions and concerns of those attending to allow for a balanced discussion of the issues on the slate. Many in attendance expressed their frustration with lawmakers being unable to break through the web of partisan politics at all levels of government, but still felt a patriotic passion about the rights of citizens to engage their elected officials in a political dialogue. As one person spoke out , "Why should we be afraid of democracy" ??
DeLissio expressed her gratitude for those who came out to participate in one of the fundamentals of the democratic process and encouraged more people to get involved in this sort of grass roots advocacy.
For more information about upcoming town hall meetings and other events related to State Rep. DeLissio, please visit http://www.pahouse.com/DeLissio.