Rick's Priorities

To help ALL people in the 31st District by providing ‘people building’ solutions …


Safer, better public schools

  • Ensure adequate medical staff and disease prevention at all public schools

  • Place more counselors, school psychologists, and childhood trauma experts in all public schools to help with mental health issues and post-graduate preparation

  • Hold all schools that receive public funds, including charters, accountable for the use of taxpayer dollars and for educational outcomes

  • Enact common-sense gun reform (Universal background checks, red flag laws, close the gun show loophole)


Higher state funding for public education and job training

  • Raise state funding to achieve full and fair funding for all public schools regardless of zip code and to enable cuts in property taxes

  • Establish professional certificate programs in all high schools for students in trade and technical programs

  • Increase state support for State System universities to permit a three-year freeze in tuition

  • Adopt a long-term plan to restore State System universities to world-class status

  • Create more community colleges and provide tuition-free associate degree programs


New jobs with family-sustaining wages

  • Raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2021 and $15 an hour over time as the best way to achieve personal economic security and strengthen our economy

  • Invest in infrastructure upgrades from highways and bridges to cyber networks through the Governor’s Restore PA Plan; bridge the digital divide for all now

  • Create “clean energy zones” from brownfield sites, especially in urban areas, to provide jobs in restoration and renewable energy   

  • Raise all public-school teacher salaries to at least $45,000 per year to recognize the importance of the job and recruit the best talent

  • Pursue asset-based community development, providing more affordable housing while strengthening the economy and creating new family-sustaining wage jobs 


 Affordable and accessible health care for all, with enhanced programs for seniors

  • Reduce prescription drug costs:

    • Pass the PA Prescription Drug Affordability Act

    • Urge Congress to enact the Lower Drug Costs Now Act

  • Make mental healthcare a key priority --- Support Gov. Wolf’s ‘Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters,’ initiative

  • Strengthen all women’s access to quality health services; protect all women’s right to make all their own health care decisions

  • Treat all addicts as patients, not criminals

  • Expand paid parental leave, including all public employees in PA

Clean air, water, and land according to the PA Constitution

  • Enforce the provisions of the PA Constitution affirming the right to clean air and water as well as restoring natural resources degraded by industrial use

  • Enact a severance tax on natural gas to provide a return for citizens on the use of their natural resources and to mitigate damage from fracking

  • Over time, convert the PA economy to renewable energy sources, supported by jobs paying family sustaining wages

 A “New Birth of Freedom and Democracy” = “Government for ALL the People”

  • Return civility to politics and public policy-making

  • Make government a catalyst and facilitator of community-based partnerships (government, business, non-profit, academia, and the public)

  • Strengthen citizen participation in elections and government --- put the public back in public service

  • Increase transparency in government; reduce the role of money in politics; ban all gifts to legislators  

  • Establish an independent and non-partisan citizen redistricting commission --- ensure transparency, public input and clear, enforceable criteria for redistricting


I also pledge to ask this about every government decision, “How will this affect all our children … and their children? “






                                                               Rick Coplen

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