Dr. John Elliot Churchville is founder of Philadelphia’s Freedom Library Day School, he’s a long-time Civil Rights leader, former SNCC organizer, and current Germantown activist.
DARING TO ELECT PENNSYLVANIA’S NEXT GOVERNOR
by John Elliott Churchville
If you’re at all like me—one who considers yourself to be farther to the left than most people who call themselves “progressives”—then you may be as surprised as I was when I decided to actively engage in the work of helping to determine who PA’s next Governor will be. I was surprised by my decision because I have always taken a “purist” position: I wouldn’t engage in any political struggle on any candidate’s behalf whose platform did not advocate liberation of the oppressed, economic justice for the poor and global citizenship rights for women everywhere. I have been so engaged in local neighborhood struggles that build capacity for community empowerment to put an end to the taking of land by ruthless investors that I almost lost sight of the fact that the exploitative policies that cause blight in our communities are made in Harrisburg. And it was this very practical realization that has caused me to roll up my sleeves and join the progressive political struggle that is required to put someone in the Governor’s office who will honestly discuss and take positions on some of the issues that immediately affect the lives and wellbeing of the people I care about the most—the last, least and lost among us.
There is one candidate running for Governor who has taken progressive positions on six of the fundamental issues that affect the lives of poor, working and middle class people in Pennsylvania. That candidate is John Hanger who once headed the PA Department of Environmental Protection.
Hanger has taken strong positions on education, health care, clean energy, economic growth, freedom and environmental protection. John articulates his belief that education in PA must be kept public and not given away to non-performing charter schools. He’s advocating that Medicare be expanded and insurance exchanges be set up in PA. He’s arguing that clean, renewable energy and the passing of a reasonable natural gas drilling tax must go hand in hand. He’s also put forward a rational 6-point plan for economic growth that does not exclude the last, least and lost of us. He has boldly declared that freedom and liberty include marriage equality for all couples. Finally, he has made it clear that all of these issues must be built on the foundation of economic justice—a Commonwealth that provides equal environmental protection for all.
One final note: John Hanger is not connected to Wall Street—something that not every other candidate for Governor can truthfully claim. So, whether or not you’re at all like me, take a long, hard, close, serious look at John Hanger and let your conscience be your guide.