Sappey campaigning to end Harrisburg gridlock
● By Richard Gaw
On a campaign that is focused on growth economy, responsible budgets, public education funding, environmental protection, women's rights, healthcare and gun legislation, Democrat Christina Sappey is challenging Republican incumbent Eric Roe to become the next State Representative for the 158th District, which will be determined in an election on Nov. 6.
A 25-year resident of Chester County and the mother of three children who attended the Downingtown School District, Sappey is campaigning on the promise to bring an end to what she refers to on her website as political “gridlock, ineffectiveness and polarization” in Harrisburg. Defining herself as a “compassionate moderate,” Sappey is not new to state politics. She has served as Chief of Staff to former State Rep. Barbara McIlvaine Smith (D156), as Director of Legislative Initiatives to State Sen. Andy Dinniman (D19), and most recently, as Chief of Staff to State Rep. Carolyn Comitta (D156).
As stated on her website, Sappey believes that a budget is representative of an elected official's priorities, and she will work to ensure that education and environmental protection are properly funded and implemented.
Here is a brief summary of where Sappey stands on key issues:
Sappey is running to stop irresponsible government budget cycles and spending.
Believing that a strong, reliable economy helps create jobs, Sappey said she will work to ensure that Pennsylvania is an attractive place to grow businesses that create self-sustaining jobs. With focus on the millennial generation – who she wrote will comprise 75 percent of the workforce in less than ten years – Sappey wants to supplement job growth with training and retention of talent.
In addition, Sappey wants to leverage robotic process automation (RPA) and machine learning to streamline government processes, and bring innovation, tech, and green businesses to Chester County, while preserving and supporting the agricultural industry.
Endorsed by the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, Sappey supports the partnership of schools and local businesses to create job-ready vocational training programs for students at secondary and higher-educational levels.
Sappey wants to uphold the environmental protections mandated in the Pennsylvania State Constitution, to ensure that future generations will inherit a safe, healthy environment. She supports a science-based environmental policy, and stands for funding the Department of Environmental Protection, which she said has been critically underfunded for decades.
Sappey wants to enact a gas severance tax, champion renewable energy support policies that champion and incentivize renewable energy production, distribution, and research throughout Pennsylvania; curb plastic pollution by limiting plastic bags and single-use plastics; and promote open space preservation.
An advocate of public transportation, Sappey believes that funding the maintenance and infrastructure for public transportation and multi-modal transportation throughout Pennsylvania is critical in decreasing fossil fuels.
Endorsed by End Citizens United, Sappey supports fair-districting legislation at the state and national level, and also wants to stop irresponsible government budget cycles and spending. If the legislature does not pass a budget on time, Sappey believes that legislators should not be paid, and if elected, she has pledged to forego perks such as per diems, gifts, and a state car. She will also work towards campaign finance reform.
Gun Violence Prevention
While believing that the Second Amendment should be protected, Sappey said that “we must work together to re-interpret the intent of the founding fathers by balancing it with the reality of technology in the 21st Century.”
A Moms Demand Action Gun Sense candidate, Sappey supports common sense gun violence prevention legislation; implementing and enforcing stronger background checks; ensuring that domestic abusers and stalkers cannot get access to guns; closing the gun show loophole; creating mandatory waiting periods for gun purchases; raising the gun purchasing age; and banning assault-style weapons for civilians, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines.
Believing that healthcare is a universal human right, Sappey believes that pre-existing conditions should not exclude someone from receiving healthcare coverage. If elected, she will work to lower costs for small and mid-sized businesses, so that pre-existing conditions and mental healthcare support are affordable coverage options for businesses to offer.
Sappey also wants to enact a proactive, holistic, and compassionate approach that incorporates mental health conversations earlier in life, and to ensure that families and healthcare providers have the tools to do this.
Believing that the Trump Administration’s immigration policies are adversely affecting immigrant families in the 158th District, Sappey supports the idea that individuals, children, and families, if detained, should be treated humanely and given due process.
Sappey believes that government should not interfere or be involved in women's personal healthcare decisions. In a July editorial in the Daily Local, Sappey wrote, “Until we end domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, incest, life-threatening genetic disorders, improper sex education, and high-poverty rates among women and families, women will be forced to confront pregnancies not of their own choosing. If we want to end abortion, we have to address and solve the above injustices that women face. Making abortion illegal will not stop it from happening.
“It is also critical to understand that if we ban legal abortion and offer no financial, health, family, emotional, and educational assistance to those forced to carry an unintended pregnancy, we put lives at significant risk. Without a commitment to holistically support the child, mother, and family after birth, it is imperative that government stay out of these extremely personal decisions.”
Home: West Bradford
Family: Husband, three children
Note: Candidate Sappey did not respond to a request by the Chester County Press for a personal interview, for this article.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.