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Chester County Press

Roe holds town hall meeting in New Garden

10/03/2017 12:04PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

On Jan. 3, Rep. Eric Roe took the oath of office for his first term in the Pennsylvania House during a ceremony at the Capitol in Harrisburg, beside his wife Alice, his parents and other supporters and local officials.
For the freshman representative, the last nine months have served as a whirlwind of legislation, wrangling, negotiation and compromise, and a seemingly constant juggle between the goings-on in Harrisburg and the needs of his constituents back home. On Sept. 28, Roe took a breather from his rigorous schedule to hold a town hall meeting with 30 local residents at the New Garden Township Building, where he reaffirmed his stance on several issues, including his desire to help overhaul Pennsylvania’s system of property taxation, reform the state’s public pension systems, strengthen education, protect the environment and create jobs.
Roe represents the 158th District, which includes the borough of Avondale and the townships of East Bradford, East Marlborough, London Britain, New Garden, Newlin, West Bradford, West Goshen and West Marlborough.
A topic of concern to many of those in attendance was the need to enact laws that protect Pennsylvania's districts to continue to fall victim to gerrymandering. In April, Roe co-authored Pa. House Bill 722, a bipartisan proposal with Rep. Steve Samuelson – currently in the House State Government Committee -- that aims to enact redistricting reform in Pennsylvania by creating an independent citizens commission in charge of both legislative and congressional redistricting. The commission would include 11 members, selected at random by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State from three pools of qualified candidates.
In Room 117-A in the east wing of the Capitol office in Harrisburg, there is a red button and a green button on Roe's desk, he told the audience, that allows him to vote 'Yes' or 'No' on legislation.
“These decisions are tough,” he said. “I ask myself two questions before I vote that influence everything I do. 'Who do I work for?' and 'What was I hired to do?'
Roe shared with the audience that while the “sausage making” of legislation can sometimes be a slow and painful process in Harrisburg, his new job allows him to engage in the diversity of residents in the 158th District; in particular, the Hispanic population, to whom he taught citizenship classes at La Communidad Hispana in Kennett Square for several years.
“Now I get to work for them,” he said.”
Roe will hold a follow-up town hall meeting at the New Garden Township Building on Oct. 19, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].