Op-Ed: Remember to Vote YES!

May 18, election day, is fast approaching. Not only will we be voting for our local elected officials, we will be answering some ballot referendum questions. I have talked about some of these questions before, and I bring them up again as they are that important.

In this election, you will be asked three questions about amending the Constitution: two about how the declaration of emergency is handled and one about racial equality. There is also a ballot referendum about extending low-interest loans from solely volunteer fire companies to paid companies for essential equipment.

Just this past week, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that on June 1, all restaurant and venue capacity mitigations will end.

Wonderful! Hooray! Life is returning to normal. But, did we hear why these dates were selected? Did we see any data proving why he waited until now to lift these orders?

No, we didn’t see any data nor analysis – just the arbitrary announcement from ONE person who doesn’t answer to anyone. Also missing is the announcement of the end of the declaration of emergency. All we have left is the mask mandate, but yet we’re STILL under a state of emergency.

Being under a state of emergency, Gov. Wolf can reinstate the mandates and restrictions at any time for any reason he chooses, even if he doesn’t have a reason. Again, he doesn’t have to consult with anyone to make these one-size-fits-all orders that affect our income, our businesses and our lives.

All of this points to the fact that we MUST restore the balance of power and bring the declaration of emergency into the hands of the Legislature so we have input from everyone.

By voting YES on the ballot questions, you will again have a say in what happens in your area and across the state should any disaster strike us again.

So, please vote YES on the ballot questions about the declaration of emergency!

Contact: Jake Gery, jgery@pasen.gov