A vote for Zoe is a vote for ev­ery child

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

In an elec­tion year of­ten over­shad­owed by di­vi­sive­ness, the YMCA of Greater Brandy­wine is proud to en­dorse a can­di­date who unites, bring­ing to­gether the en­tire com­mu­nity, re­gard­less of party, or even age. A few weeks ago, the Y of Greater Brandy­wine an­nounced our sup­port of Zoe for Pres­i­dent – in 2064. Zoe, a one-yearold tod­dler, em­bod­ies the hopes, dreams, and po­ten­tial of ev­ery sin­gle child in Ch­ester County and we are proud to of­fer her our en­dorse­ment.

There is of­ten a per­cep­tion that as the wealth­i­est county in Penn­syl­va­nia, Ch­ester County does not have chil­dren that need our help. How­ever, this could not be more wrong. Ac­cord­ing to a study from Pub­lic Ci­ti­zens for Youth and Chil­dren, child poverty in Ch­ester County rose by 55% be­tween 2008 and 2014, in­creas­ing a widen­ing gap be­tween those at the high-end and low-end of the in­come spec­trum.

The Y of Greater Brandy­wine is sup­port­ing Zoe as our pres­i­den­tial can­di­date to shine a light on youth de­vel­op­ment is­sues, and specif­i­cally youth in need, right here in Ch­ester County. We be­lieve it is crit­i­cal to truly fo­cus in on all that still needs to be done to en­sure that ev­ery Zoe has the tools he or she needs to be a suc­cess­ful adult or one day run for Pres­i­dent – if they want to.

Zoe’s plat­form in Ch­ester County speaks to some of the ba­sic build­ing blocks for suc­cess­ful youth de­vel­op­ment – foun­da­tional el­e­ments that the Y of Greater Brandy­wine and many other great non-profits fo­cus on ev­ery sin­gle day.

We be­lieve ev­ery child in Ch­ester County needs ac­cess to early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion. More than half of three and four year olds do not at­tend preschool, al­though stud­ies demon­strate this is one of the most crit­i­cal times in their de­vel­op­ment. At the Y of Greater Brandy­wine, we pro­vide early learn­ing pro­grams to over 550 kids in­side and out­side our build­ings ev­ery year at eight lo­ca­tions.

We be­lieve ev­ery child in Ch­ester County needs to have ac­cess to learn­ing all sum­mer long. In Ch­ester County, 1 in 10 kids is home alone in the sum­mer. At the Y of Greater Brandy­wine, we pro­vide sum­mer camp pro­grams to nearly 5,000 chil­dren through our eight branches across the County with a sum­mer camp ex­pe­ri­ence full of ad­ven­ture, learn­ing, and fun. And with our Power Schol­ars Academy™, in 2016, we de­buted a six-week sum­mer pro­gram for stu­dents to not only mit­i­gate sum­mer learn­ing loss in math and read­ing, but to also fos­ter phys­i­cal and so­ciale­mo­tional growth. This pro­gram pro­vided 83 chil­dren in the Ox­ford Area School District with sup­port, meals, field trips, and full fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance.

Ev­ery child in Ch­ester County needs to have a safe place and an en­riched en­vi­ron­ment af­ter school. Ev­ery day, 1 in 4 kids is left un­su­per­vised af­ter school. At the Y of Greater Brandy­wine, we pro­vide af­ter and be­fore school pro­grams to nearly 1,000 chil­dren, pro­vid­ing them with aca­demic in­ter­ven­tion, healthy ac­tiv­i­ties, and en­rich­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties that help to im­prove their grades, in­crease so­cial and emo­tional com­pe­ten­cies, and re­duce risk-tak­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Zoe, and ev­ery child like her, need this sup­port to have the best chance for suc­cess, whether that be for a Pres­i­den­tial bid or any other dreams and as­pi­ra­tions. Denise Day

CEO and Pres­i­dent of the YMCA of Greater Brandy­wine

Pro­gram will make great things hap­pen

To the Edi­tor: Ear­lier this sum­mer, the Penn­syl­va­nia Leg­is­la­ture and I voted to re-open the Key­stone Op­por­tu­nity Zone (KOZ) pro­gram. This is a 10-year tax abate­ment pro­gram ap­plied to spe­cific prop­er­ties that will add sig­nif­i­cant tax in­cen­tives into our re­vi­tal­iza­tion tool­box for the City of Coatesville. With this pow­er­ful tool, we can fi­nally at­tract ma­jor, sus­tain­able in­ter­est from in­vestors and de­velop ar­eas which have been ne­glected for far too long.

Work­ing along­side the Coatesville 2nd Cen­tury Al­liance, I am fully be­hind the effort to se­cure the Key­stone Op­por­tu­nity Zone des­ig­na­tion for our city. Since the pro­gram ap­plies to lo­cal prop­erty taxes, it requires the sup­port of the county, city and school district be­fore it can pro­ceed to the state for fi­nal ap­proval. The Ch­ester County Com­mis­sion­ers have re­cently signed onto the effort, and I am en­cour­ag­ing the Coatesville City Coun­cil and the Coatesville Area School Board to do the same. This is a great op­por­tu­nity for lead­ers in our com­mu­nity to come to­gether to sup­port a sig­nif­i­cant step to­wards the re­vi­tal­iza­tion of Coatesville.

Once our lead­ers have come to­gether to en­dorse this im­por­tant ini­tia­tive, I will do ev­ery­thing in my power to en­sure that the state gov­ern­ment joins our cause and ap­proves our ap­pli­ca­tion to des­ig­nate a Key­stone Op­por­tu­nity Zone for our city!

I am proud of our com­mu­nity and I know that, to­gether, we can make great things hap­pen for Coatesville and all ar­eas of the 74th District.

Harry Lewis, Jr.

State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, 74th leg­isla­tive district of Penn­syl­va­nia

Gun lobby and lawyers get richer

To the Edi­tor: I find the Penn­syl­va­nia leg­is­la­ture on the side of gun com­pa­nies as they are again pass­ing a law al­low­ing gun com­pa­nies to sue cities and towns that en­act gun reg­u­la­tions.

By now, you may know that HB 2258, the spe­cial stand­ing/puni­tive pre­emp­tion bill (or Act 192 re­boot), passed out of the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee. The House could vote on this bill soon, and the Se­nate also has a version pend­ing (SB 1330). De­spite all we know about how bad Act 192 was - lead­ing to law­suits against Philadel­phia, Pitts­burgh, Har­ris­burg, Lan­caster and Lower Me­rion Town­ship, and threats against hun­dreds of other towns across PA - they’re try­ing to bring it back. Why? Who does this law ben­e­fit? Not the towns and cities that have faced law­suits. Not the tax­pay­ers who had to pay to de­fend those law­suits. Not the town­ship res­i­dents who saw good safety mea­sures re­pealed out of fear of law­suits. Only one small group ben­e­fits - lawyers who rep­re­sent the gun groups who sue our cities. This law, sim­ply put, is a gift for the gun lobby and their lawyers.

Zoe’s plat­form in Ch­ester County speaks to some of the ba­sic build­ing blocks for suc­cess­ful youth de­vel­op­ment – foun­da­tional el­e­ments that the Y of Greater Brandy­wine and many other great non-profits fo­cus on ev­ery sin­gle day.

Mary Kane

Ch­ester Springs

Four rea­sons to vote for Katie McGinty

To the Edi­tor: For U.S. Se­nate, I be­lieve Katie McGinty is clearly the bet­ter choice this Novem­ber. She un­der­stands the con­cerns of the peo­ple of Penn­syl­va­nia and will do a bet­ter job rep­re­sent­ing our in­ter­ests. Her op­po­nent Pat Toomey is run­ning many TV and print ads that ob­scure some of his very trou­bling po­si­tions. It’s time to ex­pose them.

On So­cial Se­cu­rity: Toomey has long ad­vo­cated pri­va­tiz­ing So­cial Se­cu­rity. He even led a multi-mil­lion-dol­lar cam­paign to en­cour­age pri­va­ti­za­tion when he was pres­i­dent of Club for Growth, a right-wing or­ga­ni­za­tion that sup­ports poli­cies that help the rich. Pri­va­tiz­ing takes the “Se­cu­rity” out of So­cial Se­cu­rity. McGinty has pledged to de­fend it vig­or­ously.

On Medi­care: Toomey has voted for leg­is­la­tion that would force deep cuts to Medi­care, and raise the el­i­gi­bil­ity age. His own bud­get pro­posal re­placed Medi­care with a voucher pro­gram that would limit the amount of ser­vices re­ceived. McGinty thinks

that se­niors have earned the health­care se­cu­rity of Medi­care and will sup­port this pro­gram in the Se­nate.

On Gun Con­trol: Toomey has an A rat­ing from the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion and voted against clos­ing the ter­ror loop­hole. He op­poses ban­ning as­sault weapons and high-ca­pac­ity mag­a­zines. McGinty be­lieves we need com­mon-sense poli­cies that will help re­duce the num­ber of deaths in this coun­try from gun vi­o­lence.

On Don­ald Trump: Toomey wants to dis­so­ci­ate him­self from Don­ald Trump to ap­peal to moder­ate vot­ers. But he won’t dis­avow Trump for fear of alien­at­ing sup­port­ers of

his own party’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. At this late stage, Toomey still hasn’t taken a stand. Vot­ers de­serve to know. Katie McGinty’s sup­port for the Demo­cratic can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton has been un­equiv­o­cal, and she be­lieves Trump is not fit to serve as our pres­i­dent.

In this elec­tion, there is a clear alternative to Pat Toomey and his sup­port for poli­cies that will hurt Penn­syl­va­ni­ans. On Novem­ber 8, your voice is your vote. Send Katie McGinty to the Se­nate where she’ll work hard for you, not for spe­cial in­ter­ests.

Ch­eryl Bit­tner

Wayne

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