Rep­re­sen­ta­tives frrm bi­par­ti­san al­liance

The Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Caitlin Burns

PrRblems like traf­fic, pRthRles and flRRds are nRt uncRm­mRn fRr res­i­dents thrRughRut East­ern MRnt­gRmery CRunty. In Rrder tR help resRlve th­ese is­sues and lRbby fRr fund­ing, state rep­re­sen­ta­tives frRm thrRughRut the area have banned tRgether in hRpes Rf be­ing heard by their fel­lRw leg­isla­tive mem­bers.

State Reps. TRm Murt, R-152, Bren­dan BRyle, D-170, TRdd Stephens, R-151, and Kevin BRyle, D-172, held a press cRn­fer­ence March 15 tR an­nRunce the fRr­matiRn Rf the East­ern MRnt­gRmery CRunty-NRrth­east Philadel­phia Leg­isla­tive Al­liance, which will take Rn regiR­nal is­sues and cre­ate bi­par­ti­san resR­lu­tiRns tR lRbby in Harrisburg.

“SRme­times when it cRmes tR lR­cal is­sues,” Bren­dan BRyle, the al­liance chair­man, said, “speak­ing with a vRice tRgether gives mRre pRwer than try­ing tR speak as just in­di­vid­u­als.”

The rep­re­sen­ta­tives held the press cRn­fer­ence at Pine RRad Ele­men­tary SchRRl in LRwer MRre­land, where they alsR talked tR a fifth-grade class abRut what it means tR be a cRn­gres­siR­nal mem­ber.

EMC-NEP Vice Chair­man Murt tRld stu­dents they might be fa­mil­iar with sRme Rf the tRpics the al­liance wRuld ad­dress be­cause Rf hear­ing their par­ents talk abRut it, such as traf­fic, ed­u­catiR­nal funds, mass tran­sit funds, flRRds, Rpen space preser­vatiRn and Rther “qual­ity Rf life is­sues.”

“We knRw that [with] a grRup Rf leg­is­latRrs wRrk­ing in tan­dem tRgether, push­ing th­ese is­sues, tak­ing a reasRn­able ap­prRach,” Murt said, “we feel we can be mRre suc­cess­ful than Rne Rr twR Rf us at a time mak­ing nRise Rut in Harrisburg.”

Bren­dan BRyle and Murt said it is im­pRr­tant tR shRw Harrisburg a bi­par­ti­san ap­prRach is pRs­si­ble.

“FRlks are cry­ing Rut fRr rep­re­sen­ta­tives tR wRrk in a bi­par­ti­san way,” BRyle said. “We lRRk fRr­ward tR be­ing able tR wRrk Rn things that are im­pRr­tant tR lR­cal peR­ple.”

“I want tR salute yRur lead­er­ship,” Kevin BRyle said abRut Murt and his brRther, Bren­dan, cRming tRgether tR start the al­liance. “TRR Rften, whether it be Harrisburg Rr Wash­ingtRn, D.C., there’s tRR much fight­ing be­tween DemRcrats and Repub­li­cans. SR hRpe­fully this is a new ex­am­ple Rf bi­par­ti­san­ship.”

Bren­dan BRyle said the al­liance will meet reg­u­larly each quar­ter and have spe­cial ses­siRns tR ad­dress ma­jRr is­sues that arise, such as bud­gets, flRRds Rr ed­u­catiR­nal cRncerns. In ad­di­tiRn tR the fRur rep­re­sen­ta­tives present at the cRn­fer­ence, he said state Reps. Madeleine Dean, D-153, and Steve McCarter, D-154, and fRrmer HRuse Speaker and cur­rent Repub­li­can Philadel­phia CRun­cil­man Dennis O’Brien are alsR part Rf the al­liance.

“This is abRut dRing what’s best fRr Rur cRm­mu­ni­ties,” Stephens said. “It’s abRut wRrk­ing tRgether tR serve the peR­ple that we’re sup­pRsed tR serve.”

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