2018 - Melissa Shusterman for PA House 157
Melissa Shusterman is a 4th-generation resident of the greater Phoenixville area, currently residing in Schuylkill Township with her husband Hans, son Paris, and beloved Shih Tzu, Zoey. While raising her son as a single mother, she founded her own business, Fedora Media. Fedora Media is a digital video production company that provides high quality digital video for various devices and platforms. Prior to founding Fedora Media, Melissa worked for several start-ups and national media companies such as The Food Network, VH1, fx, HGTV, MTV, QVC and fuse network. She is very active in her community and with local charities.
Melissa is not a career politician, rather she's a passionate citizen who loves her community and is fed up with the political gridlock in Harrisburg. As Representative, Melissa will fight to protect our seniors, put Pennsylvania on the path to fiscal responsibility, and put an end to the Keystone tests. Melissa has the business and life experience, commitment to our community, and new ideas needed to make an effective, no-nonsense legislator who will make our district and state a better place. She'll fight for us because she is one of us. Melissa will not be pushed around by party leaders or special interests. Instead she will listen to our community and her conscience. Throughout her campaign Melissa will engage in lively dialogue across our district to ensure our concerns are heard.
It is paramount that we, as Pennsylvanians, take responsibility for our future by practicing fiscal management and common sense budgeting. In the last six years our credit rating has been downgraded five times and is threatened to be downgraded again. Due to reckless governing by our current politicians, Pennsylvania has one of the lowest ratings in the United States and, as a result, has to pay higher interest. We need to hold our current politicians accountable and bridge the budget gap to make sure we are not leaving our children to deal with our state’s enormous deficit.
Our children do not need to waste valuable instructional time preparing for and taking expensive tests that don’t address how the child can specifically excel in the classroom. Students in grades 4-8 spend 6 days on standardized test prep and test taking. High schoolers spend ten days on the Keystone tests. High school juniors already take the PSAT, SAT, some take AP tests, the ACTs, PSSAs, and finally the Keystones. Some schools spend up to a month preparing students for the exam. We can do better for our children.
THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
A recent report by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration on heroin and opioid related hospital admissions in Pennsylvania shows overdoses have quadrupled since 2010, and fatal overdoses rose 37% in 2016. (citing Philly.com goo.gl/XD5cd4) This crisis is having a devastating impact on our Pennsylvania families and communities. As a state we need to do everything we can to fight this disease. It’s time to focus on prevention, treatment, recovery, as well as criminal justice reform.
DIGNITY FOR OUR SENIORS
As Americans it is our duty to protect the men and women who have shaped and built our community and country. Currently, Pennsylvanian seniors are facing increasing cuts to Medicaid that will drastically reduce their standard of living. It is vital that we engage, support, and protect the senior citizen community in our district. They deserve to live with dignity.
Pennsylvania is the only major gas producing state that does not have a severance tax. A severance tax could bring in millions of dollars. Severance tax is putting common sense before politics.
Gerrymandering is a bipartisan issue that has hurt democracy and disproportionately targeted minorities. Political laziness and expediency has prevented the issue of gerrymandering from being solved. When a political party has the power to draw the lines that decide their own fate there is no longer a true democracy. These borders are tactically drawn in order to make state house races less competitive. In order to make as many districts safe or easy for a party to win, legislatures often pack as many voters from the opposing party into as few districts as possible. This limits the opposing party’s power throughout the government. In the end, this can lead to a one-party dominated legislature that does not reflect the will of the people.