Activity by Progressive/Democratic-Aligned Groups in Pennsylvania

• "America Votes Pennsylvania operates in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and has worked in the state since 2003."

Pennsylvania Voice, part of the State Voices network, is a statewide partnership of nonpartisan organizations committed to engaging and empowering underrepresented communities in the democratic process.

Executive Director  Erin Casey

• Pennsylvania is one of twelve states targeted by SwingLeft as part of its Super State Strategy.

Our primary objectives in Pennsylvania are to: 1) win the state’s 20 Electoral College votes and 2) break Republican control of the state legislature by flipping one or both chambers.

In the state Senate, we are currently targeting five districts—four GOP-held seats and one Democratic hold. With only half of the chamber up for election in 2020, our Senate targets are scattered across the state, including Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, and the Philadelphia suburbs.

In the state House, we are currently targeting 16 districts—13 GOP-held seats and three Democratic holds. Eleven seats are located in Southeast Pennsylvania, close to the Philadelphia metro area and surrounding regions. The remaining five targets are located near Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre, and the Pittsburgh suburbs.

4 Seats needed to flip the state senate
9 Seats needed to flip the state house
20 Electoral College votes

SD-9: John Kane
SD-13: Janet Diaz
SD-15: George Scott
SD-37: Pam Iovino
SD-49: Julie Slomski

HD-18: Harold Hayes
HD-26: Paul Friel
HD-29: Marlene Katz
HD-30: Lissa Geiger Shulman
HD-44: Michele Knoll
HD-53: Steve Malagari
HD-105: Brittney Rodas
HD-106: Lindsay Drew
HD-119: Gerald Mullery
HD-143: Wendy Ullman
HD-144: Gary Spillane
HD-151: Jonathan Kassa
HD-152: Nancy Guenst
HD-160: Anton Andrew
HD-168: Deb Ciamacca
HD-178: Ann Marie Mitchell

$7.25 minimum hourly wage in Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State Legislature hasn’t passed a minimum wage increase in over a decade, leaving hourly workers at the federal minimum wage of $7.25. In several consecutive legislative sessions, GOP-led committees have blocked bills that would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by the year 2024. In January 2020, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf proposed a minimum wage increase for the 6th time.

12,537 drilled unconventional wells in Pennsylvania: Oil fracking wells concentrated in and around Pittsburgh were criticized for a possible link to a spike in cases of rare childhood cancers in 2019. The fracking process uses roughly 700 types of chemicals—and many known carcinogens—and is a cause of pollution in the southwest portion of the state.

699,000 Pennsylvanians without health insurance: Even after Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in 2015, well over half a million residents remain uninsured in the Keystone State, even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Pennsylvanians are more likely to report difficulty paying for medical bills (36%) compared to the general public (26%).

What's at stake facts updated June 2020

Pennsylvania was one of four states where Priorities USA established an on-the-ground presence from July 2019 to July 1, 2020.

Priorities USA
July 18, 2019

Priorities USA Launches Priorities Pennsylvania

Priorities USA is coming to Pennsylvania with the launch of Priorities Pennsylvania and a new battleground state communications program. As part of the group’s initial $100 million investment in key states, Priorities Pennsylvania will leverage integrated press and digital communications operations to localize Trump policies, push back against his false narratives, and reach Pennsylvania voters on the various platforms where they’re getting their news and information.

Leveraging in-state staff expertise, the Pennsylvania team will collect stories from Pennsylvanians who have felt the negative impacts of living under Trump’s economy. The team will work with in-state media to amplify what it’s like to live in the state in Trump’s America. The team will also coordinate with local organizations to create and share original content to reach voters where they’re getting their news, information, and making social connections. Work on the ground will also serve to support and inform Priorities’ national paid media program, informing messaging and creative.

“Since coming into office, Trump has been presenting a narrative that does not pass the sniff test with voters here in Pennsylvania,” said Guy Cecil, Chairman of Priorities USA. “He loves to brag about his ‘wins’ and how great the economy is doing, while people across this state continue to hurt. Faced with rising health care costs, wages that aren’t keeping up with the cost of living, and layoffs, the Pennsylvania that most people are experiencing isn’t reflected in Trump’s tweets. Pennsylvania will be a crucial state in 2020, and our hope is to show what life under a Trump administration really looks and feels like for millions of people.”

A snapshot of how Trump’s economy is failing families in Pennsylvania:

  • Pennsylvania is the 48th worst state for low-income earners and 47th worst state for moderate-income earners.
  • Nonpartisan experts expect Trump’s trade policies to cost nearly 400,000 jobs nationally, with Pennsylvania losing more than 14,000 jobs.
  • Health care premiums increased over 30% in Pennsylvania thanks to the Trump administration’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act.
The Priorities Pennsylvania team bringing light to these issues will include:

Jack Doyle, serving as the Pennsylvania Outreach Director. Jack will work with local media and influencers and allied organizations to tell the real story about the negative impact Trump’s policies are having on the citizens of Pennsylvania. Before joining Priorities, Jack worked at A|L Media, advising campaigns across the country on messaging and strategy, and in Edelman’s New York office, where he worked with the world’s leading companies to tell their stories of innovation.

Nandi O’Connor, serving as Content Producer. Nandi will work to collect and capture stories of real people who feel the effect of Trump’s policies, working with organizations on the ground to make sure those stories reach voters across channels. Previously, Nandi served as Policy and Digital Content Manager in the Office of Mayor Jim Kenney in Philadelphia, where she helped launch a behavioral science unit, developed communications strategies for policy initiatives, and created accessible digital content for residents. Prior to that, she worked on Mayor Kenney’s successful 2015 campaign and the field organizing team for OFA in 2012.

This program comes as part of Priorities USA’s transition into the 2020 presidential cycle. This also includes a new program to provide partners with in-depth modeling, targeting, and opinion research for digital, TV, mail and field programs; continued efforts to train progressive operatives in understanding, planning, and executing digital campaigns; as well as a strong focus on both persuading moveable voters and mobilizing the Democratic base.