Letter: Climate change a thorny challenge in Harrisburg

Posted 12/2/21

A student who lives in my legislative district recently wrote in to express his views on my work as his representative in state government...He noted climate change as an issue that’s important to him and wondered if I felt the same. I do.

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Letter: Climate change a thorny challenge in Harrisburg

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A student who lives in my legislative district recently wrote in to express his views on my work as his representative in state government. I always appreciate feedback from my constituents on making our community better and applaud this student for his civic engagement and research into the issues. 

He noted climate change as an issue that’s important to him and wondered if I felt the same. I do. I recognize the effect climate change is having on the planet and believe that governments at every level should focus on making us leaders in the clean-energy economy by increasing wind and solar energy and promoting energy efficiency and conservation, a proven way to combat climate change. Unfortunately, the legislation that would help us realize this goal has been rejected by the majority party in Harrisburg. The chairman of the committee in which these bills have been buried has even boasted that he will not allow bills that address climate change and environmental injustice in communities of color to advance. However, I want to note that I will continue to work with my colleagues and advocates to address this concern.

The student also expressed his frustration with the government’s inability to combat poverty. Eradicating poverty is not an easy task due to decades of bad public policy. It’s a challenge I think about daily. I have co-sponsored legislation that would require Pennsylvania to set up a system to track intergenerational poverty and use the data to implement policies and programs to reduce the rate of childhood and adult poverty in Philadelphia and across the state. It’s one among many bills I’m sponsoring or co-sponsoring to address this crisis.

I recently posted a survey on my website for constituents to highlight the issues they believe are most important in our community. The most important issue noted by constituents to date has been crime and safety, so I have focused much of my legislation on that. I encourage all residents of my legislative district to visit pahouse.com/Kinsey and take this survey, share your ideas on how we can work together to make our communities better for all of us.

State Rep. Stephen Kinsey
D-Philadelphia

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