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July 25 Playbook: Gen Z Prepares

Gen Z Mobilizes for Midterms; What About Checks and Balances? Arming Teachers in Schools. Lots of Opinions. Here is the Playbook.

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Cake and Candles: Happy birthday to Rep. Marci Mustello (R-Butler) and Rep. Danielle Friel Otten (D-Chester).

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1. Gen Z Mobilizes for Maximum Impact in Midterms

As July gets ready to turn to August, experts are beginning to sound the horn on a new generation of influencers in Pennsylvania politics – Generation Z.

The Keystone State’s high rate of youth voter registration (69 percent) has those in the know ranking Pennsylvania as the top state where youth are poised to have a disproportionately high electoral impact on the 2022 elections.

Gen Z – those born in 1997 and after – are concerned about issues such as the climate, global warming, and protections for women and LGBTQ people. On college campuses, students are turning increasingly progressive and focused on inclusivity and feel that Harrisburg is turning a deaf ear to their issues. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


  • Abortion Fight Strains Democratic Alliance With Gen Z. “A debate is raging inside the Democratic Party about whether it’s giving its base — especially those under 30, the generation that most strongly supports abortion rights — enough motivation to keep voting for the party, as federal Democrats struggle to meaningfully push back against the overturning of Roe v. Wade.” (POLITICO)
  • The Numbers Show Gen Z is Actually the Pro-Choice Generation. “The reality, however, is that younger Americans are far more likely to support abortion rights than not — and are increasingly more likely to do so than older Americans.” (The Hill)


2. Will The Legislature’s Focus on Constitutional Amendments Upset Checks and Balances in Harrisburg?

“This is about raw, partisan, political power.”

The issue – the use of constitutional amendments that cannot be vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf as a process to make the General Assembly the gatekeeper for laws in the Keystone State.

Unlike many western states, Pennsylvania does not have a citizen referendum process that lets voters place legislation on the ballot without the Legislature or governor involved. Instead, PA uses an approach that calls for a proposed amendment to the state Constitution to be passed in two successive sessions of the Legislature before it can be placed on the ballot for voters to reject or approve.

In the current two-year session, 41 resolutions have been introduced to change the Pennsylvania Constitution – 38 by Republicans and three by Democrats. (LNP)


  • Activists Rally Against Amendments to PA Constitution, Luzerne County Code. “One of the things we want to talk about is the attempt by the Pennsylvania GOP to legislate by constitutional amendment, do it late at night when people are sleeping and thinking that their freedoms are secure, and trying to pass an extremely unpopular agenda by sort of bending the rules to their will.” (Standard-Speaker)


3. Mastriano Calls for Arming School Employees to Protect Kids

School employees with a license to carry a firearm would be permitted to carry a weapon at work under legislation introduced by Republican candidate for governor Doug Mastriano.

“I plan to introduce a bill that will allow school employees who possess a valid Pennsylvania concealed carry permit to be armed while on school property,” he wrote in a memo to state Senate colleagues. “An employee who wishes to carry a firearm on school property will also be required to complete a rigorous firearms course from a certified instructor with a signed certificate showing completion of a training and proficiency course for the firearm the employee intends to carry on school grounds.”

If enacted, Pennsylvania would join 29 other states that allow teachers to carry firearms, including Ohio, which enacted its law last month.

Mastriano, the state senator from Franklin County, cited the Crime Prevention Resource Center stat that there has not been a single mass shooting in a school where staff were clearly allowed to carry a firearm as part of his rationale. (PennLive)


Around The Commonwealth

  • While GOP Lawmaker Amplifies Call for Election Reform, State Officials Push Back On Misinformation. Rep. Seth Grove claimed Pa.’s vote-by-mail law is dead; The state’s top election official called it a ‘specious legal theory’
    (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
    • Voting Rights Lawyers Say Latest PA GOP Mail-Voting Challenge is ‘Fueling The Big Lie.’ “Lawyers in the commonwealth who routinely contest GOP challenges to mail voting and attempts to toss ballots say they think the new lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Commonwealth Court, is unserious and legally shaky.” (WHYY)
    • Luzerne County Councilman Proposes Ban on Delivery of Mail Ballot Drop Boxes. “Stephen J. Urban wants to prohibit the use of any county resources to deliver the boxes to any county location unless drop boxes are “explicitly written into” state election law.” (Times Leader)
  • Philly, Pittsburgh Police Departments in Danger of Losing Accreditation.“The Philadelphia Police Department is slated to have its state accreditation revoked in less than a week, largely because it failed to push back on the city’s “Driving Equality Bill,” according to a manager with the accrediting agency. The Pittsburgh Police, due to a similar ordinance, are also at risk of losing their accreditation.” (Broad + Liberty)
  • Wolf Quietly Steers $40 Million to Pitt, PA’s Other State-Related Universities. “Gov. Tom Wolf plans to quietly give Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities including Penn State and Pitt a one-time $40 million boost using stimulus money that he has the sole power to direct. The move follows opponents of abortion access in the state House unsuccessfully attempting to block funding for the schools over Pitt’s research using fetal tissue” (SpotlightPA)
  • Sunday News Shows
    • Pennsylvania Newsmakers: Host Terry Madonna spoke with journalists Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA and Marc Levy of the Associated Press, for a timely update on the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate and Governor’s elections.
    • This Week in Pennsylvania: Host Dennis Owens talked to Democratic state representative Nick Pisciottano.
    • Face The State. Host Joel D. Smith went one-on-one with Republican state representative Seth Grove.


Commentary / Opinion

One Response

  1. Arming teachers is another harebrained GOP MAGA scheme. If assault rifles and hi-capacity magazines were outlawed, that would greatly reduce the threat to schools and let teachers teach.


  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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