Michael Blichar Jr. your democratic candidate for State Representative in the 187th Legislative District of Pennsylvania and running for election on November 6, 2018.
Michael Blichar Jr., born in Lehigh County was raised in rural Pennsylvania to a working-class family. Michael has always had a passion for effective government that works for all people and went on to graduate from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He is a current and proud resident of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, where he has spent time engaging with local and regional communities to bring progressive issues to the forefront. Michael is a fervent advocate for LGBT rights as a member of the community, as well as voter rights, healthcare, & education. Michael has felt that the voices and concerns of the people of the 187th District have been too often ignored largely due to party politics. He believes that the people should be the most important stakeholders in politics, not the political establishment. It’s time to put government back in the hands of the people
Michael is a progressive leader in his community and the region having advocated on various issues including LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, sexual assault prevention, and voter education. Currently he serves on the Kutztown Borough Planning Commission, he is a precinct committee person on the Berks County Democratic Committee and serves as a leader with the national It’s On Us campaign founded by President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden.
Michael was also appointed by Governor Tom Wolf to serve as a trustee on the Kutztown University Council of Trustees in 2016 to 2017, where he fought for transgender and DACA students and advocated for more funding for PASSHE in Harrisburg. He also served as a representative to the Joint State Government Commission’s Committee on Student Suicide in Higher Education to inform the state legislature on how students can better be supported in times of crisis.
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Rural communities are dependent on agriculture. Farmers have been the hit the hardest by protectionist trade agendas as foreign countries levy billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs mainly against the American agricultural industry. Pennsylvania and particularly the 187th district is an agricultural-heavy region. I will stand by farmers in our district and support direct financial assistance to them.
It is time to end corruption in the legislature and make it illegal to purchase political influence. The people should be the most important stakeholders in our political system, which is why I will support the passage of the Anti-Corruption Act. The act would set a framework that stops political bribery and fixes our broken elections so that the people, not the political establishment, are in control.
I believe that healthcare is a fundamental right, not a privilege. I support the Medicare for All plan that expands our healthcare system so that everyone has access quality healthcare coverage.
Additionally, I believe that rural communities, like those of the 187th, deserve access to a greater number of health care professionals . Nurse practitioners who are national certified and receive advanced education can provide many great healthcare services, however the outdated and costly requirement of "collaborative agreements" with physicians has only restricted access to care. If elected, I will remove this requirement by supporting the passage of HB 100 that would implement full practice authority, ultimately expanding access to care, especially for our rural communities and patients with Medicaid insurance.
Education is the most important step to ensuring that young people are prepared for a successful future, post-graduation. Too much of classroom time has been spent on preparing for high-stakes standardized testing as the sole measure of student achievement, which is why I support Pennsylvania's Every Student Succeeds Act plan that adds additional measures to tracking progress. There must also be continued support for additional educational options that prepare students for a successful future other than attending college. I will support programs that provide high school students with the opportunity to pursue technical and vocational training.
Additionally, parents should not have to fear for the safety of their students when they send them to school each day and I will support the "Safe2Say" program and legislation that provides grant funding for schools to enhance safety for their students.
Funding for higher education must be a priority, particularly for our state system. Students deserve an affordable and accessible education. I will fight to increase funding for institutions belonging to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and we must also expand debt forgiveness for students who graduate and decide to live and work in Pennsylvania.. Many Americans are also expected to have some level of higher education post high school. I will support the Pennsylvania Promise Proposal that provides tuition free education to qualifying students at community colleges in PA.
Additionally, the transition to college can be a stressful time for many students and it is during this time that students may exhibit signs of anxiety or depression that may require the help of a mental health professional. If elected, I will support the passage of HB 1822, that amends Title 24 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for mental health and suicide prevention plan in higher education.
ELIMINATING PROPERTY TAX
Many Pennsylvanian's, including senior citizens, lose their homes each year because they can no longer afford to pay their increasing property taxes. I support the passage and implementation of the Property Tax Independence Act in order to better support funding for education and business growth and development in the region.
MORE JOBS & HIGHER WAGES
Compared to our neighbors, Pennsylvania is drastically behind in wages. Pennsylvanians deserve livable wages, which is why I will support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. I also support growth of blue collar jobs in the area, as well as investing in education and training that helps workers be more successful.
As a member of the LGBTQ community, I fully support expanding the rights and protections of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians. I will support the passage of a fully inclusive Pennsylvania Fairness Act that bans discrimination based on gender identity and/or sexual orientation. We must also protect our LGBTQ youth by banning the dangerous and harmful practice of conversion therapy and funding initiatives that help homeless LGBTQ youth.
WOMEN’S RIGHTS & GENDER EQUALITY
Women in Pennsylvania are hardworking and make up a significant percentage of the workforce, yet they still only make .76 for every dollar that men make. I will support updating Pennsylvania’s equal pay laws. I also support keeping women in charge of their reproductive choices; we must protect the right to freedom of choice. Additionally, no woman or man should have to choose between their job or taking care of a sick family member and no parent should have to go back to work right after welcoming a newborn baby, which is why I will support mandatory paid leave.
VOTER RIGHTS & GERRYMANDERING
All Americans, no matter where they live, should have to right to vote without barriers. I will support a bill that automatically registers every citizen to vote when they turn 18, unless they opt out. Additionally, voters should be able to elect their representatives fairly without party politics controlling the way elections run. I support ending partisan gerrymandering and believe that a non-partisan independent commission should be tasked with redistricting. If elected I will support the passage of HB 2402, which provides for a Legislative Reapportionment Commission.
ENDING CAMPUS SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Campus sexual violence is a systemic problem in PA and across the US. It is time to not only talk about the issue, but to change the culture and end it once and for all and we are going to need both men and women to be a part of the solution. As a fervent advocate on the issue, I will support the passage of the Pennsylvania It’s On Us legislation and continue to support funding for the It’s On Us grant program to help colleges and universities across PA address this issue.
ADDRESSING GUN VIOLENCE
I am a strong supporter of comprehensive and sensible gun safety legislation to keep people safe, including expanding background checks to purchase guns, "red flag" laws, and updating surrender laws for domestic abusers.
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Michael Blichar Jr for State Representative
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P.O. Box 308
Kutztown, PA 19530
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Important Voter Dates
October 30: Last day to apply for absentee ballot
November 6: Election Day
Events & Appearances
Mondays with Michael
Every Monday at 1PM on Facebook Live
We the People Endorsement Event - Berks County
Wednesday, October 10 at 2PM
Southwest corner of 5th Street & Penn Street, Reading
Text Banking with Michael Blichar & Mark Pinsley (Volunteers Needed)
More details to follow
Get Out the Vote Canvassing Dates (Volunteers Needed)
Saturday October 20 at 12PM
Saturday October 27 at 12PM
Saturday November 3 at 12PM
We the People Endorsement Event - Lehigh Valley
More details to follow
Michael Blichar Jr. & Gary Day Televised Debate
Monday, October 29 at 7PM
Televised on BCTV
Endorsed by the Kutztown Area Democratic Club
Awarded the Gun Sense Candidate Distinction by Moms Demand Action
Endorsed by #VOTEPROCHOICE
Endorsed by Run for Something
Recommended by the Pennsylvania State Education Association
Endorsed by Lehigh Valley for All