Freshman State Rep. Pamela DeLissio kicked off her October town hall meeting series at Roxborough Memorial Hospital this week. Dozens of local residents from the 194th district, which covers Manayunk and much of Roxborough, showed up to get briefed on how government is working in Harrisburg.
“It’s not a logical world up there in Harrisburg,” said DeLissio about her short time in the Legislature.
The Democratic representative vented her frustration about her Republican legislative colleagues who, she says, control the agenda. She added that good ideas are often voted down because they weren’t proposed by GOP members. Also, DeLissio claimed that some legislators often propose laws without any evidence that what they are trying to prevent is actually taking place.
“I always do my homework before making a decision on any issue,” said DeLissio.
The two hot-button topics at the meeting included the privatization of liquor stores and Marcellus Shale drilling. During the discussion of liquor, DeLissio clarified to her constituents that there were different systems dealing with liquor and beer, systems that had been effect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since the repeal of Prohibition.
DeLissio said she would be in favor of selling the state store system as long as the steady revenue stream it provided was unaffected. DeLissio also told constituents that she would like to see proposed amendments to bills that do not get voted on be reported more in the media.
Many attendees were also concerned about the Hydraulic Fracturing or ‘Fracking’ process and how it would affect the water supply of the Delaware Basin and specifically, Philadelphia.
DeLissio shared their concerns saying it’s a resource that should be used responsibly. According to DeLissio, the moratorium against drilling on state land such as state parks and game lands is still in place but could change at any time.
Another issue discussed was the splitting of the Electoral College votes. DeLissio admitted that she did not know how that will be resolved. But it was plain that many Republicans in Pennsylvania who control the state legislature were against the idea.
“It was a very informative experience,” said Sylvia Myers. “It was a great meeting,” said Jack Donovan. “She’s very informed and concerned about her district.”
The next meeting will be held tonight at 7 p.m. tonight at Belmont Hills Community Center in Bala Cynwyd.