Frequently Asked Questions

Where does Danielle Friel Otten stand on the issues that matter to you?

ANIMAL RIGHTS

What is Danielle’s stance on animal welfare and humane treatment?  
Danielle will work to advance anti-cruelty bills in the state legislature. She supports Humane PA’s goal of eliminating animal cruelty and shares their view that animals and those who love them deserve a voice in Harrisburg and protection from the special interests that have fought to block anti-cruelty legislation.

CHILDREN’S ISSUES

How would Danielle help children in PA?
Danielle will serve as an advocate for hardworking families, children and senior citizens who are being squeezed by the rising cost of healthcare, childcare, and property taxes. She will work for strong public schools, workforce development, and family-sustaining jobs.

What would Danielle do to address human trafficking and sex trafficking in the state of PA?
Danielle believes that we must do everything we can to help and protect these most vulnerable victims. Danielle supports House Bill 2289, known as “Safe Harbor Legislation,” which unanimously passed the PA Senate in the spring of 2018 as SB 554. The bill has strong bipartisan support in the PA House, but is being blocked by Republican Speaker Mike Turzai.

ECONOMY / JOBS

How will Danielle approach the state budget?
Danielle believes it is the responsibility of our legislators to deliver a fiscally responsible, fair budget. Ever since the GOP took control of the Pennsylvania State House, our state has had 6 credit downgrades, costing taxpayers more than $100 million each year. She will work to create budgets based on sustainable revenue sources and place the best interests of the citizens of our Commonwealth above loopholes or tax giveaways for big corporations or the wealthiest 1 percent.

Does Danielle have a plan for job creation?
Danielle will work to create new jobs by investing in green jobs, clean-job training, and green-skills upgrade training to create family-sustaining careers at all skill and education levels.

Danielle also believes in investing in our infrastructure, including improvements to roads, public transportation, and communications networks, creating thousands of new, well-paying jobs and improving Pennsylvanians’ quality of life and access to employment centers.

Does Danielle support raising the minimum wage?
Danielle wants to make sure working and middle-class families are not left behind. She wants to increase the minimum wage, restore the 40-hour work week, help people join unions, and guarantee everyone can earn sick time. She supports the http://WeThePeoplePa.org pledge.

EDUCATION

What is Danielle’s position on Charter Schools?
Danielle believes it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that every child receives a first-rate education. She supports parents in their decision to select the best educational environment for their children; however, she believes our legislature must hold charter schools accountable to the same standards for performance and fiscal transparency that public schools are required to meet.

Danielle will work to fix Pennsylvania’s flawed charter school funding formula, which currently redirects public tax dollars from neighborhood public schools to charter schools—including for-profit charter management companies—without demanding an accounting of how that money is spent, or what the outcomes are for our students.

What is Danielle’s position on public school funding?
Danielle believes that Pennsylvania’s over-reliance on local property taxes for public school funding has meant that local homeowners, including senior citizens, have been unfairly burdened for far too long, while corporations and Harrisburg have failed to pay their fair share for our schools. In fact, our state’s funding formula is so flawed that the PA State Supreme Court recently allowed a school funding lawsuit to advance through the courts—it’s still an active case.

Although our current representatives like to boast about increases to education spending, Pennsylvania currently ranks 47th out of 50 states in state share of education funding, and our local property taxes are out of control as a result.

Danielle will work to free up more money for public schools by fighting to close huge corporate tax loopholes and working toward sustainable, equitable funding solutions. She’ll push the state to increase its investment in public schools and pay its fair share – so local property tax payers aren’t stuck picking up the bill.

How would Danielle increase access to mental health services in our schools?
As funding for social services, including mental health services, has been cut at the state level, our public schools have had to fill the gap for children and families who do not have access to these services through any other channel.

Danielle recognizes the need for mental health support in all schools, and at all grade levels. She commits to working to provide a thorough and efficient system for funding public education, including funding for mental health services and fully-funded special education for both learning disabled and gifted students. She will also work to make health care, including mental health services, accessible and affordable to all Pennsylvanians.

Does Danielle support debt-free college?
Danielle will fight for better funding for the PA State System of Higher Education and for initiatives such as work-study grants so that everyone in our Commonwealth has access to debt-free college.

Would Danielle support investments in vocational education?
Yes. Danielle believes that workforce development through access to affordable vocational education and training programs is one more path to creating family-sustaining jobs.

ENVIRONMENT

How will Danielle address global warming / climate change?
Danielle will fight to invest in green technology and green jobs so we can take action to protect our environment and stop the acceleration of climate change. She has taken the #NoFossilFuelMoney pledge and will fight for PA citizens and the environment—not the interests of the oil & gas lobby.

Danielle has spent four years advocating and organizing for environmental justice and community safety at the state and local level. Her involvement began when an oil company tried to put the Mariner East pipeline through her neighbor’s backyard—just feet from where children played. Danielle and her neighbors were instrumental in electing a new slate of local leaders determined to hold pipeline operators accountable.

What are Danielle’s energy policy ideas?
Danielle believes in investing in clean energy all over PA, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, and building clean energy infrastructure that protects our environment and benefits the citizens of PA – not the fossil fuels lobby. She will explore innovative solutions such as industrialized hemp production that helps to reduce reliance on plastics and fossil fuels while creating good jobs and sustainable local economies.

What is Danielle’s position on the Mariner East Pipeline and other proposed or active pipelines in PA?         
Danielle has taken the #NoFossilFuelMoney pledge and will fight to protect the health, welfare, and safety of citizens and the environment—not the interests of the oil & gas lobby. She will fight to correct the lack of oversight that has allowed the unregulated construction and operation of pipelines like Mariner East 2. She will work to end giveaways and tax breaks to big corporations like Sunoco and ETP that are concerned only with their own profits—not the interests of Pennsylvanians.

GOVERNMENT

Does Danielle support Campaign Finance Reform?
Does she support term limits for elected
officials?
Danielle believes that the best way to achieve a better functioning, truly representative government at both the state and federal level is not through term limits but through campaign finance reform. To reduce the influence of big-money interests and bring the voice of the people to Harrisburg and Washington, we need to limit the influence of corporations and lobbyists.

States that have imposed term limits have found that candidates elected to office still tend to be affluent and heavily influenced by the special interests that help to fund their campaigns. Voters have the power to impose their own term limits in every election cycle by declining to re-elect incumbents who fail to serve the public interest.

Danielle took the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge and the No NRA Money Pledge. On every issue, she will speak up for the people of District 155, NOT special interest of big money lobbyists.

How will Danielle end the gridlock in Harrisburg?
Will Danielle be able to work with Republicans in Harrisburg?
How does Danielle feel about our divided country?           

Danielle is a proud Democrat, but all summer long, she has been knocking the doors of Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and other voters to truly listen to and understand the issues on their minds. She believes in finding our common ground—and that there’s a lot of it to be found, particularly when neighbors talk to neighbors at the local level.

Danielle believes that government works best when representatives listen to their constituents without special interests or big-money donors standing in the way of those conversations, and that we can solve the problems facing our communities when representatives from all points on the political spectrum work together with the best interests of their constituents—not special interest donors—in mind. She believes that money from special interests comes at the expense of the health, welfare, safety, and individual freedoms of the citizens of PA. She is fighting to bring the voice of the voters in District 155 to Harrisburg, where for far too long, our supposed representatives have been listening to deep-pocketed donors instead.

Danielle is respectful of each voter’s choice and feels that it’s important to be conscious that we all have differences in opinion. She advocates for more civility and humanity in our political world.

HEALTH CARE

What is Danielle’s stance on abortion/reproductive rights/women’s right to choose?
Danielle believes in protecting women’s individual rights and women’s access to health care, including reproductive care. As the mother of and an aunt to special needs children who began their lives in NICUs following high-risk pregnancies and deliveries, Danielle has a very personal stake in her pro-choice stance and a strong conviction that decisions about a pregnancy should be left solely to a woman and her doctor.

What is Danielle’s position on access / affordability of health care?
Danielle believes that no American should die from lack of health care. She believes the best solution is single-payer healthcare – instead of private insurance, we could share the costs equitably through taxes and it would cost us less than we pay today in private insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

What would Danielle do to ensure access to handicapped parking for those who need it?
Danielle has family members who are directly affected by ADA regulations and enforcement, and she feels strongly about this issue. She would advocate for more awareness both on the part of the public and among licensed health care professionals who certify the need for placards.

Danielle would support stronger enforcement of handicap parking spots and their adjacent access aisles, so that persons with disabilities are able to fully utilize these spaces. Danielle would also support legislation requiring municipalities to provide designated on-street parking accessible to people with disabilities. (Current ADA regulations set requirements for lots and garages, but not for street parking.)

Does Danielle have a position on Fair Staffing for RNs?
Danielle feels strongly that we need to hold hospitals more responsible by guaranteeing minimum staffing standards in order to establish safe staffing limits. Adequate nurse-to-patient staffing ratios have been shown to reduce medical errors and saves lives.

What is Danielle’s stance on medical marijuana?
Danielle believes Medical marijuana provides an alternative to patients suffering from terminal illness and chronic conditions and can reduce the dangerous use of opioids.

How will Danielle combat the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania?
Danielle will work to make mental health and addiction services affordable and accessible. She will push insurance companies to cover longer term in-patient and out-patient treatment plans recommended by healthcare professionals, without the need for re-approval every five days. She will advocate for recognition and awareness of substance addiction as a disease, not a crime.

HUMAN RIGHTS / EQUALITY

What is Danielle’s stance on same-sex marriage and equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community?
Danielle fully and wholeheartedly supports securing equal rights and expanding protections for the LGBTQ community, including protection of same-sex marriage rights and of transgender people. She would support legislation to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

IMMIGRATION

Where does Danielle stand on immigration, border security, and sanctuary cities?
Immigration policy and law are set at the federal, not state, level; however, Danielle opposes family detention centers and policies that separate parents from children. She believes that border security practices should instead focus on preventing known criminal offenders from entering or re-entering the United States.

Danielle believes that we need to address creating a better path to citizenship that would alleviate many of the issues we are facing in our country today. She has heard first-hand from small-business owners in our district that current immigration policies restricting legal seasonal workers have caused extreme labor shortages for our local agricultural economy and other small, family-run PA businesses.

Regarding sanctuary cities, Danielle agrees with the view of many law enforcement officers, including the Fraternal Order of Police, that sanctuary cities are safer cities. Research has shown that sanctuary cities actually experience 15 percent less crime than non-sanctuary cities, in part because both documented and undocumented immigrants in non-sanctuary cities are afraid to contact the police.

PUBLIC SAFETY / LAW ENFORCEMENT

Where does Danielle stand on gun control?         
Gun violence in America has become a public health crisis. Danielle is proud to be a Moms Demand Action and CeaseFire PA Gun Sense Candidate. She has signed the “No NRA Money” Candidate Pledge to ensure that voters, not the gun lobby, have the last say on gun safety legislation.

Danielle believes in the 2nd Amendment and shares the opinion of the majority of Pennsylvanians—including gun owners—that common-sense gun safety legislation is long overdue.

Specifically:

  • Danielle supports universal background checks, closing gun-purchase loopholes, and getting guns out of the hands of known domestic abusers.
  • Danielle does not believe that firearms should be on school grounds or community playgrounds under any circumstances unless carried by an on-duty police officer.
  • Danielle would support a ban on assault rifles and would consider restrictions on large capacity magazines, both of which have become common elements in mass shootings in the U.S.

 

What is Danielle’s stance on recreational marijuana?

Danielle supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use. She believes that legalization will reduce unnecessary burdens on our criminal justice system and provide a much-needed revenue boost for the state. If legalized, marijuana should be a highly regulated product, with stiff penalties for driving under the influence or selling to minors.

Legalizing the industrial production of hemp would provide much-needed solutions for medical and consumer uses by reducing reliance on opioids; creating strong, environmentally friendly alternatives to plastics; and opening new opportunities for the textile industry. When properly regulated, there is great upside potential for Pennsylvanians.

SENIORS' ISSUES

How will Danielle help senior citizens in PA?

Danielle will advocate for senior citizens who are being squeezed by the rising cost of property taxes, healthcare, and prescription medications.

TAXES

Will Danielle raise our taxes?
Danielle is a working woman raised in a working-class family. She understands the burden that income and property taxes place on the middle class. She will work toward a fair state economy that includes wage increases for the working class, ends the over-reliance on property taxes to fund public schools, and ends giveaways and tax breaks to big corporations concerned only with their own profits—not the interests of Pennsylvanians—so that every citizen of our commonwealth has the freedom to succeed.

She will fight to fix our rigged tax system so everyone pays a fair share, including out-of-state corporations.

Reach Out

Is there another issue on your mind? Please get in touch! Danielle is ready to listen and happy to discuss her positions on the issues that matter to House District 155.

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