In an effort to connect constituents with their state lawmakers, PennFuture, Conservation Voters of PA, and PennEnvironment hosted a joint virtual meet and greet on Thursday, February 25, with State Senators Carolyn Comitta (SD 19) and John Kane (SD 9).
Senator Comitta, who previously served as the Representative for House District 156, was sworn in in January and has since been elected as the Minority Chair for the Senate’s Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. In her time as a House Representative, Senator Comitta served as a consistent environmental champion, earning a perfect lifetime score of 100% on the Pennsylvania Environmental Scorecard. The Scorecard rates each member of the State Senate and House on their environmental voting record using the most crucial environmental votes that the Pennsylvania General Assembly took during the current legislative session. Senator Kane is a newly elected legislator who represents most of Delaware County.
Thursday’s event served as a venue for over 100 constituents to voice their concerns about local environmental issues. Questions from residents ranged in topic from climate change and environmental justice, to pipelines and public transit. Both Senators were eager to hear from their constituents, and they welcomed all of the engaging questions.
As the environmental leader she’s always been, Senator Comitta stood strong on her pro-environment stances: “Protecting our environment is and has always been a passion of mine,” said State Senator Carolyn Comitta. “I thank Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, PennFuture, and PennEnvironment for organizing this discussion. We have some important priorities and a lot of work ahead. I look forward to working together with all of you to uphold the constitutional right of all Pennsylvanians to clean air, pure water, and the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment.”
Senator Kane also noted words of thanks for having an engaging forum to touch on environmental issues. He continued on by saying, “Addressing the climate crisis can’t wait; we need to take action now to preserve the environment and the earth, to create good-paying green union jobs, and to transition towards renewable energy sources. Thank you to everyone who attended, asked questions, and shared their thoughts on issues related to the environment. As your state Senator, it’s an honor to be fighting for you in Harrisburg.”
Jess Cadorette, Field Director for PennFuture and Conservation Voters of PA, was heartened by both the turnout and the conversations had on Thursday evening. “Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for Pennsylvanians to engage with their lawmakers and take part in their democracy, and it was wonderful to see that in action tonight,” Cadorette said. “Pennsylvania is the fourth biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the nation. We have a responsibility to cut our emissions for the sake of future generations — and by working together, this can be done in a just and equitable way that supports our state’s economy through a focus on renewables and investment in our infrastructure.”
PennEnvironment’s Field Director, Flora Cardoni, echoed her sentiments: “Delivering concrete policy victories for our environment and climate hinges on having strong environmental champions representing us in the legislature. Local residents are lucky to have Senators Comitta and Kane in Harrisburg pushing forward policies that protect our air, water, public lands, and climate now and for future generations.”