Got Questions?

You may or may not know about the questions on the May 18 Primary Election ballot. Several of these questions aim to amend our State Constitution. Every Pennsylvania voter is eligible to vote on them and they should consider that seriously. To me, it’s a simple matter of caring about the policy that will shape my life. So many times, I think folks forget why local and state government is important. Perhaps they don’t think they’re affected by legislation at this level, but I believe the key is that they haven’t been impacted YET. Another consideration, just because you’re not touched by a law, policy, or process, does that mean it lacks importance? Well, it’s probably important to someone in our community and our empathy during the decision-making process is what it means to be a good neighbor.

To the questions at hand, there are three amendment questions and one referendum. I’ll try to put in in the simplest terms with logical benefits and negatives.


“Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law and increase the power of the General Assembly to unilaterally terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration—and the powers of Commonwealth agencies to address the disaster regardless of its severity pursuant to that declaration—through passing a concurrent resolution by simple majority, thereby removing the existing check and balance of presenting a resolution to the Governor for approval or disapproval?” 

  • Reduces the Governor’s power and gives the state legislature control. Doing so could make natural disasters/emergencies a partisan issue, draw out the declaration process, and give the legislature the chance to end the declaration with a simple majority. Allowing the control to reside with our Governor ensures a speedy address to the crisis.


“Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law so that: a disaster emergency declaration will expire automatically after 21 days, regardless of the severity of the emergency, unless the General Assembly takes action to extend the disaster emergency; the Governor may not declare a new disaster emergency to respond to the dangers facing the Commonwealth unless the General Assembly passes a concurrent resolution; the General Assembly enacts new laws for disaster management?” 

  • Disasters can exceed a 21-day period; They do not have time limits, nor should the declaration. It should not automatically expire. Doing so will disrupt emergency procurements and funding measures.
  • The Governor would also be prohibited from declaring a new emergency and it would be left to the General Assembly to take action, which could be lengthy and politicized.


Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended by adding a new section providing that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of an individual’s race or ethnicity?


  • While there are equal rights laws at the federal level, this would protect Pennsylvanians in the event a federal law change is made.
  • Equal rights would apply to all levels of the commonwealth: local, county, and state governments.


Do you favor expanding the use of the indebtedness authorized under the referendum for loans to volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads under 35 PA.C.S. Section 7378.1 (related to referendum for additional indebtedness) to include loans to municipal fire departments or companies that provide services through paid personnel and emergency medical services companies for the purpose of establishing and modernizing facilities to house apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, and for purchasing apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment and any other accessory equipment necessary for the proper performance of the duties of the fire companies and emergency medical services companies?

  • Expands loans to fire companies, ambulance services, volunteer rescue so that housing, modern facilities, vehicles, protective equipment, other essential equipment can be purchased. This should be a given so that our first responders have the ability to purchase all items to keep their organization functional and safe.

No Rest For The Weary

While we may have had much to celebrate in the Bradfords after the 2020 election, we must not rest on our laurels. We need to continue educating voters, increasing turnout, and electing wonderful candidates to our local, county, and state offices. Did you know that Pennsylvania has an election every year? Registered voters will have two opportunities to vote, in the spring primary and fall general election. This primary there is a twist! If referendum questions are on the ballot, then even Independents can vote in our closed primary. They can only vote on the questions that would change our state constitution. Unfortunately, they cannot vote on the candidates. So what does this referendum pertain to? Why should these questions concern every voter?

  • The first would limit the Governor’s power during emergency declarations. Maybe you disagree, but I believe Governor Wolf demonstrated logical and science based methodology to his mandates during the pandemic. His orders for masks, closings, and testing, have all been with the greater good in mind, to prevent as many Pennsylvanians as possible from contracting Covid and reducing the spread. Passing this bill could greatly impact the authority of the Governor in future crises
  • The second would in effect centralize the power of selecting judges in our courts to the middle of the state. This is nothing more than blatant gerrymandering. Manipulating the geography of our districts in order to sway votes in favor of one party’s agenda should absolutely not be allowed.
I also wanted to remind you about mail-in voting. If you have not done so, you’ll want to reapply for this option every year. Your mail-in ballot will not arrive automatically. You must request it again. Applications must be received no later than 5/1120 for the 5/18/20 primary.  Apply at:
The Bradfords are still looking for candidates in certain local elections. East Bradford is in need of a supervisor, auditor, tax collector, and constable candidates. There is also a need for a judge of elections and inspector of elections in every precinct. West Bradford is in need of an auditor and constable candidate, as well as a judge of elections and inspector of elections in every precinct. Please reach out to us if you’re interested in joining any of these races.
The candidates that have already thrown their hats in the ring will need nomination petitions signed in order to have their names on the ballot this May. We have scheduled a drive-thru signing event on Saturday, February 20th,  11 AM – 1 PM.
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the recent House impeachment and Senate acquittal. I cannot fully express my disappointment in the 47 Republican senators that voted to acquit. All I can say is that we will not forget your error and your seats will be in jeopardy. Pennsylvania, and Chester County specifically, did an amazing job mobilizing for the election last year and our efforts helped push Joe Biden over the edge in securing Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. Many of us also made calls, wrote postcards, and donated to Georgia’s senate runoff race. This win for Warnock and Ossoff was essential for reducing the power of Mitch McConnell and leveling the playing field in the Senate. Again, when we come together and combine our resources, we truly have the power to invoke change. That is exactly what we’ll do in 2022 when many of these Republican senators are up for reelection.
With that, I wish you well. Mask up, get vaccinated, stay distant, and stay well.
Bradford Democrats Chair / Zone Leader Theresa Soja

2021: Just Getting Started!

Happy New Year, Bradford Democrats,
(A message from our Chair, Theresa Soja)…

2021 has started off on a dramatic note. We witnessed two historic senate wins in Georgia, and within a day, an insurrection in our Capitol, followed closely by a very warranted second impeachment. I am hoping for a peaceful transition of power on January 20, but if one thing is certain these past 12 months, expect the unexpected. My thoughts will be with all those protecting our nation and democracy that day. There are many options for watching Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ Inauguration. If you’d like to join ours, use this Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 847 0265 2785
Passcode: 096104

East and West Bradford Townships saw record-setting voter turnout in November, and we’d like to keep that momentum going. Our local elections immensely shape our schools and community, which is why we need Democrats to run for elected office. Below is a list of this year’s races. If anyone is interested in running, please email and our group will be happy to provide you with helpful tips on getting started. The Chester County Democratic Committee is also seeking a someone to fill the Treasurer officer position.

  • East Bradford Township Supervisor
  • East Bradford Township Auditor
  • West Bradford Township Auditor
  • East Bradford Township Tax Collector
  • West Bradford Township Tax Collector
  • East Bradford Township Constable
  • West Bradford Township Constable
  • East Bradford Judge of Elections, all precincts
  • West Bradford Judge of Elections, all precincts
  • East Bradford Inspector of Elections, all precincts
  • West Bradford Inspector of Elections, all precincts
  • Downingtown School Board, Region 2 & 4, West Bradford
  • West Chester Area School Board, Region 3

Lastly, since candidates running for these offices need to gather signatures from registered Democrats (in consideration of the pandemic) during the period Feb. 16 – March 9, we will soon distribute information pertaining to drive-thru petition signing events as well as registering for mail-in ballots for the May 18 Primary Election.

The PA Republican majority in Harrisburg is also finalizing HB38 for submission on the ballot as a state Constitutional Amendment that would gerrymander state judicial districts such that residents would lose a say in electing Supreme Court and Commonwealth Court judges. This is a Republican response to 2020 court decisions they did not like.  Should this bill pass and reach the ballot in the May primary, we will need to discuss strategies to defeat this partisan attempt to take over judicial districts.

Until we “see” you again, stay safe, stay healthy, and mask up.

Thank You to E & W Bradford Voters for Electing Democrats to Represent Us!

The November 3, 2020 Presidential Election brought out the voters to East & West Bradford, and big wins for our local candidates!

Out of 18,028 registered voters, 15,529 cast ballots this year, and incredible turnout of 86.13%. This represented over a 7% increase in turnout from 2016. Nearly as many voters cast their ballot by mail as in-person (just over 100 fewer), in consideration of the 2020 Covid-19 health crisis.

Congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden and VP-Elect Kamala Harris on their 15 point (about 2,400 votes) victory in the two townships. Additionally US 6th District Rep. Chrissy Houlahan won re-election here by 11 points and our new State Senator Carolyn Comitta won by  8 points in our zone. Christina Sappey (158th PA House) lost the two townships by a few points but won overall in the district by a narrow 518 votes (showing the importance of every vote).  At the state level, Attorney General Josh Shapiro was re-elected handily.

US 6th Dist. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan
PA 19th Senator-Elect Carolyn Comitta
PA 158th House Rep. Christina Sappey






think global. act local.