PA-03 is entirely within the city of Philadelphia, stretching for Chestnut Hill, West Oak Lane in the north, through Center City and Schuylkill to Society Hill and a couple of miles of Delaware River docks as far south as Pennsport. It’s one of the bluest districts in the country– D+40, where Trump scored just 7.0% in 2016 and 8.1% last November. The district keeps electing corrupt politicians to Congress, the current crook, Dwight Evans, having replaced Chaka Fattah (just as he was preparing to defend himself– unsuccessfully– from 23 bribery, money laundering, and bank and mail fraud charges). Fattah is serving 10 years in prison; Evans is still free and in DC. Folks in Philly deserve better.
Blue America is endorsing Alexandra Hunt, a public health researcher and girls’ soccer coach who describes herself as “an advocate for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice, and an organizer fighting for the 3rd district of Pennsylvania… a daughter of two teachers and a sister to a twin brother.” She says she is “running for Congress on a progressive platform because she believes our politicians should fight for systemic change, ensuring equal opportunity and justice for all.”
A few days ago, she told me that she feels “progressivism is a wholesale reimagining of long overdue institutional reforms. The concept of a New Deal is central to the movement’s vision. The same corrupted systems that catalyzed our environmental crises, raging inequality, and a devastatingly ill-managed pandemic have also stagnated our institutions of education. Education is the backbone of a healthy democracy, yet our current system is failing students of color, low-income students, and neurodivergent students. Decades of depleted federal funds have created a $23 billion discrepancy in the funds invested in predominantly white and predominantly minority school districts.” When we talked on the phone, a reimagining of the way society handles education kept coming up. I asked her if she was interested in introducing herself here, emphasizing her ideas and commitment in regard to what she’s calling a New Deal For Education.
Please take a look at what she has to say and consider contributing to her campaign by clicking on the Blue America 22 congressional hermometer above.
New Deal For Education
-by Alexandra Hunt
Education is the backbone of a healthy democracy, yet our current system is failing students of color, low-income students, and neurodivergent students. Decades of depleted federal funds have created a $23 billion discrepancy in the funds invested in predominantly white and predominantly minority school districts.
I’m a lifelong learner and education has always been a source of empowerment for me, which is why I’m committed to transforming our education system to be equity-driven and student-focused. For too long, public school resource allocation has been thwarted by inequality. Metrics of student success have punished the neurodivergent and marginalized. My New Deal for Education aims to transform the infrastructure of K-12 education, diversify channels for success after high school, and make schools the center of thriving communities. We must recognize the student as a whole being with needs beyond the classroom. Our students deserve teachers that look like them and lead them on the pathway to greatness– not the pipeline to prison. Teachers deserve union rights and a living wage that recognizes their invaluable and tireless work to prepare the future of this nation.
I envision a New Deal for Education that prioritizes universal early childhood education and daycare programs, and that eliminates financial barriers to higher education by cancelling student debt, expanding trade school programs, and creating a free public education option. I am committed to a radical redistribution of funding to expand holistic styles of teaching, learning, and well-being, as well as improving communication to ensure that information about federal resources is dispersed to those who need it. All students benefit when we foster a learning environment where the success of neurodivergent students, students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and students with disabilities is not impeded by a punitive and apathetic system.
Reimagining education means students and teachers are compassionately valued and resourced. It means curricula must look beyond the narrow visions of Eurocentrism and introduce students to all labor forms with passion and humility.