In this email edition:
Remembering our mothers—including my Berks County ancestors who saved my family from the perils of Nazism and Communism–on Mother’s Day
This Sunday, we’ll all be honoring and remembering our mothers in many different ways.
Earlier this week, while traveling to Boyertown to review some interesting economic development initiatives with Senator Bob Mensch, Beth and I took a side trip to the Washington Schwenkfelder cemetery on the Berks/Montgomery County line, just a few hundred yards from the farm where my grandmother, Elva Schultz Miller, grew up one hundred years ago.
There, I paused for a moment to honor three immigrants from Silesia, along the German/Polish border, the first of my mother’s ancestors who came to Pennsylvania in 1734 in search of freedom.
Susanna Dietrich Scholtze, her son George, and his wife Anna Hoffman Scholtze didn’t just build a farm here—which remains a farm now owned by my Schultz cousins—but came here so all of their many descendants could live in freedom for the last 287 years.
I marvel at their incredible bravery in making the difficult voyage across the Atlantic in a wooden sailing vessel. My life would have been so different, had my family been forced to live under the Czars and the Kaisers and the Nazis and the Communists, for so many years back in Silesia. My children and I owe them so much, and I’ll be remembering that this Mother’s Day.
SO: to Susanna and Anna, and Maria and Christina, and Anna and Amanda, to Mary Alice and Elva through eight generations to my late mother Miriam—
PA Supreme Court follows my bipartisan bill to depoliticize Legislative Reapportionment
This week, former University of Pittsburgh chancellor and law professor Mark Nordenberg was selected to chair the Legislative Reapportionment Committee. Nordenberg will have a crucial role in the upcoming process of redrawing districts for the Pennsylvania House and Senate, as he could be a tie-breaking vote on the five-person commission that also includes the Majority Leaders and Minority Leaders in the House and the Senate.
I recently introduced a bill that was passed unanimously by the Senate State Government Committee that would establish qualifications to ensure the chair of this commission is nonpartisan and does not have any political ties. Fortunately, Nordenberg meets the qualifications outlined in my bill and his appointment was praised by members of the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle. I wish him the best of luck as he steps into this critically important role.
Link discovered between dementia wards and COVID-19 deaths
A recent article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlighted a disturbing trend of higher numbers of deaths from COVID-19 for long-term care facilities that house dementia units. The Wolf Administration has faced bipartisan criticism throughout the pandemic for their controversial policies surrounding nursing homes, but this is the first time a link has been established between dementia patients and COVID-19 deaths. Senator Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester) stated last summer that “there is no excuse for what is going on, OK? The Department of Health has failed our nursing homes.”
Senator Judy Ward (R-Blair), who chairs the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, stated that she is committed to looking at what went wrong and how we can change the law to prevent situations like this from ever happening again.
One thing is absolutely clear: we need to do better at protecting our most vulnerable citizens.
Celebrating Marian Catholic High School legend Jack Malarkey
Last Friday night, Rep. Jerry Knowles and I had the chance to attend a celebration of the distinguished career of long-time Marian Catholic High School principal and coach Jack Malarkey. Jack was one of my neighbors growing up, and I have fond memories of him being one of my top customers when I sold hoagies as a Scout in the 1970s.
I’ve known leaders who did not earn respect. I’ve known people who earned respect who were not leaders. Jack Malarkey has done both, a genuine leader who has always earned respect – “a living legend!” Congratulations to him on everything he has accomplished! Read more here.
Argall Report: voters will decide on potential changes to the state Constitution
The May edition of my local TV program focuses on three ballot questions that I voted to support so that all eligible voters in Pennsylvania can decide during the May 18th Primary Election. Unfortunately, the way the Wolf Administration worded two of these questions has been roundly criticized as confusing and biased, so it is absolutely critical for all voters to understand what the questions really mean before casting their votes.
I strongly encourage all voters to do their civic duty by showing up to the polls on May 18 and remember this KEY fact: all registered voters are permitted to vote on these three questions during the Primary Election, including Independents and members of all political parties.
This edition of the Argall Report will air on:
Senator Argall’s show is also available online at https://www.senatorargall.com/argallreport/.
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