An Open Letter to Luzerne County Voters: A vote for Donald Trump is a vote against Luzerne County

As thousands packed the Mohegan Sun Arena the day before the PA Primary, they all forgot one thing: A vote for Donald Trump is a vote against Luzerne County and here’s why…

Public Assistance

Donald Trump has said on numerous occasions that he would cut public assistance programs. These programs include: Food Stamps, WIC Checks, Medicaid, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs, Medicare, Prescription Drug Coverage, Disability Assistance, Child Care, Supplemental Security Income, Section 8 Housing Vouchers, Public Housing Programs, Head Start. He has said on the campaign trail that “work makes people better” and that we need to “cut back funding on these programs.”

Why does this matter? Because 15.8% of Luzerne County residents fall at or below the poverty line, 31.4% of Public Housing residents in are children, 10.7% of residents have a disability, 6.4% of residents are unemployed and the per capita income is $25,091(Census, 2014).

Public Education

Education should never be a bargaining chip in politics, but it has become a funding issue that has taken a back seat on both the state and federal level. DT believes that “schools should compete for kids,” and that we should “cut the Department of Education.”

Why does this matter? There are 16 public school districts in Luzerne County, all of which rely on state and federal funding to operate and educate the next generation (LuzerneCounty.org).

We seldom forget that our schools are on the chopping block. A vote for Trump is not only pulling the lever down even closer, but essentially handing over the keys, shutting the doors and pushing Luzerne County children even further down the steps of the academic basement.

Women and Women’s Health

Fifty one percent of Luzerne County residents are women. Donald Trump not only has said “women on The Apprentice won because of sex appeal,” “pumping breast milk is disgusting,” he also doesn’t believe that there should be resources for women to access to have equal paying jobs, healthcare or any form of influence in the decision making bodies of this country.

Why does this matter? You voted for a man who believes that the 64.1% of Medicare recipients in Luzerne County that had a mammogram last year shouldn’t be able to. You voted for a man who believes that the 31 in every 1,000 teenagers who become a mother in Luzerne County shouldn’t have access to affordable pre-natal care (County Health Rankings). You voted for a man who believes we shouldn’t close the nearly $10,000 salary pay gap between Luzerne County men and women (Census, 2014).

Immigration

“Mexicans are racists,” “Mexico doesn’t send their best people,” are just a few things Donald Trump has said about 10% of the people who live in Luzerne County. This sweeping generalization is not only discriminatory, but negates Luzerne County’s history. We forget that Anthracite Coal brought tens of thousands of immigrants, of all origins, to Luzerne County. Many of whom are our great-great aunts, uncles, and grandparents. To take a note from the Luzerne County website:

“The churches, neighborhoods, schools, gathering places, restaurants, and taverns located throughout this county are a lasting testament to the rich mixture of immigration that came into this beautiful valley.”

Yesterday, 77.4% of registered Republicans cast their vote for Donald Trump in Luzerne County.

Seventy Seven Percent.

When you head to the polls in the General Election, I hope you take solace in this: Love will always Trump hate.

Luzerne County, we are better than this.