Rural Pennsylvania Deserves a Rural Bill of Rights

On September 17th, in recognition of Constitution Day, I spent time with fellow candidates in Harrisburg to celebrate and sign the Rural Bill of Rights, which strives to protect and promote access to affordable healthcare, infrastructure investments, broadband internet, clean air and more for the people living in rural Pennsylvania. 

Over the past nine or so months, I’ve heard from hundreds of residents in our district about the challenges they face.  And while each story is unique, there are common threads. Threads that go back generations in our area. 

Many of us have experienced or know someone who has experienced difficulty accessing affordable healthcare or who has had to travel long distances for routine care. We all have heard about the infrastructure issues facing our communities, including bridge repairs that have stalled out without funding. We’ve experienced or witnessed problems with broadband in the era of COVID-19, when classes, work and so much more have pushed us all online even longer. And we all have concerns about our water, air and environment being cared for in a way that it is able to be enjoyed for future generations.

Too often rural communities are viewed as places removed from the halls where decisions are made and where resources are retrieved but not rewarded. We know the impacts of our communities are no less important than those of cities; however, rural communities do not always receive the investments they deserve. 

It’s time our voices are heard in Harrisburg. That’s why I support the Rural Bill of Rights. And that’s why I’m running to be your next state representative.

Tenants of the Rural Bill of Rights:

  1. Access to Hospitals and Affordable Healthcare
  2. Access to Broadband and Cell Phone Service
  3. Access to Public Transportation
  4. Investment in Public Education
  5. Protection and Growth of Family Farms
  6. Access to Good Paying Jobs and Worker Protections
  7. Infrastructure Investments
  8. Support of Local Businesses
  9. Access to Clean Air, Water and Land
  10. Upholding the Pa. and U.S. Constitutions.

– Joe Waltz



‘Joe’s Roots’: Waltz Campaign Releases Video to Help Voters Get to Know Joe

Joe Waltz, candidate for PA House District 76, today announced the release of a campaign video meant to help voters of the 76th District get to know Waltz’s story. 

“Joe’s Roots” gives voters a deeper look at Joe Waltz — beyond the classroom and basketball court. In the 3-minute video, Waltz shares details about his parents, his upbringing, and his love for this place we call home.

“My roots here are deep and wide. I understand the people, the challenges and the opportunities in our communities. As state representative, I want to help our area prosper for generations to come,” he explains. 

“I hope this short video helps people get a better understanding of who I am and how our common experiences will help guide me in Harrisburg,” Waltz said of the video, which was voluntarily produced by residents of the 76th District in collaboration with the candidate.

Waltz earned the nomination of the Democratic Party in the June 2 Primary. Learn more about his campaign at




Joe Waltz: LHU, staff make our community stronger

During my nearly 5 decades of living in Clinton County I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with many people associated with Lock Haven University and, of course, this would include faculty members. The repercussions that would come with losing 47 faculty and a total of 100 staff positions at LHU would impact not just the university, but also the social and economic health of our community.

First, I worry for the 47 people who would lose their livelihoods and health care during a global pandemic. Kids will be pulled out of our elementary schools, small businesses will lose employees, businesses will lose the revenue of 47 families who may have to leave our area. We will lose friends and neighbors who currently make our community a better place to live.

I worry for the students who have the benefit of close contact with their teachers. With a current class ratio of 14 students to every 1 teacher, LHU students are getting personalized mentorships and professional development from their teachers. By cutting faculty along with whole programs and majors, those class sizes will balloon, pulling support from students who choose Lock Haven for these reasons. Foundational courses teach effective communication and critical thinking, along with other skills that are important to lifelong learning and civic engagement.

As the first person in my family to go to college, I know how hard the decision to choose a college can be. Students and faculty look at the opportunities beyond the school and how they can become a part of the community. We need to come together and find ways to secure funding for our state schools. They are vital to supporting our communities economically and socially, and they make our towns stronger for all of us.

– Joe Waltz



This Campaign is about the People!

By now, you know that my name is Joe Waltz and I’m running for state representative in Pennsylvania’s 76th District.

I am running for state representative because I know the 76th is not a single-issue district, that we deserve a representative who puts people over partisanship and rhetoric, and that we need a representative who will represent everyone in the 76th District respectfully and with an open mind.  

In short, this campaign is about People Over Party.

My goal is to fight for all the people of rural Pennsylvania and ensure we are not left behind by Harrisburg or left out due to partisan politics. I intend to do this by being pragmatic and focusing on issues that impact people’s everyday lives — including jobs and the economy, affordable education, and quality infrastructure, such as high-speed internet and safe bridges. 

These are some of my priorities because I believe that bettering these areas will help improve the quality of life for our District’s residents and attract people to our area. However, these are also my priorities because I have heard the people of the 76th District — people who’ve spoken to me while at the store, during my town halls, on a phone call, or at a municipal meeting — and these issues, which may not make newspaper headlines, are the ones on their minds.

I’ve heard concerns ranging from seniors living on fixed incomes as property taxes rise to workers finding good paying, family-sustaining jobs in our area; to children growing up in the same community their parents did while facing a whole new set of environmental and social challenges; to our brave volunteer firemen being adequately funded; to the lack of high-speed internet access in our rural communities; to the early impacts of climate change; to the lack of civility in Harrisburg, and so many more. COVID-19 has certainly complicated all of our lives in a big way as well.

If you share any of these concerns — then you too are, in a sense, running for state representative. You have a stake in this game. And this campaign is yours to share. 

When I’m your state representative and someone walks into my office or calls me on the phone, I promise you the last thing on my mind will be whether they are a Republican or a Democrat, a conservative or a liberal or other. They will be a constituent. Whether they are white collar, blue collar, or no collar, they will be a constituent. Regardless of their race, gender or religion, they will be a constituent. A constituent I will listen to and, due to mutual respect, hopefully shake hands with (or elbow bump!) at the end, and if not, I will look at it as my failure.

As someone I respect once said, “Today, more than ever, we need more of ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ and less of ‘THOSE PEOPLE.’” I truly believe that all of us in the 76th District have a whole lot more in common than we do differences. Yes, there are many issues but I believe that WE THE PEOPLE can find solutions. We are all citizens of this great, big, beautiful Commonwealth and WE THE PEOPLE can, and must, work together to bring success and prosperity to the 76th for generations to come.

– Joe Waltz