All of the achievements throughout your academic career are coming to a head. You have proven through hard work and determination that, if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish any goal you set for yourself.
And that’s not to be taken lightly — especially given the unprecedented situation unfolding before us today.
Your family, friends and community are proud of you for your accomplishments — and we look at you with hope for what we know you can achieve for future generations.
You’ve overcome academic challenges, social stresses and any number of other obstacles and pressures. You have prioritized your responsibilities and developed new skills, while also having fun and creating memories that will last a lifetime. These are the things you will take with you as you enter or re-enter the workforce.
Above all else, though, is the fact that you have invested in yourself. You took that extra step. You had a vision and you stepped toward it. Now is the time to capitalize on your investment.
In the face of this new reality, I encourage you to use the lessons you’ve learned and the skills you’ve acquired to adapt and to find the stepping stones to your career goals.
COVID-19 may have altered our ability to celebrate and function the way we would have liked, but let’s refuse to let it stifle dreams. It is but one of many challenges before us that will require your generation’s innovative spirit and tenacity to overcome.
So today, I ask you to continue to work hard, to be bold, and to keep on learning. And always remember, if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish any goal you set for yourself. In the process, you will help make this world the kind of place you want to live in.
(Editor’s note: The message below is the transcript from the above video featuring Joe Waltz.)
Hello fellow residents of Clinton and Centre Counties. For those of you who may not know me yet, my name is Joe Waltz, and I am running to be your next State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 76th House District.
Today, I wanted to come to you with a message of understanding, hope and compassion, and to reflect on our communities’ proven resilience.
We have seen unprecedented changes unfolding in our lives over the past several weeks. The importance of things we once may have taken for granted now shines bright: the camaraderie of family and friends, good health, a clean natural environment, tasty food and the ability to go out and enjoy our favorite establishments.
But that doesn’t mean we’re not all grappling with hard realities.
Children, teenagers and young adults who would typically be in school right now are home, with school not coming back in session and extracurriculars put on hold. Employees — and many employers — are now unable to work. The small businesses, and organizations, that make our communities unique and provide the services and products we all cherish are struggling to keep afloat. Seniors and people with immune deficiencies are facing higher risks. Everyone is weary, afraid of getting sick, and worried about losing loved ones. They’re also afraid of not being able to put food on the table, about having to choose between an electricity bill or a healthcare fee.
Yes, the economic impact for our area is deep and sadly we’re not out of the woods yet. But, there are lights shining at the end of the tunnel.
Agencies, organizations, and governments are stepping up in various ways to help alleviate the burdens families are facing right now. Public health officials in the White House have outlined a strategic path to reopening businesses and industries that have been put on standby the past few weeks. These guidelines for when and how to reopen are based on scientific research and are being implemented across the country by officials from both parties.
This isn’t a time for partisan politics or to point fingers and place blame. It’s a time for us to come together, to provide a sense of community when people need it most, and to do what must be done to deal with this virus and get our communities back on track.
With some precautions in place, businesses deemed “non-essential” during this shutdown will soon be able to open their doors once more. That doesn’t mean the pain caused by the past several weeks will disappear. I urge everyone to consider how they can support local businesses now and once things are getting back to normal — either through the purchase of gift cards, online and takeout orders, or a simple donation.
We are living through an unparalleled time and there’s no blueprint or set of directions for any of us to follow. As we continue to take in new information about the virus, how and where it is spreading, what can be done to mitigate it, and when we can begin moving forward, take it day by day. Please listen to the professionals who rely on factual data, take every precaution now as well as after things open up again, and try to stay hopeful. Together we can beat this.
Throughout this ordeal, I’ve heard over and over again the idea that “We’re all in this together.” I couldn’t agree more. And I think it’s something that we should all remember as we pull through this.
Our area has fought back against what, at times, have felt like insurmountable odds: ravaging floods, the loss of major industries, and compounded economic hardships. We have proven our resilience in more ways than one, finding ways to protect, sustain and uplift our communities. We come together when it matters most.
And this situation is no different. It’s evident in the food drives that have popped up or expanded to help families in need, the hand-drawn rainbows in windows that serve as nodes of hope, and in the gesture of wearing a mask to protect a neighbor.
Lastly, I just want to remind everyone that my campaign has developed a resource page for people impacted by Covid-19 that is being updated regularly, and we are continuing to plan virtual events to hear from 76th District residents. You can learn more at www.ElectJoeWaltz.com/coronavirus-assistance.
Thank you to all of the healthcare providers, emergency services professionals, organizations, agencies, and individuals helping people in this time of need. And thanks also to everyone working in essential industries — from grocery store clerks to production line technicians, to hospital janitorial staff and everyone in between — for showing up every day and continuing to ensure the vital needs of our communities are met.
Stay safe and I hope to soon see you all out and about soon, enjoying the camaraderie of loved ones and the unique assets our communities have to offer.
Joe Waltz, candidate for Pennsylvania’s 76th House District, has announced he will be participating in virtual town halls starting this spring and leading up through the November election. The forums will take place over Zoom.
“My campaign is taking the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously, and we’re listening to public health officials and experts to mitigate the spread of the virus,” Waltz said. “Like many organizations and businesses, we have cancelled events and pivoted our efforts during this unprecedented time.”
(This is being updated as events are planned!)
April 20 – 7:00 PM: Event passed.
May 7 – 7:00 PM: Event passed
May 21 – 7:00 PM: Event passed.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE CUP OF JOE EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS!
Invitations to register will be sent out via email (Sign up to receive emails here.)
While the campaign initially intended to host “Cup of Joe” outreach events around the 76th District, where residents could enjoy a cup of fresh coffee while talking with Joe about their ideas and concerns, current circumstances required a new format.
“Our community is facing unprecedented challenges across the board. Children are home from school, employees are unable to work or are worried about their health, seniors are facing higher risks, employers are struggling to keep afloat, and our health care professionals and emergency medical providers are working tirelessly to protect their neighbors. It’s important that we as a community find ways to come together and support each other,” Waltz said. “I hope these virtual town halls provide an opportunity for that to happen.”
Additional Virtual Cup of Joe town halls will be planned in the coming weeks. In addition, Waltz’s campaign volunteers are reaching out to residents of the 76th District by phone, email and mail.
ABOUT THE VIRTUAL CUP OF JOE TOWN HALLS
The online event(s) will last approximately 30 minutes.
Up to 90 participants will be able to sit in on the virtual town hall.
Up to three questions may be submitted upon registration. Additional questions may be asked during the call.
Joe will make every effort to answer all questions, starting with recurring questions submitted leading up to the event. In the event that not all questions are answered, Joe will contact the individual who submitted unanswered questions following the call.
The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and related mitigation efforts are impacting our communities already.
Businesses and schools are shutting down amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic here in the 76th District, and many residents are seeking information and guidance on options that are available to them.
Families are seeking out meals for their children during the day.
Workers, who are laid off or facing time off due to mitigation efforts and guidelines, are seeking answers to how they will pay their bills if work doesn’t resume soon.
And entrepreneurs, who’ve been encouraged to close for two weeks and are facing declines in patrons due to other social distancing advice, are looking for resources to keep their businesses afloat.
The Joe Waltz Campaign is compiling resources and information to help residents of the 76th District.