On August 11, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman endorsed Joe Waltz for the 76th House District seat.
The endorsement featuring the lieutenant governor came to the 76th District via a virtual Zoom event due to COVID-19 and related mitigation efforts. A small crowd gathered for the event at the Campaign Headquarters at 108 Bellefonte Ave., and others joined via Zoom to listen in.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you Joe for running,” Fetterman said. “I wish I could be there in person with all of you, but today is a different day…. I am proud to give a full-throated endorsement to Joe.”
Waltz, who served 34 years as an educator within the Keystone Central School District before retiring in 2007, won the Democratic nomination for the 76th District in the primary. He has indicated he will be a strong advocate for all of the people in the 76th District by focusing on tackling the issues that will help improve the quality of life for area residents and encourage population growth and retention.
“My campaign for the 76th District is focused on the people, and Lieutenant Governor Fetterman has shown through his various listening tours across the state that he too is concerned about hearing from all the people,” said Waltz. “I am thankful to Lieutenant Governor Fetterman for his endorsement.”
Office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday through the Nov. 3 election. Waltz is available at the office on Tuesdays between 10 a.m. and noon.
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.
On July 1, Joe Waltz, Democratic nominee for state representative in Pennsylvania’s 76th House District, officially opened his campaign headquarters in Lock Haven.
Over 50 people stopped in for the midweek grand opening event, which featured a ribbon cutting, a brief speech by Waltz, light refreshments and snacks. Masks were provided at the door and the ribbon cutting and speech streamed live on Facebook due to COVID-19.
The office, located at 108 Bellefonte Ave., is being shared with the Clinton County Democratic Party. Anyone interested in learning more about Waltz’s campaign, getting yard signs, volunteering for the campaign, or registering to vote, are encouraged to stop in. Office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday through the Nov. 3 election.
Waltz thanked all the volunteers who cleaned, decorated and prepared the office for the grand opening. He also encouraged people to get involved in the campaign.
“Now that we have a nice office, and now that we have a large enough office that we can follow social distancing protocol, we need help. We need people to come in and volunteer their time, whether it’s an hour, whether it’s five hours, whether it’s 10 minutes a day for a week,” Waltz said, before explaining why people have a vested interest in his campaign.
“My name is on the ballot, but let’s be honest, I’m not the only one in this room that’s running for office. Every single one of you right here, right now, in this room, is also running for office. Everybody in 76th District is also running for office,” he explained. “I feel that at this point in my life, I have so much in common with everybody…. When I win, you’re going to win. When I go to Harrisburg, you’re going to go to Harrisburg. And due to all of the common life stories, the common life experiences we have, I will simply be your voice in Harrisburg.”
In closing, Waltz said he will listen to everybody.
“My idea of a ‘politician’ is not just to be a representative; it’s to be a helper…. I don’t care if you’re young or old, I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman, I don’t care what race, I don’t care what religion, I don’t care who you love … If you call me, if you walk in my office, if you send me an email, at the moment I answer that phone, at the moment I open that email, at the moment you walk in that door — you are a constituent. I don’t care if you’re a Republican, Democrat, other; you’re a constituent. And that’s the kind of representative I want to be.”
Anyone wishing to volunteer at the campaign headquarters is encouraged to sign up here.
A shared campaign headquarters for the Friends of Joe Waltz, the committee established to support Joe Waltz’s campaign for Pennsylvania’s 76th Legislative District, and the Clinton County Democratic Party will open on July 1.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. during the grand opening event, which will also feature light snacks and refreshments. An online component of the opening will be streamed on Facebook as well, so that people can also tune in remotely.
Located at 108 Bellefonte Avenue in Lock Haven, the campaign headquarters will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday from July 1 through the Nov. 3 election. The office will be closed on July 4 in observance of Independence Day.
The office, which will follow social distancing guidelines and safety protocols set forth by the state and the CDC, will be a place where the public can learn more about Joe Waltz and other Democrats seeking office, obtain yard signs, volunteer for campaigns, and register to vote.
Anyone wishing to volunteer at the campaign headquarters is encouraged to sign up here.
Recently, the Centre Daily Times sent questions to Joe Waltz, candidate for PA 76th District State Representative, regarding George Floyd, racial injustice and more.
Here is the Q&A verbatim.
CDT: Did you watch the George Floyd video? If so, what was your initial reaction? (And, if not, why?)
JW: Yes, I did see the George Floyd video. My reaction was one of extreme sadness.
CDT: Do you believe most protests surrounding the movement sparked by George Floyd are peaceful? And would you be supportive of President Trump calling on the Insurrection Act of 1807 to quell civil disorder?
JW: Yes, I do believe most protests, including the ones locally, have been peaceful. For that reason, I feel there is no need for the Insurrection Act of 1807 to be initiated.
CDT: What, if any, law-enforcement laws or policies should be re-evaluated to prevent an incident similar to George Floyd?
JW: I believe a majority of law enforcement personnel are caring and devoted public servants who are sympathetic to the George Floyd incident and its aftermath. However, this is one of too many such incidents that have taken place, and the underlying issues need to be addressed on a structural level to ensure our society lives up to the promise of providing equal protections under the law. Policies and programs that encourage law enforcement agencies to build better relationships with the people they serve, to study and recognize racial bias and its implications in their line of duty, to only use reasonable force, and to wear body cameras for accountability are all good places to start. Some departments already have such policies in place, and I am hopeful that these will be reemphasized and reevaluated in light of unfolding events. Ultimately, learning from and being accountable to one another will help us build stronger, safer communities that are just for all residents living in them.
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.
On Monday, April 20th, Joe Waltz, candidate for Pennsylvania’s 76th House District, candidly spoke with voters on a number of topics during his first ever Virtual Cup of Joe Town Hall.
Participants were able to sign up and submit questions in advance. In addition, questions were submitted through Zoom during the call.
Waltz answered questions in detail, and they ranged in terms of subject, including: whether or not public schools are fairly funded, plans to revitalize the local economy, educational opportunities for the district, how to best support our residents during this pandemic, thoughts on gun rights and recreational marijuana, ways to protect the environment, how to fight for equality in our area, and where funds are most needed in combating the opioid epidemic.
For example, when asked about where states can be impactful on climate change, Waltz offered the following ideas, “Well there are a number of things. For example, states could create financial incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I think the states could require a certain percentage of electricity to come from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.”
And when asked about his thoughts on public kindergarten, Waltz said he thinks it’s a good idea. “It allows every student in the district the opportunity to reach their highest potential,” he noted.
Referencing various statistics and case studies throughout the event, Waltz also sprinkled in messages of hope, plans for progress and candidly hit home how he would provide a different type of leadership in Harrisburg. He emphasized the fact that the 76th District is “not a single-issue district,” and there are many fronts that need to be addressed to continue to help our rural communities thrive.
Waltz reiterated that his shared experiences with so many people in the 76th District will allow him to represent the area effectively while championing new opportunities and confronting challenges. From growing up on a farm, to struggling to pay bills in college to struggling to pay student loans afterwards, to challenges entrepreneurs face and the complexities of living on a fixed income or caring for a loved one in a nursing home, Joe said he understands the challenges people face and will fight for solutions.
ABOUT VIRTUAL CUP OF JOE
While the campaign to elect Joe Waltz initially envisioned hosting “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. The campaign decided to salvage the concept and take it virtual, using Zoom video conferencing and later other live social media appearances. These town halls provide an opportunity for community members to come together, ask Joe questions and learn more about his campaign to represent Pennsylvania’s 76th District in Harrisburg.
More Virtual Cup of Joe Town Hall events are being planned and will be announced soon. Stay tuned!
Sign up to receive emails from the Joe Waltz Campaign here.
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 post is being updated as events are planned!)
August 6 – 7:00 PM: Event passed.
June 18 – 7:00 PM: Event passed.
May 21 – 7:00 PM: Event passed.
May 7 – 7:00 PM: Event passed
April 20 – 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.
On March 23, the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) announced that it would be endorsing Joe Waltz for Pennsylvania House District 76 in the 2020 primary election.
“On behalf of our 180,000 plus members and over 1.5 million school children served by our membership, we thank you for your commitment to public education,” PSEA President Richard W. Askey and PSEA-PACE Chairman Joe Scheuermann said.
Waltz, who served 34 years as an educator within the Keystone Central School District before retiring in 2007, has indicated he will be a strong advocate for quality public education in rural Pennsylvania.
“I am honored to receive the support of the Pennsylvania State Education Association,” said Waltz. “I have seen how education can transform and uplift lives on both personal and professional levels. I pledge to support our schools; fight for quality public education, as well as college and technical education offerings; and stand up against unfunded mandates from Harrisburg that overburden our schools.
“We are in an unprecedented time, where our schools are closed and our educators and school administrators are grappling with how to conduct virtual, yet fairly-accessible courses. I will advocate for investments in high-speed broadband internet in rural Pennsylvania to ensure our schools — as well as our public health system and small businesses — can operate remotely when necessary and remain competitive,” Waltz said.
Waltz said his campaign is focused on the issues that keep people awake at night — including good jobs and decent pay; quality public education; fiscal responsibility and accountability to the taxpayer; and public health and accessibility to affordable healthcare. He is seeking the Democratic nomination in the June 2 primary election.
Learn more about Joe Waltz’s campaign to represent Pennsylvania’s 76th House District at www.ElectJoeWaltz.com.