Congratulations, Class of 2020!

To the Class of 2020,

Congratulations on this momentous occasion!

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.

Congratulations, Class of 2020, and best wishes!

Joe Waltz

Candidate for PA 76TH Legislative District

Joe Waltz shares message of hope in face of COVID-19

(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.

First virtual Cup of Joe showcases concerns of 76th District residents

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.

Learn more about Joe Waltz, his campaign, and more at www.ElectJoeWaltz.com

Joe Waltz to Offer Virtual Town Halls Amid COVID-19

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.”

SCHEDULE

(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.

PSEA endorses Joe Waltz for 76th House District

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.


HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT JOE’S CAMPAIGN

Sign Joe Waltz’s petition at one of these upcoming events

Every candidate for public office must get a certain number of signatures from electors in their district in order to be placed on the Primary Election ballot. There is a short, three-week window to do this. 

Several events have been planned to help make it easier to sign petitions.

Joe Waltz, candidate for PA House District 76, will be present at each of the events.

SOUP & SIGN

February 4: 6-8 p.m.
Clinton County Government Building
2 Piper Way, Lock Haven, PA

Enjoy free soups (six choices) and sign petitions for Democrats seeking office.
PETITIONS & CAMARADERIE

February 8: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Liberty Book Shop
1 E. Park St., Avis, PA

Light snacks provided
PIZZELLES & PETITIONS

February 15: 1-2:30 p.m.
Citizen’s Hose Fire Department
415 Fourth St., South Renovo, PA

Light snacks provided
SNUG & SIGN

February 6: 7-8 p.m.
Avenue 209 Coffee Shop
209 Bellefonte Ave., Lock Haven, PA

Enjoy a free performance by local band SNUG and sign petitions!
(MINI) SOUP & SIGN

February 9: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Friendship Community Center
127 Main St., Beech Creek, PA

Enjoy free soups (three choices)


Can you collect petition signatures for Joe?

We’ll be door-knocking before or after three of the petition events:

  • February 8 (12-2 p.m. in Avis)
  • February 9 (1-3 p.m. in Beech Creek)
  • February 15 (10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in South Renovo)

Can you join us!?

Waltz kicks off campaign with large crowd at Avenue 209

LOCK HAVEN — It was standing room only at the official campaign kick-off event held by Joe Waltz, who seeks to become the next State Representative for Pennsylvania’s 76th House District.

On Saturday, February 1, 2020, Waltz was met with over 100 supporters and community members interested in learning more about his campaign at Avenue 209 Coffee Shop, 209 Bellefonte Ave. 

Waltz said he hoped to answer two questions for those in attendance: why is he running and why should voters support him.

“The simple answer is that I think I’m uniquely qualified to take your concerns and stories to Harrisburg,” Waltz said. “As an educator for nearly four decades, I had the honor of teaching generations of families in the 76th District. I heard the concerns of students, parents, teachers, and grandparents… Many of those concerns were ones I have shared, and that’s because of the common experience I share with so many residents of the 76th District.”

Waltz listed several issues important to his campaign and described how his personal experiences with those issues make him the right person for the job.

Waltz explained that he grew up on a farm in Lycoming County, that he was the first in his family to attend college, and that he understood the struggles young adults face when it comes to student loan debt. His father, a volunteer firefighter, helped to found a fire company in Lycoming County. His wife, the former Stephanie Kleckner, owned a small business. 

These experiences helped shape his campaign. 

Joe said if elected he will stand up for farmers, firefighters, and senior citizens on fixed incomes. He will fight against the rising cost of education and for affordable health care. He will support legislation that seeks to encourage family-sustaining job opportunities in the 76th District. He will work to protect and leverage the region’s abundant natural resources as a way to stimulate the local economy.

“I truly believe that all of us in the 76th District have a whole lot more in common than we do differences,” he said. “I want to tell Harrisburg your story. And I want to fight to make some of our common concerns less concerning, some of our shared hopes a reality.”

Before concluding his remarks, Waltz encouraged people to get involved in the campaign, whether through volunteering, donating or hosting an event.

WATCH THE SPEECH HERE: 

For more information on how to get involved in the campaign, visit www.ElectJoeWaltz.com/get-involved.