Sunday, Republican representatives of Lancaster County signed a letter to Governor Wolf insisting on risking thousands of workers’ lives to illegally reopen Lancaster County. Signers included the two Republican County Commissioners Parsons and D’Agostino, who are pressuring us to return to work without consulting their own public health emergency advisor and before their own plan to spend $95,000,000 in federal aid on testing and personal protective equipment for workers has passed. Watch Lancaster Stands Up’s press conference addressing the topic here.
As publicly elected officials, our commissioners have a duty to incorporate public comment into the decisions they make. Public comment clearly was not a priority today for Commissioners Parsons and D’Agostino, as over 1,000 messages sent by Lancastrians during the meeting questioning their support of a premature reopening were never addressed.
We’ve had enough. Since we can’t trust our officials to listen to the guidance of medical professionals or executive orders from the governor, we’re going to make them listen to us.
Our Republican county commissioners are not the only representatives who have chosen to ignore the guidance of medical professionals and put our lives at further risk just to antagonize their political rivals. Predictably, federal congressman Lloyd Smucker and state senator Scott Martin hopped on the partisan bandwagon and signed the letter as well. At a time when so many people in our community are vulnerable, our elected officials are pulling partisan stunts to divide us up instead of providing the resources we all need.
This Friday, May 15 at 12:00pm, we’re driving laps around Sen. Martin’s and Rep. Smucker’s offices in Lancaster City as a honk-and-drive protest. We encourage you to write either “OUR SAFETY FIRST” or “ALL OF US DESERVE [your idea here] ” on your car using a light-colored bar of soap. (Just don’t write on your front windshield at all, and don’t write it in such a place that it obstructs your view while you’re driving!)
We’re going to make some noise and make sure our representatives hear loud and clear that our safety comes first.
This protest does not require you to exit your car or touch anything outside it; however, it is always a good idea to wear a mask when leaving your home—and wearing protective masks for this protest demonstrates our solidarity.
If you can join us at 11:45am this Friday, meet us at the corner of S. Queen and Vine St., across from Southern Market. If you are unable to meet at that time, join us on our route at any time between 12:00pm and 12:30pm. Please RSVP on our Facebook event, and invite your friends!
Here is a diagram of the route we’re driving:
If you can’t make it out to the protest, join us between 12-12:30pm Friday in tweeting at the representatives who signed the letter and District Attorney Heather Adams, who has aligned herself with the illegal reopening of the county and the endangerment of the public by declining to charge violations of stay-at-home orders. Tell them to stop playing politics with our lives, and use #OurSafetyFirst. Here are the Twitter handles of those who have accounts:
Lancaster County Commissioner Josh Parsons: @CommissionerJP
Lancaster County Commissioner Ray D’Agostino: @CommissionerRD
Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams: @Lancaster_DA
Federal Congressperson PA-11 Lloyd Smucker: @LloydSmuckerPA
PA State Senator D-13 Scott Martin: @ScottFMartin
PA State Senator D-36 Ryan Aument: @RyanAumentPA
PA State House Member D-97, Steve Mentzer: @SteveMentzer4PA
PA State House Member D-100, Bryan Cutler: @RepBryanCutler
All of us deserve to be safe. All of us deserve to be healthy. Join us Friday in demanding that our representatives prioritize our lives over scoring cheap political points.