The Elect Emily 4 PA Youth Team has an exciting new project: a campaign newsletter! The Youth Team is a group of incredible high school and college students who are dedicated to electing Emily to the Pennsylvania State House. During this stressful time of social distancing, we want to innovate new ways to bring you informative, fun, community-based content. We are excited for you to get to know us through this newsletter!

Read the current issue below, and subscribe to get future issues in your inbox here. Or scroll down to the bottom to access previous issues.



A personal note
from Eve Mango, a member of our campaign Youth Team, about staying positive during an unpreceented time in history

These past few months have been full of the unknown, the unexpected, and the unprecedented. We’ve watched our country change before our eyes, we’ve seen the damage, and we’ve heard the news headlines daily. Going to the grocery store, trying to get some exercise, and going to class have all become stressful tasks. With the constant noise of the pandemic surrounding us, it’s hard to stay positive.

But we’ve also seen national and global good. Healthcare workers are now seen as the heroes they’ve always been, communities have discovered ways to care for each other, and companies have adjusted their entire business plans to make masks and other PPE from their materials. As our workforce has been stripped down to its essential workers, we’ve seen the jobs that are the backbone of our country, and perhaps learned to respect them a bit more. Schools have navigated barriers to educate students, citizens have stepped up to volunteer, and figures like Lebron James and Barack Obama have even planned a virtual graduation for the graduating class of 2020. Some days it can be hard to find the good in all of this, but if you look for it, it will always be there. Perhaps you’ve gotten to spend more time with your family, your pets, or been able to dedicate time to a neglected hobby. 

A lot has been asked of many of us — to completely shift the way we live our lives, work our jobs, and get our education is not an easy task. But it won’t last forever, no matter what it seems like at the moment. Things may not look the same, and this will be a defining time in all our lives, but we will be able to return to the things we love. The time will come when we can spend time with our friends and loved ones once again. In the meantime, focus on your mental health, show gratitude to those citizens working on the frontlines, adhere to guidelines from health officials, and, most importantly, protect yourself and others.



As David Brooks wrote in his article in The Atlantic this week, “Usually, time flows continually, like a river, and one thing leads to another. But sometimes time comes in a discrete box.” Right now, we’re in a discrete box whose dimensions we don’t yet know. But we can remind ourselves that, undoubtedly, we will return to that river again.

This past week, the Emily Skopov campaign celebrated surpassing 100 volunteers joining our team and dedicating their time and energy to electing Emily to the Pennsylvania State House this year! We now have 130 volunteers, and we are well on our way to having 250 volunteers by June 2nd! I could not be more excited by the energy and the enthusiasm behind Emily. During this primary, I was sent home from my senior year of college at the University of Pittsburgh, and to be quite honest, there were days when I felt so overwhelmed by disappointment and frustration at how my college experience ended that I didn’t even want to get out of bed — I felt lost in my future as a college graduate. But this campaign and the people who support it have given me so much energy and purpose. Our volunteers inspire me more than anything, and I am so incredibly thrilled to welcome every single new volunteer to this campaign.

Our community of over 100 volunteers is vital to creating the change we need in District 28. Now more than ever, our team is relying on the efforts of amazing volunteers to reach voters and spread Emily’s message of compassionate and pragmatic solutions to the challenges Pennsylvanians face every day. Every new voter that we are able to connect with by writing a postcard or making a phone call is one step closer to creating much-needed change in leadership in Harrisburg. Even during times when we cannot all be together, everyone who volunteers for Emily should know that we are all in this together, and we will win in November. 

From the entire ElectEmily4PA campaign team and me, 

THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING VOLUNTEERS!

–Grace DuBois

Campaign Field Director

Sign up to volunteer and join the ElectEmily4PA campaign team!

Community Resources

Amidst all of the negativity surfacing in these trying times, 412FoodRescue is a local organization that is stepping up to help community members in need! Their mission is to reduce the amount of perfectly good food that goes to waste by redirecting it to people who are otherwise unable to access it. This process of recovery and redistribution has positively impacted the community to such a large degree, not only by helping those in poverty, but also those who are suffering due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Through partnering with food donors and retailers, volunteer drivers, and non-profit organizations, 412FoodRescue is able to provide healthy food to anyone with food insecurity. Since the organization was founded in 2015, 412FoodRescue has  prevented over 9.5 million pounds of food from going to waste and donated nearly 8 million meals to families in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

Recently, 412FoodRescue has taken initiative to solve the current issues on both ends of the food-supply chain. They are now paying local businesses to donate 1,500 meals per week that will then be delivered directly to home-bound residents and those who need it. With this new program in place, local restaurants will be able to remain open, excess food will not go to waste, and people with food insecurity will have their needs met. 



You can DONATE to 412FoodRescue to support this organization and help them provide meals for families who are struggling during this uncertain and stressful time.

Local Business Highlight
This week Eve Mango, a member of the campaign Youth Team, talked to the owner of Levana Bratique, a locally-owned lingerie store in Wexford.  


This week, I got to speak to Judy Masucci, the owner of Levana Bratique. Levana is a locally-owned and woman-operated business in Wexford, PA. The store carries bras for everyone and specializes in hard-to-find sizes. They are an independent store and the only of their type in the Pittsburgh area!

Levana Bratique keeps a regularly updated blog on their website where they have been posting helpful things related to life during COVID-19. Through April and May, the business is giving away one $50 gift card per month to a nominated member of the community that has been helping others through this crisis to help say “thank you.” In addition, they posted a helpful blog post on self care during a pandemic to offer advice on navigating these unexpected times. 

Considering how important in-person interactions are for Levana, the pandemic caused them to make some adjustments to their business. On March 16, Levana Bratique closed their store in accordance with state requirements for small businesses. The company has continued its services through their online store, available through their website levanabratique.com. In an event like this pandemic, it is the small businesses that can struggle the most since they don’t have a large corporate entity that they can rely on for support. That being said, having a way to continue business online can be a critical aspect of staying afloat.

Whether you want to nominate a member of the community for their $50 gift card drawing, are looking for high quality undergarments, or want to support a woman-owned local business, consider checking out Levana Bratique through their website. If nothing else, find some good advice on their blog!

Volunteer MVP
Our volunteer MVP of this week is Marcia Caliendo. Marcia is helping to send Emily to Harrisburg this November by writing 300 postcards to voters! We can’t thank Marcia enough for everything she has done for this campaign.

I met Emily in January, 2017 at one of her first campaign events.  As soon as I heard her speak, and listened to her discuss the issues, I knew that she would represent every constituent, not just a few.  She is smart, funny, passionate and compassionate.  I am proud to be a supporter and can’t wait to see her win in November.

–Marcia

Unsung Hero of the Week
This week, Ben Gonzalez, a member of the campaign Youth Team, talked to Tom Golden, a partner at Kinol Sharie Leyh & Associates about his work offering free financial services to his clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tax and accounting work was a normal business day for Tom Golden, a partner at Kinol Sharie Leyh & Associates, for the past 20 years. “It’s just routine,” Golden said. Then the coronavirus hit. Increasingly, his clients began calling his firm, worrying about having cash on hand and increasing lines of credit to make it through the pandemic financially sound. “It’s chaos,” says Golden.

Eventually, it became less about giving advice to his clients and more about looking out for the people he’d gotten to know as their advisor for the past 20 years. He wants his clients to know he has their back: as of now, all of his clients are getting their tax, accounting, and small business work or advice for free during the pandemic. “What happens is most of your clients are your friends, and I think you have an obligation to try to get them to the other side,” Golden said, adding that the scariest part is not knowing for certain if his clients can get to the other side. The least he can do, he thinks, is help them in any way he can without adding financial strain.

What hasn’t changed for Golden is his sense of optimism when it comes to his client’s situations. Regardless of whether or not he thinks his clients can make it through this pandemic financially, he believes his ability to look from an outside perspective at someone’s financials can provide a calming force for those depending on his advice. He doesn’t believe in just telling them that they’re going to fail, but rather, he likes to provide options.

What Golden and his business are doing is stepping up, and helping the community that’s built them up first. The buck doesn’t stop there for him though: he thinks that if enough people step up like him, then this community can get out of the pandemic stronger than ever. He personally knows the hardship we’re going through, but he’ll also be the first one to tell you that you can get through it. “I know from my own experience how dark it is,” he says, adding that the hope lies in others stepping up. In that way, Golden leads by example.

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