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.
Campaign Update Skopov 2020 has a new campaign office! Schedule an appointment and work with us!
Now open by appointment only, come visit Emily’s new campaign office at 120 Church Road, Wexford, PA 15090! Meet the team working to turn District 28 blue and seat Emily in Harrisburg! Call our office at (412)212-8585 to make an appointment–we can’t wait to welcome you!
NA Social Justice Club School Supply Collection How you can help your community this week
The North Allegheny Social Justice Club is collecting school supplies for the North Hills Community Outreach. NHCO collects school supplies and distributes them to hundreds of local children of all ages every year. They especially need new backpacks, colored pencils, 24-pack crayons, erasers, glue sticks, highlighters and markers, loose-leaf paper, notebooks, binders, pens, pencils/mechanical pencils, erasers, pencil boxes and sharpeners, pocket folders, rulers, scissors, calculators, and TI graphing calculators (these calculators can be gently used as they are often expensive).
The drive will began on July 22nd and will end on August 5th. To donate, you can email email@example.com, direct message @nasocialjusticeclub or @quinnvolpe on Instagram, or Facebook message Quinn Volpe or Sharon Volpe. They will come to your home to safely pick up the donation. Contact them anytime before 8/5/2020 to donate.
Local Business Highlight How Sir Pizza upholds community values and our district’s students
By Nina Ruffolo
Since 1975, Sir Pizza has welcomed the community with open arms. Their Ross Township location was first started by the Filiaggi brothers to supplement their teaching salaries. As a result, the Sir Pizza has always put families and education first. Their community-oriented philosophy is working, as they have four generations of families still coming to Sir Pizza. They employ local, and support local. They continuously put their money back into the surrounding school districts in the form of support for the arts and sports. Their school-aged employees are constantly encouraged to put their education first.
Today, Suzanne Filiaggi embodies the philosophy as she works with her whole family to keep Sir Pizza’s doors open and continue giving back to the community that first helped them. She started out as an attorney, but after 17 years decided to use her skills to best help the family business. Her son Nicholas also plans to continue the Sir Pizza legacy however he can in the future. Currently he plans on taking a more behind the scenes role than his mother, but wants to give back to the community that has supported his family.
Although the Ross and Franklin Park locations do not have outdoor seating, take out is still available for pick-up orders. Sir Pizza is not listed on any delivery apps, but with two convenient locations, pick-up is easy. If this is your first time ordering from Sir Pizza, Suzanne and her son Nicholas suggest the Crusader Hoagie, the Pepperoni Pizza, the Royal Feast Pizza, or pasta with their homemade pasta sauce. All of their products are homemade and very unique. The pepperoni is not sliced, but chopped making each bite have equal amounts of flavor. And, for those reading from Pine, Sir Pizza is in the midst of expanding! They have a planned location outside of the Treesdale entrances and they are hoping they can open on August 1st.
Community Highlight North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO)
By Maya Shook
North Hills Community Outreach has provided support and resources to residents of northern Allegheny County since its founding in 1986, when local religious and community organizations came together to coordinate flood relief efforts in the North Hills. In 1987, NHCO was officially incorporated as an organization of People Helping People to address additional community needs. NHCO continues to offer numerous free services to income eligible individuals and families including a food bank, free legal consultations, senior and employment services, and transportation assistance. NHCO encourages anyone in their service area to contact them even if they are unsure they qualify for their programs. “We are a wonderful resource and can help guide someone in the right direction, even if it’s not NHCO that can help,” said Erica Cochran, the Director of Development at NHCO.
Now, in a time of crisis, NHCO’s services are more important than ever. “The most pressing issues that the North Hills is facing is uncertainty,” Cochran said. “Those who are not sure when they will return to work and when they will have a steady paycheck again. We are working hard to ensure those using our services that they can and should continue to use our services until they do not need them anymore.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for NHCO’s services and introduced unique challenges in providing them. NHCO has had to adapt their programs to limit face-to-face contact. This involved making distribution centers drive-thru, ensuring access to technology so services can be provided remotely, and working with smaller groups of volunteers. Thus, in order to prevent large gatherings, they are not taking on any new volunteers at this time. As an organization that normally relies on volunteers, this has been a difficult adjustment. To support NHCO and their work to safely provide resources and assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can make a donation on their website.
Issue Highlight An amendment passed by Pennsylvania State House Republicans threatens our state’s highest court
By Jack Hickerson and Sunvy Yalamarthy
Earlier this year, Republicans in the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a constitutional amendment that would drastically alter the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court to favor the Republicans. This proposed constitutional amendment would change the state supreme court system from electing justices on a statewide basis to instead having them elected from districts. Since 2016, the state Supreme court has been controlled by Democrats and has provided an important check on the Republican controlled General Assembly. One of the major cases the court has seen recently was on January 18, 2018 when it declared that the previously drawn 2011 Congressional districting maps violated the Pennsylvania constitution, and ruled for new maps to be drawn for the 2018 Congressional elections. Given that the court has generally gone against the Republican controlled General Assembly’s plans, this proposed amendment is designed to favor Republicans over Democrats. This amendment gives additional power to the General Assembly to further degrade the integrity of our electoral maps and corrupt the democratic process. Given the Republican party’s traditional knack for gerrymandering, this proposed amendment is nothing but a power grab for the waning Republican majority general assembly. So far, the amendment has cleared its first hurdle, but there are plenty more hurdles to get over. There are four steps for a constitutional amendment to pass in the state of Pennsylvania. First, a simple majority of both houses has to pass the amendment. Secondly, and the best chance to stop the proposed amendment is by having to wait until after legislative elections to be voted on again. If it does pass however for a second time, it will then go to a public referendum which will decide whether to pass or not. As if November 3rd was not important enough, flipping the state house to blue will give the Democrats a strong chance to stop the amendment from passing. This is an important issue due to the fact that the State Supreme Court preserves independence and democracy. The Supreme Court also plays an essential role in redistricting in Pennsylvania. This proposed amendment has to be defeated in order to preserve the independence of our highest state court.
Volunteer MVP of the Week
Carolyn believes that during a time when our country seems to be splintering, authentic leadership in Harrisburg and Washington, DC is necessary. She is very enthusiastic about Emily’s campaign and flipping House District 28.
“Emily has many strong qualities that make her the best candidate for representing the 28th District including empathy, integrity, imagination, and intellect. Let’s flip this district in November!”
Youth Team Introductions Meet Jordan Farrell, Hunter Greenberg, Maya Shook, and Nina Ruffolo!
My name is Jordan Farrell, and I am a rising junior at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., majoring in Politics and Sociology with a minor in Philosophy. I graduated from North Allegheny in 2018 and am proud to have grown up in the district. On-campus, I am involved in the Student Government, Chapter President of Ignite National, an organization cultivating the next generation of political leaders, and play on the Women’s Golf Team. I support Emily Skopov because I believe she will advocate for the issues important to me, including sustainable climate action, common-sense gun control reform, and protecting voting rights.
Hi everyone, I’m Hunter! I’m a rising junior at Tulane University pursuing a coordinate major in Political Science and Social Policy and Practice. I volunteered for Emily’s campaign in 2018 and am so excited to be able to help out as Emily runs in 2020! Aside from debating people on the internet about politics, my favorite activity is going to open mics with my friends. I love writing music and playing guitar.
My name is Maya Shook, and I am a rising senior at Allderdice High School. I’m so excited to be joining the campaign as part of the youth team. During the school year, I write and edit for my school newspaper and participate in a civic engagement and advocacy program called GirlGov. Currently, I work for the Gwen’s Girls tutoring program and am involved with a campaign to reallocate funds spent on school police to mental health services for students. Although I don’t live in Emily’s district, I’m proud to support her campaign and believe she will bring about much-needed change in Harrisburg.
My name is Nina Ruffolo, and I am a sophomore at NYU Shanghai. I am majoring in International Relations with minors in Chinese and Economics! I grew up in McCandless and graduated from NA in 2019. At NYUSH I was involved with Model UN and Green Shanghai, which worked on environmental issues. I started with Emily’s campaign when she ran in 2018 and I am so glad to be back because I truly believe she will work to represent us all.