Bucks County Can Be and Do Better

The Board Chair of the New Pennsylvania Project says we need to fight for a better Bucks County, and a better Pennsylvania.
bucks county map

A dozen years ago I moved back to my home state of Pennsylvania after enjoying a career that allowed me to travel throughout the county. I lived in metropolitan cities such as New York City, Dallas, Miami, and San Francisco. So many of my friends were surprised that I settled into what they described as a quiet rural-suburban area. For me, Bucks County was a respite where I could bask in the pristine beauty and charm. Within a few miles I could visit Peddler’s Village, Doylestown, and New Hope. The peace I experienced, however, was not long lasting, and has strengthened my resolve to make Bucks a place for all.

READ: LGBTQ Pride and Prejudice in Bucks County

The DiNardi shootings made national news. Their family resided mere miles from my home. Racist  and anti-Semitic rhetoric ran rampant in the schools. I found myself traveling backwards in time. I went from owning a small business in NYC in the 1980s, with the lowest paid employee earning $15 an hour. Forty years later, people are working for a meager minimum wage of $7.25 an hour – and the minimum wage is still stuck at the Federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. I went from employing 25 people, from all walks of life, religions, and cultures who worked together in harmony, to witnessing intolerance for the differences that truly makes America great. It didn’t take long to realize that my Bucks County home was no sleepy town. I knew I needed to step up and get to work. 

I joined Moms Demand Action, the Board of the Peace Center, and even ran for elected office in 2020 to represent the 29th House District. In 2021, I became the Board Chair of the New Pennsylvania Project, a new voting rights organization focused on voter registration in Black and brown communities across the state, including Lower Bucks. 

READ: In Pennsylvania, Democracy Only Works When Youth Are Politically Engaged And Voting

Pennsylvania is walking back in time. With so much at stake in the upcoming election, we need common sense gun reform, a cleaner environment, fairly funded public schools, a raised minimum wage to a living wage, protected voting rights, women’s rights, and equal rights for all. This is no easy task, and I won’t rest until the adults clean up the mess that our children are inheriting. 

I have a 19-year-old daughter. She and her friends have lived through book banning in Central Bucks schools, repercussions of mass shootings in grade schools, and the trauma of going through A.L.I.C.E. Drills in order to save their lives. Our kids worry about their drinking water and PFAS toxins, all while living through a global health pandemic. 

I will keep up this fight for a better Bucks, and a better Pennsylvania. That’s what our children deserve!

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Marlene Katz

Marlene Katz is a member of the Clergy as an Interfaith Minister working to advance social justice. She is currently the senior campaign advisor to Brian Munroe, a candidate running for the State House for the 144th district - the same district she lost in 2020. Fairer maps due to reapportionment makes Munroe’s chances of winning a seat in Harrisburg’s General Assembly a greater possibility. Katz writes from Bucks County.