About the Beacon

The Bucks County Beacon is an independent media outlet that offers news, analysis, and opinion from a progressive perspective. We also report the stories that other local media outlets can’t or don’t cover, especially the growing threat of right-wing extremism to our schools, government, and democracy. Local media in Bucks County has been decimated over the past decade by corporate layoffs and the Beacon is working to fill the information gap. We publish writers and activists who may be your neighbors in Bucks County, or who are reporting and organizing across Pennsylvania for a progressive future.

We are a reader-supported, popular, and participatory media outlet that acts as a catalyst for community organizing and action, and progressive change. To be part of this progressive movement media, contact Editor Cyril Mychalejko at cmychalejko@gmail.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to read and share all of our stories.

Staff

Emily Smith | publisher

Emily Smith is the Publisher of the Bucks County Beacon. She is a seasoned design professional with nearly a decade of experience in strategic communications. Emily has spent nearly two decades working with startups and small businesses. Beyond her design chops, Emily is a creative problem solver, and business strategist. She has also owned her own graphic design firm since 2003, working with nearly every imaginable client including small businesses, giant corporations, non-profits, and community organizations.

Cyril Mychalejko | Editor in Chief

Cyril Mychalejko is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bucks County Beacon.  He has over two decades of journalistic experience. His work has appeared in The Bucks County Courier Times, The Intelligencer, Upside Down World, Common Dreams, TruthOut, and other publications. Read his columns on Sundays and follow him on Twitter.

Key contributors

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Jennifer Cohn

Jennifer Cohn is an attorney, election integrity advocate, and political writer whose articles have appeared in the New York Review of Books, Who What Why, The Independent, TYT Investigates, The Brad Blog, and Salon. You can follow her on Twitter at @jennycohn1.

silhouette of a beautiful girl confidently looking forward, a young woman's head with a curl on a white isolated background

Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens is a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of publications, including The Reporter. An avid collector of all things vintage, she resides in Lansdale, PA.

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Kierstyn Zolfo

Kierstyn Zolfo is a volunteer organizer with Indivisible Bucks County and Pennsylvania Indivisible. She and her husband live in Newtown Township.

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Molly Parzen

Molly Parzen is Executive Director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, a statewide environmental advocacy group.

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Kadida Kenner

Kadida Kenner is the CEO of the New Pennsylvania Project, a statewide voting rights organization with a primary focus on voter registration, civic engagement and mobilization, and co-chair of Why Courts Matter — Pennsylvania, a campaign educating Pennsylvanians about the importance of the independence of both the federal and state courts. She writes from Chester County. She writes from Chester County.

More Contributors

Pat LaMarche is a freelance journalist and author. She lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband. Pat has written nine books on poverty and homelessness.
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Doreen Stratton is a Doylestown, third generation African American who along with her sister, resides in the same family home where their Grandparents had settled in 1887. Her blog, THE…
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Melissa Ryan Ctrl is the author of Alt-Right Delete, a newsletter devoted to covering the rise of far-right extremism, white nationalism disinformation, and online toxicity, delivered on a weekly basis…
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Sonali Kolhatkar is an award-winning multimedia journalist. She is the founder, host, and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a weekly television and radio show that airs on Free…
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Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, journalist, interfaith minister, speaker and author. She is the co-founder of Bucks County Kind.
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Tracey L. Rogers is an entrepreneur and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant in Philadelphia.
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Catherine Caruso is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer with a focus on culture, politics, education, and LGBTQ rights.
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Mark Pinsley has over 25 years of professional experience in innovation and marketing. Pinsley is the Controller of Lehigh County and a small business owner. He has his MBA from…
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Earth Quaker Action Team (www.eqat.org) is a grassroots, nonviolent action group including Quakers and people of diverse beliefs, who join with millions of people around the world fighting for a…
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Bucks County’s Alisa Shargorodsky is the principal of ECHO Systems (www.ourechosystem.com), an S Corporation & Non-profit whose focus is the design and implementation of reuse models that drastically reduce single-use…
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Kevin Crawford is a professional photographer in Bucks County. Find out more about his work at Kevin Crawford Imagery https://www.kevincrawfordimagery.com/ and follow him on Instagram @YouBetKev.
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Rachel Laser is the president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
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Peter Greene is a recently retired classroom secondary English teacher of 39 years. He lives and works in a small town in Northwest Pennsylvania, and blogs at Curmudgucation.
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The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is Co- Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. She is the…
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Kevin E. Leven is co-leader of the Bucks County Anti-Racism Coalition, A 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization dedicated to educating, informing, and taking action on matters of racial justice.
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Lela Casey has been writing professionally for over a decade. Her work has included entertainment journalism, scientific articles, and historical profiles. She has spent the last few years dedicated to…
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Martin J. Raffel, resident of Langhorne, is on the board of Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania. Before his retirement in 2014, he served as senior vice president at the Jewish Council…
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Svante Myrick is the president of People for the American Way and a former mayor of Ithaca, New York.
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Carter Walker is a reporter for Votebeat in partnership with Spotlight PA. Contact Carter at cwalker@votebeat.org.
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Steve Nolan spent 30 years in the military and 25 years as a mental health professional. He has published in numerous journals and his poetry was featured on National Public…
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Tabitha is a school board member at Central Bucks School District. She is also a professor at The College of New Jersey and hold a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in…
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Dr. William Horne is a teacher, writer, speaker, editor, and historian of racial capitalism and Black liberation. He is the co-founder and editor of The Activist History Review and an…
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Dr. Michael D. Gambone is the author of nine books, including most recently Modern Conspiracies in America: Separating Fact from Fiction (2022) and The New Praetorians: Modern American Veterans, Society,…
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Steve studied philosophy at the University of Chicago where he developed critical inquiry and writing skills that enriched all his endeavors in life. He moved with his family to Bucks…
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Eve Gutman is the Media and Research Coordinator at Earth Quaker Action Team, which is a member of the VanguardS.O.S. campaign.
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Stephanie Barnett Jamison is a social worker, community organizer and mom who lives in Souderton with her family.
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Bucks County’s James Fine is a former Quaker International Affairs Representative and humanitarian worker and lobbyist with the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
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Barbara Simmons retired after serving as executive director of The Peace Center for over thirty years, a peace and justice organization in Bucks County. Simmons spent 20 years as an…
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Amy Knecht is a local writer, activist and student of American history. She occasionally guest hosts Raging Chicken Press's The Friday Show with Kevin Mahoney discussing local school boards and…
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Garen Meguerian is a civil rights, free speech lawyer, practicing in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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Emily French is a resident of Bucks County and has worked in the fields of community based Youth Drug & Alcohol prevention. She currently works to educate students throughout Bucks…
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Ellen Glover is the Drug Policy, Harm Reduction, and Criminal Justice Campaign Director at People’s Action.
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Alexa Offenhauer is an Assistant Professor of English at Raritan Valley Community College, and in 2021 earned a Ph.D. in English Education from Columbia University, Teachers College. She is a…
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Mitchell Zimmerman is an attorney, longtime social activist, and author of the anti-racism thriller Mississippi Reckoning.
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Lindsey Mauldin is Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy at Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania.
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David O'Donnell recently ran for School Board Director in Pennridge SD. He has been a manager in Retail and Hospitality for over 20 years. He works within the community through…
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Jessica Klemens is an OB-GYN physician serving patients across Bucks County and Southeastern Pennsylvania.
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Zach D. Roberts is a freelance photojournalist who has covered protest and activism around the country. He covered the 2017 Unite the Right rally and is a Puffin Artist Grant…
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Julie Wertheimer lives in Center City with her husband. She can often be found at Citizens Bank Park.
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Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor…
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Debbie Wachspress served as a Pennsbury School Board Director from 2013-2021. She was also a former Democratic congressional candidate.
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Connor OHanlon, CPA, is host of the Greater Society Podcast, Chair of the Doylestown Democrats, Director of Candidate Development for the Bucks County Democratic Committee, and EMPA Program Representative for…
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Robin Reid is a senior at Pennridge High School. You’ll often find her volunteering at local events. She’s a passionate advocate for all students, and is looking forward to learning…
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Kevin Mahoney is a professor at Kutztown University. He is also founder and editor of Bucks County’s progressive Raging Chicken Media podcast.
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Rachel Fitzpatrick and Jessica Dziobecki (pronouns she/her/hers) are PFLAG Bucks County leaders.
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Concerned resident from Bucks County, PA
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Sarah Zhang (she/they) is a 2021 CB East graduate and rising sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill studying computer science, political science, and data science. She is currently the field organizer for…
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David I. Backer is an associate professor of education policy at West Chester University. His research and organizing focus on ideology, school finance, and facilities. He tweets at @schooldaves.
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Blair Haney grew up in Newtown and Holland, Bucks County, graduated from Council Rock, and now resides in New England where he attended college. Blair is an avid outdoorsman, public…
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Dr. Alison Dagnes is a Professor of Political Science at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She is the author of "Super Mad at Everything All the Time: Political Media and Our…
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Anusha Viswanathan is a parent in the Central Bucks School district. Her love for books began in the fourth grade, when she was the “new kid” in a new country.…
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Luisa Marcela Ossa is a humanities professor in the Philadelphia region.
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Christina Lengyel is a freelance writer and editor. She is passionate about service and community.
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Alexandra Coffey is an activist and organizer with both Bucks Liberation Coalition and Youth4Unity. She is a rising junior at CB West.
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Devyn Costello-Henderson is a 19-year-old activist who has been organizing for the pro-choice movement in Bucks County, Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington D.C. She is currently studying classical vocal…
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Kelly DeJong was born and raised in central Bucks County PA. She is a graduate from Carnegie Mellon University. Today, she is raising her daughters and beloved pets with her…
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Lily Freeman (She/Her) is a female of Trans experience and Jewish Activist located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. As a Central Bucks student, she strives to help in school districts as…
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Kyle Esposito is a Democratic Committeeperson in East Rockhill Township.
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Jazmin Kreimer is the grant partnerships associate at More in Common and an attorney, who is passionate about civil rights and human rights issues.
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Leon Mopecha is a nonbinary Cameroonian that lives and works in Philadelphia. They are an active linguist and documentarian who focuses on immigrant and queer people of color experiences. Leon…
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Natalie Cimonetti is a resident of Telford, PA, in the Souderton Area School District, where she has lived with her husband and children since 2013.
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Howard Zinn was a historian, author, professor, playwright, and activist. His life’s work focused on a wide range of issues including race, class, war, and history, and touched the lives…
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Melissa del Bosque is co-founder of The Border Chronicle, a weekly Substack newsletter that publishes original, on-the-ground reporting, analysis, and commentary. She has written about the U.S.-Mexico border since 1998…
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Rethinking Schools is the country's leading grassroots magazine for social and racial justice in education.
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Conservation Voters of PA is the statewide political voice for the environment. We elect environmentally responsible candidates to state and local offices, advocate for strong environmental policies, and hold our…
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Nick Marcil is a second year Graduate Student in Higher Education Policy & Student Affairs at West Chester University. He is also a Co-Founder of PASSHE Defenders and member &…
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Christina Ellis is a 17 year old African-Caribbean American highschool senior and activist. She is the Vice-President of a club called the Panther Anti-Racist Union, better known as PARU. Christina…
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Samantha Hull is a parent of two young children and board director for the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association. She is also a high school librarian and district supervisor. Her work…
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Mindy Freeman (she/her) is a resident of Buckingham Township which is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, an hour north of Philadelphia. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1994 with…
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A former editor and reporter at The New York Times, Linda Lee has written seven books, and started a magazine about real estate and design in Miami. While her interest…
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Lauren Burchell is a student at Central Bucks High School West with a passion for activism and writing. Lauren leads the Sexuality and Gender Alliance at West and also contributes…
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Freda Savana is a veteran reporter and editor in Bucks County.
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