State leaders are spending the day in Erie, listening to the things you want for your community. Members of the Wolf Administration are hosting the sixth cabinet ‘In Your Community’ event. People in the crowd were given index cards to write down their questions, representing each department.
On its own, a single community can only do so much, but with support from the state government, each city has a chance to accomplish more. That’s why five secretaries from Governor Tom Wolf’s Administration are taking questions and sharing information with the people of Erie.
Patrick McDonnell, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary, says, “This should be the expectation of your government is that we’re out and interacting and talking with people in the community about the things that are on their minds.”
Over the last several months, state representatives are sending a message that they hear the needs of Northwestern Pennsylvania loud and clear. Most recently granting $32 million to this community. Secretary Dennis Davin says the Commonwealth is extremely vast, with major cities and rural communities. “Every single area that we go into has different and unique strategies and unique characteristics about it.”
But even as diverse as Pennsylvania is, one problem is sweeping every community. Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, says, “One thing that’s unique about this opioid epidemic is that it’s urban, it’s suburban, and it’s rural, and it affects every community in the Commonwealth.”
Dr. Levine says the opioid epidemic is the biggest public health crisis of our time, telling the crowd we need to bring together community, county, state, and federal resources to combat this crisis.
The secretaries took questions from Erie County’s Department of Health, with concerns about short funding, people against the McBride Viaduct also voiced their concerns. State leaders commended Erie for its thick skin, particularly after this winter’s Christmas snow storm.
There will be several more of these cabinet ‘In Your Community’ events throughout the year in other cities in the Commonwealth.