With the chaos surrounding us and the focus on national elections, many of us overlook the importance of state elections. But, for those of us who care so much about the protection and welfare of animals, state elections may be the most important, and impactful, of all.

State legislators answer to a smaller pool of constituents, so your voice – and vote – are more noticeable. Moreover, state level lawmakers are often our neighbors; they live in our neighborhoods, we run into them at the supermarket, their district offices are easily accessible. It is relatively easy to let them know how we feel about issues that are important to us, such as animal cruelty, to educate them about these issues and to hold them accountable.

Once upon a time, not very long ago, before those of us who care about animals became a political force in Pennsylvania, passing a meaningful animal protection bill was virtually unfathomable. But, the gains that have been achieved in recent years are remarkable and demonstrate just how impactful and important electing into state office humane legislators can be. For example, Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Animal Cruelty Law (Act 10/Libre’s Law), which was signed into law in 2017, has resulted in the filing of hundreds of animal cruelty and neglect charges statewide, and significant penalties against abusers.

With the right lawmakers in office – lawmakers who are committed to the humane treatment of animals – the state legislature presents endless opportunities to improve and protect the lives of Pennsylvania’s animals. There is much work to be done: eradicating puppy mills, ending live pigeon shoots, ending wildlife killing contests, for example. With increasing numbers of humane legislators elected into office, animal protection legislation will face less hurdles and move more quickly. Better laws will be passed, animals will have better lives, and more egregious cruelties will be prohibited.

Humane PA PAC is in the process of evaluating the candidates running for state office in order to release our Humane PA 2020 Endorsements by the end of September.  We are examining the records of current legislators, reviewing candidate responses to our endorsement survey and following up with candidates.  It has been a particularly complex year, with superb humane candidates challenging some of our strongest supporters, giving us difficult choices. 

It is our goal for our endorsed candidates to be voted into office so that the lawmakers in the next legislative session will be prepared to tackle and pass more and stronger anti-cruelty, animal protection laws. And that is where you come in: educate the candidates in your district about what they can do to help animals if they succeed in their elections, and get their commitment to support humane legislation. Consider volunteering for the campaign of an endorsed candidate. And, most importantly, whether you vote in person or by mail in ballot, cast your vote for Humane PA endorsed candidates. Together, by electing into office lawmakers who will support humane legislation, we can obtain better laws and improve public policy to make our state a more humane home for its animals.

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Categories: 2020 Pennsylvania Election, Featured, Pennsylvania Politics, Pennsylvania politics and animals, Uncategorized


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