Nowhere have hard-working women and men been forgotten like in Pennsylvania, especially Shamokin. Call me biased because I have lived here most of my life, and have seen changes through three generations in my 34 years, but I can and will be.
For too long, do-nothing, self-serving local party bosses and elected officials have squashed the voice of rank-and-file Republicans. Being a Republican precinct committeeman has typically meant being told who you can talk to, who you should support (or oppose) and what you should shut-up about. But we are about to change the game. Those days are numbered because President Donald Trump has changed everything. He’s continuing to re-write the old rules that kept the GOP lethargic and lacking in accomplishment. Now that we have a real leader of our national party, no one is going to listen to the old bosses who still don’t get it — especially if they refuse support our president.
We have a president who created a once-in-a-generation tax reform, the first in 36 years, and yet we have local leaders who eliminate the purpose of that agenda by constantly wanting to tax our area to death, and being successful in doing so thus far. I don’t understand what their ideology is, but punishing hard-working taxpayers who are struggling to put food on the table, keep their lights on in their homes or take more of families’ hard-earned money away from their children’s goals, dreams and after-school activities is not the answer. The answer is not to tax residents into poverty in hopes of prosperity.
The idea of a Home Rule charter in Shamokin can be a very good or scary thought, based on your trust of local government. In running two political campaigns in 2017, I was fortunate enough to dedicate countless hours of time and energy into researching important topics that are and could affect our area, such as Act 47, DCED, Third Class City Code, the state Sunshine Law and local government functions. Being a newcomer in the “political arena” was no easy task, but I pushed myself to learn and invest time into a city I love and call home. Although I may have been unsuccessful on Election Day, I served myself and my community well in the knowledge I gained and the people I met, and that was successful enough for me.
I’m hoping many locally can find the same kind of drive and motivation to educate themselves on big decisions that will need to be made soon in Shamokin, and be vocal on their opinions. After all, we are the ones who elected our government to serve us, not the other way around.
In the same way that Donald Trump is using social media to go over the heads of the dishonest media establishment, savvy Trump supporters know they can go over the heads of the do-nothing party bosses, local government and locally elected officials. Social media is the new front porch of politics. With just the push of a button, your can reach hundreds of people or, as in my case, thousands of people, which can be a fabulous thing. Sure, there are disagreements published on sites like Facebook, but that’s the beauty of it. If you use social media correctly, it is a very powerful tool. No wonder our local government despises it. It creates accountability and transparency to things that the public isn’t privy to because of back-door politics and secret meetings, which still happen today.
My page of “Joe Leschinskie for Republican Committee” on Facebook is one of the largest groups in the area with more than 2,500 members. If you’re already supporting the president on social media, that’s great. But you can do more. You also deserve a seat at the local table. Remember, the GOP is the primary vehicle Donald Trump must rely on to implement his agenda, and for his 2020 re-election. That being said, it is important you elect people who share an “our-area-first” agenda, the same as the president, if we want to accomplish great things. We in Pennsylvania, and especially this area, are experiencing a lost opportunity when local and state “Republican” officials refuse to lift a finger for the Trump agenda.
Some are still actively working against our president by implementing self-serving rules and regulations and raising taxes on a poor economy they’re not helping to rebuild and, quite honestly, it’s a disgrace. Now is the time for Trump supporters to step up.
Take your support to the next level and become educated and vocal at town meetings, get involved in bettering our community while continuing to utilize social media to talk directly to the people. What that means is no filtering by the party bosses and local elected officials. No blind support of do-nothing politicians. Engage your Facebook friends and Twitter and/or Instagram followers. Keep educating them on Trump’s America-First agenda. Call out the haters, the liars and the misinformed, all trying to deceive voters and taxpayers. Inspire your contacts to help you spread the message of Trump’s pro-growth, optimistic agenda to an even wider audience. By doing so, you’re helping make our area a better and safer place.
I, along with many others, will be seeking a seat on our local Republican committees in this year’s primary. We’re going to do our part and bring a new fire and motivation to get things done. Our voice will be loud and our voice will be clear. This is only the beginning.
Thank you and please get out on May 15 and let your voice be heard.
Joe Leschinskie Jr.
Fifth Ward Republican Committee Candidate