Masterman students weigh in on Rep. Rabb, PA issues

Posted 10/14/20

My name is Nora Stocovaz, I am a senior at Julia R Masterman and a resident of the 200th district in Philadelphia.

I am writing to you about Representative Christopher Rabb and his role in …

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Masterman students weigh in on Rep. Rabb, PA issues

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My name is Nora Stocovaz, I am a senior at Julia R Masterman and a resident of the 200th district in Philadelphia.

I am writing to you about Representative Christopher Rabb and his role in women’s equality in our community. While Rabb has supported the fight for equality through the support of bills such as bill HR138, creating “Celebrating Women in Public Office day” and bill HR379, creating “Women’s Equity Day. I also admire his support of bill HR603, establishing “National Period Day” in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, your support of bill HB2709, regarding sexual harassment by police officers is very valuable. Unfortunately, these actions feel passive and I would like to see more action taken by Christopher Rabb’s office to combat issues of inequality in our city.

 When schools closed in March, me and a number of students from Masterman organized a free distribution of pads and tampons at local schools. Every Thursday morning I distributed hundreds of menstrual products to young women that live in our neighborhood. During these mornings I found myself engaged in many conversations with women about menstrual equity. Far too many women in our community were faced with extreme difficulties when trying to obtain necessities, such as pads. Not only did COVID-19 create a barrier for women to get to stores and purchase their products but countless women are faced with a financial barrier. In addition, I engaged in many conversations regarding the difficulties that homeless women face. It is not popular for homeless shelters to receive donations of menstrual products, and even less popular for homeless shelters to distribute menstrual products. The organization my classmate started, Planned Parenthood Highschool Action Group, has been working very hard to combat this issue.

Menstrual equity is a serious issue across our nation but I have witnessed it first hand in this neighborhood. What is Christopher Rabb doing to support women during the pandemic and to ensure that all young women have access to the products they need?

Nora Stocovaz

Julia R Masterman

High School President

 

I’m writing to express my views on my district’s representative Christopher Rabb. 

I believe that Representative Christopher Rabb serving for another term is ideal. I'm a Senior at Julia R Masterman, represented by Chris Rabb who lives in the East section of Mount Airy. 

An issue that stood out to me was his support in the rehabilitation of individuals with criminal records. Being a black male it has never been a secret to me that I am targeted disproportionately by law enforcement. 

While not being a secret I never knew the depth and measures taken to reinforce and keep it that way. With reading books like the New Jim Crow and researching my own, I learned more of the intricacies of the system. This learning is why I support Mr. Rabb for his signing of the HB 440bill in relation to Criminal Records of those convicted.

Rabb has also worked for police reform in departments where underfunding is prevalent. This underfunding has led to discrimination within departments due to a lack of training and a high turn-over rate for officers. The bill hopes to further police training past the minimum that is required to address issues such as mental illness among suspects and the use of force.

It will take a lot more than the implementation of this bill to reform a broken system like the one we have in the U.S, but this bill seems like a step in the right direction.

An issue that also struck me was Mr. Rabb’s support of education. The aim of the HB434bill he signed was to destroy the biases that we have regarding different cultures and religions. The bill pledged money to the instructing of teachers before certification about the various holocausts, genocides, and civil rights violations that have taken place and take place globally. I believe that the knowledge or lack thereof of these events has shaped an extremely ignorant society. For me personally, being black I realized that “history” that I learned in textbooks intentionally left out countless people, events, laws, that took place and are still in place today. This has led to me not associating anything positive with my identity of being a black person.

In addition to signing this bill Mr. Rabb proposed a “fair funding formula” which would provide enough funding for Public schools such as F.S Edmonds, a school in my neighborhood, to provide students with enough resources to compete with other well-funded public schools. Rabb has also announced funding via state grant for cafeteria meals for Hill Freedman World Academy along with 70 other public schools across Pennsylvania. Rabb believes that if a child is hungry’, they can’t concentrate in class and the school is responsible for feeding the child's mind and body.

These schools right around the corner from me gave me a more personal connection to Mr. Rabb’s policy that he described for public schools because, although I didn’t go to those specific schools, I went to an underfunded elementary school in my neighborhood close by.

Rabb has even committed $200,000 to a Mt.Airy program called, ”Trades for a Difference”, that goes toward providing education and skills in trade careers to youth across Mt.Airy. According to Rabb, this will further provide them with opportunities to build personal wealth, provide for themselves and their families, and to learn about the implementation of technology in fields such as construction.

It makes me glad that Mr. Rabb supports such bills on reform and education and he has garnered my support because of that.

Jaden Howard

Senior, Julia Masterman

 

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