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Howdy!

As we wrap up the year in Harrisburg, there was a bit of a whirlwind as dozens of bills were brought up for consideration each day. I was very active on the issues I thought were most consequential. One of them I'd like to highlight was the minimum wage bill. This bill raised the minimum wage for the first time in 12 years, but only slightly, from $7.25 per hour up to $9.50 incrementally over several years. We need to do much better than that just to keep up with inflation. The minimum wage would have to be $12 per hour just to bring someone supporting a family up to the federal poverty level. Meanwhile, in the 12 years the wage has not increased for low-income workers, CEO pay has gone up 150%. I reluctantly voted for the bill because something is better than nothing, and these workers desperately need a raise. But I hope we revisit the issue soon. 

While debating the minimum wage bill, I rose on the senate floor to talk about one discrete aspect of it which I found most objectionable. You can watch my speech by going to https://www.facebook.com/senatorleach/videos/2866150190096817/. Specifically, I spoke on the Tip Minimum Wage. The Tip Minimum wage is a sub-minimum wage that workers who theoretically get tips are entitled to. Nationally, that wage is $2.13 per hour, and has not gone up in almost 30 years. In PA, it is $2.83 per hour. This is nothing less than human exploitation. In a fine dining restaurant, a server can make good money on tips. But in an inexpensive restaurant in a poor neighborhood where the customers are themselves struggling, often there are no tips to be had. Nobody can live on such a wage. In theory, employers are supposed to make up the difference between the tip minimum wage and the regular one if there is a gap in what a worker earns. But given that this is a cash business, it often doesn't happen. A recent study found that 84% of restaurants don't make up that difference, at least sometimes. Further, studies show that people of color and women are tipped 20-25% less, on average, than white men. This results in built-in pay discrimination. 

 We should not be outsourcing the obligation to pay workers from employers to customers. Those customers are not required to tip and certainly not to tip at a level that provides a livable wage. I support doing what seven other states have already done, which is to eliminate the tip minimum wage and require all workers to be paid the full minimum wage. This is a cause I will continue to aggressively pursue, along with a livable $15 per hour minimum wage, permanently linked to inflation. It is simply not fair, or just, or economically viable for someone to work very hard, full-time, and still be relegated to living in poverty.  

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving. Please reach out if you need anything from me.

Sincerely,

Daylin

Supporting A Community Staple

Theatre Horizon Check

I’ve been attending shows at Theatre Horizon since its founding in 2005 and I have always been a big supporter. My daughter, Brennan, has even performed on their stage and participated in some of their programs.

Programs like those you see at Theatre Horizon are so important, and I’ll continue to do all that I can to make sure that great work in the arts is always promoted and encouraged. That’s why I was thrilled to join Theatre Horizon in Norristown on November 13th for their opening night of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Prior to the show, I presented staff and board members with a check for $50,000 in state funding that has helped and will continue to help Theatre Horizon make major improvements to its facility. 

Theatre Horizon is a gem here in Southeastern PA and serves as a constant reminder of the importance of theatre and the arts.

Toy Drive

Toy Drive

My office is having a Toy Drive in partnership with Toys for Tots from now until December 13th! You can drop off any new, unwrapped toys and children books in the donation box located in my district office at 601 South Henderson Road, Suite 208, King of Prussia, PA. Please call 610-768-4200 with any questions.

Unclaimed Property

Unclaimed Property

Need some extra dough for the holidays? You might be entitled to money! Make sure to check if you have unclaimed property. See for yourself by visiting www.patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property or call my office at 610-768-4200 and any of my staff can assist you.

Unsung Heroes

Unsung Hero

Do you know someone who has performed a heroic deed or an extraordinary act of kindness? How about someone who has gone above and beyond to help you, a child, a neighbor, a friend, or the community at large?  Or is there a local nonprofit organization or business that has changed your or someone’s life for the better?

Often these people and organizations go unrecognized, but they are the unsung heroes of my district!  And I need your help in identifying them so that I can provide them the recognition they deserve.  Eligible nominees will be invited to attend a special ceremony in their honor. Click here to nominate your unsung hero today.

Funding for Radnor Park

Senator Leach presents check to Radnor Townshiop for park.

Freedom is never free, and it’s important we never forget the bravery and sacrifices of all the men and women that have served our country and those serving today. Radnor Township knew exactly how to make this Veterans Day special -  with an official naming of the Veterans and First Responders Park, which is about two acres located on Lancaster Avenue formally known as St. David’s Park. It was my privilege to join Radnor at the board meeting on Veteran’s Day for this ceremony, and to present them with $25,000 in state funding for improvements to be made to the park. I hope that as time goes on this park serves as a constant reminder to all of our Veterans that their sacrifices and their courage is appreciated.

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Craft and Gift Bazaar

Ardmore House will host its annual craft and gift bazaar on November 30th from 10 AM until 4 PM in their Community Room. Their building is adjacent to the public parking lot nearest to the post office and parking in the back 3 rows there is free on Saturdays. For more information, call (610) 649-8761.

Holiday Village

Kick off your holiday season at Upper Merion Township Building on Saturday, December 7th from 12 to 3 PM. Watch Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive in a sleigh escorted by marching township firefighters and engines!

Enjoy some great comfort food, friends, shopping, and so much more. For more information, visit https://www.umtownship.org/departments/parks-recreation/parks-events/holiday-village/

Narberth Dickens Festival

The Narberth Dickens Festival is a free family event held each December on the streets of downtown Narberth.  It has become the fastest-growing holiday festival in the Philadelphia area.  In this Dickens-themed event, the town of Narberth is transformed into 1840's London, as Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and all the characters from A Christmas Carol roam the streets for an afternoon.
There is entertainment and activities for all ages, including horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday crafts, carolers, ice sculptors, a free Dickens-themed scavenger hunt for children, and much more. Put on your top hat and come join the fun! For more information, visit https://www.narberthonline.com/dickens-festival.html.

Narberth Dickens Festival

ladybug CO-EXISTING WITH NATURE ladybug

Holiday Gift

The holidays are right around the corner and many are already in the spirit. Lights are up and gifts are being purchased. Although holidays are a joyous time, they also tend to be a time when people generate abundant amounts of waste. Did you know that Americans spend about $3.2 billion a year on wrapping paper alone, and that material helps contribute to the 25 million tons of garbage tossed out every year during the holiday season? With some careful planning, you can ensure your holidays are more environmentally friendly. Here’s a few tips to make your holiday season a bit greener:

  1. Use recyclable wrapping paper: Foil and shiny wrapping paper can’t be recycled, so opt for paper made with recycled materials or go with creative wrapping materials such as newspapers, maps and comic books.

  2. Choose bags instead: Bags and baskets tend to be more environmentally friendly because they are often re-used by their recipients. Try leaning towards non-holiday themed bags so they can be used again for birthdays and any other special occasion.

  3. Don’t toss paper and bows: Be sure to remove and save bows on presents you receive. With a simple piece of tape, bows can be regifted for years to come. Sending any gifts in the mail? Old wrapping paper makes great packing material throughout the year!

  4. Recycle your tree: After the holidays, don’t throw your real Christmas tree in the trash. Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes. Make sure to contact your township because most have free drop-off locations or offer curbside pick-up for old trees.

COMMUNITY KUDOS

Ordinarily in this section I highlight a different local 501(c)3 each month, but in this edition, I’d like to take some time to shine a spotlight on all nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits are indispensable. They provide so much for people in the form of essential services, goods and resources to meet community needs. I know I’m grateful to have such wonderful nonprofits across the state and right here in District 17. That’s why on December 3rd, I plan on saying thank you by taking part in Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday started with a simple idea: encourage people to do good. Whether it’s making someone smile, helping out a neighbor, or giving some of what we have to those who need help, every act of generosity counts.

On December 3rd, please consider donating to a nonprofit in honor of GivingTuesday. To learn more about Giving Tuesday or to find an organization near you, visit https://www.givingtuesday.org/

 

Offices of State Senator Daylin Leach

www.senatorleach.com
  DISTRICT OFFICE
601 S. Henderson Road, Suite 208
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 768-4200 | Fax: (610) 768-4204
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
HARRISBURG OFFICE
543 Main Capitol | Box 203017
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3017
(717) 787-5544 | Fax: (717) 705-7741
Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.