Aug. 11, 2019

How Do You Handle Perfect?

Long before I was Rosemary Brown, State Representative, I was addressed as Ro (which many still call me), Baby Ro (when I was a child), Big Ro (since there was another Rosemary I lived with in college that was more petite than me) and of course, mom (my most favorite). I have been addressed in many ways, but I never have been expected to be addressed as perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I truly wish I was perfect and could tell you I was, but we all know no one is, which is something I remind my children of often. However, I firmly believe we all have an obligation to work as hard as we can to develop our best selves.

Recently, I opened a chocolate wrapper and received an inspirational quote that sums it up for me: “Don’t Stop Until You are Proud!” I always want to be proud of my work for our district and the people I represent, though I’m aware I will never be perfect.

Many of you may get my weekly e-newsletter, which offers a snapshot of recent state news as well as local highlights, often recognizing the positive work of local individuals and organizations. At the top of each e-newsletter you will see a “Word of the Month” – part of my “District of Character” initiative. This idea started years ago when I wanted to use my position to help communicate that we should always be improving and working to create a stronger society – something that isn’t always accomplished with new laws. You will even see local businesses that have joined this initiative and post the “Word of the Month” for their customers and employees to see daily.

As we as a community continue to emphasize character building, I experience and watch interactions on many levels and in many different situations, especially in my role as state representative. It’s easy to understand how the public wants perfection not only from elected officials but from neighbors and individuals. Is the person perfect looking? Do they speak perfectly? Do they walk perfectly? Do they dress perfectly? Are their teeth perfect? Is their family perfect? Do they act perfectly? There are, of course, issues with this.

First, what one considers “perfect” may be very different from what another does. Second, we all know no one is perfect and to expect otherwise denies this fact.

My question becomes this: is the idea of requiring “perfection” – be it in opinion, action or issue – blocking productive work and communication? Is the idea of requiring “perfection” actually denying the very core of our amazing country – that compromise and bridge-building can achieve results versus demanding a perfection that can never be met for all?

This editorial piece was also published recently in the Pocono Record.
 

ESU’s Tick Research Lab to Receive $500,000 from 2019-20 State Budget

 
As a leader on this effort and continuing to pave the way for further funding and research for Lyme Disease, I am pleased to announce that East Stroudsburg University’s (ESU) Tick Research Lab will receive another $500,000 from the 2019-20 state budget.

With the number of tick-related illnesses on the rise here in the Commonwealth, this additional funding makes it possible for our tick research lab to function efficiently, aid researchers in processing tick-tests, provide timely results and improve marketing efforts.

ESU’s Tick Research Lab provides a FREE base test on ticks submitted for Lyme disease as well as three additional tests based on the species of tick. Pennsylvanians can send a tick sample to the lab and receive the test results. These samples can be mailed to 562 Independence Road, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301.

In addition to this funding, I will be hosting Rep. Kathy Rapp (Crawford/Forest/Warren), chairwoman of the House Health Committee, and other committee members for a public hearing on Monday, Sept. 9, beginning at 10 a.m., at the ESU Innovation Center, 562 Independence Road, East Stroudsburg, to discuss Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses as well as what the state’s next steps are in combatting this Pennsylvania health crisis.

You can read my full press release here.
 
 
Making PA Schools Safer

 
Recognizing the importance of ensuring our children feel safe at school, the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of investing an additional $60 million in the School Safety and Security Block Grant program.

Now in its second year, the program provides flexible funding that schools may use for a variety of security-related initiatives, including hiring school police officers, school resource officers, counselors and/or mental health counselors; alternative education and diversion programs; violence prevention initiatives; school safety and emergency preparedness plans; or physical upgrades to school buildings and equipment to improve safety.

Based on revisions to the grant funding guidelines, each school entity that submits an application for funding to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will receive a base grant of between $30,000 and $45,000, based on the school’s average daily attendance.

As part of the Public School Code bill that accompanied passage of this year’s budget, lawmakers also are requiring each public school district to create at least one multi-disciplinary threat assessment team to identify students in distress before their behavior escalates to a level that raises concern about safety.
 
 
Safe2Say Something Reporting System Gets Results

An anonymous reporting system designed to give students, teachers, parents and community members the ability to anonymously report potential threats and other problems has collected nearly 23,500 tips in its first six months of operation, according to a report from the Office of Attorney General.

The Safe2Say Something program, created by a 2018 law, launched in mid-January to give students a way to share information without fear of repercussions or blame from their peers.

Among the most common issues reported included bullying/cyber bullying; cutting/self-harm; suicide/suicide ideation; depression/anxiety; and drug use/distribution/possession.

To report a possible dangerous or violent situation, individuals can call the state tip line at 844-723-2729. Tips can also be reported to safe2saypa.org or through the Safe2Say app on iPhone and Android devices.

 
Brookdale Recovery Center to Open This Week

   
As many of you are aware, my efforts to help at the state level on drug and opioid addiction continue to be a priority. Last week, I toured the new Brookdale Recovery Center in Swiftwater which helps offer services in our local area. Brookdale is a state-of-the-art drug and alcohol treatment center specifically designed for effective addiction recovery. Nestled on a private lake and 220 acres, the establishment is designed to offer amenities and a peaceful, mind/ body building environment to help begin the patient’s journey into a strong new life of sobriety. The center is expected to open this week.
 

Bushkill and Smithfield Lions Club Celebrate 10th Anniversary

 
Last Sunday, I joined the Bushkill and Smithfield Lions Club to celebrate its 10th anniversary of service to our community.

The Lions Club fosters a spirit of understanding, promotes good citizenship, and takes an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and welfare of the community. It also provides a forum for open discussion on matters of public interest (no partisan politics or religion are to be debated) and works to encourage men and women to serve their community and promote high ethical standards.

Pictured above from left are Larry VanWhy, Roseann VanWhy, President Rob Rohner, Donald Carr and Paul Menditto, the five charter members of the Lions Club who have continued their service for 10 years. Thank you to this full organization for all they do.

The Lions Club is always looking for new members to join. Please call my office if you would like more information.

Just a reminder: If you are encountering an issue with state government, please feel free to contact my district office. We are here to help you with the following services:      
 
 - Driver’s license and vehicle registration applications and renewals. 
 - Assistance with PennDOT paperwork (lost cards, changes, corrections, special registration plates, vanity plates, and temporary placards for disabled persons).                         
 - PACE and PACENET applications for seniors.                         
 - State Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Work.
 - Voter registration forms and absentee ballot applications.                         
 - State tax forms.                         
 - Student aid applications.                         
 - Free state maps, state park information, and PA Vacation Guides.                         
 - Copies of legislation and tours of the State Capitol.                         
 - Referrals to agencies to resolve state-related matters. 
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Office Locations
143 Seven Bridge Road, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301 | Phone: (570) 420-8301
210 Ryan Office Building, PO Box 202189, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2189 | Phone: (717) 260-6171
Email: rbrown@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614
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