Marc Stier

Democrat for State Representative

Working Together to Build Strong Communities

Failed Representation-Rosita Youngblood

The 198th District has not been well served by our current State Representative, Rosita Youngblood. This charge is not made in anger, but in sorrow. Representative Youngblood has lost touch with her district in Philadelphia and has alienated herself from the Democratic Party in Harrisburg.

Where is Representative Youngblood?

Representative Youngblood’s troubles in the capital have made things even worse at home. The life of the 198th district goes on around her with little support from Representative Youngblood. Her office is rarely open and she has no staff. Community groups and civic associations struggle to carry out their activities with little support from the political official closest to us. Businessmen try to create thriving commercial corridors with no aid from the person who should be, but rarely is in the thick of things. When all of the Northwest Philadelphia was faced with a serious threat—SEPTA’s plan to discontinue the R8 train and C bus—Representative Youngblood’s voice was not to be heard. She has still issued no public statements or press releases about the cut in mid-day service on the R8.

Representative Youngblood’s Strange Votes

Disaffection between Representative Youngblood problems in Harrisburg have gotten so bad that she sued the Democratic Leadership in Federal court. She recently lost. One reason for her troubles with the leadership is that she often votes in ways that, from the perspective of her district, and the Democratic party, are strange. Here are some examples. (Click the link above for more details.)

  • Representative Youngblood was the only Democratic to vote with the Republicans to support HR1, which establishes the rules of the House of Representatives. HR 1 also did away with the requirement that each bill or amendment be clearly explained before a vote is taken.
  • Representative Youngblood was a co-sponsor of Joint Resolution 1326 which proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that would allow the legislature to set limits on non-economic damages (damages for pain and suffering and punitive damages.) in cases of medical malpractice. Representative Youngblood is also a sponsor, along with a number of Republicans, of a bill, HB 139, that would limit non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases to $250,000. Such a hard and fast rule makes no more sense in law than it would in medicine.
  • In the course of the debate on Medical Malpractice, Representative Youngblood voted for an amendment that would allow the legislature to set limits on non-economic damages in all liability cases. Under this amendment, the legislature could limit the pain and suffering and punitive damages a corporation could be forced to pay for polluting the environment or making a dangerous product..
  • Representative Youngblood was one of only nine Democrats to vote against a Democratic Telecommunications Bill that would reduce phone bills by about $4 Billion; would make broadband internet access more broadly available five to seven years earlier than is now required; would have provided penalties for telephone companies that abuse their customers; and would have prevented telephone companies from increasing rates on small businesses without first getting approval from the Public Utilities Commission.
  • In 2001 Representative Youngblood was a co-sponsor HB 22, a bill that would reduce and then eliminate the state inheritance tax. Of the 56 sponsors, only 14 were Democrats.
  • Representative Youngblood voted for HB 1222, an  unconstitutional bill that would undermine the ability of local communities to regulate factory farms, and the pollution they create. Under current law, state regulations already take precedence over local zoning and nuisances codes. While HB 1222’s rightly seeks a means to insure that localities adhere to this policy, it does not deal with the continuing problems of factory farms. For example, by sending their manure to other farms, livestock farmers can bypass the regulations on the spreading of manure. This has lead to some notable cases of water pollution. Thankfully, Governor Rendell vetoed this bill.