Marc Stier

Democrat for State Representative

Working Together to Build Strong Communities

The Kind of Legislator I Will Be

Making good laws is not just making speeches or even about voting the right way in the legislature. The hard work of making good public policy comes long before that vote is cast. A good legislator must:

  • Identify problems that government can solve
  • Devise public policies that solve those problems and have a chance of gaining enough political support to be enacted.
  • Form coalitions with other legislators to gain support for the proposed law
  • Generate public support for the legislation by organizing interest groups and citizens to bring pressure in favor of the law.
  • Shepherd the legislation through the hearing and markup sessions in legislative committees
In accomplishing these tasks, there is no substitute for hard work. And no one will work hard unless they are passionately committed to making life better for their constituents? If you elect me to the legislature, I am going to set my sights high. I am going to model myself after creative legislators on the national and state level—people like Hubert Humphrey on the Federal level  and Dwight Evans and Allyson Schwartz in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And I promise you that when I have served for some years, you won’t have to ask yourself, “When was the last time our state representative took the lead on some issue of importance to this state?”

Building Strong Communities

My overriding aim as a legislator will be on developing laws that help revitalize our communities in Philadelphia and  Pennsylvania as a whole.

On this page I will summarize some of my ideas about how we can create stronger communities. Click on the links for details about the kind of legislation I hope to sponsor and support.


Without good schools, our communities will die. It is as simple as that.

  • We need equality in funding education.
  • We need to institute educational programs that work, including pre-k programs, small classes in the lower grades, and tutoring programs.
  • We need strong principals and qualified, effective teachers in all schools.
  • We need to experiment with diverse kinds of public education in charter schools
  • We need to help parents and kids outside of school.
  • We need to reduce college tuition at our public universities for students with low incomes.

Economic Development

We need public polices that create high-wage, high-skill jobs in expanding sectors of the economy and that spur revitalization of our commercial areas. We should:

  • Increase the minimum wage;
  • Expand training programs for workers;
  • Aid to small businesses;
  • Reduce the wage tax because it stifles job creation. It should be replaced with more state aid to education and transportation paid for by progressive increases in the income tax;
  • Stop suburban sprawl and redirect development into our cities;
  • Make wireless internet access available to everyone as a means of spurring development.


We must dramatically increased state support for public transportation provided by dedicated and reliable funding sources. I support the proposals recently made in the General Assembly to provide these funds by increases in the tire tax and rental car tax and by lifting the cap on the portion of the sales tax that can go to mass transit.

Increases in state aid would enable us to

  • Restore service on the R8 and other commuter lines to once every half hour;
  • Bring back a new, air conditioned 23 trolley with computerized controls that speed the cars up and down Germantown Avenue
  • Create a new fare that allows riders on the 23 bus or trolley to get on and off the line as many times as they want.

Community Building

We need to strengthen the community and civic associations and the religious groups that play such an important role in building our communities and providing services to people. The following public policies will help build community organizations:

  • Every citizen of Pennsylvania should to receive a tax credit, in the amount of $25 initially, rising to $50 over a few years, for a donation to a non-profit community organization.
  • The state should develop a means by which non-profit groups can join together to buy health insurance for their staff members.
  • Non-profit Support Centers should be created that help small non-profit groups deal with technical and legal issues, such as those involved with gaining and keeping 501c3 status; filing the appropriate reports with the state; accounting, payroll, and taxes.

Political Reform

Government will not do what is right if it is for sale to the highest bidder and if its operations are hidden from public view. I will propose legislation that:

  • Provides public financing for political campaigns while limiting campaign contributions;
  • Requires the General Assembly to provide on the internet understandable explanations of every bill before it and the voting records of each legislator;
  • Creates a non-partisan commission to draw the district lines for State House and Senate Districts and US House Districts.

Civil Liberties and Rights

Much remains to be done to protect our civil liberties and rights.

  • I will propose state action to protect the civil liberties that are under threat from actions of the Federal government;
  • I will sponsors a law to outlaw racial profiling in law enforcement.
  • Women’s reproductive freedom must be preserved.  I will work to protect and preserve the right to choose while promoting policies that improve women’s health and make abortion less necessary.
  • Gays and lesbians deserve the same rights as all other citizens. I will work for legislation to include sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination laws.
  • The state prisons of Pennsylvania are overcrowded. Rather than building new prisons, we need to reform sentencing standards so as to find alternatives to prison time for nonviolent offenders.

Stopping Crime

While policing is mostly a local matter, as a state legislator I would take action to insist that sufficient and equal police resources are made available to all citizens in the 198th district and in the city as a whole. I would also insure that money is provided to support town watches in every part of the district.

Health Care

Adequate health care is a fundamental right. Yet it is a right that is violated too often in our society. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can be doing more to insure that all of our citizens have access to health care.

  • The most immediate task in our area is to keep MCP Hospital open.
  • The second task is deal with the medical malpractice insurance crisis in Pennsylvania. I will support changes in the legal system that reduce malpractice insurance by insuring that jury awards are reasonable and fair. However, I strongly oppose the Republican plan to change the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow for caps on jury awards payments for pain and suffering.
  • Mental health care in Philadelphia is undermined because hospital care and psychiatric drugs are paid for by different agencies. I will introduce legislation that reforms this system and creates incentives for good mental health care.
  • I strongly support the recently enacted expansion of the Pace / Pacenet program that helps people with limited incomes purchase prescription drugs. As the state financial picture improves, the income limits should be raised to allow more people to take advantage of it.
  • Too many of our citizens are without health insurance. State Representatives must work to make more people aware of the adultBasic and CHIP programs. Both programs should be expanded to allow individuals and families with higher incomes to take advantage of them and, also, by providing additional subsidies for those with low incomes.
  • Over time, we will have to fundamentally rethink the manner in which health insurance is provided in Pennsylvania and create a system that provides full coverage to everyone. .

Protecting the Environment

I would like to see Pennsylvania move into the forefront of states in our efforts to protect the environment. This makes good sense, not only for our own health and wellbeing, but because a determined effort to take the lead in environmental protection can serve our economy.

  • We need to follow the lead of some of our neighboring states and adopt a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program modeled after that found in California.
  • We also need to encourage Pennsylvanians to purchase, and businesses to produce, energy efficient products of all kinds.
  • We also should supporting businesses that can provide energy efficient products and zero emission cars. We should be developing an infrastructure for alternative fuels for our cars. We can encourage this development with tax credit and grants for fuel production and distribution facilities. We can also support investments in alternative energy sources, alternative fuel vehicles, and in equipment that reduces pollution.
  • We also need to make sure that the standards we use to protect our water and air are as high as they can be given the technology available to us.