By Rep. Anita Kulik
I cannot remember a time in my life where a new year has been more anticipated and welcomed than 2021.
The past year was bad on so many levels and unfortunately, the recovery from it will take us far into this new year. It is hard to imagine overcoming the unanticipated loss of health and lives of so many of our family and friends. It is hard to imagine the economic loss suffered by so many of our local businesses and the people who lost jobs and suffered the financial impacts of this past year. Many of us are labeled as “Baby Boomers” or part of “Generation-X.”
I cannot even guess at how the babies born in 2020 will be classified.
It was not just the pandemic that will define 2020. It was a perfect storm of many things. Politics and social issues brewed animosity. Our collective sense of camaraderie and unity seemed lost. If you grew up in the 60s or 70s, such issues may seem to be nothing new, but to many younger citizens such unrest is novel.
New years bring new resolutions and this year they need to be more than diet and exercise. We must resolve to be civil — with family, friends and strangers.
In the old days, a person would stand on an actual “soap box” and expound in public. Now we have faceless social media. To be clear, the dissemination of information and opinion is vital to our democracy. But with free speech comes responsibility and with responsibility comes civility.
We can get our opinions across using the right words. Reason, civility and respect make for the best arguments.
On this note, I am proud to say that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is forming a Bi-Partisan Caucus. Many of us spearheaded and have already joined this effort.
I have always worked across the aisle with my colleagues. Since I took office I have always felt the responsibility and need to see all sides of every issue. I have worked closely with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, and I see this new effort as a good progression of the commitment of those, like me, who are not concerned about political affiliation.
I hope the new session will lead to all of us working together to accomplish what must be done for the good of the Commonwealth. I look forward to continuing my work with Rep. Mihalek to get Alina’s Law passed. I will be working with Rep. Ortitay in our efforts to modernize our animal protection laws.
I will also be working with all my colleagues to protect that hardest hit by the pandemic, either through illness, economic loss and unemployment issues.
Several of my colleagues have committed to support my proposed legislation to address blight and relief for our small businesses. I am confident that we can work together to overcome the problems of 2020 and focus on the other challenges that must be addressed.
I offer to you my best wishes for the holiday season, and for a happy and blessed Christmas. God Bless us all as we move forward into the new year.