Christina Finello, Democratic candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District,
and would be the district's first woman to hold the seat if elected.
Christina is a 5th generation Pennsylvanian, born in Bristol, raised in Warminster, and now lives in Ivyland with her husband, Todd, and our two daughters, Katie and Nora.
In telling her story, she related how, "Growing up in a large Irish-Italian, Catholic family right here in Bucks County taught me the value of service and hard work. My parents gave their all to provide for our family. Sometimes, that meant Dad was working two jobs. And after 42 years of work in the title insurance business, Mom recently retired. Through it all, my parents always found time to volunteer in our community, whether through coaching soccer, playing an active role at our church, or serving as a local union representative. “Unto whom much is given, much is required,” they always taught me.
After earning a joint law degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Villanova Law and Drexel University, I took an extended internship at a federal correctional facility in Missouri, interviewing and performing psychological evaluations on some of the most violent and hardened prisoners in our federal system. Instead of pursuing a career at a big corporate law firm or health care company after graduate school, I returned home to Pennsylvania because I wanted to help the community I loved.
I’ve spent the last 10 years working to improve government systems for care delivery as Deputy Director of the Bucks County Department of Housing and Human Services and working with the Philadelphia Veterans Court, connecting our region’s veterans with high-quality services. I’ve served on the board of Alpha Bravo Canine, where I helped connect veterans with combat-related injuries with well-trained service dogs, and since 2017 I have served as the only Democrat on the 7-member elected Ivyland Borough Council. I also currently serve my community on the Nativity of Our Lord’s school advisory board and the YMCA of Bucks County’s Central Bucks Regional Advisory Board.
I’ve learned that I have a knack for fixing what’s broken. I’m running for Congress because Washington is broken, and we can’t change our politics until we change the people we send there. I’m determined to go to Washington to find real solutions for our problems and to fight for our district’s families every day."
She beleives that her opponent, although not an ideologue, bucks his party's line on minor issues or those where his vote is otherwise meaaningless. However, when it comes to thsoe issues on whcih Christina feels most passionate, the incumbent falls in line with President Trump and his party leadership.
Her views on specific issues, she favors (a) improving and expanding the Affordable Care Act by providng a public option which would provide both quality and affordable care, (b) lowering the prices for prescription drugs, (c) proving a pth to citienship for DACA individual, whom she knws hav enever knwn any country but ours, (d) providng better training and deescallaiton techniques for police department … and specifically opposes defunding them, (e) reasoned as opposed to the present emotionaland reactive foreign policies, (f) reengagement with our historical allies, (g) reaching out to all parties in the Middle East to deescallate tensiona and trying to bring the parties together (h) supports expanded opportunities for voter participation, including mail-in balloting which she beleives is safe and contests Trumps claims of enormous voter fraud and (i) returning our federal government to operating as the constitution envisioned, with COngress having responsibel oversight over the extecutive and legislation replsce government by executive order.
Going further …
Healthcare You Can Afford
We should strengthen the Affordable Care Act, not destroy it. That’s why I support creating a non-profit public option to compete with for-profit insurance companies so we can bring down the costs for everyone. We need to change the law to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices while also allowing the safe reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada.
Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions
I will do everything I can to protect the Affordable Care Act from Republicans who are intent on gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The fact is that Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress continue to try to undermine these protections on behalf of the insurance industry – and it’s wrong. In Congress, I’ll do everything in my power to stand up to them.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment
We must do more to prioritize mental health and combat substance abuse. Accessible affordable healthcare for mental health and substance use is critical if we want people to have healthy lives. Restricting access or making it more costly will do nothing to quell the opioid epidemic, reduce the suicide rate, or curtail the surging rates of depression and anxiety in our teens.
We need to treat mental health and substance use with the same level of care and resources as we treat physical health, and we need to make sure insurance coverage is available for mental healthcare and substance use treatment the same way it is for other types of healthcare.
The Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act have helped move us in the right direction, but there is much Congress can and should do to hold insurance companies accountable for providing full coverage for mental and physical health.
Advocating for Women’s Healthcare
We must end the attack on women’s healthcare in America. We must do everything we can in this moment to stand up for women’s healthcare, protect Planned Parenthood, and ensure a woman’s privacy to make decisions for herself. I would support legislation to increase access to contraception and would oppose efforts to defund organizations that provide critical healthcare options to women.
Respecting the Dignity of Work
Despite a healthy job market, the average wage in America today has the same purchasing power it did forty years ago. In America today, a minimum wage worker makes less than $16,000 a year, which is below the poverty line for a family of three. But at the same time, a CEO was paid a $129 million salary in recent years – that’s not acceptable. We know that raising the minimum wage will stimulate consumer spending, growing the economy and creating more opportunity. Unfortunately, our federal government has failed to raise the minimum wage in over a decade. It’s time to raise the wage. I support reinstating the Obama-era overtime rules that would raise the wages of 8.2 million Americans. And I believe we need to strengthen unions and wage boards because workers who bargain collectively earn roughly 14 percent an hour more than those who don’t.
Protecting Workers and New Skills Training
We must protect and strengthen the hand of workers in a changing and more automated economy. That means passing a law guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid family leave and allowing workers to earn paid sick leave. It also means connecting workers to the jobs of today and tomorrow through robust skills training and apprenticeship programs and passing a law to make organizing a union fairer – including the prevention of employer interference. In Congress, I’ll fight to rollback Donald Trump’s assault on workers through rules promulgated by the National Labor Relations Board.
Making College More Affordable & Enhancing Skills
The college affordability crisis is growing in America and making a college education beyond the reach of too many while putting others under the weight of a lifetime of debt. Congress can and should do things to alleviate this financial crunch:
Connecting Skills and Work
Perhaps nothing is more important in this changing economy than new skills training for workers and matching workers skills with the work of the future. We need to enhance apprenticeship programs, partnerships between employers, community colleges and trade centers, and invest in technical education programs in high schools.
Tackling Our Climate Crisis
It’s time to make historic investments in alternative energy, including wind, solar, and other types of energy sources that end our reliance on fossil fuels.
Rejoin the International Climate Agreement
Donald Trump was wrong when he had America abandon the Paris Climate Agreement. In Congress, I will push for the United States to rejoin the historic agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are threatening our planet’s future.
Reinstate the Obama Clean Power Rules & Other Regulatory Measures
We must reinstate the Obama clean power rules that Donald Trump abandoned and reenact the many other rules governing harmful pollution like pesticides, toxic substances, as well as our air and water.
Protecting Our Communities
In Congress, I will work hard until common-sense background checks on gun purchases becomes the law of the land. We’ve lost too many innocent children and fellow citizens to senseless gun violence and mass shootings; we no longer feel safe in places of worship, grocery stores, or in the schools we send our children off to each day.
Ban Military-Style Assault Weapons
We must ban the sale of military-style assault weapons. These weapons are designed to kill a large number of people in a short period of time. They are weapons of war, not recreational devices used to hunt.
Prevent Domestic Abusers from Having Guns
In Congress, I will work to pass a federal law to prevent dangerous domestic abusers from owning guns. We cannot wait any longer.
After years of progress we are seeing a scary rollback in LGBTQ+ protections, and a rising tide of intolerance, homophobia and transphobia. Simply put, transgender Americans should be able to serve our county openly on the armed forces. LGBTQ+ couples should be free to adopt children without discrimination. The Department of Education should protect LGBTQ+ students against harassment. Christina will actively work in congress to restore the rights that Donald Trump’s Administration has stripped from the LGBTQ+ community.
Equality in Housing
In far too many states landlords can discriminate against potential tenants based off sexuality or gender identity. Federal legislation is necessary to ban such discriminatory actions.
Equality of Employment
No one should face fear or discrimination in the workplace based off of their gender identity or sexuality. Christina will actively support legislation to make illegal any discrimination in employment against the LGBTQ+ community.
In 2015 the Supreme Court decided that every American had the right to marriage, no matter their sexual orientation. Christina will vigorously oppose any effort by the legislative or executive branches to counteract that decision.
A Safer Country and World
Donald Trump’s assault on diplomacy has created a crisis in the State Department, led to the coddling of dictators, and brought us near the brink of war. We must restore our diplomatic corps and our diplomacy around the world.
Prevent Iran from Getting a Nuclear Weapon
We must do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
Look After Our Troops and Our Veterans
In Congress, I’ll be a champion of our military troops and their families, as well as our nation’s veterans. We must improve veteran’s healthcare, education and skills training.
Restoring Our Democracy
The right to vote is the backbone of our democracy, and it’s under assault by Republicans determined to carve up an electorate that’s favorable to them. That’s why I support a New Voting Rights Act of the 21st Century that will protect everyone’s right to vote.
Overturn Citizens United
I support a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling to end dark money’s influence on our elections. Our leaders in Washington should answer to the people they have been elected to serve, not the corporations and big donors bankrolling their re-election campaigns.
Strengthen Election Security
We need to pass election security legislation, such as the Election Security Act, which would provide grants to states for cyber-security election protection. Russia’s continued interference in our elections is proof of the urgency of this legislation.
Adequate funding of our schools is paramount regardless of where you live. We must properly compensate our teachers and support staff. We need to review how funding formulas are structured and whether they promote equity.
Increase Funding for STEM and Special Education
There is an increasing need for quality education of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Continued investment in STEM is necessary to cultivate critical thinking and produce the next generation of innovators. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a vital service for our citizens with intellectual disabilities, and I would support legislation to make sure it is fully funded and essential protections that have been stripped away are restored.
Promote the Utilization of Technical Schools
The path to self-sufficiency is different for every student. Tech schools provide hands-on training to individuals. It is never too early to introduce our students to the technical and trade fields to put them on a path to success after high school and prepare them for today’s workforce. I would support funding streams that prioritize this important component of our education system.
We need comprehensive immigration reform that provides a clear path to citizenship. I would also support legislation that allows for effective border screening.
End Inhumane Policies
We must find ways to balance securing our borders with humane immigration policies that allow people to come here who will help our country prosper without ripping families apart. I’m the great-granddaughter of Irish and Italian immigrants. I, and many other folks in our community, are the beneficiaries of our country’s history of providing a home for immigrants who want to make a better life here for their families. We cannot forget that.
Club president, on behalf of the club, thanked Christian for her time and wished her well come November 3rd.