How Josh Shapiro is Making Strides as the New Governor of Pennsylvania


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Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro speaks to supporters at Greater Philadelphia Expo Center on November 8, 2022 in Oaks, Pennsylvania after defeating Republican Senator Doug Mastriano in the run for governor. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Jessie Kellerman, Staff Writer

During the time of the midterm elections on Nov. 8, 2022 the fight for who would become the elected governor of Pennsylvania became one of the most important battles. The Democratic nominee, Josh Shapiro, brought six years as Attorney General and seven years as a state lawmaker–making him an ideal candidate to win the election for Governor. 

Shapiro has made clear he is willing to work with both Democrats and Republicans alike even hiring several Republicans to his cabinet. The Senate’s ranking Republican, Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, commented on Shapiro’s speech saying it sounded “pretty bipartisan.” 

Mr. Merritt, a teacher at State High who teaches AP US Government and AP Comparative Government commented, “The fact that Shapiro is willing to work in a more bipartisan way by electing Republicans that supported him and not just Democrats that way the leadership of the government as one can represent Pennsylvania as a whole.”

With the election of Shapiro as Governor came the rise of Austin Davis– making history as the first Black Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania. Davis, like Shapiro, has several years of prior experience having previously served as a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from 2018-2022. 

One of the first moves Shapiro is making as governor is signing an executive order to improve the licensing, permitting, and certification process. By allowing this order to take place students and adults alike will receive their drivers license and application feedback with quicker notice. Passing this will force agencies to meet certain deadlines for giving a response to applicants. If the deadline is missed then the applicants will get their money back. 

The Transformation and Opportunity, another order signed by Shapiro, led to the creation of that will help in coordinating agencies like PennDot or the Department of Environmental Protection to speed up the process of permitting for businesses.

During his acceptance speech Shapiro promised the public that he would protect women’s rights to choose, give communities’ access to good schools, safety, and an equal opportunity regardless of where you live or socioeconomic status.

Sheila Abruzzo and Kerry O’Melia, Learning Enrichment teachers for freshman and sophomores, shared their perspective on the new governor. “I think he really cares about education and in terms of current issues he will be a voice for the people of Pennsylvania,” O’Melia said. 

“I like the fact that he is younger compared to most government officials so I think that he will bring a new perspective and ideas, but he still has a lot of experience which makes him right for the job,” Abruzzo exclaimed. 

Even though it is still early to tell how things will go, many teachers and students alike are hopeful. “I think he really cares about education and in terms of current issues he will be a voice for the people of Pennsylvania,” O’Melia stated. 

Shapiro’s acceptance speech included his plans to improve education for several kids across the state as well as protection of reproductive rights where Shapiro stated in his rally in Philadelphia that he would defend reproductive rights for every woman in America. “You’ve heard him talk a good game about freedom. Well, I say this here in the birthplace of our democracy, it’s not freedom when he tells you what medicines you’re allowed to take. That’s not freedom,” said Shapiro. “It’s not freedom when he tells you how and when and under what terms, you’re allowed to start a family. That’s not freedom.” 

Shapiro also promised to protect LGBTQ+ rights and same sex marriage. Shapiro has said in public statements that he’d “put his full capital behind the effort” to enshrine housing, schooling, and employment protections for the LGTBQ community. Bills that would make nondiscrimination against LGBTQ people illegal. He also called out to states for a law against hate crimes and banning conversion therapy for minors. 

Because of his new perspective of success and strategy more people than before are following behind him, gaining support from both Republicans and Democrats to help him achieve his goals. Overall, as a whole Shapiro has followed through with his campaign promises and is leading Pennsylvania as a whole to a new and inspiring future.