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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: August 11, 2020 10:41 AM
From: Representative Joanna E. McClinton
To: All House members
Subject: "Choose Love and Compassion Month" in Pennsylvania
We live in turbulent times. Gun violence continues to plague our streets. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the loss of roughly 170,000 of our family members, friends, and neighbors nationwide and has sickened millions more – with no end in sight. The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other black and brown brothers and sisters have caused this country and the entire world to hold a mirror up to ourselves, determine who we are as a society and what we want for our children, and demand racial justice once and for all. Tensions in our communities are at a breaking point. We cannot go on like this. Our children are watching.
In Pennsylvania, schools may currently establish and implement a character education program to cover such topics as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness and caring – traits we can all agree are needed for success in life. As elected officials, we should be encouraging our schools to institute programs on the importance of these character traits as well as evidence-based conflict resolution plans to teach the common values of love, honesty, empathy and understanding in our communities. By stressing these important values, we can help stem the tide of violence in our schools and on our streets. We may not agree on everything, but at our core, we want to be happy and for our loved ones to be safe. By realizing our collective humanity, we can create a better world for our children and grandchildren.
My resolution will designate the month of September 2020 as “Choose Love and Compassion Month” in Pennsylvania to encourage schools and workplaces to adopt programs to advance these goals. This is based off a venture brought to my attention by a constituent and started by Scarlett Lewis after her young son was brutally murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement teaches educators and their students how to choose love in any circumstance. The movement is built upon a simple formula: courage, plus gratitude, plus forgiveness, plus compassion in action equals “Choosing Love”. I believe this, and other similar programs, should be replicated in schools throughout Pennsylvania, especially in these trying times.
We truly are all in this together. By coming together and choosing love and compassion, we can hopefully open a dialogue with our neighbors, co-workers, and family members – even if we disagree! I invite all my colleagues to co-sponsor this important resolution.

Introduced as HR977