Lisa Adamu lives in Pennsylvania; Grover Norquist does not.
Lisa Adamu has lived in the city of Lebanon since the sixth grade. Grover Norquist lives in Washington D. C. as a conservative lobbyist and president of “Americans for Tax Reform.” Grover Norquist’s lobby advocates two things: 1) opposition to any and all efforts to increase marginal income tax rates for individuals and business and 2) oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless attached dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.
Lisa Adamu advocates two things: 1) the golden rule and 2) equal opportunity. She advocates these things because Lisa knows, as Americans, we are connected to one another, we are a team, a commonwealth.
Lisa Adamu pays taxes in Pennsylvania. Lisa Adamu has been paying taxes in Pennsylvania since she was in high school working at Hershey Park to help pay for college. Federal, state, and local taxes came out of each and every one of her pay checks to help pay for schools, roads, and the salaries of the governor and legislature of Pennsylvania.
Grover Norquist pays no taxes in Pennsylvania. He contributes nothing whatsoever to Pennsylvania schools, roads, or the salaries of the governor or the legislature.
Grover Norquist grew up in Weston Massachusetts. People in Weston work for large corporations such as Polaroid, which is what Grover Norquist’s father did, and Raytheon, a huge defense contractor that receives public money, that is to say taxes, from people like Lisa Adamu. Weston Massachusetts is the wealthiest suburb of Boston. Weston has the highest per capita income in Massachusetts.
Lisa Adamu grew up in Lebanon Pennsylvania. The median family income of Lebanon City residents is $27,259 per year. 16.8% of the population of Lebanon City lives below the poverty line, including 24.7% of children under the age of 18. That’s right, one quarter of the children in the city of Lebanon Pennsylvania live in poverty.
Grover Norquist graduated from Weston public high school. Public money, that is to say taxes, paid for Grover Norquist’s education. The Weston school district is ranked as the best public school in Massachusetts. The high school is a large brick building, surrounded by trees and sports fields. There are several fields, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, a large track, shared by the which is located of an adjacent campus, a large gymnasium, weight room, library, theater and tech center, dance studio, music rooms, auditorium, computer labs, and many classrooms. The building is split into different wings for each subject, including English and History, Math and Science, and Language. In 2010-2011, the school had 748 students. No tax money was spared in Grover Norquist’s education; Grover Norquist had the best education money could buy.
Lisa Adamu also graduated from an excellent public school system – Lebanon City Schools. Though not wealthy like Weston, Massachusetts, Lisa Adamu got a great education in the Lebanon City School. She got one because 1) she worked hard, 2) had a supportive family and 3) because the Lebanon City School District is rich in teachers who recognized Lisa’s many gifts and great potential and nurtured these gifts with great care and enthusiasm. Lisa Adamu excelled.
Grover Norquist went to Harvard, about 12 miles away from Weston. While at Harvard, no expense was spared on his education, not one dime. He had the best teachers, the best facilities , the best education money could buy.
Lisa Adamu went to another excellent college about 7 miles away from her home -Lebanon Valley College, the alma mater of the sitting governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Lisa went to LVC because of the Lebanon Valley Education Partnership or LVEP. LVEP is an alliance between Lebanon Valley College and the Lebanon City School District in support of economically disadvantaged high school students who are doing well academically in middle and senior high school. They are paired with LVC college students who act as their mentors during the middle and senior high years. If they keep up their grades, the Lebanon City Schools children receive a full tuition scholarship to Lebanon Valley College. Much of the tuition money is raised through a golf tournament that is supported by local Republicans and Democrats alike, including one of the Republican County Commissioners.
Lisa Adamu works hard at Lebanon Valley College. She takes the same courses as everyone else; she gets no special treatment. As an example, Lisa Adamu must take the same mathematics courses as everyone else. Mathematics courses are difficult at any college and university. My colleagues and I make certain that at Lebanon Valley College, mathematics is a blood sport. Just ask any LVC student.
In May, Lisa will graduate from Lebanon Valley College and join the ranks of distinguished alumni such as Governor Corbett.
Governor Corbett does not know Lisa Adamu, He knows Grover Norquist. Governor Corbett even signed Grover Norquist’s so called “Tax Payer Protections Pledge,” as have most of the Republican state legislators of Pennsylvania, 95% of the Republican U.S. Congressmen, all but one of the Republican presidential candidates.
Here is where Grover Norquist lives, courtesy of Republican State Representative Scott Boyd.
“I went to Washington, D.C. with Jeff Coleman to meet with Pat Toomey and the National Club for Growth to talk about a potential run for Senate … At the time Jeff invited me to join him at the Thursday meeting (of Norquists’ group Americans for Tax Reform) … Incredibly I was not permitted to enter the room unless I signed a piece of paper – “the pledge.’” Rep. Boyd was told he needed to get into that room “to experience the dynamic of American’s conservative leadership.”
Here is where Lisa Adamu’ lives: $550,000,000, over half a billion dollars, cut from the basic education budget of our Commonwealth’s public schools, while the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania sits atop almost two Saudi Arabias of energy. This is where Lisa Adamu lives: 25% of the children in her home city live below the poverty level while all of the wealth from almost two Saudi Arabias of natural gas goes to friends of Grover Norquist - energy companies who made three quarters of a trillion dollars in profits last year. This is where Lisa Adamu lives: Not one dollar, not even a dime in the form of a well head tax at the rate of 39 cents per 1,000 cubic fee of gas going to schools, roads, and protecting the environment; in 2012 there are more budget cuts for basic education and the public universities.
And this is where ALL of us live: there are Lisa Adamus in Lebanon and Chester, Lancaster and York, Philadelphia, Dover, and Harrisburg.
Grover Norquist does not live in Pennsylvania; Lisa Adamu does.
Where do you live?
Photo by Gage Skidmore
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