Madeleine Dean in her own words

State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D) is running to represent PA-4 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

State Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, during a campaign rally for Pennsylvania candidates in Philadelphia, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


State Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, during a campaign rally for Pennsylvania candidates in Philadelphia, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Alexis Bamford, Editor

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA – Madeleine Dean is a fighter. From opening her own law practice to raising three sons, she never gives up; it was only a matter of time before three-term state representative’s wholehearted detestation of gun violence morphed into actual, tangible legislative change.

“It’s been a passion of mine since I was very young. I just, I see the scourge of gun violence in this country and it’s completely unacceptable to me,” Dean reflected. “I got to the Pennsylvania House and I thought, this is where we can make a difference. If the federal folks won’t pass laws, at least Pennsylvania could lead. And so I formed the PA SAFE Caucus.”

Dean and her fellow lawmakers have since been working to, in her own words, “introduce legislation to try to save lives” while thoroughly respecting the Second Amendment.

Local politics is nothing new to Dean; regardless, she’s eager for the change of pace that would inevitably come with representing Montgomery County at a national level.

“We’ve been all carved up and gerrymandered, diluting our power. . . [this election is] a chance to take my six years in the Pennsylvania House. . . to Washington, D.C. to represent our families, our community, for the betterment of Montgomery County. So I’m very, very excited for this run and to be the [Democratic] nominee,” Dean finished.

Her thoughts on why high school students should vote?

“It’s your future that the elected officials are deciding. When we under-fund education, we’re hurting your chances at a future. When we don’t protect the environment, we’re hurting your chances and your kids’ chances of enjoying a clean environment. So whatever we do will have some impact on your lives. . . it couldn’t be more important that young people stand up, register to vote, work on campaigns, be active, and look up each candidate. Make sure you prize the facts. . . it’s vitally important because it’s your world we are determining.”

Madeleine Dean on the issues, in her own words:


“The priority must be that we see healthcare as a right and make it universal, accessible, and affordable to all.”

“If we allowed. . . Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate with pharmaceuticals, the way we allow the [Department of Veterans Affairs] to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, we would be able to drive prices down.”

“In terms of access to care and driving down premiums. . . we could offer [55-65 year olds] a buy-in to Medicare early, and that would take a difficult portion of the population out of the insurance pool, which would make it cheaper for those within the insurance pool.”

“[We must] get that last seven percent or so of Pennsylvanians who do not have healthcare into the healthcare system.”


Education & Student Loans

“I taught [writing courses and ethics] at LaSalle University for 10 years, and I had the opportunity to work with young people and sometimes some adults, who went back to school to get their education. . . I loved it.”

“I learned a lot in Harrisburg about how we fund education at the state level – and how we fail to fund education at the state level. So as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I have fought to increase funding for education and to make sure it is equitable.”

“[Pennsylvania has], sadly, the distinction of being about the bottom of all states in terms of the differential between how we spend money to educate the children of the poor versus how we spend money to educate the children of [the wealthy]. I want to smooth that out, get equitable funding and increase funding so that all our kids have the greatest chance to succeed.”

“Claim your education. . . with your writing and with your life, you should take good risks, smart risks. . . grab every opportunity.”


Economy, Taxes, & Environment

“In Pennsylvania, our corporate net income tax. . . I believe, is too high. I don’t want to discourage businesses from coming here. But I do believe corporations should pay their fair share.”

“When we have gotten into deficits, I have suggested that we might want to balance things out by actually reducing sales tax, because that would drive more money into people’s pockets, which would drive more money into consumer spending, which would increase revenues, and maybe increase income tax ever so slightly, even a tenth of a percent or a quarter of one percent.”

“I would like to fight for legislation that would incentivise businesses, whether that’s by tax breaks or by relocation breaks, to come to Montgomery County.”

“Government can incentivise [clean energy] industries and help, whether it’s startups or ongoing businesses, small and large, make sure they’re developing more and more clean energy. . . it can be a financial incentive of a developmental incentive.”


Opioid Epidemic

“Addiction is a disease, nothing to be ashamed of, as difficult as that might be for some families or communities. It is a disease that has cures and treatment, and we need to make sure people have access to affordable treatment.”

“I would decriminalize, for example, marijuana possession.”

“I think our emphasis should not be on the criminal justice system dealing with addiction, but we should get. . . a physical and mental health system in treating addiction.”

“One of the things that we’ve fought for, under Governor [Tom] Wolf. . . [are budget items] that provide funding for outreach for folks who are struggling with the disease of addiction. They’re called Centers of Excellence – we have one in Norristown and Montgomery County, we have a couple in Philadelphia County.”

“We also have to think about prevention. . . we have to work with our doctors and our health providers to make sure that we’re not prescribing that which is unnecessary and risky.”


Public Safety & Mental Health

“What we can do is talk about [mental health] more. Shine a light on the need for mental healthcare. Recognize that there is no reason to shame or be in the shadows as a result of a mental health diagnosis.”

“There should be greater parity of [insurance] coverage for treatment, for cures, for prescriptions that are necessary.”

“I’ve cared about [gun reform] a long time, my whole adult life. I took my kids to the Million Mom March [against gun violence] back in 2001. . . As a teacher at LaSalle University I cared about it because there were way too many guns in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia.”

“I have no interest in changing the Second Amendment. I have no interest in taking away guns – legal guns – from responsible gun owners. I honor the traditions of our culture and this state in particular, for hunting and sport shooting. So I have no qualms saying to folks that it’s not about me trying to take your guns. It is about me trying to pass legislation that will actually save lives.”

“[PA SAFE Caucus] finally passed a bill, just two weeks ago, that is headed to the governor’s desk for signing, that will require the relinquishment of guns for anybody who is the subject of a Protection from Abuse order.”

“Lives would be saved as a result of [preventing] gun use that isn’t appropriate. Illegal gun use, or gun use in the case of a mental health problem. So I just feel passionately that we can and we must do better in this state. And I want people to know I’m not interested in taking away the rights of gun owners.”


Gender Equality

“What I try to do. . . is to try to listen to people, make sure my door is open, and help anybody who has had the trauma of sexual assault or sexual harassment.”

“We have to get more women in elective office, and in businesses, at the highest levels. Because if that were the case, cases would not be swept under the rug. And women would be listened to.”

“Teaching the concept of what is consent? Absolutely.”

“I actually introduced legislation that’s sort of a Good Samaritan bill, so that if a young person is a victim of a sexual assault on [college campuses] or witnesses it, but they’re afraid of [punishment]. . . it would say anybody in that position who is doing the right thing in calling something out would [not] be held accountable for other minor violations on campus, such as drinking.”

“Wherever you go in life, make sure that you strive for the highest levels. You speak up when you know you see something that is wrong, when there’s an injustice.”

State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D) is running to represent Pennsylvania’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Visit her website to read more: