On Covid-19 business closures this may be the agency to direct our appeal
America has a problem. More particularly, Pennsylvania has a problem far beyond Covid-19 itself. This is a problem it created. This is a problem it will not confront or assume responsibility for causing.
A dictatorial governor along with an unqualified Secretary of Health, have, in monkey see-monkey do fashion, followed the fear driven overreactions of other mostly blue states. As evidence mounts that the virus is not nearly as lethal as some initial projections suggested and concerns over hospital capacity have evaporated, they remain locked in and Pennsylvanians remain locked down.
This has caused and is continuing to cause a cascade of collateral damage that itself is harming health and sometimes ending with its own deadly outcomes.
A solidly Republican legislature has produced bills to lessen the top down oppression, but a governor-king, who has avoided consultation with the people’s representatives, has thrown up his veto wall. The legislature lacks the numbers to override.
So where are citizens to turn? The first amendment guarantees the right of the people “to petition the government for a redress of grievances”. We can contact our legislators, as we should, but it’s apparent that an intransigent governor will blunt their efforts.
Then it dawned on me that there is more than one place we can petition our government, and local police departments are most acutely seeing the very dark and disturbing side of state policy. They, more than any other, know the reality of the collateral damage that only can and will be alleviated when businesses reopen and workers return to work. They have discretion in enforcement. If only they could be persuaded to commit to discretionary nonenforcement against businesses that reopen in defiance of state orders, this could be a way around the destruction our governor refuses to face.
This prompted the following appeal to my local police department. It hit their email inbox yesterday. I also posted to the Facebook accounts of the York County District Attorney and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. On Saturday afternoon, I called in to attorney Marc Scaringi’s radio show and made my appeal. I’ve yet to hear a response from anyone, but if these agencies start hearing similar appeals in sufficient quantity, it may be our best chance to obtain relief. I understand state police may have their hands tied, but local police should have more freedom. Then if we can unleash a response from our local police, even state police may be emboldened.
Here is the letter I sent. Feel free to copy, or better write your own, but please consider doing it! Thank you!