Elvira Berry for State Senate, d-17 (October 8, 2019)


WYNNEWOOD – Local small business owner, attorney, parent and progressive community leader, Elvira Berry, today announced her bid for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania State Senate, District 17.

“We need a new voice in Harrisburg, a progressive voice we can be proud of – one who listens to our community.” said Berry. “As I talk to people across our community, I hear the same things: we need a Senator who understands that health care costs are out of control; that gun violence is putting our kids and families at risk; and that working families are overdue for a pay raise. I believe I AM the person to help bring this change.”

Elvira is a single mom, who immigrated from Nigeria as a child twenty-five years ago. She lives in Wynnewood with her son, Jordan, and dog, Ash. Jordan is a Freshman at Ithaca College.

Elvira worked her way through college and law school, and now runs a successful small business that provides safe, compassionate residential care for people with intellectual disabilities. Elvira employs over two dozen Pennsylvanians, and she provides 100% free health care to her employees.

Elvira’s “Progressive Platform for Pennsylvanians” has four key elements:

  • Supporting Our Students: As the mother of a young African American teenager, Elvira volunteered with her local PTA, and instituted youth court programs in Pennsylvania schools. She’ll push for more uniformity in education across the district so that our kids attend safe, nurturing, high-quality schools. She will also fight for increased apprenticeship, internships and career training so that our kids graduate ready for the college or career of their choice.
  • Holding Drug and Insurance Companies Accountable to Reduce Costs: As a mom and an employer who completely covers health insurance cost for her employees, Elvira has a unique perspective on this issue. Elvira will push the pharmaceutical and insurance companies to put more of our hard-earned dollars into health care.
  • Tackling the Terror of Gun Violence: Like the rest of us, Elvira is haunted by the brutal images of gun violence in the daily news. She’ll stand up to the NRA and reach across the aisle to implement Red Flag laws that will prevent dangerous individuals from obtaining guns. She will lead the fight to ban assault weapons once and for all.
  • Raising Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage: More than three decades ago, Pennsylvania proved that raising the minimum wage is good for workers and the local economy. Elvira believes Pennsylvanians have waited too long for another raise. She’ll fight for a $15 minimum wage, so that we can get workers closer to a wage that supports a family.

“We can’t wait for change in our community – it needs to start now, for all of our families. The sooner we remove distractions in Harrisburg and hold our leaders accountable for delivering results, the better our community and our families will be.” Berry said.

Our Commonwealth

Visit the official Pennsylvania website to learn more about the people and services in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Here are sample information from the pa.gov website:

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was proudly founded by William Penn in 1681. Pennsylvania’s rich history spans five centuries and is woven into the fabric of our nation’s founding.

The Keystone State

Pennsylvania’s essential role in the founding of the United States earned it the nickname, the “Keystone State.” The term “keystone” comes from architecture and refers to the central, wedge-shaped stone in an arch, which holds all the other stones in place. During the early days of our nation, Pennsylvania held a key position geographically, economically, and politically.

Today the keystone is a popular symbol of Pennsylvania — it’s even used as an official symbol of Pennsylvania state government. Each Pennsylvania state agency has its own variation of the keystone as its logo.

State Emblems

  • State Motto– Pennsylvania’s motto is “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence.”
  • State Coat of Arms – Pennsylvania’s coat of arms is one of the most familiar of our state emblems. The coat of arms features a shield that shows symbols of Pennsylvania’s strengths — a ship to show state commerce being carried worldwide, a plow to show Pennsylvania’s rich natural resources, and three sheaves of wheat to show fertile fields and Pennsylvania’s wealth of human thought and action. An olive branch and cornstalk also cross beneath the shield — symbols of peace and prosperity. The state motto appears beneath.
  • State Flag– The first state flag of Pennsylvania was authorized by the General Assembly in 1799. Pennsylvania’s flag features the state coat of arms on a field of blue.

State Symbols

  • State Bird: Ruffed Grouse– This brown, chicken-like bird gets its name from the black “ruffs” on the side of its neck. The ruffed grouse was an important part of the food supply for early settlers, and it’s still a familiar sight in Pennsylvania forests today.
  • State Dog: Great Dane– In frontier Pennsylvania, Great Danes were used as a hunting and working breed. Pennsylvania founder William Penn even had a Great Dane — a portrait of Penn and his Great Dane hangs in the governor’s Reception Room in the Pennsylvania Capitol.
  • State Animal: White-tailed Deer – Native Americans and settlers alike relied on the white-tailed deer for food and clothing. The white-tailed deer continues to flourish in forests across Pennsylvania.
  • State Tree: Eastern Hemlock– Eastern hemlocks are a common sight in Pennsylvania forests. A slow-growing, long-lived tree, the eastern hemlock can take 250-300 years to reach maturity and may live for 800 years or more.
  • State Flower: Mountain Laurel– Mountain laurel is an evergreen shrub native to the eastern United States. Its fragrant star-shaped white and pink flowers have attracted travelers since early colonial days. Each spring, Pennsylvania’s mountainsides come alive with the pink blooms of mountain laurel.
  • State Fish: Brook Trout– Brook trout are the only trout species native to Pennsylvania. With a preference for clear and pure water, brook trout are at home in Pennsylvania’s 4,000 miles of cold water streams.
  • State Insect: Firefly– Whether you call them fireflies or lightning bugs, these luminous insects brighten Pennsylvania nights all summer long.
  • State Amphibian: Eastern Hellbender– The Eastern hellbender is the largest salamander in North America. Hellbenders can only survive in clean water, and their population has been on the decline. The official title as state amphibian is meant to bring attention to efforts to preserve their habitats.

State Inventions

As the birthplace of our nation, Pennsylvania is home to countless firsts. In addition to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, we are the birthplace of the first:

  • Hospital
  • University
  • Stock exchange
  • Lending library
  • Lightning rod
  • Roller coaster
  • Revolving doors
  • Movie theater
  • Jeep
  • Bubble gum
  • Commercial radio station
  • Banana split
  • Superhighway
  • Little League Baseball
  • Slinky
  • Smiley face emoticon

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