Friedenberg looks to bring change to Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District
Marc Friedenberg announced his candidacy for a seat in the US House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District on Monday, Sept. 11.
Friedenberg, an Information Sciences and Technology teacher at Penn State, is running as a Democrat, and he is ultimately attempting to unseat Republican Representative Glenn Thompson. The Underground spoke with Friedenberg this past Tuesday, Sept. 26, to talk more about his congressional campaign.
This is Friedenberg’s first political campaign, but not his first involvement with local politics. In February, Friedenberg had his “first foray into activism,” holding the “With or Without Glenn Thompson” town hall. The “momentum” from this town hall led to Friedenberg creating the activist group “PA5 Truth and Action,” which has primarily focused on the issue of healthcare. While Friedenberg is no longer involved with PA5 Truth and Action, he said he has confidence that the group is going forward in good hands.
Friedenberg said that his moment of motivation to run for Congress was the healthcare vote in May. “That was such a betrayal, of what even President Trump had promised,” Friedenberg said, “of better healthcare for everybody, and cheaper too.”
He also explained his desire to be a more accurate representation for the entirety of the Fifth Congressional District. “People aren’t being heard, and I think when I explain myself, and when I speak plainly to them, and honestly to them, that they’ll respect that and understand that.
“We’ve been represented by a Republican in the house since the 70s, and the people in the district have not been, in my opinion, well served by that,” Friedenberg said. “The results haven’t been there. I think there’s an opportunity to speak to people and with people about the concerns they have, and to work together to try to find a way to improve the economy, to make college more affordable, and to provide better healthcare.”
When asked about his approach to working with others to find an agreeable healthcare solution, Friedenberg explained the ideal option would be if health care didn’t cost anything, taxes or otherwise, but he added that it was impossible.
“So then the question becomes, how do we achieve that goal of maximum affordability?” He proposed a possible solution to solving the health care dilemma. “One of the ways that I think has a lot of appeals is a public option, so that people who want to buy into the Medicare system have the option of doing that, while people who want to keep their current insurance can do that.”
Mr. Friedenberg aims to reach out to, and to be available for, his potential constituents, through numerous means. He has direct lines of contact through phone (814-409-7470) or email (email@example.com) correspondence, will hold unfiltered Facebook Live Q&A sessions (Marc Friedenberg for Congress) and will be starting his “listening tour” in December.
“I’m going to go county by county, and I’m going to spread the invitation as far as possible. To Democrats, Republicans, Independents, people who aren’t registered to vote, anybody who wants to come in. To listen to them and to hear their concerns.”
In his closing remarks, Friedenberg noted that he also has personal reasons for taking political action on these issues. “I think my children, now, are four and two, they’re probably too young to understand what’s happening. But I really hope that one day they can look back on what I’m doing now. And, when I win and I’m representing us, that they’ll understand that I saw something that was wrong, I did something about it, and got a better result.”
Check out the full interview transcript of The Underground’s interview with Marc Fridenberg here.