The Update: What’s Important in Harrisburg and DC – July 26, 2021




We are very excited to see Senator Casey’s introduction of his REVIVE the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) bill. Like FDR’s New Deal CCC, Sen. Casey’s bill is a visionary response to extraordinary challenges—high joblessness, racial and environmental injustice, and climate change. It can help restore opportunity and hope to Pennsylvania, Appalachia, and our entire country. Read more below to learn about the details.


Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director

Keystone Research Center Applauds Sen. Casey’s Historic Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Proposal

The idea of reviving the 1930s CCC has been bubbling up in U.S. policy circles for several years, initially out of fear that artificial intelligence and robots would displace millions of workers and warrant public job creation. In the last 15 months, policymakers and advocates have rallied to revive the CCC because of the COVID-19 recession and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, including by planting trees and other land restoration that absorbs carbon. The ReImagine Appalachia campaign, which KRC and many partners launched last year, has championed the idea, engaging extensively with Sen. Casey in the development of his bill. (View this video of the Atlantic Council’s recent event on CCC with Sen. Casey, this video of a ReImagine townhall with Sen. Casey moderated by KRC, and this ReImagine Appalachia white paper on a new CCC and regenerative agriculture.)

Read more.

Telephone Town Hall with Rep. Cartwright

On July 20th, the 99% Pennsylvania campaign co-sponsored a virtual town hall with Rep. Matt Cartwright to discuss the impact of the Child Tax Credit on Pennsylvania communities and the opportunity to make this middle-class tax cut permanent.

Rep. Cartwright also discussed the broader impact federal recovery efforts like the American Rescue Plan have had on people in his district, as well as the upcoming bipartisan infrastructure deal that is in the works right now. The 99% Pennsylvania partnered with For Our Future Pennsylvania and Reimagine Appalachia to host this event.



Save the Date – Give Day 2021 – Aug. 17-18

We are delighted to announce we will be hosting our second, virtual Give Day, a 24-hour CELEBRATION of progressive policy in Pennsylvania, from Tuesday, August 17, at 7 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 18.

We are pleased to honor Eric Elliott, PSEA Staff Organization, for his dedicated service to the Keystone Research Center and the labor movement.

Mark your calendars for 24 hours of learning, fun, and activism—and support all of our work!




We need reinvestment in wake of PASSHE consolidation

The Loch Haven Express

“The decision by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education board of governors to adopt a radical consolidation plan is disappointing and may ultimately be self-defeating. It accommodates and perpetuates a failed 40-year disinvestment in public higher education in Pennsylvania. This disinvestment threatens opportunity for many Pennsylvanians and will weaken the state’s future economy, especially in the regions anchored by PASSHE campuses. To avoid these consequences, state lawmakers need to pivot now to a reinvestment strategy, capitalizing on the federal resources in the American Rescue Plan and likely to be part of federal infrastructure legislation.”


Biden’s child tax credit will spread wealth. But 13K Philly kids stand to miss out.

Philadelphia Inquirer

“The Advanced Child Tax Credit, along with other expanded tax benefits in the American Rescue Plan Act, could reduce child poverty by one-third in Philadelphia, and deep child poverty by one-half, according to City estimates. In total, 75,000 people could rise out of poverty due to the tax credits, which function more like a direct stimulus payment.”