Candidate for United States House of Representatives in the 9th Congressional District
Candidate Profiles allow candidates to speak directly to their constituency and answer questions specifically related to the offices they are running for. All candidates listed on Lebanon County ballots have been contacted for an interview.
Amanda Waldman is a candidate running for the United States House of Representatives in the 9th Congressional District. I will break this article into two parts: 1) background information and 2) her candidacy for U.S. House.
Amanda Waldman grew up on a small farm in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, where she still lives on what remains of that family farm today. She is the single mother of two children and has primarily had a background in non-elected public service.
Waldman has a bachelor’s degree in English; she specifically studied English, History, and Psychology in college.
Waldman said that she obtained her degree over 15 years, paying for classes as she could afford them.
She said that professionally, she has worked in the foodservice industry for 30 years, finishing her time in the field as a restaurant manager. However, she said she has worked in every restaurant position except for the cook.
Waldman said she has worked as a case manager in public service at a homeless shelter and currently works as a financial representative for a Medicare Contractor (a position she has held for nine years).
Waldman said that in 2008 she worked in the office of the Lt Governor as the lead intern. She said, in the position, she managed the schedules of other interns and reviewed memos and policy.
Amanda Waldman initially ran for State Representative of the previous 84th district in 2020, although she lost her bid in that election. She said that she initially chose to run for office because she felt that no one in her region was working for people.
Waldman said she was not initially interested in running on the national level but decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives after being requested to do so by people around her.
Waldman said that in addition to volunteer work with various organizations in her local community, she currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Center for Independent Living in Lycoming County and the Lycoming County Commissioners Diversity Committee and Housing/Healthcare Subcommittee.
Candidacy for U.S. House of Representatives:
The primary staple of Amanda Waldman’s platform is a people-centric approach. She said that as a community member, she does not feel as though she (or the people around her) currently have a “seat at the table” or are actively made part of the conversation.
Amanda Waldman said that three legislative initiatives that are key to her campaign’s platform are:
- Veterans’ Health Care
- Support for small local/family farms. Waldman said she would advocate for the passage of the PRIME Act, which would allow small farmers/ranchers to slaughter and process their livestock at local slaughter facilities rather than being forced to haul their livestock to industrial meatpacking plants.
- Workforce development through the expanded availability of “good family-sustaining jobs.”
She said, if elected, she would advocate for the PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize) Act, which would give the employees of companies the ability to organize to form unions.
Waldman said that as a single parent, she knows how difficult it can be for families to get by on current wages. She has personally had to juggle several jobs at once to be able to provide for her children. Waldman said that the time and stress of current working conditions take away from parents’ abilities to raise their kids.
Amanda Waldman said that what makes her different from other candidates (including those from her own party) is that she is not the type of person to show up and make “stump speeches” or lecture people about her plans/policy.
She said “I am just a regular person, and I show up and actually listen. I am not a politician.”
Waldman said her primary focus is on the needs of people. She said that she is not so hyper-focused on a party. Instead, she is much more interested in connecting with people and focusing on what they say that they need.
When asked what she believes should change about the actual structure of the U.S. House of Representatives, Waldman said that she believes that dark money interests should be removed from the chamber completely. In addition, Waldman said she supports the repeal of Citizens United (legislation that allows the origins of campaign contributions to be concealed).
Additionally, Waldman said she believes that too much power is placed in the hands of committee chairs (the heads of house subcommittees). She believes bills that are designed to help people should be brought onto the cambers floor for a vote and should not be squashed before they are even introduced.
Waldman said that if elected and could only accomplish one thing in the House, she would want to get legislation passed to raise the minimum wage. She said she knows what it is like from first-hand experience, funding her campaign for office while living on a restricted personal budget.
She said, “Pennsylvania is full of hardworking people, and I’m tired of the blame game that goes around, saying that people can’t get ahead because they are lazy, or they don’t want to work as hard.”
Waldman said that is not true for most people she knows that work tirelessly to provide for their families. She said, “you should be able to get somewhere for your hard work.”
Amanda Waldman said that if she is elected, she plans to immediately begin pushing for the passage of the Prime Act, increasing the minimum wage, and repealing Citizens United. Waldman said she wants people to know that funding for her campaign does not come from mass corporations but from regular people.
Waldman said if you would like to meet her, she has a calendar on her website with the events she plans to attend and where she plans to be throughout her campaign. She said that while she is a working parent throughout the week, she goes out of her way to make time to focus on meeting her constituents during the weekend.
Waldman said that of the six counties that are part of the 9th Congressional District, she visits at least two every week,
When asked what she would like to say directly to her constituents, Amanda Waldman said:
“Don’t vote for a letter of the alphabet. I’m a registered Democrat, but I am not running on a party platform. I’m not running for the party; I am running for people. I might sound cliché, but I genuinely believe that we, the people, don’t have a seat at the table when decisions are being made about our lives. We are guaranteed Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. I don’t think having to work multiple jobs to pay essential bills and never get ahead is part of the Pursuit of Happiness. I don’t believe the micromanaging of people’s lives guarantees Liberty for all. I want to be given a chance; I understand that there is a lot of anger. I listen to many people, some who scream and yell at me, and some just calmly have a conversation. I want to hear from everyone. I would be the kind of legislator with monthly town hall meetings in person. I like the people to hold me accountable, and I would be honored to be their next
Representative so that they can be heard and have a seat at the table.”