Susan Boser, a Democrat, announced she is seeking the Democratic nomination for the state senate seat in Pennsylvania’s 41st District. She said in a press release that she decided to run because she wants to improve the lives of the families in rural Pennsylvania.
Boser said she is concerned about the legislative decisions that are having a negative impact on those living in Pennsylvania.
“When elected, I will propose and support sensible policies that will have a positive impact on our residents, she said. “These include affordable broadband access to rural residents, economic growth that provides living-wage jobs and access to affordable health care, including proven opioid treatment and emergency services.”
Other needs that would benefit from state-level support are public libraries, storm water and other local services, entrepreneurs and regional small businesses, and universities and post-secondary educational opportunities, she said. Building on the region’s history as an energy producer, Boser said she will seek opportunities for renewable energy by expanding supports for agricultural cooperatives as an energy producer.
Another issue that Boser said concerns her is how the state funds public schools. The school-funding formula is unfair to school districts in rural Pennsylvania, she said. She said she plans to address the current uneven education funding that gives less money to public schools in poorer districts and more money to public schools in wealthier districts. Fair-share funding to rural schools will lessen the local tax burden for taxpayers, according to Boser.
Boser has a background in public policy that affects folks in rural areas. During the first 20 years of her working life, she helped rural families in crisis as a worker in human services — as the treatment coordinator of a group home of Longview Home for Children, Buffalo, N.Y., and as a certified alcoholism counselor and family services coordinator for Changing Seasons Treatment Center in Salamanca, N.Y. — and later as a director of a social service program, Families Together, a home-based family crisis intervention program, Olean, N.Y. After years of negotiating the obstacles that government regulations posed for her clients, Boser pursued a Ph.D. in Human Services Policy at Cornell University, graduating in 2001. She led a study to change those regulations to better serve her clients. This new policy won an award from the Governor’s Office and is still in use.
Currently, Boser is a professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches public policy. She is active in local government and non-profit organizations. As one of the leaders of the Indiana County Sustainable Economic Development Task Force, she works with county government and local organizations to expand the area’s economic development plan. She serves on the board of directors for the Community Guidance Center as well.
Boser is a mother of three children. She lives in Indiana County with her husband, David Brady. She said she values the small town way of life, the importance of strong families and the worth of robust neighborhoods.
“When elected as your state senator, I will work hard to strengthen our rural communities for our children and grandchildren,” she said.
Also declaring interest in being considered for their respective party’s nomination are Republican Joe Pittman, Sen. White’s former chief of staff; Indiana businessman Tony DeLoreto, a Democrat; and George Karpacs, an area native who is seeking the Republican nomination.
NOTE: This article edited at 3 p.m. March 11 to clarify Boser's experience in human services.