HARRISBURG – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislature in both Houses, new and returning, took the oath of office on Tuesday, January 5th at the State Capitol. This year, like so many other things now, was a lot different. For starters, elected officials were given a limited number of tickets. Freshmen received three tickets and returning members two. To ensure that social distancing protocols were followed, members took their oaths in groups and all ceremonial gatherings were banned.
Among the newcomers was Napoleon Nelson, a Democrat who represented the 154th, including Cheltenham, Jenkintown, and Springfield in Montgomery Counties. He replaced his Democratic colleague Steve McCarter, who announced his resignation last spring. Nelson is the only African-American in the state to represent a white-majority district after serving as a tax collector in Cheltenham and previously serving on the Cheltenham School Board.
Priorities Nelson will focus on in his first term include fighting for solid and equitable public education, reforming tax laws to help low-income and fixed income residents and small businesses, judicial and health reforms to help bridge disparities Eliminate the results and build strong, sustainable, and welcoming communities for all.
"Whether here in Harrisburg or in the county office, I always want to find solutions that will benefit everyone, not just in my county but across the Commonwealth," said Nelson.
The House committees for which Nelson has been selected will help him meet his legislative priorities. They are aging and older services for adults, children and adolescents, education and finance. As a long-time active Cheltenham resident, Nelson sees this as an opportunity to continue his work in the community and to advocate for a variety of groups in his district.
“I am honored to serve this community and I will work every day to keep students, seniors, business owners, working families, incarcerated residents, and faith leaders on my mind. The law is tough, but caring is not, ”Nelson said.
Dave Delloso, a former Delaware County naval and union leader, was also sworn in until his second term. Its district, the 162nd, covers parts of the southeast along I-95 near the airport. In his first term in office, Delloso was aware of the difficulties many faced in his district and worked hard to bring services and opportunity to his district as many battled unemployment, especially after the pandemic closed the economy.
"My second term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has already started work as we prioritize budget management, pandemic recovery and vaccination," said Delloso.
Hopefully his experience as a work manager for his local Teamster will give him valuable insight when he sits on the company's Labor and Industry Committee and on the Liquor Control Board. He will join Nelson on the finance committee and will also work in the game and fisheries sector.
"I am honored to serve the people of Delaware County. I will continue to prioritize legislation to create quality jobs in our area and in Pennsylvania, to ensure full and fair funding of our schools, health care for all ensure justice and equality, support our veterans, and protect our seniors. "
Both elected officials will serve in the minority on their committees as Republicans have a considerable head start on membership. Both houses of the legislature are controlled by Republicans, while the governor's mansion is owned by the Democrats.