2022 is alive and kicking!
Many things will happen this year. The Qatar Soccer World Cup, the return of Carnival to the streets of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the Beijing Winter Olympics and -hopefully- the year that marks the end of COVID-19. But also, in 2022 will be the mid-term elections in the United States.
Speaking of the latter, El Sol Latino received the visit of Lou Lanni, candidate of the Democrat primary for the Pennsylvania 5th District to the US House, that includes all of Delaware County, an exclave of Chester County, a small portion of southern Montgomery County and a section of southern Philadelphia.
He described himself as “just another guy from the Philadelphia area”. In fact, he grew up in the far northeast section of the city, went to the public school in Philly and studied Civil Engineering at Temple University.
However, he ended up serving at the Police Department since July 1981 for more than 10 years. After that experience, Lanni involved in the real estate business in the Philadelphia area.
He considers his background as a former police officer and a real estate agent has prepared him for the political arena.
“At the police department, you deal with different people under -sometimes- very difficult circumstances”, Lanni said. “So, you have to know how you talk to people to get them collaborate with you, and the idea is to see how you can help them”.
“About the real estate, the big trade there is, you learn how to negotiate. In a negotiation, nobody gets a hundred percent of what they want”, he continued. But if everybody can walk away, they come with something. And that’s how you bring it together until you make a deal and close on it”.
For Lanni, that’s what’s missing a lot of the time in Washington. “They are more concerned in winning than doing the right thing”.
What motivated Lou Lanni to run for Congress Is that he’d like to leave things a little bit better than he found.
“When I watched the news. I found myself screaming at the TV. There comes a time when you say ‘am I the only guy who sees this?’, and I either stand there and shout at my TV or try to do something about it”, he said. “I can’t see how I can do much worse than some of the personalities that are down there these days”.
Lanni was first a long-standing Democrat, then became a Republican and returned to the Democrat side. He confesses getting frustrated with both parties because he feels politicians should be with people, not in DC.
“People expect results. They don’t expect us to go down there and quibble with each other for the scraps on the table. And the result of what we get i it’s just precisely the reason why most people turn off by the political process”.
Lanni on education
One of the most important topics for Lou Lanni is education. “Preparing children in this country for a bright and successful future is just about the most serious thing we can do”.
However, according to his view, many of the schools in Pennsylvania are old and disrepair, the school systems aren’t properly funded and are not giving children an equity education. “We need to make quality education an absolute right to children, no matter what their zip code is”.
On the other hand, Lanni thinks parents should have a voice in the education of their children. “I personally don’t have children, but if did, I would like to have a voice and I would like to be informed about how my son or daughter is being educated”.
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Health care and aging population
Lanni points out the need for assistance and easing the whole process when it comes to helping aging population.
“You help them along the way, as a manager, to collect the information (from bank statements to ID in case they don’t have it). And integrate it to the information process. We are the to serve people, not to make things hard for them”, he said.
Lanni finds incredible that, in the richest country in the world, with the strongest tradition in the world law, government neglect and abuse the elderly population.
“When you get a little older, sometimes you need additional care. Your life changes, and if we are a compassionate country, we have to help people as these changes occur”, stipulated. “(If that doesn’t happen) they give up, and their lives take the turn for the worst. It’s shameful that we should allow that to go on”.
His view on Latinos
Latino community has a lot of things in common with other groups, according to Lanni. “They want to be protected, they want their children educated, they want to be safe in their homes and in their neighborhood”. He thinks Latinos don’t want anything more than those things. In other words, to be treated with equity.
“They just want to be treated fairly like everybody else, no more, no less. They are very much American as you (the interviewer) and I. It’s just that simple”.
A Lou Lanni representation
Lou Lanni is tired of the political class which people see them only when they need votes. He promises to be always accessible to people and not in the bubble of Washington. So, what does Lou Lanni need from people to be elected for the Congress?
“I certainly need you to vote”, says with a smile. “But seriously, give me a chance, I will be accessible to you. If you call my office (should I be fortunate enough to become your representative in Washington) and I’m not there, you want to speak directly with me, my staff will be under strict direction, they’ll take your name and number down, and you’re going to get a call from me and I’ll want know what’s on your mind. It will be just that simple”.
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