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Collegeville's Official

Democrat Newsletter 

Mid-October 2019

Readers: leading up to the election we will be sending out more newsletters than we usually do.  Each one will have some different content, including a message from our Mayor, candidate information, voting information as well as links to articles and important websites. So we invite you to read through them and learn about your candidates and the upcoming election!  

Message from

Collegeville DEMS

Voting Up and Down the Ballot

One thing that we have learned from our current political quagmire is how important it is to vote for Democrats every year, in every election, at the top, middle and bottom of the ballot.  

We are seeing that Republicans in our State House and Senate and in our US House and Senate are voting as a bloc to reduce voting rights, remove protections for immigrants, remove the rights of women to make their own health choices, give more power to the big Pharma companies, bow to the wishes of the NRA putting our children and our own lives in danger again and again.  In a few words: the Republicans are NOT on our side.

This kind of change happens gradually, but it was given a big boost through the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency.  He has bullied and belittled anyone who stands in his way to push his agenda of getting rich...oh and, also getting reelected.  If this doesn't terrify you, it should.

Please help us save our democracy by voting for the Democrats on the ballot... every one of them.  There may be some races where it is not clear or where you have to vote for a Republican.  In this case, taking one of the yellow Democratic voting guides from the volunteers on voting day will be helpful.  We call them the Goldenrods.  

With your help we can take back our government and make the positive changes that will keep our Borough, our County, our State and our Country safe from the ruinous path that we are on.

The General Election is Tuesday November 5th.  
Our candidates need your support!

Candidate's Corner

Collegeville Borough Council
Candidates Q&A's 

Gary Hoffmann: Q&A's

**Why are you running for Borough Council? 
I tell my daughter Alicia all the time, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  I grew up in a local borough and watched leadership make decisions on what was best for themselves rather than working together for the community. Things never changed or got any better.  I have also seen other local boroughs transition to being great places to live and work.  This is only accomplished when everyone in the boat is rowing in sync and in the same direction.  I was so excited to be able to cast the final vote to hire Barth Consulting Group and take that first step of many to make an organized push to change the downtown Collegeville environment.  My financial background will ensure that we are being good stewards of our taxpayers' money, with all finances being used wisely and with care.   
Why did you move to Collegeville?
I wanted my daughter to grow up in an environment like the one I grew up in: being able to walk safely to a store, restaurant, park or friend's house.  I love having great neighbors that look out after you as much as you look out for them. And we have a great school district that will only get better with the #UnitePV team.   
I still own my first car, a 1967 Mustang and will never sell it because it reminds me of time spent with my dad. 
Valarie Beckius: Q&A's
**Why are you running for Borough Council? 
There is extensive economic development happening all around our area. I feel this is the perfect time for Collegeville to push forward and make changes in order to compete and thrive, so we will not be left behind.  I would like to use my skills to aid in developing the future of the Borough, as well as to enrich the quality of life for all Collegeville residents.
**Why did you move to Collegeville?
It was easy for my husband and me to decide to move to Collegeville.  We wanted to live in an area that had neighborhoods and sidewalks, as well as a true downtown.  
**What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?  
I was once awarded Pennsylvania Special Education Teacher of the Year.  
**What is your Collegeville indulgence?  
Taco pizza from my favorite Collegeville pizza shop.
Ken Lawrence and Val Arkoosh, two of our three Montgomery County Commissioners, are up for reelection this year.  They've both done great work to support us and have represented us well and fairly, working for improving our trails and open space, lowering our carbon footprint, increasing jobs, supporting and working for recognition of the LGBTQ community, and working to protect women's ability to make decisions about their own health care and bodies.

Learn more about Val Arkoosh here.
Learn more about Ken Lawrence here.

Absentee Voting Deadlines

Out of town for Election Day?  Now is a great time to apply for an absentee ballot!!  And make sure your college students have applied too!

: The last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot is 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election (October 29, 2019). Please note that postmarks do not apply and original applications must be received (no facsimiles or emails).

Completed Ballots: All civilian "voted" ballots must be returned to the County Board of Elections Office by 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election (November 1, 2019). Please note that postmarks do not apply.  They must have your ballot in hand by that date.
Fill out an absentee ballot application here.  You can then print it and send or take it in.  You will then receive an absentee ballot in the mail that you will have to fill in and send back.  Here's the address:
A single first-class stamp is sufficient to cover the postage cost  
Election Board 
One Montgomery Plaza 
Suite 602 
425 Swede Street 
Norristown, PA 19401-0311

You can also vote absentee if you'll be traveling or cannot get to the polls.  Learn more about where to pick up absentee ballot applications, other absentee filing situations (e.g., military) and more here.

Montgomery County's new voting system:

We will receive a paper ballot, fill it out, and then scan it.  There are additional rules about who hands you the ballot, who tears off a tab on the ballot, etc.  So it will be important to pay attention to the instructions.  The great news is that there will be a paper audit trail!  

For more information, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are answered here.
Watch instructional VIDEOS here.

On Public Safety & Being Mayor
Mayor Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins

Public Safety is a promise that is also being addressed.  Gary Hoffman, our Democrat Council Member who was appointed when former Council Member Mat McKnight relocated, is stepping up to the plate in a constructive way.  He and I have introduced a technology to the Public Safety Committee to connect neighbors and the borough with free public web and mobile tools to improve the quality of life in Collegeville. This technology could decrease the time in which safety issues are identified and the time the are addressed by a simple “See-Click-Fix” process.  Far too much Council meeting time is currently spent addressing resident’s concerns for safe streets and sidewalks.  Through a modest investment in 21stCentury technologies, our Borough Manager’s time spent in ordinance compliance and addressing code violations can be reduced. 

As Mayor, I have devoted a lot of my energies to simply being a champion for Collegeville.  I have visited and promoted businesses, established a collaborative and congenial relationship with our college, spoken at numerous community meetings and events, participated in several ribbon cuttings, drafted mayoral proclamations and have submitted regular written reports at Borough Council meetings.  I have sought to shine the light on best of Collegeville so that the world knows that this is a great place to live, work, play and worship.  My ultimate aim is that my granddaughters, both born and raised in this community, will one day look back at their years growing up in Collegeville as some of the best days of their lives.   

Why?  Because Collegeville Matters.      


Collegeville Democrats' monthly meeting
Last Wed of each month, 7:30-9pm in Wismer Hall (Ursinus College)

  • October 30
  • November (TBA)
Borough Council Meeting:
1st Wednesday of every month at 7pm at Borough Hall

Absentee Ballot Application Deadline:
Tuesday Oct. 29, 2019 at 5pm

Absentee Ballots Due at Voter Services:
Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 at 5pm

Election Day:
November 5, 2019, 7am-8pm

Important Links:
Get Involved!!
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Read About It:
Read about why politics get in the way of addressing climate change from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
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