If you have any questions regarding these positions, or any other issue please feel free to contact Luke directly at info@lukeverdes.com

Protecting Our Environment

"The 2018 Federal Climate Report warned that climate change caused by human activity will result in catastrophic conditions around the world over the next century and could reduce the U.S. economy by up to 10 %. In Northampton County, climate change has already altered growing seasons forcing many farmers to plant crops earlier and risk crop loss in a late frost. Sadly, our President denies the climate crisis and has rolled back many of the nation's efforts to address these issues. This means local governments across the country must act now and lead where the federal government is failing. As a member of our county council, I will be a strong advocate for initiatives that will produce more local clean energy such as solar, hydro and wind, and I will commit to aggressively opposing any development of new fossil fuel infrastructure including the Penneast Pipeline. We must also do more to protect our open space and local ecosystem from unnecessary development, dumping, and pollution. As a member of our council, I will oppose projects like the Slate Belt Sludge Plant and join the counties recent efforts to conserve more of our open space from unnecessary development like warehouses”

Supporting Our Schools

“Achievement gaps for lower income and minority students, lack of resources for children with special needs, and school safety threats are the reality in schools across the country. Schools in Northampton County are no exception. As a member of the council, I’ll work to build stronger partnerships with our local schools to provide them with the resources needed to help our children succeed and keep them safe.”

Gracedale Nursing Home & Social Services

"As a longtime leader and advocate for social services that protect the most vulnerable among us, I will commit to keeping the Gracedale Nursing Home county owned and managed and make sure the patients get the care they need and deserve. I will also commit to building on the successful community programs that help lift up individuals and support low income and working-class families."

No Property Tax Reassessment

"I believe now is not the time for a property tax reassessment. A reassessment would put an unfair tax burden on seniors with fixed incomes who would take the brunt of reassessment tax increases."

Opioid Crisis

"The Opioid Crisis has devastated families and communities across the country, and Northampton County has been hit hard by this epidemic. This crisis is complex and there is no one single solution. It is important that we support evidence-based programs that meet people where they are, including both harm reduction and abstinence programs. It is also important that we build upon existing intervention and prevention programs in our schools and criminal justice system. As a member of the council, I will make it a priority to support a broad array of treatments and interventions to support individuals and their families who are suffering from this health crisis. I will also support the counties current legal efforts to hold drug companies accountable "

Labor

“As a former member, steward, and organizer for the SEIU and a former member of AFSCME I remain a strong advocate for Labor Unions. Unions maintain our middle class by ensuring fair pay, treatment, and benefits for teachers, police officers, nurses, plumbers, social workers, electricians, government employees, carpenters, truck drivers and so many others in America's working class. As a member of the county council, I will protect our labor unions and support the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLA's) and oppose so-called “right to work” legislation.”

Gun Reform

"Inaction from politicians in both parties has led to a national public health crisis of gun violence. The Pennsylvania state legislature has banned local governments from taking any gun reform action. As a result, our County Council can not enact any local gun reform. But as a member of our Council what I will do is work hard to build partnerships with community organizations to help address hate crimes, and gang violence in our communities. I will fight to fund public mental health programs the way they need to be funded. I will work with our schools to make sure that they have the right resources and safety protocols in place to deal with an active shooter situation. And most importantly I will advocate to our state and federal leaders to take action on gun violence.”

Woman's Right to Choose

“I believe that abortion is part of reproductive health care for women and should remain legal and accessible. I would strongly oppose any action that would limit access to abortion or restrict women from making their own reproductive health care decisions.”

Criminal Justice Reform

"The inequities and issues addressing our criminal justice system are systemic and must be addressed with a holistic approach. I believe that Northampton County must develop and implement a comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform plan. This plan should include law enforcement training on equity, inherent bias, and community engagement. It should also include bail reform, prisoner rehabilitation programs including job training, mental health, and substance abuse treatment. The Criminal Justice Reform plan should also include processes to track data on the effectiveness of these programs and make adjustments as needed."

Immigration

"I believe that we need national comprehensive immigration reform that grants legal status to currently undocumented immigrants and ends the imprisonment and separation of children and families. In the absence of national reform, I believe Northampton County should immediately end its policy of supporting ICE raids on homes and businesses. It should also end its policy of holding immigrants who are arrested for minor or misdemeanor crimes for ICE deportation. I would only support the county working with federal immigration authorities in the rare case that an undocumented immigrant is convicted of a violent crime."