Copy of my 2015 Certificate of Election

Elections Have Been Certified: I Won!


Today I received a letter from the Centre County PA Elections Office. This letter was sent to all newly elected and re-elected officials that ran for public office in the 2015 Municipal and County elections.

Here’s the letter:

scan of the official Centre County Office of Elections certification letter

Election Certification Letter

Attached to the letter was a black and white xerox copy of the “Certificate of Election” that will officially be presented to me on Monday evening, January 4, 2016.  At this re-organizational meeting of Council, I will be Continue Reading

Action Alert: Help Prevent Domestic Violence Homicides in Pennsylvania


Stop Violence Against Women NOW diamond

Stop Violence Against Women NOW

Originally posted on Women's Law Project Blog:

We need you to take one minute to help hold domestic abusers accountable.

Strangulation is the single most accurate predictor of a future domestic violence homicide. In fact, one widely accepted study indicates that strangulation domestic-violence victims are 800% more likely to be killed by their intimate partner during a future assault.

Last year, 141 Pennsylvanians were killed by domestic violence.

Historically, strangulation has been difficult to prosecute. Sometimes victims don’t show visible injuries, though in many cases, their esophagus swells later and they suffocate to death. Experts also recognize that strangulation is a uniquely terrifying form of physical abuse and psychological control used by domestic abusers.

In the last ten years, in response to a growing awareness of strangulation as a predictor of preventable homicides, at least 35 states have passed statutes to enhance victim safety and offender accountability.

Rep. Becky Corbin (R-Chester) has introduced a similar bill (

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The Real Reason a Million Students Marched


Our son heads off to college next year. Which is what perked my interest in this blog.

The concerns about excessive student debt affect not only the millennials as described her. It also affects the millennial’s entire family. And if this debt burden isn’t brought under control, more and more millennials will decide to forgo higher education which in the long run will hurt our society.

However I do think the #MillionStudentMarch was a march for many issues of concern to youth.  Yes, student debt. But there is also “the racial discrimination, faculty income inequality, and violence” affecting colleges and universities that is mentioned and linked to in this article that is causing this student unrest.

Debt is often higher for students of color.

Violence disproportionately affects women students and students of  color.

And faculty (most often in the STEM fields) can negotiate much higher salaries outside academia. This creates a dearth of highly qualified teachers of our young as these professionals either decide at the outset or later leave academia for a more lucrative career.

Originally posted on S.E. OLSON:

“We are people of all colors, genders, and sexual orientation, and we are united to fight for education as a human right.” (source) – An activist during the Million Student March.

On Thursday, November 12 students on campuses across the US held demonstrations to protest high tuition, debt, and minimum wage on campus. Despite its widespread prevalence, it hit the news with little impact. To the public, it’s just another example of the American education system’s shortcomings, which seem to be making headlines recently with the racial discrimination, faculty income inequality, and violence affecting our colleges and universities. Students marching for lower tuition and debt forgiveness is another story we see on the news. We’re desensitized to the current state of our higher education system because all we hear are the same complaints. But if it’s such a persistent problem, why aren’t we taking action to…

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Infographic: The Multi-Racial and Ethnic Shift in America


We are all of mixed race and ethnicity. This infographic showing the change of face in the United States along with the description of race and ethnicity does a great, succinct job of explaining this statistical change in the US population.

Originally posted on Mixed American Life:

The country is slowly becoming more like a “rainbow,” according to a new book by Paul Taylor and Pew Research called “The Next America”.

Defining Mixed

These groups are all mixed in their heritage.

  1. Hispanic people are mixed by definition. Hispanic is not a race and Latin American countries have not had anti-miscegenation laws like the U.S. Most Latinos are part Amerindian mixed with some part(s) Spanish / Portuguese / Black.
  2. Black people have been mixed with others since the founding of the U.S., sometimes by choice and sometimes by force (enslavement rape). Compare the common skin tone of African-Americans to the common skin tone of Africans from Africa.
  3. Asian people have been mixing with others since anti-miscegenation laws have been abolished in the U.S.
  4. Other people includes Native American (1%) and Mixed people.
  5. White people are often mixed with ‘5 shades of White’, or they are White Latino, or…

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The Pennsylvania Health Care Plan

Are you frustrated with your insurance plan? Have you, or someone you love, been denied coverage? Well here in Pennsylvania, we have new universal health care bill that has been introduced to improve upon the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and provide access to healthcare for ALL Pennsylvania residents.

The bill — HB 1688 — was introduced into the PA House of Representatives on Monday, November 9, 2015 and sent to the House Health Committee for review and mark-up. The prime sponsor is Rep. Pam DeLissio.  Here’s what she says about this new legislation:

I am introducing legislation to establish the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan. 

Similar legislation has been introduced on at least 3 occasions in the House over the past 7 years.

This legislation sets out a blueprint of bold steps that will result in a healthier citizenry at a lower cost with no co-pays, deductibles or premiums or concern about networks and with the freedom and flexibility to choose their health care providers. 

This legislation is possible because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows states the option to innovate with their own health care plan as long as the proposed plan is more economical and efficient.

This proposed legislation meets that criteria.  This option for the states to innovate becomes available in 2017. 

This legislation improves upon our current health care delivery system in many ways.  First and foremost, it preserves the private practice of medicine and the right of patients to choose their healthcare providers.

Briefly, the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan is a system in which the Pennsylvania Health Care Agency administers a plan that ensures the cost-effective delivery of covered services that range from catastrophic care to wellness and preventative care. 

Health Care Providers would have autonomy over patient care.

The program will be supported by the savings realized from replacing today’s less than efficient, often profit-oriented, multiple payer system with a streamlined Pennsylvania Health Care Trust Fund.

The Pennsylvania Health Care Trust Fund will be funded by a 10% employer tax paid on payroll and a 3% personal income tax.

Using our respective Caucuses as an example, we would save millions in health insurance costs if we were to pay an amount equal to 10% of our payroll.

A benefit to Plan participants is knowing definitively their healthcare cost exposure for the year. 

Graphic display of the details of the PA Health Care Plan as presented by Rep DeLissio to her colleagues in her Co-Sponsorship Memo.

Graphic display of the details of the PA Health Care Plan as presented by Rep DeLissio to her colleagues that she included with her Co-Sponsorship Memo.

And here is a summary HB 1688 (thanks to Healthcare for All PA for reviewing and summarizing the The Pennsylvania Health Care Plan). It…

  • Covers all Pennsylvania residents
  • Gives citizens the freedom and flexibility to choose their health care provider while at the same time preserving the private practice of medicine:
    • Allows free choice of providers, including specialists, without pre-approvals or referral
    • Provides comprehensive coverage
    • Give health care providers autonomy over patient care.
  • Doesn’t exclude or limit coverage due to preexisting conditions
  • Creates cost savings for citizens, businesses, municipalities and school districts:
    • Eliminates co-payments, deductibles, point-of-service and networks
    • Eliminates premiums. They are replaced by a 3% tax on adjusted gross income and Businesses will pay a 10% tax on payroll, (most businesses pay far more for employee health benefits, which will be eliminated under this Plan).
    • Benefits businesses by lowering costs for Worker’s Comp, Vehicle Insurance and Liability Insurance due to removal of medical component.
    • Removes retiree healthcare costs from businesses, municipalities and school districts
    • Creates this cost savings by replacing our less than efficient, confusing multi-payer system with a streamlined single-payer system.
  • Covers all of the following, but is not limited to:
    • All medically necessary inpatient and outpatient care and treatment, both primary and secondary
    • Emergency services
    • Emergency and other medically necessary transport to covered health services
    • Rehabilitation services, including speech, occupational, physical and massage therapy
    • Inpatient and outpatient mental health services and substance abuse treatment
    • Hospice care
    • Prescription drugs and prescribed medical nutrition
    • Vision care, aids and equipment
    • Hearing care, hearing aids and equipment
    • Diagnostic medical tests, including laboratory tests and imaging procedures
    • Medical supplies and prescribed medical equipment
    • Immunizations, preventive care, health maintenance care and screening
    • Dental care
    • Home health care services
    • Chiropractic and massage therapy
    • Complementary and alternative medical procedures that have been shown by the National Institute of Health’s Division of Complementary and Alternative Medicine to be safe and effective for possible inclusion as covered benefits
    • Long-term care for those unable to care for themselves independently, including assisted and skilled care

Currently there are four cosponsors of the bill — Rep Pam DeLissio, Rep W. Curtis Thomas, Rep Patrick J. Harkins, and Rep Mark Rozzi. But we need more co-sponsors and citizen calls for passage of this bill.  So we need your help.

Join us and act now! Contact your state representative now and urge them to support the ‘Pennsylvania Health Care Plan legislation’, this new and innovative health care plan will cover ALL Pennsylvania residents.  Find your representative by clicking on this link. Then call, write, and visit your Representative to ask her/him to cosponsor and support an improvement in our health care system here in Pennsylvania.

Then share this blog with your family, friends, and business colleagues so that they too can call for this change.


Why Angry Old Men Calling a Meeting to Yell at a Woman Is Always a Spectacular Failure


Power to truth! Sexism and bullying of women in power is shameful and as the title to this blog says, it is “Always a Spectacular Failure.”

Originally posted on Central Oregon Coast NOW:

Anna Merlan

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How To Explain The Benghazi And Planned Parenthood Hearings To Your Two-Year-Old Daughter

Originally posted on Erin Matson:

What’s this? 

It’s a hearing, sweetie. And we need to talk about something important.

What do you notice about the people asking questions?

Yes, they seem mad. Really mad. What else?

That’s right. They’re almost all boys. Usually when boys grow up we should call them men.

Now what about the person getting yelled at?

Yes, she’s not a boy.

So this is not fair, but it’s true: There are a lot of boys who grew up thinking they were better than girls.


People were mean and they were wrong in the old days. They thought only boys could be strong, and only girls should take care of other people. I know, that’s not at all like your friends! Now boys play with dolls, and girls are great at running and jumping and playing baseball.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard for people to let go of things they learned when they were little, even when those things…

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Tosti-Vasey Bellefonte 2015: Vote for a Change in Leadership

 Picture of Tosti-Vasey yard sign

Joanne Tosti-Vasey’s yard sign. Created by local artist Mary Vollero. The former Garman Opera House is pictured in this sign.

On May 19, 2015, I won the Democratic primary election for Bellefonte borough’s West Ward seat against a 32-year incumbent by almost a two-one majority. He won the write-in vote on the Republican ticket.  So we are having a ” do-over” contest in the General election on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

I have been very active all summer and fall campaigning for this seat.  Talking to local businesses. Attending house parties (the big Open House Party is being held this coming Sunday at a local art studio), door knocking, and putting out yard signs all around town.

In addition to these direct contact events, I also attended a debate at the end of September held by the Centre County League of Women Voters. And answered their Voters’ Guide questionnaire that will be included in a county-wide voters guide that will be sent to the public about a week before the November 3rd election.

Then on October 11, I was interviewed by Jeremy Hartley, a reporter for the Centre Daily Times.  We discussed how my campaign is going, my background and thoughts on major issues for the town, parking in Bellefonte, development of the downtown and waterfront areas of town, attracting residents and investors, affordable housing, and the budget and expanding the tax base.  The video of this interview was taped by C-NET, our local cable television station.  C-NET gave me permission to distribute this tape. So here it is for your viewing.

Take a few minutes to hear what I had to say and why I’m running for borough council. If you are local and want to learn more about me in a fun venue, come to Mary’s Open House on Sunday, October 25. And then come out and vote for me on November 3 if you live in Bellefonte’s 3rd Ward. Regardless of where you live, you can also volunteer/donate – email me at and we’ll fit you in!


Team Tosti-Vasey 2015 General Election Open House

Open House

Mary’s Pink Church

October 25, Sunday, 3:00-5:00

picture of Mary's Pink Art Church

Mary Vollero’s Pink Art Church and Studio located in Unionville, PA. For more information on this art gallery/studio, go to

Meet the Candidates:
Joanne Tosti-Vasey, Bellefonte Borough
Michael Pipe, County Commissioner
Mark Higgins, County Commissioner
Amanda McCartneyRegister of Wills

Coffee & cake & tea & cookies

RSVP not needed. Come one, Come all!

LOCATION: Unionville, Centre County, PA
Old 220 and Rattlesnake Pike
GPS: 180 Union St., Julian, PA 16844
Park behind church, near Community Center.
Cross foot bridge. Enter at red door.

For more info about Mary’s Pink Church, go to

If you’d like to let me know you are coming, go to

New Cruise Line To Offer ‘Social Impact’ Vacations


A new twist on social impact and giving your time and services to others — take a cruise and volunteer your time and skills in a developing country.

Originally posted on SOCIAL DISCUSSION:

 By: Gene Sloan USA Today – 

Would you take a cruise to help people in need? Industry giant Carnival Corp. is betting on it.

The parent company of Carnival, Princess and Holland America today announced plans for a new cruise brand to debut in 2016 that will offer week-long “social impact” vacations to developing countries such as the Dominican Republic.

To be called fathom, the line will launch with a single ship, the 710-passenger Adonia. The vessel currently sails for Carnival’s UK-base P&O Cruises brand.

“fathom will cater to an under-served market of consumers who want to have a positive impact on people’s lives, and aren’t always sure where to begin,” Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald says in a statement accompanying the announcement. “We believe travel is a meaningful way to…

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