The Pennsylvania onAir Hub is managed by students supporting Pennsylvanians to become more informed about and engaged in local, state, and federal politics while facilitating more civil and positive discussions with their representatives, candidates, and fellow citizens.
- PennsylvaniaonAir is one of 50 state governance and elections hubs that the US onAir Network is providing to help reinvigorate US democracy. This post has short summaries of current state and federal representatives with links to their complete Hub posts (content coming soon). Students curate post content from government, campaign, social media, and public websites. Key content on the Pennsylvania Hub is also replicated on the US onAir nations Hub at: us.onair.cc.
- Pennsylvania students will be forming onAir chapters in their colleges and universities to help curate Hub content. As more students participate and more onAir chapters are started, we will expand to include more state and local content as well as increase the number of aircasts – student-led, livestreamed, online discussions with candidates, representatives, and the public.
2-minute vision video about the US onAir network
US onAir Internships
US onAir internships are sponsored by Democracy onAir, a nonpartisan, student-focused, 501c3 nonprofit providing trusted information on governance and elections and an online town square to facilitate more civil, collaborative democracies. Over the past four years with the help of George Mason University faculty, staff, and alumni, Democracy onAir has been working with student interns to develop the US onAir network of 50 state governance and elections Hubs and national US onAir Hub.
The fall 2022 US onAir Internship program is designed to help US students and the public become more informed and engaged voters for the November 2022 elections by way of the US onAir national Hub and state Hubs like this North Carolina onAir Hub. Many of our recent interns have continued working with Democracy onAir in management positions.
We encourage student interns to integrate their internship with their intern courses for credit, class projects, capstone projects, and research work. A five hour per week commitment through Nov. 8 is required for this internship. After Nov. 8, interns can reduce their time commitment especially the week before final exams. All work is done online and unpaid.
Next semester our plan is to have some paid fellowships as well as new onAir networks in democracies throughout the world with a focus on Asian democracies such as South Korea, India, and Taiwan.
Here is a 2 minute video about US onAir internship opportunities.
Fall Intern Opportunities
Pennsylvania onAir Team Leader
The Pennsylvania onAir Hub is looking for a team leader. We prefer team leaders that are active members in their universities student government.
Pennsylvania onAir Managers
The Pennsylvania onAir internship program is for Pennsylvania undergrad or graduate students attending in state or out of state colleges and universities. Managers will focus on one or more of these areas: Curation, Aircasting, and Chapter outreach (see this post for more details on these roles).
In September and October, interns will interact with candidates in their state’s US Senate, US House, Governor, and other state-wide races doing the following:
- Oversee the curation of politician, issue, committee, and other Hub posts
- Oversee the producing and moderating candidate and race aircasts (student produced, livestreamed zoom discussions) and editing videos based on these aircasts
- Oversee the establishment and coordination onAir chapters at Pennsylvania colleges and universities
After Nov. 8, interns will similarly interact with elected representatives, emphasizing finding common ground on key issues and legislation.
Pennsylvania onAir Chapters
US onAir will assist Pennsylvania students to establish onAir Chapters in their colleges and universities. The Pennsylvania onAir chapters will be open to all Pennsylvania undergrad and graduate students as well as faculty, staff, and alumni.
Chapter members curate posts on politicians, their committees, issues, and legislation. They moderate online discussions, and help produce aircasts. To learn more about US onAir chapters, go to this post.
To set up your university chapter, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To participate in Pennsylvania onAir and the US onAir Hub discussions and events, all that is required is your first and last name,
and a “.edu” email address.
Each state Hub will have its own membership requirements. For example, most state Hubs, once they have a student Hub management team, will start off requiring a .edu email address. Once a Hub’s onAir Council decides it’s ready for the public, it will then be open to any resident of their state.
Your real name and any other profile information will NOT be displayed unless you choose to do so. Your personal information is NOT shared with any other website or organization.
Hub membership will enable you to:
- Ask questions, make suggestions, and give endorsements to your representatives and other politicians;
- Interact directly with Post Authors and Curators giving them feedback, content suggestions, and asking questions,
- Participate in aircast forums, research studies, and surveys,
- Be able to ask questions during onAir livestreaming broadcasts via chat
Supporting Virginia onAir
There are many ways other than interning with US onAir that students and US citizens can engage with and support the US onAir network and the 50 state governance and election Hubs.
- Donate to Democracy onAir
- Sponsor a post, category, or entire Hub
- Purchase an Advocate membership and curate your own posts
For more information how you can support Pennsylvania onAir, go to this post.
Pennsylvania is located in the Northeastern region of the USA with Harrisburg as its capital. Tom Wolf (D) is Governor.
The Pennsylvania legislature has 50 Senate members and 203 House members.
|Office||Name||Party||Assumed office||Next election||Term limited||Maximum term length|
|Governor||Tom Wolf||Democratic||January 20, 2015||2022||Yes||Two consecutive terms|
|Lieutenant Governor*||John Fetterman||Democratic||January 15, 2019||2022||No (retiring)||Two consecutive terms|
|Attorney General||Josh Shapiro||Democratic||January 17, 2017||2024||Yes||Two consecutive terms|
|Treasurer||Stacy Garrity||Republican||January 19, 2021||2024||No||Two consecutive terms|
|Auditor General||Tim DeFoor||Republican||January 19, 2021||2024||No||Two consecutive terms|
Governor Tom Wolf
Current Position: Governor since 2015
Former Position(s): Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania from 2007 – 2008
Our communities need to be able to trust their local law enforcement officers. This new tool will help departments hire officers who are of the highest caliber and fit to serve all Pennsylvanians. Pa. database tracks complaints against police officers: ‘We want our bad apples out’
For more information, go to this post.
Senator Bob Casey
Current Position: US Senator since 2007
Former Position(s): Treasurer of Pennsylvania from 2005 – 2007; Auditor General of Pennsylvania from 1997 – 2005
Chair, Subcommittee on Children and Families – Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Chair, Special Committee on Aging
The #BetterCareBetterJobs Act would make President Biden’s proposal to invest in home and community-based services a reality and improve the lives of millions of seniors, people with disabilities, and home care workers. #BuildBackBetter
For more information, go to this post.
Senator Pat Toomey
Current Position: US Senator since 2011
Former Position(s): US Representative from 1999 – 2005
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection – Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
President Biden is now joining the Fed in insisting this bout of inflation is transitory. But if it’s not, waiting for it to pass will put the Fed behind the curve. It’s very difficult to get the inflation genie back in the bottle once it’s out.https://pa.onair.cc/politician/pat-toomey-pa/
For more information, go to this post.
Pennsylvania’s 18 US House members are shown in the US House Members “Top Posts” slider.
Mary Gay Scanlon
Democracy promoting Nonprofits
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania- Making Democracy Work
The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania is a statewide, nonpartisan, grassroots organization.
We believe that through informed action, people can make profound changes in their communities.
Our dedicated members work every day to provide voter services, educate the public, and advocate for issues that matter.
Find your local League to get involved!
Common Cause Pennsylvania – Strengthening Democracy
Common Cause Pennsylvania is a nonpartisan good government organization that stands as an independent voice for positive change, a watchdog against corruption, and a protector against abuse of power.
We work in the halls of power and in our communities to defend citizens’ rights and hold public officials accountable and responsive to the people.
Our record of success is a product of forward vision, and a powerful combination of grassroots organizing, coalition building, policy development, research, public education, lobbying and when necessary, litigation.
Free news sources
Georgia Recorder is an independent, nonprofit news organization focused on connecting public policies to stories of the people and communities affected by them.
WHYY is greater Philly’s NPR and PBS station. We enlighten and inspire through information when you need it, entertainment when you want it & education when it counts – TV, radio, online & in the community!
WITF – Live Inspired
WITF is a trusted, valued supplier of programs and services that both satisfy and stimulate curiosity for residents in every community in the central Pennsylvania region. WITF broadcast services reach audiences in over 17 counties in central Pennsylvania. The company comprises public broadcasting stations WITF TV, WITF 89.5 & 93.3, witf.org, WITF Educational Services, and Media Solutions.
WQED was the nation’s first community-supported television station and went on the air on April 1, 1954. In 1973, Classical WQED-FM 89.3 was founded as the region’s only 24-hour classical radio station.
Today, WQED is educational public media with five television programming streams: WQED-TV; WQED Create; WQED WORLD; WQED Showcase; and WQED PBS Kids Channel. Three radio streams include: WQED-FM 89.3; WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; The Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-FM HD-2 and www.wqed.org/fm online provide WQED content for free to all residents in the viewing and listening area, and online around the world; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive, and a nationally-recognized educational initiative.
The Government of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the governmental structure of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as established by the Pennsylvania Constitution. It is composed of three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. The capital of the Commonwealth is Harrisburg.
The elected officers are:
In Pennsylvania all members of the executive branch are not on the ballot in the same year: elections for governor and lieutenant governor are held in even years when there is not a presidential election, while the other three statewide offices are elected in presidential election years.
The Governor’s Cabinet comprises the directors of various Commonwealth agencies:
- Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)
- Department of Aging
- Office of General Counsel (OGC)
- Department of Insurance
- Department of Corrections (DOC)
- Department of Transportation (PennDOT)
- Department of State (DOS)
- Department of General Services (DGS)
- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
- Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)
- Department of Health
- Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS)
- Office of the Budget
- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
- Pennsylvania State Police (PSP)
- Office of Inspector General (OIG)
- Department of Human Services (formally Department of Public Welfare) (DHS)
- Department of Labor & Industry (L&I)
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Revenue
- Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA)
- Office of Administration (OA)
- Department of Education (PDE)
- Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP)
The Pennsylvania General Assembly is the bicameral state legislature composed of 253 members: the House of Representatives with 203 members, and the Senate with 50 members. The Speaker of the House of Representatives or their designated speaker pro tempore holds sessions of the House. The President of the Senate is the Lieutenant Governor, who has no vote except in the event of tie in the Senate, where the vote is 25-25. The legislature meets in the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. Its session laws are published in the official Laws of Pennsylvania, which are codified in the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. Members of the Senate and the House cannot hold a position in any civic office, and both the houses may expel a member with two-thirds vote. Any member who is expelled for corruption may never run again for reelection in either portion of the legislature.
Pennsylvania is divided into 60 judicial districts, most of which (except Philadelphia) have magisterial district judges (formerly called district justices and justices of the peace), who preside mainly over minor criminal offenses and small civil claims. Magisterial District Judges also preside over preliminary hearings in all misdemeanor and felony criminal cases. Most criminal and civil cases originate in the Courts of Common Pleas, which also serve as appellate courts to the district judges and for local agency decisions. The Superior Court hears all appeals from the Courts of Common Pleas not expressly designated to the Commonwealth Court or Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. It also has original jurisdiction to review warrants for wiretap surveillance. The Commonwealth Court is limited to appeals from final orders of certain state agencies and certain designated cases from the Courts of Common Pleas. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the final appellate court. All judges in Pennsylvania are elected; the chief justice is determined by seniority.
In total, 439 judges preside over the Court of Common Pleas, 9 judges preside over the Commonwealth Court, 15 judges preside over the Superior Court, and 7 justices preside over the Supreme Court. Elected judges run in 10 year terms, at which point they are required to run in a non-partisan retention election if they wish to continue to serve.
Local government in Pennsylvania consists of five types of local governments: county, township, borough, city, and school district. All of Pennsylvania is included in one of the state’s 67 counties and each county is then divided into one of the state’s 2,562 municipalities. There are no independent cities or unincorporated territory within Pennsylvania. Local municipalities are either governed by statutes enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature and administered through the Pennsylvania Code, by a home rule charter or optional form of government adopted by the municipality with consent of the Legislature. Municipalities may enact and enforce local ordinances.
Pennsylvania enacted the Local Government Commission in 1935, by an Act of Assembly. The commission is one of the oldest in the country, composed of five members of the state Senate and House of Representatives who are appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. The commission provides assistance to Members of the General Assembly on researching local issues.
- “Cabinet and Executive Staff”. Governor of Pennsylvania. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
- “Reader’s Guide to the Pennsylvania Bulletin and Pennsylvania Code” (PDF). Pennsylvania Bulletin. Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau. 31 (7): 919. February 17, 2001.
- “About the Pennsylvania Code”. Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- “Members of the House”. Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
- “Members of the Senate”. Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
- “Pennsylvania Session Laws > Introduction to Pamphlet Laws”. Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- Prince, Mary Miles (2001). Prince’s Bieber Dictionary of Legal Citations (6th ed.). Wm. S. Hein Publishing. p. 343. ISBN 1-57588-669-3. LCCN 2001024375.
- “Pennsylvania Session Laws > FAQ”. Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- Inc., US Legal. “Pennsylvania State Legislature – System”. system.uslegal.com. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
- Judicial districts Archived August 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- “Judicial selection in Pennsylvania – Ballotpedia”. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Constitution. Article III Section 20.
- The Pennsylvania Manual, Page 6-3.
- Solicitor’s Handbook (3rd ed.). Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. April 2003. pp. 1–4, 15–18.
- keenthemes. “-CUSTOMER VALUE-“. -CUSTOMER VALUE-. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
- Pennsylvania General Assembly
- Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recipient profile on USAspending.gov