Litz brings Local Government, Small Business, and Conservation Experience to the Table.
Jo Ellen is a 5-term Lebanon County Commissioner who is the Boots on the Ground for local government implementing programs to Protect Children, Serve Families, Secure Justice, Manage Emergencies, and Safeguard Elections. In short, Commissioner Litz Safeguards the Public Trust.
Whether it was the 2004 Campbelltown Tornado, Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, or the 30" 2016 Snowstorm Jonas, I've been here for you.
Litz was elected by her peers from across the state of Pennsylvania to serve as the 2012 president and 2013 chairman of the Board for the statewide commissioner's association.
Litz is about starting a conversation from public structures like roads and bridges, water and sewer, schools, and energy. A sound infrastructure is the basis of a sound economy. Litz believes we need these Economy Boosting Jobs to put money into the pockets of people so that they can buy homes, cars, and goods. Litz supports a transportation plan to make our roads and bridges safe. In this way, we will create good paying jobs, get people to these jobs, our goods to market, and children to schools.
Jo Ellen served as the chair of the MPO (2012-15)--Metropolitan Planning Organization for Lebanon County--where she helps to prioritize local road and bridge projects with PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.
Keep Litz doing the People's Business.
Recipes People Above Politics
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Taking Action, Getting Results.
Lebanon PA 17046
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Team Litz: Treasurer, Cathy Garrison
Honorary Chair: Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll --a woman who broke the glass ceiling and contributed greatly to PA politics; born in 1930, died November 12, 2008.
Lebanon County Commission for Women
Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz.
Hillary Vision video (from a Harrisburg PA visit in March 2008)
Sorry it took so long to post the events from the final day of the Convention. After getting to bed at midnight, I had to get up at 3AM to get ready, check out of the Marriot Denver Tech Center Hotel, catch a shuttle to the air port and my plane home where I arrived about 5PM.
At Thursday morning’s breakfast, Joe Biden joined the PA delegation. I didn’t know much about Joe before the Convention. I like him. His wife was along too. It turns out he spent time in PA. As mentioned on Wednesday, at the Convention, his son told a heart-wrenching story about how his dad raised him and his brother. Of course he remarried his present wife. But I digress. At the breakfast, Joe shook hands with a line of people. I didn’t realize that he’d stay so long and be so gracious with photo ops. Since I was in the back of the room, I didn’t think I’d have a chance to talk to him one -on-one. He’s supposed to be campaigning pretty hard in PA, so I hope I get another chance.
Also, Bud George and his wife were given an anniversary cake. I had my picture taken with the lovely couple.
Next, I did some commissioner business with Administrator Wolgemuth over the phone; typed up my journal from the previous day, and posted it to my web site.
We also had a lunch—Philly Cheese Steak salad--at the hotel.
Then, we boarded buses to Invesco Field. I put on sun screen, purchased a visor, took along sun glasses, and dressed in layers. Delegates were in the field. If you were facing the stage, Pennsylvania was to the right. I sat in the seventh row, the third seat in from the isle. By now you probably know the stage looked like a coliseum with steps and pillars. There were three podiums. We heard from generals, former vice president Al Gore, a guy named Barney Smith who wanted a president to care more about him than Smith Barney…. We got to see and hear Stevie Wonder live.
But the main event was Obama’s acceptance speech. He stood at the middle podium. From where I sat, I could see the speech scroll on a knee wall directly ahead of him, maybe 100’ away. Even more important, I could see his entire body. I am in transition to a new presidential candidate. I really wanted to see him in person, not just a head shot on television. I need to be able to put trust in him to lead the United State of America. I need more than a spectacular speech. I need to know what makes him tick. I like his commitment on energy, and really enjoy seeing him with his family. His two daughters are delightful.
The night ended with fire works.
I left the stadium still wondering what made him tick. I saw the visual of him with an older woman, and they mentioned steel mills closing, but I also wondered what a community organizer really did.
The plane trip home brought more answers to my questions. In the terminal, I sat beside Obama’s neighbor and fund raiser. He said that as an organizer, Obama helped to find jobs, training, food,…when people lost their jobs. Since it was some time ago, I thought it must have been a precursor to our Careerlink.
Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray suggested that I purchase Obama’s book, the Audacity of Hope, which I did at the airport. Finally, Obama the man is emerging in my mind. He is a man who taught about the Constitution in college. He described meeting Senator Byrd of West Virginia. He said that Senator Byrd carries around a book of the Constitution.
I also met, then on the plane sat next to former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder (1990-94) who was the first elected and only the second Governor who is African American in any U.S. state. We speculated about McCain's choice of a running mate. Without electronics, we didn't get an answer until later Friday night.
Received an email from news anchor Susan Monday who wants to do an interview Sunday night at 10PM on The Big Talker 1210 in Bala Cynwid PA.
After breakfast, I voted and signed my ballot for Hillary Clinton. Then, I signed up for Hillary’s “meeting” downtown. Next, I hopped onto the light rail, and went to the Denver Convention Center at 14th Street and California. The second time I rode light rail, I felt like a pro. All I had to do was hit "quick ticket" and insert $3, validate the ticket with a time stamp, and hop on the "F" line. Riding the train could get addicting. I met and talked to other delegates and volunteers on the ride. The Convention Center was packed. The Center had to clear a larger room to accommodate the crowd. It was so encouraging. There were no seats. It was to be a relatively short speech. Hillary said that she was casting her vote for Obama. At breakfast, Rendell said that he would follow Hillary’s lead. In fact he asked for a unanimous vote to be cast, but said no one would pressure anyone into voting for Obama. He said that our vote would be respected and understood. I was happy with that.
After Hillary’s announcement, I walked to the Pepsi Center, grabbed some lunch and ate it on a side ramp. There were no tables and chairs in the Pepsi Center food courts, and you also weren’t allowed to take food to your seat. Another couple stopped on the ramp too. Carrying a large plastic bag, a husband and wife of forty years pulled out a donkey suit.
It was time to find my seat on the floor. Governor Rendell had also explained that if you weren’t in your seat during the role call, your vote would not count. It was 3PM. Immediately after the pledge of allegiance, national anthem, and prayer, nominations for president were received by Nancy Pelosi. Many of PA’s seats were empty. Now it was time for the role call by states.
It was a very emotional time. I kept track of the votes, but didn't hear the final vote that put Obama over the top. I asked to see the final Pennsylvania count.
Melissa Etheridge sang God Bless America. As she added, “I was born in the USA,” one by people rose to their feet until the entire forum us on their feet.
Some of the notable people I met tonight included:
John Kerry gave a hard-hitting speech.
At one point, all of the elected women serving in the US House of Representatives were on the stage.
President Bill Clinton received an extended standing ovation.
After being introduced by his son Bo Biden, the evening closed with Joe Biden accepting the vice presidential nomination. Senator Obama also made an appearance.
Slightly more than one-half of this year’s delegates were women.
Did I mention that you could smell the ink as signs were removed from bags? They were literally ‘hot off the presses.’ Signs distributed included:
Thursday, we'll be in the stadium, which holds 20,000 people.
Tuesday, I tried light rail. A shuttle bus took us to the rail station, and I hopped on the “E" line. Due to security, the Pepsi Center station was closed. So, I got off at Invesco Field, and walked, or should I say hiked. The early arrival accommodated a request by local WGAL TV8. Eric Nazarenus, their assistant news director, was at the convention. The floor was empty, but the musicians were practicing. The interview went fairly quickly.
On the walk from the light rail station to the Pepsi Center, Jean Simon Gagne, a young man from Quebec, Canada introduced himself as a reporter for the Le Soleil, a French newspaper. I have to find someone to translate French for me. The url is www.lesoleil.com .
Since it was lunch time, I purchased a meal inside the Pepsi Center, then went to the floor to find a seat. Luckily, I brought along the free newspapers from the hotel to read. But, before I got them out of my case, Chelsa appeared on stage, then Hillary. I rummaged through my bag, and grabbed my Hillary book to try to get her autograph. She didn’t hear me. I forgot about all of the press on hand. Eli and a cameraman from Denver’s channel 2 turned around and photographed me trying for Hillary’s signature. Then, his reporter asked a few questions. So did reporter Susan Page for USA Today. And that’s how the day started. When I sat down, I put my book beside me on a chair, just in case Hillary came out again. Then, as I read the newspapers, I noticed a shadow over my shoulder. A man was standing on a chair taking pictures of me reading an article about Bill Clinton with my Hillary book on the chair beside me.
Remember Cory, the page? He came over to me, and asked if I would talk to Bryan, a CBS reporter. I said ok. I usually don’t go to reporters with a story, but as a commissioner, I’ve always had a policy of cooperating with the press. I didn’t know I'd get to see both Katie Couric and Morgan Fairchild. Katie waved to me. Wow.
I saw Kate Snow too.
Right after the convention opened with prayer, I think one of my colleagues, Commissioner Carpenter called. It was loud, and I couldn’t hear all of the words. I think he said that I was on CNN praying. I’m really not sure.
I sat on an isle so I wouldn’t disturb people if I had to get out. For some reason, one media person after another kept asking me questions:
The “Boiler Room” handed out six signs Tuesday night:
Some of the memorable quotes of the night:
Kucinich was animated. He had the crowd on their feet.
During Hillary’s speech, there was so much noise and commotion around me that I have to watch it on TV. I did get sound bites taped. All I know is that I could see tears well up in her eyes, but she kept it all together. I was so concerned for her. It must have been hard, but she did a marvelous job.
After the convention, I hiked to Invesco Field for a reception. Boy am I glad that I did. The entire Clinton family attended--Hillary, Bill, and Chelsa. Again I tried unsuccessfully to get my book signed. However, I did get some pictures.
On Monday, I got to the Pepsi Center around 2:30PM, went through security, which wasn’t too bad, then searched the arena for the PA delegation section. We’re on the floor—facing the stage—to the right, behind Colorado and Michigan. People started to come in, but at that moment, I think the media outnumbered the delegates. Our padded seats are pretty comfortable. They’re folding chairs, but not bad. Almost immediately, two French ladies, one of them named Catherine Galloway, approached me from CNN Paris channel 24. Later, Jens Borchers, a reporter from ARD German Broadcasting, did an interview. Also, Paula Wolfson, Voice of America in Washington DC, did an interview. Finally, Laura Mecker from the Washington Post did an interview. She shared that she once covered the Bologna Drop in Lebanon. I had to admit that I didn’t see the story. While I was talking to Laura, a lady came up and handed me a ‘300 pin’ for signing a petition to get Hillary’s name placed in nomination.
The lady in front of me (Ruth) wore a red hat with donkeys and “unity” on it. She had her picture taken by over a dozen media photographers.
I thought about Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, and wished she was here.
The credentials committee certified Michigan and Florida to full voting status. I was very happy about that.
Two ladies sitting next to me each attended seven conventions. Their names were Angie and Ruth. I was in good company.
When Nancy Pelosi took the stage, the applause was deafening. A whole host of speakers followed. Mayor Hickenlooper said, “They raised more barns in the west than they had gun fights.” For some reason, I really liked that quote.
The jumbotron was a hoot. People were rocking and rolling. They got a big kick out of seeing themselves on TV. It was fun. One guy stuck out his tongue when he saw himself. Even the “suits” go in on the fun. It was like a sporting event at the Giant Center in Hershey.
They handed out American flags, and that’s when I had to get up and dance and wave my flag too. Woohoo.
Signs were handed out in abundance. One said “Change we can believe in,” another simply “Kennedy,” another “Michelle,” and still another one said “Common values common purpose.”
I had a nice conversation with a young page named Cory. He is a senior attending Gettysburg college.
Recording artist John Legend and a national choir performed—If You’re Out There.?
They had “America’s Town Hall,” the first of three call-in meetings where people can ask questions.
When a movie played featuring Nancy Pelosi, Senator Clinton said a few words, and cheers erupted. Pelosi was very good at painting word pictures—quite an effective speaker.
Governor Rendell arrived amidst security. He took time to shake people’s hands. He patted me on the shoulder as he passed by. Later, the Governor passed out petitions for presidential nominations. I signed Hillary’s petition
President and Mrs. Carter were on the stage momentarily, but didn’t say anything.
Maya Soetoro-NG, Obama’s sister, said that she’s a US history teacher.
Caroline Kennedy did a tribute to her Uncle Ted Kennedy. Then, a movie showed him sailing with his family. Finally, Kennedy himself took the stage. He certainly didn’t sound sick. Remarkable.
I thought I’d get tired of sitting. Nope. We danced a lot. It kept the blood flowing.
When Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa, took the stage, he “signed” a message. I liked when he said, “Red and blue are not nearly as important as red, white and blue.”
Republican Congressman Jim Leach, Iowa, made a presentation too.
Austin, Lillie, and Mattie Espiseto—brothers and sisters—asked people to text for up-to-date campaign information. Their mother is Senator Claire McCaskill, Missouri. When she took the stage, she had a twist on the red and blue quote, “We’re not a red state. We’re not a blue state. We’re a United States.”
Michelle Obamas’ mother spoke on a video. Her brother, Craig Robinson, introduced Michelle who spoke eloquently. At the end, her two daughters came on stage and interacted with their dad over a huge screen.
That’s it for now. See you again soon.
Sunday evening, I hopped a bus to Red Rocks, a magnificent natural geologic field of tall red rocks, for a reception and barbq. Afterwards, there was a concert in the amphitheater where Sheryl Crow, Colorado Senator Ken Salazar, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, and Sugarland, a country band performed. Awesome. There was heat lightening in the background. You could also see Denver's lights. Even the distraction of a small plane flying back and forth with a tail message, “Obama for rock star. McCain for president” didn't seem to ruin anyone's night. There were a few students, maybe six, with either McCain or NObama signs on the way in too.
Monday morning after a brisk one-mile walk on the treadmill, I picked up my credentials and listened to TJ Rooney, Governor Rendell, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, US Senator Bob Casey, Michael Notter, Dan Onorato…speak. A buffet breakfast was sponsored by PP&L.
During that time, I also charged up my cell phone, still and movie cameras, and computer. Around 9:30AM, a WITF radio reporter called to do an interview. He asked me for who I will be voting at the convention and why. I said Hillary. I explained that when I got involved in the presidential race, I had to submit a pledged delegate card and my biography to the Hillary campaign. Then, I worked hard and contacted her campaign staff on a regular basis to see if I was being considered. I even created post cards, one with my “President Barbie” collection, one of me growing up in Lebanon County, and one of me “standing by Hillary.” That process eventually led to my appointment as an at-large delegate. I found out that I was selected at a State Democratic Party convention.
As background, I was brought up to honor my commitments. I got married in 1970, and am married to the same man today. You do the math. Likewise, I committed to Hillary, and will see her through this convention. She has my unwavering support.
After the convention is over, I will support the Democratic nominee. Dan Onorato said it best, “My vote is not an anti-Obama vote. It’s a pro Clinton vote.”
The formal DNC session runs from 3-9PM today. Buses will start leaving around 1:30 to the Pepsi Center. Michelle Obama is scheduled to speak tonight. Afterwards, there’s a reception sponsored by Tyco and a delegation party at Coors Field from 10 to midnight. Needless to say, it will be a full day.
The Democratic National Convention takes place in Denver, Colorado from
August 25-28, 2008. Jo Ellen Litz is a delegate pledged to Hillary
Clinton. Hillary will address the Convention on
Hillary's name will be placed
into nomination for president. A petition was filed according to Rule
VIII.C.6 in the Call for the 2008 Democratic National Convention:
Check back daily for updates during the Convention.