About Mary Ellen Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hometown Pittston, Pa. I've lived in West Allentown for nearly 22 years.
Birthday Dec. 29
Marital Status: Married, with one terrific daughter
Professional Background: I've been a journalist for 32 years, since 1978. My first newspaper job was at the Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, where, with colleague Betty Roccograndi, I won a national public service award for a series on Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18, primarily examining how directors spent taxpayers' money. I joined The Morning Call in Allentown in 1989, first as a reporter, writing primarily for the Sunday edition. I moved to the metro desk in the mid-1990s, and I served as an assistant metro editor for more than a decade.
High School/College: I graduated from Pittston Area High School, and obtained a bachelor's degree in English/journalism from Wilkes University. I obtained my master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Hobbies: I enjoy reading, a passion I get to share nearly every month with my friends in the West End Book Club. I love to ski, though I haven't done too much of that since I began raising my daughter. Along with my friend Lori Sanders, I'm co-president of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of Families with Children from China, and I enjoy its cultural and social events.
Mary Ellen's Beliefs
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I'm a registered Democrat, which allows me to vote in Pennsylvania's primaries. In general elections, I go with the best candidate, regardless of party. In the two years I was not working in journalism, I spent several months managing the campaign of a Republican candidate who was running for magisterial district judge; he won.
Raised Catholic, and I am somewhat observant. I am, however, interested in all religions. While I pursued liberal arts in my graduate studies, I did a concentration in Religion in Public Life to better understand other religions and to explore the intersection of religion and government.
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community?
Finding a balance between taxation and quality education for our children, finding a balance between taxation and quality community services, such as police and fire protection. Disappearing farmland; open spaces.
Where do you stand on each of these issues?
I keep an open mind. There are no easy answers.