Welcome

BugPAC is born out of both frustration with the present but optimism for the future of State College as a place to live for students, young professionals and long-term residents who appreciate and love the unique energy that only college towns create. We aspire to build a Happier Valley for all residents. We hope you’ll join us in this work.

Thank You

The election is over, and because of you, State College woke up yesterday morning to a local government more welcoming and inclusive of all of its residents than it was the day before. Because of you, three of our four endorsed candidates will move forward to the November general election. Continue Reading…

.

About

What is the BugPAC? Click here for a comprehensive explanation.

At the May 4, 2015, meeting, student leaders went to the Borough Council and requested additional street lights in downtown alleyways heavily traveled by students. The proposal was dismissed virtually out of hand. In response to the request, Councilwoman Theresa Lafer implied that if the lights were installed, students would gather around those lights like bugs and cause property damage.

And thus, the BugPAC was born.


The Borough of State College is a quintessential college town. According to the 2010 census, 71% of Borough residents are between the ages of 18-24. The vast majority of these residents, and residents in other age ranges, are Penn State students. However, our elected officials have not adequately represented the interests of students and young people. Respectful student requests are continually ignored, or increasingly often, met with hostility from our elected officials.

BugPAC aims to change this mentality by promoting candidates who respect and value ALL residents — students, young professionals, and long-term residents alike.

BugPAC is born out of both frustration for the present but optimism for the future of State College as a place to live for students and residents who appreciate the unique energy that only college towns create.

The “Bugs” of BugPAC, aspire to change this by providing State College residents with the resources to turn out the vote for our endorsed candidates in the Democratic primary on May 16 who truly represent what has always made State College special.

Together, we can make State College more inclusive and welcoming to ALL residents.

Contacts


Watch BugPAC Co-Chairman and Treasurer Terry Ford discuss the problems in our local government at the 2017 State of State conference.


BugPAC in the News

Penn State students make big push to get involved in local politics – WJAC

Calling out local government – WTAJ

Penn State Student Leaders Launch ‘BugPAC’ to Help Elect Endorsed Candidates for Borough Council, Mayor – StateCollege.com

Political committee BugPAC holds first press conference in the HUB – Daily Collegian

Student Government Presidents Launch ‘BugPAC’ Campaign to Reclaim State College – Onward State

.

Candidates

Mayor

16998019_204630070014820_7770761561471262269_n

Michael Black is a long-time Borough resident and local business owner passionate about making State College a better town for everyone. He started his own business, BLACK SUN studio, in 1994 and by 1997 decided to devote his full attention to being a advertising and editorial photographer, designer, and creative director. In 2005, he designed and built the LABB, a 9,500-square-foot creative studio and arts space located on East Beaver Avenue. Black earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Springfield College in 1985 and his master’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988. He spent the next three years as a student affairs professional at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He moved to State College in 1991 to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Penn State in higher education with a focus on human development.

Borough Council

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 3.15.02 PM

Marina Cotarelo is a 2015 Penn State graduate and the current Vice President of the Graduate and Professional Student Association. Cotarelo is a service-oriented leader with a track record of civic engagement across multiple communities. This past summer, she was selected to be a participant in Bike and Build, a service trip supporting affordable housing solutions. She biked from Connecticut to California, crossing 16 states, and serving communities through fundraising, volunteering, and partnering with organizations to assist in building homes. She has also served her alma mater as the Vice President of the graduate student government, as President of the Kinesiology Club, and as a member of the Graduate School Alumni Society. She is looking forward to continuing her involvement in the community on Borough Council by supporting policies that encourage entrepreneurship to keep young people living and working in the Borough. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, environmental responsibility, and students’ rights.

1471490_32345

Dan Murphy is the first director of Penn State’s Office for Student Orientation and Transition Programs and moved to the Borough in 2012. Some of Murphy’s priorities include economic development, encouraging entrepreneurship, respect for diversity of all community members, supporting efforts to bring young professionals into borough neighborhoods and increasing the engagement between the university and the borough. A native of Lansing, Michigan, Murphy received bachelor’s degrees in music and organizational community from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from James Madison University. Before coming to Penn State, he held student-focused administrative positions James Madison and Indiana University.

1471097_31886

Evan Myers, a first-term Borough Council incumbent, has been involved in the State College community for more than 40 years. Myers is the Chief Operating Officer for AccuWeather and a Penn State graduate. He and his wife have three children, all of whom are State College Area High School graduates and two of whom are current Penn State students. He previously was chair of the State College Planning Commission and has been a member of the Consolidation Study Commission and the Downtown Vision and Strategic Plan Committee. Myers wants to build on efforts to make State College a more inclusive community that brings together neighborhoods, businesses, Penn State and students.

.

Platform

17362579_217858538694146_7335101424700387282_n

We, the “Bugs” of BugPAC, in the spirit of making State College Borough more inclusive of and welcoming to ALL of its residents, avow the following principles:

1. The interests and well-being of students, who make up the vast majority of residents in the Borough of State College, should be adequately reflected when deciding policy and issues important to the community.

2. State College has some of the most restrictive zoning regulations in the country. We only support zoning restrictions and ordinances that do not target and overburden students. We believe that most nuisances can be adequately addressed through the criminal justice system.

3. State College is a college town with all the qualities that come with life in a living-learning community. We acknowledge that residing in the Borough is a choice to live among young adults who engage, largely responsibly, in activities inherent to the collegiate experience. Those students and non-students who cause property damage or commit other criminal acts should be held accountable.

4. State College sits across from one of the most prestigious universities in the country with one of the most creative and passionate student and faculty bodies. State College should be an incubator for entrepreneurship which welcomes young professionals instead of overburdening them with unnecessary and unwelcoming ordinances and bureaucracy.

5. We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the Borough of State College and welcoming residents of all nationalities and backgrounds.

6.We welcome student-friendly services, such as Uber, Lyft, extended bus hours, more street lighting, and other mechanisms to promote students’ safety.

7. We support the rights of fraternities and sororities to organize responsibly.

8. We support promoting and dedicating Borough resources to sustainability and environmental health initiatives.

Above all, the BugPAC and its candidates support a State College and a Borough government that is welcoming to ALL residents, regardless of student status.

.

How To Vote

Our endorsed candidates are running in the Democratic Primary held on May 16, 2017, after most students leave State College for the summer. Even if you won’t be in town, you can still vote and support the BugPAC.

Here’s how to support our candidates:

  • Register to vote using your State College or University Park address by April 17, 2017. YOU CAN REGISTER ONLINE HERE.
  • You must register as a Democrat to vote in the Democratic primary. Political party affiliation can be changed at any time using the same form. If you decide to register as a Republican, PLEASE WRITE-IN THE BUGPAC CANDIDATES.
  • If you are a student who will be out of town for the election, print, complete, and mail an absentee ballot request form. YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE FORM HERE.
  • If you will be in town, you can find your polling place HERE.
  • Make sure the absentee ballot is mailed to your State College address. These will arrive during mid-to-late April.
  • VOTE for the four BugPAC endorsed candidates. Mayor Michael Black and Borough Council members Marina Cotarelo, Daniel Murphy, and Evan Myers.
  • Tell 10 other friends about BugPAC and proudly display your support on your social media pages.

Confused? BugPAC officials can help you fill our your registration properly. Contact us at info@BugPAC.org and we will ensure you are doing everything correctly.

Support

Every dollar donated to the BugPAC goes directly to our efforts to make State College a more welcoming and vibrant community for all residents. We appreciate your support of our endorsed candidates and our efforts to transform our local government. Together, we will make this place a Happier Valley for all.

Donate Now

Want to help make State College a more welcoming place for everyone? Please fill out the form below, even if it’s just to state your support.