Delaware County Daily Times: Lentz: Job creation is No. 1 issue

RADNOR — State Rep. Bryan Lentz, the Democratic candidate for the 7th Congressional District, discussed his plans for the nation’s economic recovery during a town hall forum Saturday afternoon.

“The No. 1 issue throughout this country and particularly this district is jobs,” said Lentz, while addressing a group of residents at the Wayne Art Center off Maplewood Avenue.

Lentz outlined some ways he’d like to improve the economy, including encouraging businesses to use capital on people, facilities and equipment. He said it’s also important to give companies incentives to invest and expand and provide small businesses with access to loans to bring good-paying jobs to the region.

In addition, Lentz said he supported investments in education, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. He also believes there needs to be more investments in the nation’s infrastructure.

“Over the past decade, too much of our country’s focus was on creating wealth through risky investments,” Lentz said. “These steps I am proposing are a foundation for creating jobs here in America in fields and industries that will support working families.”

About 50 people, ranging from young adults to senior citizens, attended Lentz’s forum. They asked questions on several topics, including renewable energy and financing of public education.

Taj Magruder, 19, of Radnor, told Lentz he was concerned about educators focusing on material in standardized tests “as opposed to actual teaching.”

George Badey, 52, of Radnor, asked Lentz how he planned to address the nation’s debt. “When President Obama came in, he was facing a crisis,” Badey said.

“We have to confront the debt,” Lentz responded. “There is a sense that the debt is so bad we can’t spend. The fact that we have debt doesn’t prevent us from investing … on infrastructure and education. The debt is serious but we shouldn’t let it scare us from investing.”

Lentz is running against Republican Pat Meehan, a former U.S. attorney for the seat currently occupied by U.S. Joe Sestak, who is running for Senate.