Fiedler opens new office in Lower Moyamensing

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For Fiedler, the goal of the office will be to “serve constituents.”

State Representative-elect Elizabeth Fiedler, who will begin representing Pennsylvania’s 184th state house district starting in January, opened her new office at the corner of 9th and Ritner streets in Lower Moyamensing last week. The event was attended by outgoing state representative Bill Keller, leader of Philadelphia’s 48th voting ward Anton Moore and members of Fralinger String Band who performed.

“We looked at a lot of places to see what was within our budget,” Fiedler said of the space, which was previously a pharmacy. “We wanted to be as centrally located as possible to where a lot of people work — the more dense parts of the district.”

Fiedler said she plans on opening a satellite location further north in the district in the near future, but the exact location is yet to be determined.

For Fiedler, the goal of the office will be to “serve constituents.”

“We can help people with all sorts of things in which they are interacting with government,” Fiedler said. “We can smooth the process out. We can make sure they are turning in whatever forms they need to and help make access and government services as easy as possible.”

These services include, but are not limited to, getting SEPTA ID cards, helping with car registrations and birth certificate applications, accessing information regarding financial assistance for higher education, filing consumer complaints, and obtaining PACE cards for senior citizens and disability plates or placards. The office will also be a place for residents to request literature of all different kinds, from bills, regulations, statutes, maps and information for seniors and students.

Fiedler will have three full-time and one part-time staff member working at her office, two of which are bilingual. Constituent service advisor Hugo Cortes speaks both English and Spanish.

“I feel especially in a district that’s so diverse it’s important to have those resources for them for people who speak different languages,” Cortes said.

Kopi Kharel, who’s the lone part-time staff member, is actually trilingual. She speaks English, Nepali and Hindi.

According to Feidler, more than 30 languages are spoken in her district, “probably the most languages spoken of any district in Pennsylvania,” she said. “It’s a lot.”

Until Fiedler takes office, she’s mostly been working on getting the office set up, but she’s also beginning to draft legislation in Harrisburg.

“We’re working on two pieces of legislation that are focused on helping working people and making sure that folks who work hard earn wages that they can support themselves and their families on [and that they] aren’t getting underpaid, or aren’t having their tips stolen,” she said. “That’s one thing we’ve heard from so many people in the district and it’s no surprise is we need jobs and we need them to be good paying jobs. People shouldn’t have to get two or three jobs just to be able to make ends meet.”