As a scientist, entrepreneur, and business leader, Shaughnessy Naughton brings a unique perspective to the challenges facing Washington, DC.
“Part of the problem in Congress is that there are too many politicians and not enough common sense, small business leaders who know what it means to balance a budget, make a payroll, and create jobs. That’s why I’m running.”
Shaughnessy was born and raised in Bucks County and currently runs her family’s small business in the Eighth Congressional District, but that wasn’t her first career choice.
At Bryn Mawr College, Shaughnessy was awarded a prestigious grant to help develop a new synthesis of a drug to treat breast cancer. Her research led to Phase III clinical testing. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 1999 with a degree in chemistry, Shaughnessy joined the team at Wyeth Laboratories as a key member of the infectious disease research group. Her work was quickly recognized and she received an early promotion to Scientist II. She was awarded two U.S. patents.
But in 2003, her family’s publishing business faced some challenges and Shaughnessy stepped in. By using a common sense approach, cutting wasteful spending, streamlining processes, and embracing 21st century technology, she was able to grow and expand the company.
Ten years later she now owns and manages all of the publishing company’s operations including magazine publishing, graphic design, and website development. As a small business owner she understands how to balance short- term losses and long-term growth, which has allowed the company to survive, thrive, and grow in one of the toughest economies since the Great Depression.
Shaughnessy’s perspective as a small business owner and a scientist will bring a totally unique and much-needed fresh approach to Washington D.C.
Born and raised in Point Pleasant, Bucks County, Shaughnessy is one of five children. She attended Gayman Elementary and graduated from Solebury School.
Shaughnessy has spent her life standing up and fighting for our shared values and to protect those who need it most. She has been a tireless advocate for at-risk youth. She tutored and mentored inner city students in the Trenton housing projects and at-risk Latino students in Philadelphia.
“Shaughnessy’s Spirit, enthusiasm and dedication inspires us. From the first time that I met her I knew that she understood the challenges facing small businesses. That is why I am so excited that she is running for congress. Shaughnessy won’t just promise results- she will deliver them. ”
Joanne N. small business owner
SHAUGHNESSY ON THE ISSUES
“What I’ve learned from being a scientist and a small business owner is that if something isn't working, you make a change. That’s why I’m running for Congress.
“Everyday, we see examples of a broken Congress, but together we have the power to make a change.
“If you're as outraged as I am about the growing squeeze on our middle class, the escalating costs of higher education, the attacks on women’s health, the quality of care for our nation’s veterans, and the do-nothing-Congress beholden to special interests, then I need your vote.
“It's time for us to hold the politicians in Washington accountable and have a voice at the table speaking for us. I will be that voice for you.” ~Shaughnessy Naughton
STANDING UP FOR THE EIGHTH DISTRICT
Middle class families across Bucks and Montgomery Counties deserve a voice at the table that understands our values and priorities. I was born and raised here. I went to school here and, when asked, I stepped in to help my family’s small business when it was in trouble. I believe that the policies being made by Washington-insiders are squeezing the middle class. The Eighth District deserves a Member of Congress who will fight for us. That’s why I’m focused on:
HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES RECOVER AND CREATE JOBS
Unfortunately, too many Bucks and Montgomery County employers, including my own small publishing company, were hit hard during the economic downturn. That’s why I stayed on with my family’s small business – to keep our company alive. Today, our publishing company is on sound footing, but even as we are on the road to recovery, too many small businesses are still feeling the squeeze. As a small business owner, I know what it takes to create good, family-supporting jobs and stay competitive in the global economy. That’s why my top priorities include:
I was fortunate enough to have received a great college education. Now I want all kids in Bucks and Montgomery Counties to have the same opportunity to get a good education and go on to higher learning. A strong education system – starting with early learning through college and career training programs – is the best way to prepare our country to compete in a global economy and continue to build a strong community here in the Eighth District. It’s time to get back to basics and invest in what we know works: early education, smaller class sizes, making higher education more affordable, and job training for those who need it. That’s why my top priorities include:
Having spent thousands of hours in a lab researching a new synthesis of a breast cancer drug and new antibiotics to treat “superbugs,” I know how important it is to champion research and innovation in the health care industry. But I also know that no matter how many breakthroughs we have, it won’t matter if the cures are out of reach of middle class families. Providing access to quality, affordable health care is one of the top challenges facing our state and our nation. The landmark passage of the Affordable Care Act provides a major step in the right direction, however, there remains work to be done. My health care priorities include:
PROTECTING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE
I know how hard it is for our seniors to make ends meet on a fixed income. I paid (and still pay) my mom’s mortgage so that she is able to stay in her home when Social Security isn’t enough. There are thousands of seniors just like my mom who are struggling to pay the bills on a meager retirement savings. It’s just not right. I’ll oppose any plan that jeopardizes Social Security and Medicare or seeks to gamble the programs on risky privatization schemes. Our country must keep its promises to today’s seniors while preserving Social Security and Medicare for our children and grandchildren. We should focus on reducing waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare system, improving coordination of care between doctors, hospitals and patients, and allowing Medicare to better negotiate prescription drug prices.
As the granddaughter, daughter and sister of veterans, I know how much our men and women in uniform and their families sacrifice in service to our nation. They deserve more than just our thanks. They deserve the benefits and care that our grateful nation has promised when they return home. My priorities include:
WOMEN’S HEALTH AND RIGHTS
As a woman, a scientist, and an American, I was horrified to watch the political battle raging in Washington, D.C. over basic health care and the rights of women and families. It’s dumbfounding to watch Congress continually try to turn back the clock on women’s rights – or say no to commonsense economic policies like equal pay for equal work. Women are heads of households, small business owners, wage earners, and Americans. We not only need more people standing up for women’s rights in Washington, D.C., we need more women in Congress. That’s why some of my top priorities include:
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
As residents of Bucks and Montgomery Counties know all too well, when we fill up our tanks or heat our homes, our nation is far too dependent on oil and gas. America is faced with a growing global demand for energy, a heavy reliance on fossil fuels, rising energy prices, and environmental concerns. As a scientist, I know climate change is real and that there are steps we need to take to protect our planet for future generations. It’s going to take American innovation and smart policies to address these critical issues and create a smart, comprehensive national energy policy. That’s why my priorities include:
NATURAL GAS DRILLING
As a chemist, I understand that natural gas drilling has many potential public health and environmental risks. I unequivocally support the fracking moratorium in Bucks and Montgomery Counties passed in 2012. The fracking ban in the two counties operates as both a state and federal ban; the federal ban came in 2009, when the administrators of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) determined they needed to ban fracking along the length of the River until guidelines were drawn up.
The Delaware River, which weaves along Bucks County, contributes to the entire region: at 330 miles it is the longest American river east of the Mississippi, providing drinking water for more than 15 million people, as well as water needed for industry and irrigation for Pennsylvania’s important farming regions. Moreover, the Delaware River basin is prone to severe floods, so chemical storage near the source of so much drinking water is a serious hazard.
Fracking uses a toxic chemical cocktail called “fracking fluid,” but companies refuse to say exactly what contaminants are in the fluid, claiming that the contents are proprietary information. Rather than allowing fracking companies to hide behind the cloak of trade secrets, I support full disclosure and transparency of the chemicals that drillers inject underground. It is far too big a health hazard to allow companies to drill using dangerous and undisclosed chemicals that can get into so many people’s drinking water.
Cutting-edge research shows that natural gas drilling can be done in a safe way without adding the greenhouse gas methane to the atmosphere, but more research is needed. In Congress, I will introduce legislation mandating all fracking companies install facilities that allow for “clean gas” fracking. I pledge to sponsor legislation that will require clean water experts to regulate drilling. It is still unknown, for instance, how much radon – a radioactive gas that causes lung cancer – is produced at fracking sites. It is also unknown whether or not gas and brine can make a path to the surface. My top priorities include:
Once upon a time, American ingenuity and innovation was the envy of the world. Our curiosity and our willingness to blaze new trails in science, technology, and research not only attracted the best and the brightest from around the world, it also created jobs and supported middle class families from coast to coast. It was our commitment to pushing the envelope of science that helped America put the first man on the moon and find lifesaving cures for some of our most devastating diseases.
Unfortunately, today America is suffering from a “science crisis”—a failure to sufficiently fund innovation and research, and a lack of interest in creating policies that encourage more research and development. I want to bring back a pro-science approach to leadership in Washington, and I want to make sure that we are investing in research and education. I want the world to, once again, look to America for the breakthroughs that define the next generation.
Without action, we are likely to fall behind Germany next year in terms of investing in R&D, and China will be ahead of us in a few years. Presidents from 180 universities recently sent a letter to Congress warning that the United States is not just facing a fiscal deficit, it’s facing an “innovation deficit” as well. The United States should be a world leader in scientific innovation, and we will only keep that standing if we make investing in science a priority.
Simply increasing funding isn’t enough. We have to keep anti-science politicians with their narrow-minded, ill-informed agendas from banning research because it offends one or another of their powerful special interest friends or another.
As a representative in Congress, I pledge to work to both restore job-generating R&D funds and work toward putting scientists, not politicians and bureaucrats, in charge of research. My agenda for Congress includes:
Work to improve science education: In order to continue supporting cutting-edge innovation, we need to invest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. America’s youth need to have the training and skills to match the needs of the nation’s fastest growing scientific industries.
This starts in early childhood, when formative learning occurs, which makes universal preschool crucial to preparing the next generation of scientists. Similarly, providing adequate healthcare and good nutrition for young children will ensure that they are healthy and prepared when they enter school. High school curriculums should be updated to include important skill sets, like computer coding and robotics. And, we need to make sure that higher education is affordable to all by expanding need-based grants, such as the Pell Grant Program.
The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for 2013-2014 ranks the United States 27th for quality of math and science education, which does not bode well for the future of American innovation. By investing heavily in STEM education, we can ensure that we continue to have scientists capable of taking on the next generation of challenges.
Immediately boost funding for R&D projects and exempt such funds from “automatic” cuts like the sequester: For the last few years, we have been slashing the budgets of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and other sources of federal funding for scientific research and development. Research that will help us defend ourselves against bioterrorism and pandemics, find cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s and influenza, and develop new forms of clean alternative energy are all at risk.
With nearly all R&D projects now facing automatic cuts of around eight percent a year and funding at the lowest level since 1988, we need to immediately end the budget sequester cuts on research funding. Right now, many important projects are not getting funded at all. I also endorse the so-called COMPETES legislation which seeks to double our science funding over the next decade.
More than that, we need to insure that Congress no longer has the power to approve arbitrary cuts in scientific research, especially life saving medical research.
Work to restore balance to all areas needing research funding: Restoring funding is only part of the solution. Due to Congressional mandates, most direct funding of research goes to health care and military projects. Only a fraction goes to vitally needed energy research, and basic research can only be funded indirectly through support for universities or institutes.
I will introduce legislation to broaden the areas of scientific research that can receive direct support. I support working with state governments that are far ahead of Washington in their efforts to create alliances among universities, governments, and industry to boost research and innovations that have created jobs and created economic growth.
I will also seek to decrease political interference in scientific research whether it is the gun lobby seeking to block research on crime, or when states pass laws to block using climate change data in building on shorelines.
Reform our broken Patent System: Congress has ignored the serious problem of so-called “patent trolling” for more than two decades and while some are predicting the politicians will act next year, we have heard that promise before. Patent trolls, or patent assertion entities, are companies that license or buy patents and then aggressively target patent “infringers” by suing them or demanding licensing fees.
Patent trolling, which costs our economy billions, has lead to abuses where small businesses have been threatened because they use scanners or offer Wi-Fi to customers. I support the bipartisan Senate bill, the “Patent Transparency and Improvement Act” to start addressing this problem.
It is an important first step, but we need to do more to fix our broken patent system, which was last overhauled 60 years ago during the Truman administration. With almost 1.5 million requests backlogging the U.S. Patent Office, we need a better fee structure to let the agency hire more staff to and streamline the system, but not in a way that gives multinational companies an edge over start-up technology firms.
As a scientist, I will add to the diversity of Washington’s decision makers and bring a unique perspective to Congress. I am trained to make evidence-based decisions, and I will bring a pro-science voice to debates on everything from the environment to healthcare. I will fight to restore and increase the budgets of the NIH, NSF, and other funders of R&D and basic scientific research. We need scientific research in all areas to find cures, develop new technologies, create new industries, and grow our economy. I will fight for patent reform and introduce further legislation to fix our broken patent system. I will also push for better science education, and try to make that education available to all. The United States is at a crossroads, and it is imperative that we recommit to being the worldwide leader in science and innovation.
“Thanks for signing up to learn more about my campaign for Congress. Washington is broken and the one thing we can all agree on is that we deserve better. That's why I'm running and I hope you'll be a part of our effort to create a better future for hard-working, middle class families in Pennsylvania's Eighth District.”
Paid for by Friends of Shaughnessy Naughton
Josh Morrow, Campaign Manager 215-458-7890
P.O. Box 1373
Bristol, PA 19007