Win or Lose, It’s Time to Take Down the Campaign Signs From Public Spaces

State Rep Ryan BizzarroState Rep. Ryan Bizzarro
Op-Ed by State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie

Election Day is over. The victory parties have passed for the winners and it’s time for them to get to work. The defeated candidates are ready to work together with the winners – we hope – while holding all elected officials responsible to their promises.  There’s just one more thing to do: take down the yard signs from public property. Drive around any community in Pennsylvania right now and you’ll still see countless signs on public property. The problem is when you drive around a month from now, you’ll see many of those same signs, faded and torn, still littering highway berms and intersections. Too many organizations simply leave their signs behind for municipal workers and volunteers to clean up, and it must stop.

Campaigns have no problem spending thousands of dollars to buy the signs and no problem putting them up in towns and communities across Pennsylvania. But If the candidate doesn’t take responsibility and remove those signs after election day the taxpayer shouldn’t be on the hook to clean them up. Some municipalities have their own ordinances, but it’s time for one unambiguous law, as part of our election code, to deliver real consequences for candidates who let their signs become someone else’s trash.

I’ve got the bill to get it done and clean up our public spaces. My bill, H.B. 891, the You Can’t Clean Up Government if You Don’t Clean Up Your Signs Act, would give candidates ten days to remove all yard signs from public property or face fines and be required to do community service by helping to pick up litter, including their own abandoned signs.

If this was the law of the land now by the time you head to Thanksgiving dinner, the political yard signs would be gone. This is only for public property – if a private citizen wants to keep a sign on their personal property up 365 days a year, that’s their choice.

H.B. 891 ensures that candidates, campaign workers and volunteers would truly help make Pennsylvania a better place by making sure signs are removed and aren’t long abandoned to accumulate snow, get pushed aside by snowplows, and liter our roadways and public spaces.

The campaign is over, the ads have stopped, your mailbox is empty.

Let’s pass H.B. 891 and get the yard signs off your roads, too.

Rep. Ryan Bizzarro is an award-winning legislator, sworn in on Jan. 1, 2013, to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and represents the 3rd Legislative District in Erie County. Bizzarro was appointed to serve the House Democratic Caucus as House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman for the 2021/22 Legislative Session. He previously served as chief deputy House whip, and vice-chairman of the Northwest Delegation.

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