Charlotte Valyo has been named to chair the Chester County Democratic Committee. The Schuylkill Township resident will serve the one year remaining in the term of Dick Bingham, who retired as of May 31. She will be assisted by Jerry Pyne of East Whiteland Township, who will serve as vice-chair. He replaces Marsha Peltz, who also retired.
Valyo has lived in Chester County for more than 35 years and has served on the county Democratic committee in various capacities since 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree in science in mathematics from Muhlenberg College and a master’s degree in instructional technology from Marywood University. She previously taught at Malvern Prep and Pierce College.
The Democratic Party has experienced a growth surge in Chester County in recent years. and Valyo sought the chairmanship with the goal of continuing that trend.
She declined a phone interview with Delaware Valley Journal but responded to questions via e-mail.
“The 2021 and 2022 elections are critical and will have consequences for the direction and future of our democracy,” she said. “I wanted to be as involved as possible in making sure the Democratic Party re-elects and elects the candidates that represent our values of fairness, opportunity, and responsible government.
“Certainly demographic changes have contributed to the rise in Democratic voter registration numbers. But voters are also joining the Democratic Party because we represent responsible and inclusive government.”
As Chester County works to move past the COVID-19 pandemic, Valyo notes the difficulty many employers continue to have to find reliable workers.
“Many young people cannot afford to live in Chester County,” she said, “which affects our workforce supply for businesses within the county.
“Transportation is also an issue. Our roads are strained so we must look at public transportation. Our county officials are working on this full-time. Train lines in Downingtown, Coatesville, and between Reading and Philadelphia are being planned.”
Valyo notes more county residents are seeking help as they deal with the impact of the pandemic, which in turn, increases the strain on the county’s support services.
“The stress and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused the incidence of mental health and drug and alcohol abuse to dramatically rise,” she said. “Our Health and Humans Services Department is working on county and state programs to address these issues as we face the post-COVID environment and schools and businesses re-open.”
Valyo said her party’s leadership team is committed to more efficient and responsive government.
“The Democratic elected officials have stream-lined department procedures and processes to make Chester County more efficient and responsive to residents,” she said. “The Democratic Party represents responsible government. The county Treasurer has collected hotel taxes that were either being under-collected or not collected at all. The county Controller just had a victory in court where the county received almost $40,000 in restitution as a result of prosecuting misconduct in the former Sheriff’s office.”
Valyo and Pyne will serve in their respective positions until the summer of 2022.