January 8, 2021

PennFuture statement regarding violent insurrection at U.S. Capitol

PennFuture President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo has released the following statement in reaction to Wednesday’s violent insurrection in Washington, D.C.:

“Donald J. Trump, aided and abetted by members of Congress and others, has spent years undermining the integrity of our elections. 

This week, he incited the violence that unfolded Wednesday in the U.S. Capitol and he did so for the purpose of disrupting the joint session of Congress that was confirming the election of Joseph Biden as the next President of the United States. In doing so, he sought to abrogate the peaceful transition of power called for in our Constitution and established by our traditions, beginning with the very first transition from George Washington to John Adams that took place in Philadelphia, on March 4, 1797. This is a very great offense tantamount to an attempted coup d’etat. President Trump must be held to account.

As deeply troubling as the current President’s actions have been is the role of numerous state and federal elected officials in Pennsylvania who have actively supported the President’s actions and continue to do so. Indeed, eight Pennsylvania congressional Representatives voted to not certify the election results even after witnessing the attack on the Capitol, incited by the President, and that was intended to achieve that very result. We are thankful that we have two U.S. Senators, as well as most of our Representatives in the House, who firmly oppose the President.

The undermining of the truth of this election follows a pattern that is not unfamiliar to PennFuture, an organization with a mission to protect our environment. We have witnessed this President and elected officials allegiant to him undermine decades of peer reviewed science fundamental to developing strong policy to address threats such as climate change. This had led directly to the degradation of our air, water, and environmental quality and could lead to even greater losses, with huge human and economic consequences.

PennFuture, as a steward of facts, science, and integrity in government, calls for the resignation of any Pennsylvania politician directly involved in or supportive of the violent insurrection in Washington, D.C., including State Senator Doug Mastriano, who was in attendance.

PennFuture also calls on the U.S. Congress to censure those in the Pennsylvania delegation complicit in this insurrection that sought to undermine confidence in the November election, harm our fundamental democratic processes and possibly do intentional harm to the U.S. Capitol and its occupants. Despite the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, the following Pennsylvania representatives still voted against certification, and they should be held to account: Rep. John Joyce, Rep. Fred Keller, Rep. Mike Kelly, Rep. Dan Meuser, Rep. Scott Perry, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, Rep. Lloyd Smucker, and Rep. Glenn Thompson.

The actions of some Pennsylvania state legislators in the Pennsylvania House and Senate cannot be ignored. Their persistent undermining of trust in the vote count in Pennsylvania, including not seating a State Senator who won a closely contested election, has created an atmosphere of distrust that could fuel violent insurrection like the alarming events on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

As an organization dedicated to protecting the air, water, land and climate that sustains us, we know that for over two hundred years violence has been done to these life-sustaining resources and natural systems. We also recognize that for centuries people of color have been violated in body, spirit and livelihood because of a gruesome streak of inhumanity that has had license to thrive for far too long in the United States. On Wednesday we witnessed yet another manifestation of that white supremacy, through violence fueled by a demagogue and tolerated by a system that simply treats white people as superior to people of color.

All of us yearn for a peaceful existence, stability in our communities and a fair opportunity to earn a good living so that families can thrive. Wednesday’s violent rampage at the United States Capitol, as our nation and the world watched in disbelief, was an attempt to not just divide us, but to render us so divided that our cherished form of government would fail and be replaced by autocracy. We demand that our lawmakers reject this demagogue and all those who support him in violation of their oaths of office."


PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania, fighting big polluters with legal muscle, enforcing environmental laws, and supporting legislative policy that protects public health. PennFuture also supports an inclusive democracy, particularly for communities of color that most often lack access to voting, limiting their ability to voice their environmental concerns. Visit www.pennfuture.org for more information.

Jared Stonesifer
Director of Media Relations