|Rep. Steve Santarsiero
31st Legislative District
Rep. Steve Santarsiero, D-Bucks: After witnessing from his office window the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, Steve Santarsiero made a life-changing decision to focus his energies on education and community service. Santarsiero left the practice of law to become a social studies teacher at Bensalem High School.
At about the same time, when a developer’s proposal to build a big-box store shopping center threatened the quality of life in his township, Santarsiero became active in Residents Against Matrix, a grassroots movement devoted to stopping the development. In 2002, he became chairman of RAM. Thanks to the leadership of Santarsiero and others, Matrix was stopped.
In 2003, Santarsiero was elected to the Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors and quickly became known for his bipartisan work ethic. His achievements included the enactment of a tough sex offender measure and the creation of a league of southeastern Bucks County towns, whose purpose was to resolve common problems and regional issues.
Santarsiero became chairman of the Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors in 2006. In that role, he spearheaded a bold new plan for Lower Makefield that included the passage of an ordinance to control growth and mitigate flooding caused by development (that ordinance received an award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency); a comprehensive inventory of the township's remaining open space and a financing plan aimed at preserving as many acres of that land as possible; the creation of a new Citizens Traffic Commission to help solve traffic problems in the township; and several changes to make local government more open and transparent.
Santarsiero’s environmental leadership is also well known. He was at the forefront of an effort to cut carbon emissions by local government and homeowners. He also proposed making environmental review part of the land-use process in Lower Makefield.
His legislative priorities include protecting open space, keeping electricity rates in check, property tax reform, fostering a renewable energy industry in Pennsylvania, improving education, protecting our children and providing affordable health care to all Pennsylvanians.
Santarsiero is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Tufts University, where he received his B.A.; and Holy Family University, where he received his M.Ed. Santarsiero lives with his wife, Ronni, and their children, Nancy, Billy, and Johnny, in Lower Makefield.