Michael F. Gerber

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Michael F. Gerber
Michael Gerber.JPG
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 148th district
In office
January 4, 2005[1] – January 1, 2013
Preceded by Melissa Murphy Weber
Succeeded by Mary Jo Daley
Personal details
Born (1972-05-25) May 25, 1972 (age 42)
Ambler, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jessica
Residence Whitpain Township, Pennsylvania
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University School of Law
Occupation Attorney

Michael F. "Mike" Gerber (born May 25, 1972) is a former Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 148th Legislative District from 2005 to 2013.

Background[edit]

Mike Gerber was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania to A. Richard "Dick" Gerber and Penelope "Penny" Gerber of Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania. Mike is the youngest of three children, having both an older brother and sister. Mike's parents were actively involved in Democratic politics in Montgomery County as well as statewide. Gerber's grandfather was Morris Gerber, a Montgomery County Judge. Mike attended high-school at Germantown Academy, a co-educational private school in nearby Fort Washington, PA, where he played football and baseball. After graduating from Germantown Academy he then spent a year at Choate Rosemary Hall, a top boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut before attending the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate where he was a Dean's List student and Defensive Back on the Ivy League Champion Football team. After Penn, Mike attended Villanova University School of Law where he graduated cum laude and received a scholarship for his endeavors in community legal services.

Legal career[edit]

Prior to Gerber's election as State Representative, he worked full-time as an attorney at the Center City Philadelphia Law Firm of WolfBlock where he handled business litigation matters. In recognition of Gerber's legal accomplishments, he was named a "Lawyer on the Fasttrack" as one of the top 35 lawyers under the age of 40 in the State of Pennsylvania. Professionally, Gerber served as legal counsel to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's transition team and as a Law Clerk for Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He is currently of counsel at Drinker Biddle & Reath.[2]

2004 and Election to State House[edit]

In 2004, Mike launched his first campaign for public office in Pennsylvania's 148th Legislative District. Gerber ran against incumbent Republican Melissa Murphy Weber, who had been elected in 2002 and was finishing her first term in office. In a tight race, Gerber edged out Murphy Weber by 462 votes. For much of the race, Gerber trailed significantly. However, he continued to campaign and the scale soon equalized. Pundits and analysts attribute Gerber's victory to the fact that he made extreme efforts to connect with voters in the district, getting out and knocking on the doors of thousands of residents. Additionally, Gerber was born and raised in Montgomery County and knew the area well. This allowed him to quickly establish deeply personal relationships with voters in the district.

Gerber campaigned on several key principles, the most important of which was "progress over partisanship." Furthermore, Gerber was publicly and vociferously endorsed by then Pennsylvania Governor and former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell.

2006 and Re-Election[edit]

Gerber's freshman term came to an end in 2006. He went unchallenged in the Democratic primary, but was challenged by local Republican businessman Tom Gale in the general election.

A major issue of contention in this election was the 2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise controversy. This bill would have seen state legislators receive a significant increase in salary. Representative Gerber voted against the pay raise. When the bill passed, Gerber refused to take the pay raise and sponsored legislation to repeal it. Ultimately, the bill was repealed.

Gerber won the election in a landslide. Gerber won 67% of the vote and defeated his opponent by close to 9,500 votes.[3]

2007-Present[edit]

Since re-election in 2006, Gerber has continued to play a prominent role in the House of Representatives. He has taken part in the passage of several notable pieces of legislation and has developed close working relations with several key members on both sides of the aisle, including then Governor Ed Rendell.

Gerber was played an instrumental part in the development and passage of Senate Bill 246. The Bill provides for a comprehensive smoking ban for the state. Gerber had originally sponsored a more restrictive ban in the house, and many of his ideas made it into the Senate version.

Representative Gerber also sponsored and passed House Bill 1202, an alternative energy bill aimed at making Montgomery County greener.

Additionally, Gerber continues to keep the concerns of the residents of the 148th District in mind. Since his election Gerber has championed the causes of various groups and organizations around the district. Gerber has succeeded in securing funding for community centers, youth sports, township restoration, community police forces, historical societies, and various other local institutions.

Gerber won his third term in office on November 4, 2008. He garnered 66.7% of the vote. His opponent, Matthew McGuire got the remaining 33.3%.

Throughout 2010, Gerber worked tirelessly as an advocate to obtain healthy food choices for students in local schools. Gerber sponsored House Bill 1572, known as the "Healthy Schools Bill" in an attempt to cut sugary beverages and fatty snacks from menus at schools and provide more nutritious alternatives in their stead. The bill is currently awaiting action in the Senate.[4]

On November 2, 2010, Gerber defeated Matthew McGuire in a rematch of the 2008 election. Gerber defeated McGuire by a margin of 62% to 38%.[5]

Gerber announced in July 2012 that he would not seek re-election to another term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, announcing also that he will become Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for Franklin Square Capital Partners, an investment firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[6]

Accomplishments[edit]

While in office, Gerber as accomplished several notable legislative feats. He was the driving force behind Growing Greener II legislation, leading the charge to become environmentally friendly in Pennsylvania. In recognition of his commitment to the environment, Gerber was named as Chairman of the Energy Subcommittee during his freshman term, making him the only freshman legislator to hold the position of chair.

More recently, Gerber was also a major force in the passage of the Smoke Free Pennsylvania Act, a bi-partisan effort to implement a statewide smoking ban in Pennsylvania.

Currently, Mike holds the positions of Deputy Whip, Chairman of the Southeastern Delegation, Chair of the Subcommittee on Energy, and Chair of the Subcommittee on Public Transportation.

In addition to his other responsibilities, Representative Gerber is a member of the Committee on Committees, the Children and Youth Committee. He also served on the Insurance Committee from 2007-2009.

Personal[edit]

Mike and his wife, Jessica, live in the Broadaxe section of Whitpain Township, Pennsylvania with their three children.

Issues[edit]

Early Childhood Education[edit]

The TAP 529 Program, supported by Gerber, was signed into law in his district. This program aims to assist grandparents in saving money for their grandchild's college education.

Environment[edit]

Gerber advocated the passage of Growing Greener II, which was signed in the 148th District at Prophecy Creek in Whitpain. Gerber also sponsored and passed House Bill 1202, which provides for the study and mandate of biofuels in Pennsylvania. Gerber scored an 89% on environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment's legislator scorecard for 2008 and 100% in 2006.[7]

Senior Citizens[edit]

Gerber hosts an annual health fair for seniors to attend and become informed about state services and benefits provided to seniors.

Veterans Affairs[edit]

Gerber hosts an annual Veteran's luncheon or trip to Washington, D.C. war memorials to commemorate the service of veterans in his district.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Preceded by
Melissa Murphy Weber
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 148th District
2005–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent