BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Carol Taylor has announced her intention to run for Blair County commissioner.
Taylor was also the Democratic nominee for the Pennsylvania state senate seat in 2022.
Taylor, an Altoona resident, has a bachelor of arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Connecticut, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston.
She is active on the board for United Families for Change. She is an advocate for those who have physical health needs, including funding for Lyme disease and chronic illness. She has been active in community organizing, and a voice for equal rights, those with mental health issues, and those who struggle with addiction.
“A commissioner needs a real world understanding of the priorities of the county,” Taylor said.
She started her career in Texas as a human services planner, getting the necessary funding and planning for the first EMS system in a seven-county, largely rural district. She had a trial practice in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Taylor was a frequent educator in various areas of the law for other attorneys, and in the local schools here in Blair County, substitute teaching.
In 2019, she devoted herself to counseling adults with mental health and substance abuse issues in a residential rehabilitation facility.
“This county has been using the prison system as a way of dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. The approach has been disastrous,” Taylor said. “Mental health fuels substance abuse, and the addiction to opioids and meth have added to the need for mental health support. Currently, individuals have nowhere to go to address serious mental health issues that are minimally dealt with in crisis or in rehab. We emptied sanitariums long ago and replaced them with prisons.
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“Our criminal justice system, our children and youth services, are overwhelmed with problems that are multifactorial and have not been addressed by attacking the cause. The cost of our lack of focus is having an exponential deleterious effect on multi-generations of families, our communities, and our resources, not to mention the cost in human life.