Helen Tai was elected as State Representative of the 178th Legislative District in the May 15 Special Election. As a public servant, business owner and community volunteer, Helen Tai is committed to partnering with people and organizations to find common sense solutions.
Prior to winning the May 15 Special Election, Helen served on the Solebury Township board of supervisors for 4 1/2 years. Solebury residents appreciated her regular communications, bringing transparency to the township government, her ability to bring people together and her effectiveness in addressing local issues, such as keeping water clean and safe and eliminating government waste.
Building on her two decades of experience partnering with organizations and people to reach their goals, 10 years ago she started Enabling Innovation, LLC, a consulting firm that uses proven business improvement methodologies to drive transformational innovation.
Previously she was at Johnson & Johnson’s consumer products division, where she trained and coached senior management in developing and implementing business vision, mission, and strategies, led global process improvement projects, and worked as a statistician. She also worked at other companies, including G.D. Searle and Company and Information Resources, Inc.
With a fourth degree black belt in the martial art of aikido, Helen and her husband founded Fearless Heart Aikido in New Hope, where they teach their students the philosophy and wisdom of aikido.
Additionally, she is a long-time Penn State Master Gardener volunteer, who educates the public about best practices in sustainable horticulture and environmental stewardship.
Born and raised in Detroit and the surrounding area, the daughter of Chinese immigrants earned her bachelor of science in statistics from the University of Michigan and a masters of arts in statistics from Penn State.
Before calling Solebury home in 2000, she lived and worked in a variety of places, in the U.S. and abroad including China and the Philippines.
Helen and her husband of 30 years, sculptor John McDevitt, are frequently seen walking on the towpath with their dog Cosmo.
I am proud to be your State Representative because I believe every person deserves an equal opportunity to succeed, and I will work hard to help this happen. I am deeply honored to have the endorsements of a broad range of elected officials & community leaders as well as a wide variety of organizations representing the environment, unions, teachers, women’s organizations and animal welfare. I look forward to working with my fellow legislators and these organizations to serve the residents of the 178th.
Elected & Public Officials:
US Vice President Joe Biden
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
US Senator Jeff Merkley (Blue Wave Project)
Former Maryland Governor and 2016 presidential candidate Martin O’Malley
Former US Congressman & Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy
New Hope Solebury School Board Director Deirdre Alderfer
Upper Makefield Township Supervisor Kris Ballerini
Solebury Township Supervisor Noel Barrett
Solebury Township Supervisor Mark Baum Baicker
Council Rock School Board Director Denise Brooks
State Representative (141st AD) Tina Davis
Former New Hope Boro Councilwoman Geri Delevich
Former New Hope Boro Police Corporal Frank DeLuca
Bucks County Controller Neale Dougherty
Former Upper Makefield Township Supervisor Betsy Falconi
State Representative (140th AD) John Galloway
Former Solebury Township Supervisor Patricia Knight
Former Solebury Township Supervisor Dennis Mankin
Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia
Solebury Township Supervisor Robert McEwan
New Hope Boro Tax Collector Liz Miles
Solebury Township Supervisor Kevin Morrissey
Bucks County Prothonotary Judi Reiss
Bucks County Recorder of Deeds Robin Robinson
Northampton Township Supervisor Dr. Kimberly Rose
Former State Representative Steve Santarsiero
Former New Hope Boro Council President Bill Scandone
New Hope Solebury School Board Director Dana Schwartz
New Hope Solebury School Board Director Liz Sheehan
Former Solebury Township Supervisor Bill Tinsman
State Representative (31st AD) Perry Warren
Former Solebury Township Supervisor Ruth Ann Wilson
Unions & Organizations:
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 542
Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters
Southeast Pennsylvania AFSCME District Council 88
Pennsylvania State Education Association
Plumbers Local 690
SEIU Pennsylvania State Council
Sprinkler Fitters 692
Teamsters Local 830 and Teamsters Joint Council 53
Transport Workers Union Local 234
Americans for Democratic Action Southeast PA
Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties
Conservation Voters of PA
Equality Pennsylvania and Equality PA PAC
Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania
Sierra Club, Pennsylvania Chapter
Southeast Pennsylvania National Organization for Women PAC
178th Assembly District Democratic Organization
Indivisible Lambertville New Hope
"I am endorsing Helen Tai because I know that she will be a highly valued member of the PA House of Representatives. Her commitment to the issues is unmatched. She has perseverance, strength and intellect that is absolutely needed in this political climate. She will uphold the values that you’ve seen throughout her time as Solebury Township Supervisor. Last year, when there was discussion about creating a new field near a township park, she worked to understand the concerns and found a way to meet everyone’s needs. The field is being built, meeting the needs of the families in the community, but not at the total expense of the township, addressing questions about cost. A win-win for everyone. This is the type of inclusive work that needs to happen at the state level, and Helen will do that - for everyone."
- Deirdre Alderfer, School Director, New Hope-Solebury
Some Key Initiatives that Helen led or drove
As Solebury Township Supervisor
These are the types of things you can expect me to do as State Representative.
- Increased transparency:
- As a supervisor, I keep residents informed with regular emails, Facebook posts, and blog
- Changed township policy so that all supervisors now have public emails; meeting agendas and minutes are sent out to residents; and audio-recordings of all meetings are publicly available
- As a consequence, residents are better informed and more engaged with the township
- Significantly decreased the use of harmful herbicides by the township and third parties, worked with PA Game Commission to develop a successful deer management program, and increased recycling in parks and schools
- Stopped an amendment that would have begun the dismantling of our carefully written zoning ordinances
- Passed a resolution opposing the PennEast Pipeline
- Prevailed in an appeal against local quarry; currently working with DEP to ensure quarry operates responsibly
- Conducted a comprehensive study on the potential for fracking in Solebury
- Improved the Permitting Process so that it is friendlier to residents, saves residents money, encourages homeowners to make improvements and routine maintenance while limiting widespread development
- Issued a statement of inclusion condemning acts of hate and stating unequivocally that Solebury Township is a community of respect, caring and inclusion
- Passed a resolution urging state and federal lawmakers to implement common sense gun safety; worked with other municipalities to do the same
- Passed a resolution urging our state legislators to implement Fair District Reform