PLBC meets with Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association

The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, under direction of Chairwoman Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., met with leadership of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association last week to discuss legislative priorities for the next few years.

"This meeting was a great way to open dialogue between state prosecutors and the PLBC," Brown said. "Members of the PLBC have expressed concerns over a number of items that we brought forward in the meeting, including the state's grand jury process, use of a special prosecutor when law enforcement is involved in shooting incidents, gun owner rights and responsibilities, use of civil forfeiture for profit, and simplifying the process for criminal record expungement.""

Representing the PLBC, in addition to Brown, were Vice Chair Ed Gainey, PLBC and Democratic Caucus Secretary Rosita Youngblood, and state Reps. Michelle Brownlee, Jason Dawkins, Jordan Harris, Patty Kim and W. Curtis Thomas. Also attending were representatives from the offices of state Sens. Art Haywood and Shirley Kitchen.  

The PDAA was represented by Berks County District Attorney John Adams and Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico, who serve on the PDAA’s Executive Committee.  They were joined by PDAA Executive Director Richard Long, and legislative liaisons Greg Rowe and Ashley Martin.

While the PLBC and the PDAA acknowledged differences on some policy issues, Brown said all participants were pleased with the very positive and honest discussion. Both groups share the desire to expand the opportunity for expungement for certain offenders and are hopeful that collaboration on this issue will produce meaningful legislation this year.

"We did differ some on the methods for achieving reform in other areas," Brown said. "However, this meeting served as a very positive first step and I look forward to continuing to discuss the PLBC's concerns, with our goal being to find mutually beneficial solutions.”