PHILADELPHIA, June 12 – State legislators representing four north Philadelphia schools are welcoming $1.5 million from Gov. Tom Wolf's administration to leverage and connect schools to the large array of health-related services that are available for Philadelphia’s children. The funding is intended to improve health, school attendance and academic achievement for children who attend community schools in the North Philadelphia Health Enterprise Zone, or HEZ. The four schools are James Logan Elementary, William Cramp Elementary, Edward Gideon Elementary/Middle and Bethune Elementary. "This investment is another example of how we are putting people -- in this case, our children -- first," said Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Phila. "Investing in the health and wellness of our children is one of the most effective uses of state funding, and I applaud the governor for his commitment to James Logan Elementary and the kids in our community." Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., said, "Governor Tom Wolf continues to be a strong partner in restoring the education cuts of the Corbett years. I and my Democratic colleagues will keep working with him to reinvest in our kids. I am glad to see that Gideon School will be included in this pilot program." Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said, "Helping students to be healthy helps them to succeed in school as well, and I welcome this opportunity for students at William Cramp Elementary." Rep. Read more
Cytomegalovirus Awareness Month resolution unanimously adopted in House PHILADELPHIA, June 8 – A resolution (H.R. 372) sponsored by state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., designating June 2017 as Cytomegalovirus Awareness Month in Pennsylvania was unanimously adopted by the House of Representatives. The state recognition coincides with National Cytomegalovirus Awareness Month. CMV is a common virus that infects people of all ages and remains with a person for life. Over half of all adults living with CMV are infected by age 40. Most people show no signs of CMV, and if they do, symptoms are often mild. However, CMV can cause serious health problems to those with weakened immune systems, as well as babies infected with the virus before they are born. Pregnant women can contract CMV and the virus can be passed down to the baby. CMV is the most common congenital infection in the United States with one in every 150 babies being born with congenital CMV each year. More than 5,000 of these babies will develop permanent problems such as hearing loss, vision loss or developmental disabilities. An estimated 400 babies die each year from the infection. CMV causes more long-term health problems than Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome and spina bifida. “This is a serious public health issue and I am glad that my colleagues have unanimously adopted the resolution,” Cruz said. “Countless babies die each year from CMV and designating June 2017 as CMV Read more
HARRISBURG, Junio 7 – La Cámara de Representantes aprobó hoy el Proyecto de Ley 119 , que busca regular las casas de recuperación que reciben a usuarios de drogas provenientes de Puerto Rico y que se convierten en víctimas del puente aéreo. La legislación fue aprobada con una enmienda sometida por el representante estatal Ángel Cruz, D-Fila. La enmienda prohibe que los dueños o administradores de las casas de recuperación obliguen a los residentes entregar los beneficios que reciben a través de los programas de asistencia del estado. Asimismo, requiere que las instituciones que no cumplan con las regulaciones locales, estatales o federales sean referidas a las autoridades correspondientes para iniciar una investigación. “Mi enmienda asegura que se atienda de manera más específica la situación del Puente Aéreo”, dijo Cruz. “Familias envían a sus seres queridos a Filadelfia para que reciban tratamiento, pero ese tratamiento no está disponible. En cambio, son prisioneros de casas de recuperación que no están reguladas y que les quitan el dinero, la asistencia nutricional y otras ayudas del gobierno como paga por su estadía. Este es un paso importante, pero aún queda mucho por hacer”, añadió. El puente aéreo es una campaña que promete tratamiento efectivo a usuarios de Read more
HARRISBURG, June 7 – The state House of Representatives today passed a bill ( H.B. 119 ) that includes an amendment by Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., designed to address the "Air Bridge" issue. Cruz’ amendment would ban the owners, administrators and employees of recovery houses from requiring residents to sign over their public assistance benefits. It would also ensure that all drug and alcohol recovery houses throughout Pennsylvania not in compliance with federal, state or local law be referred to the appropriate agency for further investigation. "My amendment to the welfare code is important in making sure that the “Air Bridge” issue is resolved," Cruz said. "Families sent their relatives from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia to get treatment for drug addiction, but quality treatment options were not provided. Instead, they were prisoners of unregulated recovery homes that stole their money, food stamps and other government assistance in return for their stay. This is a big step to resolving the issue, but we can do more." Air Bridge is a network that promised Puerto Rican drug addicts treatment in lavish recovery houses in cities like Philadelphia. However, once individuals arrive to receive treatment, they are taken to live in rundown homes, share beds with several other people, and are forced to relinquish their food stamps and other public assistance benefits. In April, Cruz chaired a hearing in Philadelphia to Read more
PHILADELPHIA, June 5 – Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law the bill that would help put Pennsylvania in line with federal Real ID rules and ensure that state residents don’t face difficulty using their IDs for air travel or visits to federal facilities, said state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila. “Pennsylvania, and more specifically Philadelphia has experienced significant changes in its ethnic and racial composition over the last two decades. That’s why this law is especially important for us. Thousands of Latinos, Asians and residents of other races often visit their families back in their home countries. This will allow them to continue to do so, obtaining a compliant Real ID,” said Cruz. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will provide Pennsylvanians the option of choosing a standard driver’s license or photo ID card, or IDs that are Real ID-compliant. Before those changes can take effect, the federal Department of Homeland Security is expected to issue extensions that would allow Pennsylvanians to continue using their standard driver's license to fly and access federal buildings until 2020. The federal Real ID Act of 2005 was established by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush on recommendation by the 9/11 Commission after the Sept. 11 attacks. That law requires driver's licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and to be issued to people to prove they are legally in the United States. Pennsylvania Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 30 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., on Saturday honored Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez with a citation for his accomplishments as a writer and agent for social change. Miranda-Rodriguez is the art director and owner of Somos Arte, a Brooklyn-based production studio, and a writer for Marvel Comics. He is also the creator and author of La Borinqueña, a popular comic book that highlights a female Puerto Rican superhero who fights both villains and the country’s financial crisis. The comic book gets its name from Puerto Rico’s national anthem. Cruz presented Miranda-Rodriguez the citation at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse in the Kensington section of North Philadelphia. “It was an honor to present Edgardo with a citation highlighting his work to propel social change,” Cruz said. “We are excited that he has discovered a creative outlet to bring attention to and tackle issues facing Puerto Rico and its citizens. Through La Borinqueña, he has inspired Puerto Ricans everywhere to channel their inner strength to make their communities better.” Miranda-Rodriguez, originally from Bronx, NY, grew up in poverty and often faced discrimination as a Puerto Rican living in New York City. He cites his mother as the person who sparked his creative impulse in order to help him cope with the adversity he faced. To many, Miranda-Rodriguez’ work is a symbol of hope and patriotism for both Puerto Rico Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 12 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., hosted a House Human Services Committee hearing at Philadelphia City Hall to examine the pipeline that sends Puerto Rican drug addicts to Philadelphia -- known as Air Bridge -- and the effectiveness of the treatment users receive in recovery homes. “The Air Bridge is a money-making problem, and the people coming from Puerto Rico are the victims,” Cruz said. “Their families pay money for them to come to Philadelphia to get treatment, but when they arrive, options for treatment don’t exist. Instead, they’re prisoners of unregulated recovery homes that collect money, food stamps and other government assistance as payment for their stay.” Cruz, who represents the 180th Legislative District which also houses “the tracks” – a Conrail train trench -- where users live and seek drugs, is planning to introduce legislation intended to curb the exploitation of addicts, establishing standards that recovery homes would need to comply with in order to get state or federal money. Puerto Rican Sen. Carmelo Rios described the drug crisis in the island and attributed its inability to take appropriate actions to the insufficiency of funds due to Congressional budget cuts under the Affordable Care Act. The island’s Senate adopted a bipartisan effort to contribute with Pennsylvania’s lawmakers and develop a solution for both. Testifiers included Jose Benitez, Read more
FILADELFIA, Abril 12 – El representante estatal Ángel Cruz, D-Fila., organizó una audiencia pública en la alcaldía de la ciudad para analizar la práctica conocida como puente aéreo, que consiste en enviar puertorriqueños usuarios de drogas a recibir tratamiento en casas de recuperación en Filadelfia. “El puente aéreo es un negocio y los puertorriqueños son las víctimas”, dijo Cruz. “Las familias pagan para que ellos y ellas puedan venir a Filadelfia a recibir tratamiento, pero cuando llegan descubren no existe una opción real. En cambio, son presos de un sistema no regulado de casas de recuperación que retienen dinero, asistencia nutricional y otras ayudas gubernamentales como pago por su estadía”. Cruz, quien representa el Distrito Legislativo 180 –área de mayor concentración de usuarios de drogas víctimas del puente aéreo-, planifica presentar legislación para frenar la explotación de los adictos, estableciendo estándares que las casas de recuperación tendrían que cumplir para recibir fondos estatales o federales. El senador puertorriqueño Carmelo Ríos describió la crisis en la que se encuentra la isla y atribuyó la incapacidad de ofrecer tratamientos efectivos a la falta de fondos por causa de los recortes que aprobó el Congreso a Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 13 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced that over 200 senior citizens signed up for their SEPTA Key ID card during three events held recently in different housing facilities. “I know how important public transit is to our senior citizens and I want to make sure they are able to continue to use it to go to medical appointments, to the grocery store, and other various destinations. Public transportation is a convenient, efficient and vital resource for getting around the city,” Cruz said. Residents of Casa Caribe, Caribe Towers and Somerset Villas will now benefit from SEPTA Key, a modern fare payment and collection system being used by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. It offers seniors an alternative to using their Pennsylvania driver’s license or state-issued ID card. The new Key cards have contactless chips, so all riders will have to do is pass it across the face of the validator to pay for their ride. Read more
Angel Cruz, who represents West Kensington, is again pushing a bill that would require Pennsylvania elected officials to submit to drug testing. “It puts the fear of God in everybody,” he says. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 1 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., voiced his continued concern today for the safety of Pennsylvania’s drinking water after an analysis by PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center gave the state an F grade for preventing lead in drinking water in schools, in a report released on Feb. 28. “Last year Flint brought the dangers of lead poisoning to the forefront nationally; this report by PennEnvironment serves as a chilling reminder that the dangers are real and impact children in Pennsylvania,” Cruz said. “This is not an issue we can afford to take lightly, as the Department of Health has already shown some of Pennsylvania’s children have tested positive for high blood lead levels. This is especially alarming because there is no safe blood lead level in children.” According to PennEnvironment , Pennsylvania received an F grade because it has no required testing regimen for school drinking water, no limits on the allowable lead levels and no plan to remove lead infrastructure from its schools. The PennEnvironment report does note the City of Philadelphia passed an ordinance last December setting stricter limits on lead in drinking water, improving the public’s right-to-know on the issue and requiring testing of all school faucets and fountains. “PennEnvironment’s failing grade for Pennsylvania reinforces the need to take legislative action at the state level to test, monitor and address Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced today that older residents will soon be able to apply for their SEPTA Key photo ID card at his district office.
Cruz said that constituents will be able to fill out their SEPTA Key application and get their picture taken starting on Monday, Feb. 27.
"SEPTA is an invaluable resource for getting around the city, especially for seniors who often rely on it taking them shopping, to appointments, and other various destinations, and I want to help make their trips easier," Cruz said. "My staff and I look forward to assisting our residents in getting their ID card."
SEPTA Key is the modern fare payment and collection system being used by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. It offers seniors an alternative to using their Pennsylvania driver’s license or state-issued ID card.
The new Key cards have contactless chips, so all riders will have to do is pass it across the face of the validator to pay for their ride.
Cruz said seniors should call his office at (215) 291-5643 to make an appointment to get their picture taken and get their ID card. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 3503 North B Street, Unit 7 in Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 24 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., today announced he will host a news conference later this week to discuss Pennsylvania’s REAL ID noncompliance issue and the extension recently granted to the state by the Department of Homeland Security.
The news conference will start at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 27 at Cruz’s District Office, 3503 N. B St., Unit 7.
Last week, Pennsylvania received a limited extension through June 6 to update driver’s licenses to meet requirements under the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said he recently helped to secure a $2,500 donation for the John B. Stetson Charter School. Cruz said the money donated by Walmart was used to purchase new computers and printers for the school’s community center. “These resources will not only benefit our youth, but all of the residents in the community,” Cruz said. “It is crucial these tools be available and I’m proud to have been a part of securing the donation.” School officials say the four computers that were purchased will be put to good use. “From taking classes online to resume building, the opportunities are endless for the betterment of our community,” said Joanna Esquilin, community outreach coordinator for John B. Stetson Charter School. “We are so thankful that Representative Cruz suggested us for this donation.” John B. Stetson Charter School is a part of ASPIRA, Inc. of Pennsylvania, the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to Hispanic education in the nation. The organization and its charter schools are located in the Hunting Park, Olney and Kensington neighborhoods of North Philadelphia. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., joined area children at the Norris Square Children's Center on Jan. 5 to celebrate Three Kings' Day. "This is a festive holiday marked with music, food and fun. It's a day to celebrate traditions and culture and I'm happy to have hosted local festivities," Cruz said. During the event, Cruz joined those portraying the three kings, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar, to distribute hundreds of gifts to children who attended the event. "I could find no better way to celebrate the 12 th Day of Christmas than to think of children in need," Cruz said. "Some of these children may not have received any gifts during the holidays, so to close out the season by seeing so many smiling faces is truly humbling." Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 4 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., began his ninth term as state representative of the 180th Legislative District at a swearing-in ceremony held at the state Capitol Tuesday.
“Representing the people of my district in Harrisburg has been, and continues to be, one of the biggest honors of my life,” Cruz said.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives swearing-in corresponds with the first Tuesday in January, every two years. This year is Pennsylvania’s 201st legislative session.
Cruz said his legislative interests include job creation, criminal justice reform and public safety and health issues. He said he will continue to support legislation aimed at reducing the number of minors exposed to lead in the commonwealth.
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 14 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said he is proud to have assisted in obtaining funding for the construction and opening of a new facility to further promote Latino culture in Philadelphia. Taller Puertorriqueno Inc. was founded in 1974 as a community-based cultural organization whose primary purpose is to preserve, develop and promote Puerto Rican arts and culture. The organization celebrated the grand opening of its new home on Dec. 7. Cruz said he was honored to work with Dr. Carmen Febo, executor director and CEO of Taller Puertorriqueno, to acquire two separate grants of $2.5 million each to go toward the construction of the new building. "The work that Taller Puertorriqueno does to promote Latino culture throughout our city is invaluable in enriching our personal experiences and the experiences of all Philadelphians," Cruz said. "I look forward to what the future holds in the city for this organization and the Latino community as a whole." Cruz noted that Taller is the largest Latino arts organization in Pennsylvania. Read more
State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Human Services Committee, today called on the Pennsylvania Department of Health to stop holding up the implementation of Act 148 of 2014, also known as Hannah’s Law, and begin screening newborns for the lysosomal storage disorders as called for under the law.
"This law was passed by the House, passed by the Senate, and signed by the governor," Cruz said. "There is no question that the Department of Health must begin implementing this law and stop dragging their feet when it comes to the health of our newborns." Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced today that he will hold a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the Juniata Boys and Girls Club, 1001 E. Cayuga St. in Philadelphia to discuss information about the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Read more
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