PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., today announced she is inviting residents to discover if they have any unclaimed property waiting for them. The representative will host an Unclaimed Property Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30 in her district office at 7178 Ogontz Ave., 19138. Fitzgerald said her staff will search the database for residents to see if they have unclaimed property belonging to them. Residents can also get assistance with filling out their claim forms. “My staff is happy to help residents go through the process to find out if they have any property that rightfully belongs to them,” Fitzgerald said. "It’s a good idea for residents to check annually if they are owed money as the Treasurer's Office estimates that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property." The Pennsylvania Treasurer's Office reports it is currently holding $2.3 billion in unclaimed property, which includes things such as closed bank accounts, uncashed checks, lost stocks and bonds, contents of safe deposit boxes, and unexpired gift certificates and gift cards. Read more
YORK, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, issued the following statement following her appearance with York Mayor Kim Bracey today condemning the acts of violence and hatred in Charlottesville over the weekend and President Donald Trump’s response to them. “Following the appalling events in Charlottesville on Friday and Saturday, I must speak out against certain victim-blaming responses and normalizing of radical behaviors involved with the race-based violence that is threatening minorities across America,” she said. “Enough is enough. Because our president is so unwilling to denounce the hate fueling this crisis in America, I am proud to stand with a growing number of public officials across all good political backgrounds in loudly condemning any actions or groups in this country that seek to claim a superior race, advocate for a country exclusive to one race or revise the proud history or contributions of any entire race of people. “There is no room for hate, bigotry, racism, xenophobia or sexism in our communities, and I’m proud of anyone who stands against them. “Our fight against these evil forces might be our defining moment as we creep deeper into an obviously failed presidency and moral bankruptcy in the White House.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 16 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., announced he will introduce legislation that would prohibit a person participating in or attending a public demonstration in Pennsylvania from possessing a firearm or other dangerous articles. “Following the events that took place in Charlottesville, it is more important now than ever to protect our First Amendment right,” Kinsey said. “Civics teaches us that the right of people to assemble peacefully to express, promote, pursue and defend their beliefs is fundamental to a functioning democracy. The presence of firearms and other dangerous articles place that fundamental right in grave danger.” Kinsey said the possession of a firearm during a public demonstration presents a clear and present danger not only to law enforcement and other first responders, but also to those who attend and participate in public demonstrations. Kinsey believes that the presence of firearms and other dangerous articles impede on the rights of Americans to assemble in a peaceful manner. During the protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Va., one person died and several others were injured. “I have absolutely zero tolerance for intolerance,” Kinsey said. “I am relieved that the situation in Charlottesville did not escalate further. However, we must now take the precautionary measures necessary to keep residents safe and that they are able to utilize their First Amendment right. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 16 – In an effort to garner additional feedback, state Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, encourages residents to attend a public workshop being hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission on Wednesday, Aug. 30 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Howard Elementary School, 255 School St., Howard. Hanna said the event, which is being called the “Project Modifications for the Improvement of the Environment,” will feature proposed changes at Foster Joseph Sayers Dam and Reservoir. According to the SRBC, the ultimate goal is to have a feasibility study conducted to explore potential alternatives for managing the existing fall draw-down for the benefit of both in-lake and downstream aquatic life and resources. In addition, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the study will determine if operation of the reservoir , including water release protocol, can be modified to improve the quality of the environment both in the reservoir itself and in the downstream ecosystem. Currently, the reservoir is drawn down 20 feet in late fall and winter and returned to normal pool level by late spring. The agencies anticipate the feasibility study will take approximately 18 to 24 months to complete. Hanna said many of his constituents believe that lowering water levels will impact recreation at the lake, including boating and swimming. He agrees. “Foster Sayers Read more
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 16 – State Rep. Dom Costa, D-Allegheny, today announced that transportation provider AKS Inc., headquartered in Etna, has received a $75,900 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to upgrade its fleet of diesel-powered school buses. Costa said congratulations are in order because the local firm is replacing four of its older diesel-powered buses with newer diesel-powered models – a move that has a big air-quality benefit. “This upgrade will substantially reduce emissions of hydrocarbons, fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, helping clean up the air we breathe,” Costa said. “Also, the older and more heavily polluting buses will be scrapped or rendered permanently inoperable, meaning they’ll be taken off the road permanently.” Costa said AKS Inc. was eligible for the DEP funding because the purpose of its project is to improve air quality by reducing diesel emissions from mobile sources. The company provides transportation for the City of Pittsburgh, in addition to several school districts and charter schools in Allegheny County. Read more
EBENSBURG, Aug. 15 – Pending submission and approval of final paperwork, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, has notified the Cresson Volunteer Fire Co. it will receive a $129,000, low-interest loan through the State Fire Commissioner’s Office to buy a new pumper truck. Burns said the state funding will go toward purchase of a 2018 KME Predator pumper that has a 1,000-gallon tank and a 2,000-gallon-per-minute pump. “I am proud to represent you in the 72 nd Legislative District. I know how important this grant is to you, and I wish you the best of luck with this and all future projects,” Burns wrote. Separately, Burns noted that he’s glad to see his legislative district being successful in obtaining such funding from the office headed by State Fire Commissioner Timothy Solobay, a former Democratic colleague of Burns’ in the state House. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., will sponsor a Women’s Health Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Northeast Frankford Boys and Girls Club, 1709 Kinsey St. “My women’s health fair is a perfect opportunity for women of the 179 th Legislative District to get routine checkups that can help them stay healthy and reach their wellness goals. Attendees will receive free screenings – and get lots of health questions answered -- by making just one visit,” Dawkins said. “I think it’s very important for the health and safety of my constituents who may not have access to health care that my office provides this type of event.” The health fair will feature services from a wide range of health-related fields, including: Cancer care Health insurance Behavioral health Medical equipment Women’s-issues-focused counseling Opioid addiction help Sexual violence prevention Fitness Dawkins and his staff will provide assistance for constituents applying for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Local and state organizations will also be available on site. For more information about the health fair, please call Dawkins’ office at (215)744-7901 or visit www.pahouse.com/Dawkins . Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., circulated a memo today to his colleagues in the House of Representatives that he is introducing a resolution calling on the legislature to officially condemn the terrorist attack carried out by white supremacists and nationalists in Charlottesville, Va. "I am calling on all my colleagues, progressive and conservative, Democratic and Republican, to stand united and send a message to not only condemn and reject to those advocating such a repugnant ideology, but also stand and support the millions of Pennsylvanians they seek to intimidate and harass." In his memo to colleagues seeking co-sponsors, Sims said, "What began as a purported white nationalist rally organized to protest the city of Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee devolved into a proving ground for white supremacists, white nationalists, and alt-right activists, to further deepen the racial divide that has worsened since the election of our nation’s commander-in-chief, President Donald J. Trump. "When studying the history of our nation and our world, we often wonder what we would have done if we were living in Germany during the late 1930s when fascism spread like a disease or whether we would join those courageous American icons who walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday,” Sims said. “This is our generation’s test. This is a new era, Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 14 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., released the following statement after “white nationalists” marched down the University of Virginia campus Friday night and the weekend turned deadly after a car plowed into a crowd of activists in Charlottesville the next day: “As a former student and graduate of the University of Virginia, I am beyond heartbroken and am deeply concerned for the students on campus, members of the community, and the families that are being impacted by this level of ignorance. “Unfortunately, this is not my first time hearing or experiencing this kind of hate at UVA. As an African American student on campus, my peers and I had to witness some of this same hate as an amazing young African American woman running for student body president was assaulted during her campaign. In the end she was victorious but it's sad to say that today's political climate perpetuates this hatred and divide. “My condolences go out to the families of the woman and the two police officers who lost their lives, along with all of the wounded pedestrians who were injured while fighting against racism and protecting Charlottesville citizens. Now is the time for our country to stand together and not worry if someone is black, brown, white, or yellow. We all should be worrying about just one color and that’s blue, the symbol of unity.” Read more
SCRANTON, Aug. 14 – Older residents of the 113th Legislative District are invited to state Rep. Marty Flynn’s annual Senior Fair. The free event takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 25 at St. Joseph’s Hall, Divine Mercy Parish, 312 Davis St. No RSVP is needed. "This is a great opportunity for people to receive information about a variety of local and state programs and services benefiting senior citizens," said Flynn, D-Lackawanna. “I look forward to seeing everyone again at this year’s event.” In addition to the government and exhibitor information, the Senior Fair includes free health screenings, door prizes and light refreshments. For those unable to attend the event, Flynn maintains regular office hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in Jay’s Commons, 409 N. Main Ave. The phone number is 570-342-4348. Read more
SCRANTON, Aug. 14 – Area veterans are invited to take part in the monthly support program next week at the office of state Rep. Marty Flynn. A representative from the American Legion Service Office Outreach program will be in Flynn's office -- Jay's Commons, 409 N. Main Ave. -- from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 23 to provide information on services available to veterans and their families. The American Legion representatives are available to discuss pensions and other compensation, education, health care and death benefits. Legion membership is not required to take advantage of the help, but anyone interested in speaking to the advisers is recommended to schedule an appointment through Flynn’s office at 570-342-4348. Read more
Seeking to show the resolve of Pennsylvanians toward fixing the national health care issue, state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, has launched an online petition asking Pennsylvania’s U.S. representatives and senators to come together and work on fixing America’s health care system. Read more
State Rep. Kevin Haggerty, D-Lackawanna, has announced that beginning Monday, Aug. 21, a new Medicare outreach program will be available every third Monday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon at this district office, 1414 Monroe Ave. in Dunmore. “Senior citizens and other residents who have questions about Medicare or health insurance coverage are welcome to visit my office,” Haggerty said. Haggerty said an APPRISE representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging will help constituents with questions about Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap plans, Medicare drug plans, PACE/PACENET prescription-drug coverage and various low-income assistance programs, such as the Medicare Savings Program and Extra Help. The Lackawanna County representative is asking constituents to please call his office to make an appointment at 570-342-2710. The local APPRISE program is sponsored by the Voluntary Action Center and is funded by the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 14 – A local hair salon is getting a new lease on life, while, at the same time, giving hope to small entrepreneurs across Philadelphia. On Saturday, state Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., cut the ribbon to newly renovated Journey Hair Salon on Castor Avenue. He explained how he assisted the owner, Tomika Miles, in receiving $10,000 in grants to help make the upgrades possible. “Tomika has a great business going,” Solomon said. “I simply provided her with resources to expand on her success in an effort to keep it growing strong.” Solomon told Tomika about The Merchants Fund, which provides financial assistance to small businesses in Philadelphia in an effort to improve the local economy, create and maintain jobs, and expand revenue streams. She utilized the finances from TMF to buy new equipment. “I am a strong believer that thriving business corridors are critical in revitalizing a neighborhood,” Solomon explained. “It’s my job to bring opportunities to light that members in my community may have overlooked or don’t know exist.” Read more
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 14 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, released the following statement regarding the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend: "I am heartbroken over the hatred and ugliness that was displayed by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend, and I am saddened for the family of Heather Heyer, who was the victim of a domestic act of terrorism while expressing her freedom of speech. "Recent events serve as an important reminder that we need stronger protections in Pennsylvania, in light of the apparent uptick in neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. For that reason, I’m calling on Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to schedule a vote on legislation to strengthen our hate crimes law ( H.B. 505 / S.B. 96 ). We must show our unity and resolve on this issue by passing meaningful legislation that will help protect all Pennsylvanians from heinous acts of hate. "There is an instilled duty in all of us to address this hatred we see around us, and to challenge those who seek to destroy our land of unity, peace and equality. We must all do more each day, including our president whose anemic response to Saturday’s tragic events calls into question his fitness for the job and his understanding of American values. He failed to call evil by its name and to strongly condemn those fully responsible for this weekend’s violence. I’d recommend Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 14 – To plan for Pennsylvania’s future economy, state Rep. Mike Schlossberg said comprehensive studies should be undertaken to look at the effects of robots and automation and the collapse of retail jobs. “We owe it to Pennsylvania’s workers to help them secure good jobs. Pennsylvania has a proud history of manufacturing with jobs that provide family-sustaining wages. How those jobs change and what opportunities exist in manufacturing will determine the security of so many Pennsylvanians,” said Schlossberg, D-Lehigh. The lawmaker said the economy has undergone seismic shifts and evidence points to those shifts continuing for the foreseeable future. “We need to better understand how these shifts affect Pennsylvania. To plan for the future, we need to understand what jobs currently anchoring communities will not exist, what new skills workers will need to compete in the changing economy, the demand for services and how tax revenue will change,” he said. Every day, emerging technologies are seeking to improve people’s lives. For the most part, these technologies are attempting to make tasks more efficient and convenient. Yet, these technologies often come at a price, creating special challenges to workers vulnerable to job displacement. Some scholars are predicting a massive labor reorganization, similar to what the world experienced during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Some researchers Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 11 – State Rep. Emilio Vázquez, D-Phila., will host a series of pop-up constituent service office events throughout the summer, beginning Aug. 17. “I know that sometimes residents are unable to visit my main and satellite offices because of their work schedules or other commitments, so I wanted to bring constituent services to them,” Vázquez said. “At these pop-up office events, constituents can access the services my offices provide, including information about car registrations and driver’s license applications, birth and death certificates, services for seniors, and unemployment compensation, among many other programs.” The pop-up office events will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Philadelphia on the following dates: Thursday, Aug. 17: Esperanza Health Clinic, 4417 N. 6th St. Friday, Aug. 18: Norris Square Park, 2100 N. Howard St. Thursday, Aug. 24: Save-A-Lot, 2101 W. Lehigh Ave. Friday, Aug. 25: Save-A-Lot, 701 W. Lehigh Ave. Thursday, Aug. 31: Wyoming Branch Library, 231 E. Wyoming Ave. Friday, Sept. 1: Satellite Office, 1421 W. Susquehanna Ave. No RSVP is required. For more information, contact Vázquez’s office at (215) 457-5281. Read more
HARMAR, Aug. 11 – Veterans with questions about their benefits can stop by Rep. Frank Dermody’s office between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14 to meet with a claims consultant from the VA hospital in Butler. Dermody’s office is at 1331 Freeport Road in the Cheswick section of Harmar, next door to Futules Harmar House. As a service to veterans, the VA representative will return to Dermody’s office on the second Monday of every month to help veterans in understanding and accessing the resources available to them. Walk-in visits are welcome, or appointment times can be arranged with Tom Gehenio of Dermody’s staff at 724-274-4770 . Read more
FILADELFIA, Ago. 11 – El Representante Estatal Emilio Vázquez, D-Fila., invita a las familias multilingües a completar el proceso de inscripción escolar a través del Centro de Evaluación Multilingüe (Multilingual Assessment Center) del Distrito Escolar de Filadelfia. Vázquez indicó que la iniciativa, disponible hasta el 25 de agosto, busca acelerar el proceso de matrícula para inmigrantes, refugiados y estudiantes que hablen idiomas diferentes al inglés. Para completar la inscripción, los padres y/o tutores deben visitar el Centro Educativo del Distrito Escolar, 440 N. Broad St., Suite 1058. “Filadelfia ha experimentado cambios significativos en su composición étnica durante los últimos 20 años. Mi distrito tiene una tasa de deserción escolar de 51 porciento. Solo el 26 porciento de los residentes tienen diplomas de escuela secundaria o superior, 3 porciento tiene grado asociado y 4 porciento, bachillerato. Por eso esta iniciativa es tan importante para mí y para la gente del Distrito 197 – porque atiende uno de los primeros factores que empujan fuera de la escuela a los niños de nuestras comunidades”, dijo Vázquez. Según el distrito escolar, durante este período, personal de la Oficina de Programas Multilingües asistirá a las familias con el proceso de inscripción, evaluará a Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 11 – State Rep. Emilio Vázquez reminds families with multilingual students to complete the new student registration process, available through Aug. 25 at the Multilingual Assessment Center (MAC) of the School District of Philadelphia. Vazquez, D-Phila., said this is an initiative to help speed the enrollment process for immigrants, refugees and students who speak a language other than English. To enroll students, parents or guardians should visit the School District Education Center, 440 N. Broad St., Suite 1058. Appointments are encouraged but not necessary. “Philadelphia has experienced significant changes in its ethnic composition during the last 20 years. My district has a 51 percent high school dropout rate. Only 26 percent of the residents have high school diplomas, 3 percent have associate’s degrees and 4 percent have bachelor’s degrees. That’s why this initiative is so important for me and for the people of the 197th District -- because it addresses one of the very first push-out factors that directly impact the schooling process of our children,” Vázquez said. According to the school district, throughout the process, staff with the Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs will be available to walk families through the registration, screen students in need of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services, and provide resources and information about the district. Parents must Read more
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