PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said more than a dozen people attended his event designed to provide information for people interested in becoming a Philadelphia police officer. Cruz hosted representatives from the police department in his district office for the recruitment drive. Those in attendance had the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the process of becoming a Philadelphia police officer. Cruz said he is seeing positive results from hosting this event. “A constituent who attended my last recruitment drive informed me that he was hired and is starting the police academy next month. He came to this event to personally thank me,” Cruz said. “It makes me proud to see this outcome and I hope the opportunity opens for more people.” Cruz added he plans to partner with the Philadelphia Police Department to host more recruitment events in the future. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 27 – In his ongoing effort to strengthen lower northeast Philadelphia’s commercial corridors and support local business owners, state Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., announced a $40,000 grant for a local community development corporation. Solomon announced that the state awarded funds to the Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association during a news conference Tuesday at Castor and Hellerman streets. The money comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP). It is the first NAP grant ever to lower northeast Philadelphia. “Supporting the business corridors of my district – Castor, Bustleton, and Cottman avenues – has been a top priority since I became a state representative,” Solomon said. “I congratulate the leadership of the Oxford Circle CCDA in obtaining these grant funds from DCED and hope many more state dollars will come to support this community.” The grant is made possible through the NAP tax credit, in which businesses – in this case M&T Bank along with Kinder Academy – donate to the Oxford Circle CCDA and in return get a tax credit on state business taxes equal to 75 percent of their contribution. Solomon joined representatives from the OCCCDA, M&T Bank, Kinder Academy, Castor Bustleton Cottman Business Association and DCED at today’s event. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 15 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., will host a series of workshops with information about employment opportunities for young people in the 192nd Legislative District in west Philadelphia. The youth employment workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to noon: Feb. 24, Shepard Recreation Center, 5700 Haverford Ave., 19131 March 3, Rose Playground, 1300 N. 75th St., 19151 March 10, John Anderson Cultural Center, 5301 Overbrook Ave., 19151 March 17, Sweet Union Baptist Church, 1536 N. 59th St., 19131. Cephas said the workshops are designed to help young constituents ages 14 to 18 learn how to apply for local summer jobs and union apprenticeships as well as state government-related programs. “These workshops will not only help young people learn about jobs that may be of interest to them, but they will also learn how to apply for a work permit and the required documents needed for when they seek employment,” Cephas said. “I am here to help our young constituents obtain these opportunities and get on the right path of achieving success that can last a lifetime.” Cephas added that a parent or guardian must accompany their youth during these workshops. To register, call Donna in Cephas’ office at (215) 879-6625. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., welcomed more than 40 people to his district office for his free pardon and expungement clinic. “The pardon and expungement process is not simple or easy to navigate. It’s important that I help provide the people in the community with access to the resources they need to learn more information about pardons and expungements and to see if they may qualify,” Dawkins said. “Expunging or pardoning offenses can be a life-changing process for many, and it can help open many doors for individuals to seek employment and housing. “I made myself available to answer any questions people may have, and to help direct them onward as they begin the expungement process.” Dawkins added he is looking forward to hosting similar events in the future. Criminal record expungement allows a person convicted of a third-degree misdemeanor or a second-degree misdemeanor, if at least 10 years have passed, respectively, since they completed their sentence, to request the opportunity to appear before a judge and request an order for limited access of their criminal record. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., said that a $1 million PennDOT grant has been awarded to the Logan Point Roadway Improvements Project. The funding will be used to prepare the Logan Triangle for redevelopment by clearing a series of unused, dilapidated streets and reconstructing the arterial access roads, which are Ninth Street and Wyoming Avenue. “Great things are happening in the Logan community and this grant is an extension of that. This funding will continue to support improvements being made that benefit the people living, working and visiting there,” Kinsey said. “I want to thank Governor Tom Wolf for the ongoing commitment in investing in the future of Philadelphia.” Kinsey noted a grant was awarded in November 2017 to help the redevelopment of Logan Triangle. The $1.8 million grant will help transform the blighted neighborhood east of North Broad Street into commercial and community district and make infrastructure improvements. The state Transportation Department's Multimodal Transportation Fund provides grants to ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to residents of the commonwealth. It was created by Act 89 of 2013, Pennsylvania’s broad transportation funding plan. Funds may be used for the development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, such as streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., applauded today’s 2018-19 state budget proposal unveiled by Gov. Tom Wolf because of its continued commitment to education while expanding jobs and skills training and the renewed call for a severance tax on natural-gas drilling. “Once again, the governor’s budget is putting people first. His proposal is seeking $120 million more for school districts in Philadelphia and across the commonwealth, as well as higher investment for pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs and state universities, and career and technical education. “In addition to that commitment, Gov. Wolf is seeking to launch PASmart, which would provide opportunities for Pennsylvanians to get the skills they would need to obtain good, family-sustaining jobs,” Youngblood said. “I am also a proponent of the governor’s repeated stance on a severance tax on natural-gas drilling. This commonsense tax would help meet Pennsylvania’s needs such as education and balancing our budget. It is long overdue for the drilling industry to pay its fair share of doing business in the commonwealth. “As the House Democratic Caucus Secretary, I’m pleased to see the governor’s budget falls directly in line with our own House Democratic agenda, the Plan For Pennsylvania , which focuses on quality schools, good jobs and fairer taxes,” she said. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – State Rep. Mike O’Brien, D-Phila., lauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal that calls for more funding for education as well as the renewed call for a severance tax on natural gas drilling. “I’m pleased to see Governor Wolf staying on course with his commitment to increase funding for education. The proposed $120 million more for our schools in Philadelphia and across the commonwealth remains a top priority to reverse the cuts made by the previous administration. This funding also would create a higher investment for pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs and state universities, and career and technical training. “I also support the governor’s proposal to fund apprenticeship and job training programs. We need to provide our young people with the skills necessary to obtain family-sustaining jobs and allow older people to return to the workforce if they desire,” O’Brien said. “I stand with Governor Wolf on his repeated push to get Pennsylvania in line with other natural-gas states on a severance tax on drilling. It’s high time the commonwealth enacts this commonsense tax to help us meet our needs such as balancing our budget. It’s ridiculous to see neighboring Ohio and West Virginia with such a tax, yet here we are letting companies work without paying their fair share of taxes here,” he said. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – State Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, praised the proposed increase in education funding and opioid treatment in Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2018-19 budget, in addition to the renewed call for a severance tax on natural-gas drilling. “Governor Wolf has kept the momentum going in restoring the funding cuts made by the former administration. We are seeing $120 million more in this proposal for school districts across the commonwealth, with higher investment in pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs, state universities and career and technical education. “The governor also is building on the investment made in the fight against the opioid and heroin epidemic that is taking lives and destroying families in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania,” Boyle said. “I also support Governor Wolf standing his ground in pushing for a severance tax on natural-gas drilling. It’s mind-boggling to see such a tax in neighboring states and yet, Pennsylvania fails to make the drilling industry pay its fair share for doing business here. “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to the upcoming budget hearings to have a seat at the table to ensure the agencies receive the needed funding while staying aligned with the governor’s budget proposal,” he said. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., announced he will host a series of workshops designed to educate people on apprenticeship opportunities with local industries. The “Apprentice Prep with the Rep” sessions will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 15, March 1, 15, and 29 in Dawkins’ district office located at 4667 Paul St., 19124. Dawkins said the workshops will provide information and overviews of local labor unions’ apprenticeship application and testing process. Members from local unions also will be in attendance to offer information and answer questions. “Becoming an apprentice is a great way for people to receive work-based training that can turn into family-sustaining careers,” Dawkins said. “Whether looking for a job or a change, I encourage everyone to come and learn about these opportunities.” For more information or to RSVP for one of the workshops, call Dawkins’ office at (215) 744-7901. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Phila., announced that nominations are now being accepted to honor people in the commonwealth who have done something special to protect children. The PA Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids awards recognize people who have been instrumental in protecting children, with the goal of heightening awareness of the role each Pennsylvanian plays in safeguarding children from abuse and neglect. Youngblood said the awards are presented by the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance in April, which is designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month under a House resolution for which she voted. “A state report shows there were more than 44,000 reports of child abuse in Pennsylvania in 2016, with over 5,000 in Philadelphia County alone. These statistics are both heartbreaking and a wake-up call,” Youngblood said. “Whether it’s a neighbor, friend, family member or stranger, we all must work together and do what we can to protect our children from this unnecessary and horrific crime.” Youngblood said in addition to honoring two child welfare professionals and two everyday citizens, the PFSA will honor someone in the media who has demonstrated a commitment to covering child abuse and protection-related issues in Pennsylvania in 2017. The deadline to nominate someone is 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. The awards will be presented during a ceremony at the state Capitol on April 4. To nominate someone Read more
Pennsylvania is failing in its mission to foster growth in minority and women-owned businesses. A 2016 state report found businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans, known as Small Diverse Businesses, are struggling to successfully compete and receive government contracts. Out of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, 11 lack even a single certified SDB. Breaking down this data paints an even more dire picture for underrepresented groups – out of the total number of Small Diverse Businesses registered, only 30 percent are minority-owned, and only 8 percent are minority women-owned. This is unacceptable. Providing these groups with the resources and opportunities needed to foster small business creation is the key to increasing economic mobility and prosperity for all of us. In 2015, Gov. Wolf issued an executive order that called for increased diversity, inclusion, and small business opportunities in procurement. Despite the order, Pennsylvania has yet to act upon this and reform its procurement system. I have introduced House Bill 1167, which would help bring more opportunities and transparency to the commonwealth’s procurement process. This bill would provide minority and women-owned businesses with the tools needed to work successfully with the commonwealth, and with resources to assist in the application for procurement opportunities. My legislation would require annual reports to the General Assembly detailing the number and nature of procurement Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, joined students and volunteers from local organizations for a “day-on” to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr on Jan. 15. McClinton co-hosted the MLK day of service alongside The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Mural Arts Restorative Justice Program, Sayre Health Center and Omega Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “We had such an amazing turnout and all who helped did a tremendous job,” McClinton said. “It was great to see everyone come together and not think of MLK day as a day off from work or school.” The day consisted of painting the hallways, lockers, stairwells and cafeteria of Sayre High School and workshops for girls on the topics of dressing for success, conflict resolution and social media branding. “I would like to thank those organizations who co-hosted this event with me for their hard work and efforts. Judge Sierra Thomas Street led the charge at bringing both judges and staff to beautify the school alongside of returning citizens led by Robyn Buseman. The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha hosted ‘My Sisters’ Dream,’ which was an empowerment day for young girls at Sayre High School. As these two activities were unfolding, the Sayre Health Center hosted an emotional wellness project that included vision boards and line dancing,” McClinton said. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 2 – Following approval by the Office of the Budget, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced a $1 million grant has been awarded to ASPIRA Community Enterprises to build new facilities at Pantoja Charter School. The funding will go toward the construction of a gymnasium, an auditorium, additional classroom, office, and parking at the school. “I have no doubt that these new facilities will help our community grow healthier and stronger, and will reaffirm the connection between the school and the neighborhood,” Cruz said. “I’m glad that we were able to secure this funding that will enable ASPIRA to continue to do amazing work for our children and youth.” RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 27 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., announced a $1 million grant to the WES Corporation from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Kinsey said the WES Corporation will use the funding to develop a state-of-the-art medical facility/business service hub. The new building will house mental health programs including outpatient behavioral health, targeted case management and substance abuse programs serving youth. In addition, the building will contain a medical clinic, a day care center, parking and administrative offices. This new facility will be located in the Logan section of Philadelphia, an area which Kinsey said is in critical need of these beneficial services. “I am honored to have worked with officials from WES Corporation in obtaining this grant,” Kinsey said. “This funding will be used to expand the corporation’s ability to provide services to those people and families dealing with addition. “With an on-going heroin and opioid crisis in our commonwealth, it’s crucial for people battling addiction to get the treatment they need to live normal, health lives.” RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 22 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today announced that Overbrook Library will benefit from a $1.25 million grant from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Cephas said the Overbrook Library will receive renovations and repairs as part of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s 21st Century Libraries Initiative, the plan to renovate and modernize the network of neighborhood libraries located throughout Philadelphia. The RACP funding will be used for interior renovations, exterior repairs, technology upgrades, new furniture, fixtures and equipment and mechanical upgrades. “Libraries provide a space for our communities to create strong bonds. They help our students with school, residents looking for employment, and our seniors with a place for leisure,” Cephas said. “This grant is great news for the Overbrook Park community. I’m proud to take part in this achievement and I look forward to amazing interactive activities in Overbrook Library.” RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 22 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced a $1.25 million grant to the Free Library of Philadelphia from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. McClinton said the library system will use the funding for its 21st Century Libraries Initiative, the plan to renovate and modernize the network of neighborhood libraries located throughout Philadelphia. Under the project, three buildings, including the Paschalville Library in southwest Philadelphia, will receive interior renovation, exterior repairs, technology upgrades, new furniture, fixtures and equipment and mechanical upgrades. “Libraries are a crucial part of our neighborhoods. They provide a variety of resources and opportunities for people of all ages,” McClinton said. “This grant will help the 21st Century Libraries Initiative continue its great work in ensuring our libraries have the up-to-date technology and tools to meet the needs of their communities.” RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 22 – State Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., today stood by Gov. Tom Wolf as he signed Solomon’s legislation into law that will help Pennsylvania veterans receive federal, state and local benefits. House Bill 1231, now Act 69 of 2017, will expand the existing Department of Military and Veterans Affairs registry’s reach by bringing other agencies into the process of identifying veterans who stand to benefit. Currently, the DMVA manages an online registry that lists more than 10,000 veterans, but that number is still significantly less than the 894,000 veterans living in Pennsylvania. “This law will ensure the hundreds of thousands of veterans in Pennsylvania who are potentially missing out on the opportunities and benefits others are receiving through the DMVA registry get the help they deserve,” Solomon said. “It will make more people aware of the existing one-stop shop for our veterans and their loved ones that allows them to discover programs and services that they may not have previously been aware of. The law also will help veterans, their families and support workers get access to important benefits that support them.” Solomon added this bipartisan effort was first co-sponsored by state Rep. Matt Gabler, R-Clearfield/Elk. “This is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue,” Solomon stated. “Veterans served, and risked everything to protect our freedom and our country, so we all need to Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 22 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced a $500,000 grant has been awarded to Monroe Energy from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Donatucci said the funding will be used for the company’s major refinery improvement project at its Trainer facility. The project includes the installation of an ultra-low sulfur gasoline unit to produce gasoline in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s mandate for Tier 3 Sulfur Standards for Gasoline. “I’m pleased to see the governor and legislative leaders are investing in Monroe Energy to help with this important project,” Donatucci said. “The upgrades funded by this grant will help the company comply with the necessary federal standards.” RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 8 – Following an outburst during a House committee meeting that was captured on video and has garnered nationwide media attention, state Rep. Angel Cruz is seeking to bring his resolution up for a vote to address the conduct of committee chairmen. In a letter written to House Speaker Mike Turzai, Majority Leader Dave Reed and Minority Leader Frank Dermody, Cruz expressed outrage over the behavior of state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, Republican chairman of the State Government Committee, and urged that his resolution ( H.R. 128 ) be moved out of the Rules Committee and brought to the full House for a vote. “Chairman Metcalfe is making a mockery of this great body and further demonstrating that he is unfit to serve as chairman of a committee which has oversight on very important civil rights issues,” said Cruz, D-Phila. During the State Government Committee meeting on Tuesday, Democratic Chairman Matt Bradford touched Metcalfe’s arm while trying to make a point about a bill being discussed. Metcalfe interrupted Bradford by saying, “Representative Bradford, look, I’m a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife. I don’t like men, as you might. But stop touching me all the time.” Bradford is married to a woman and has four children. Cruz said he is calling for movement on his resolution because of this outburst and an instance last session in which Metcalfe prevented a member of his committee from speaking during Read more
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