Pa. state Rep. Donna Bullock celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, with a House Resolution recognizing April 2017 as Fair Housing Month in Pennsylvania. The theme for this year's Fair Housing Month is "Fair Housing Equals Opportunity." Read more
Pa. state Rep. Donna Bullock hosted a public hearing to discuss ways to work with law enforcement, community leaders and businesses to rid Philadelphia of "Stop and Go" nuisance bars. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Joanna McClinton thanks the House of Representatives for their unanimous support of her resolution recognizing April 10, 2017 as "National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day" in Pennsylvania. The day of awareness is aimed at reducing infections among young people nationwide. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Stephen Kinsey co-sponsored a House Resolution honoring the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson and celebrating April 15, 2017 as the 70th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Joanna McClinton hosted the House Democratic Policy Committee in South West Philadelphia for a discussion on reforming the pretrial and bail procedures in Pennsylvania. Many inmates are stuck in jail because they have pretrial issues or simply cannot afford bail which not only increases costs for taxpayers, but also has a human cost for the incarcerated and their families. Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties have instituted some reforms that have seen positive results and McClinton is looking to apply that statewide. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Donna Bullock attended a House Democratic Policy Committee in South West Philadelphia for a discussion on reforming the pretrial and bail procedures in Pennsylvania. Many inmates are stuck in jail because they have pretrial issues or simply cannot afford bail which not only increases costs for taxpayers, but also has a human cost for the incarcerated and their families. Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties have instituted some reforms that have seen positive results and Bullock is looking to apply that statewide. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 5 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, strongly opposed a bill the House passed today (H.B. 741) that would revive several mandatory minimum sentences that have been struck down in the courts. "Mandatory minimums don't work. Between 1980 and 1995, when mandatory minimums were popular and in full effect here and in other states, violent crime actually increased nearly 20 percent," Harris said. "Mandatory minimums silence the voice of the voters who elect judges, not robots. Mandatory minimums remove discretion – just as with hats, one size does not fit all. "And apparently many of those who voted for mandatory minimums don't actually want to fund them. House Republicans also passed a budget this week that would cut $130 million more from the Corrections Department than the governor's budget would – even though the mandatory minimum bill would add another $66 million to $85 million per year in costs! For the same amount this bill would cost, we could provide drug treatment for more than 9,000 people." Harris said he hopes the state Senate will take a wiser approach. "I've been working on criminal justice reform with members of both parties in the House and Senate, as well as groups that range from progressive to conservative. There's strong public support in Pennsylvania for criminal justice reform and I still believe Read more
Chairman of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus, state Rep. Jordan Harris argues against reinstating mandatory minimum sentencing for certain crimes in Pennsylvania. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Stephen Kinsey congratulates the Urban League of Philadelphia on over 100 years of advocacy for African-Americans and other minorities. Read more
On April 4, Equal Pay Day, Pa. state Rep. Donna Bullock rallied at the State Capitol for measures that will ensure women receive equal pay for an equal day's work. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Joanna McClinton is working to rid Philadelphia of Stop-and-Go establishments that are a detriment on neighborhoods and families. McClinton attended the first of a series of public meetings across Philadelphia seeking information and resources on how to eliminate the negative impact of these illegal businesses. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Stephen Kinsey co-sponsored a House Resolution that designates March 2017 as Disability Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. Kinsey hopes that bringing awareness to the prejudice and barriers faced by those living with disabilities we can ensure that they are provided with the dignity, respect and accommodations they deserve. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 22 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, welcomed a new poll out today that shows strong, bipartisan support among Pennsylvanians for criminal justice reform. "People make mistakes, but everyone deserves the right to demonstrate that they’ve learned from that mistake and are willing to change their ways," Harris said. "That’s one of the reasons why over 88 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans in the state agree that it doesn’t matter how long people are in jail, it matters that they don’t commit a crime when they return back to their communities. We need to take action and work on legislation that will improve public safety and put people back to work." Harris also welcomed the news that more than half the state Senate is co-sponsoring "Clean Slate" legislation being introduced by Sens. Scott Wagner, R-York, and Anthony Hardy Williams, D-Phila./Delaware. Harris and Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland, are seeking House co-sponsors for the legislation, which would automatically seal the records for certain nonviolent offenses if the person hasn't committed another crime. Harris was instrumental in passing Act 5 of 2016, which provides a process for sealing low-level, non-violent misdemeanors. Harris said the new legislation he's advocating would improve on Act 5, which requires former offenders to petition the court. Read more
In a Pa. House Judiciary Committee meeting, state Rep. Joanna McClinton speaks out against legislation that would reintroduce mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug-related offenses. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 21 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, hosted an entrepreneurial inclusion summit Monday in the Capitol complex . The event recognized Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Day in Harrisburg. Wheatley addressed the participants and highlighted the quest for equality in bidding for state contracts, which began in the 1980s with a select committee that was established by then-state Rep. Gordon Linton of Philadelphia. "Has the state progressed?" Wheatley asked. "Yes, but we still have real work to do." Wheatley concluded his remarks with the acknowledgement that minority business owners are, "not looking for a handout, but actually looking for people to get out of their way." Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Jordan Harris, D-Phila., pointed out that minority business owners are equal to any others. "When the playing field is level, we will excel," he said. Women's Caucus Chairwoman Margo Davidson, D-Phila., recognized the growth in the number of woman-owned businesses, from 8 million to 10 million over the last decade. Following the remarks, minority business owners from Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, shared in a networking luncheon with a number of state agencies and then were recognized in the House chamber before visiting individual legislators. State agencies that participated in the networking luncheon included: the departments of Community Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 20 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said the PLBC is disappointed at the return of the police secrecy bill the House passed today and is calling for Gov. Tom Wolf to veto it again. Similar to a bill Wolf vetoed at the end of last session, H.B. 27 would block the release of the name of a police officer who discharges his or her firearm or uses force that results in death or serious injury until the completion of an official investigation that is not defined and that could take up to 30 days after the incident. "This bill would further erode the trust between citizens, specifically people of color, and our police forces at a time when police-community relations are too often strained," Harris said. "Hiding the name of a police officer involved in a potentially deadly encounter is not the way to improve trust between law enforcement and communities that have historically been marginalized by those in power. "We need more trust between police and the people they serve, not less." Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., vice chairwoman of the PLBC, said, "Transparency is a goal we strive for at all levels of government. Police departments perform a highly skilled and dangerous job for the people, but they also should remain accountable to the people. I believe those ideas are not mutually exclusive and that acknowledging this will help build better relations among Read more
Pa. state Rep. Donna Bullock speaks on her resolution recognizing the week of March 6 through 10, 2017, as "National School Breakfast Week" in Pennsylvania. Read more
PITTSBURGH, March 17 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, is hosting an entrepreneurial inclusion summit at 11:15 a.m. in the Capitol Media Center, Harrisburg. Sen. Vincent Hughes, the Women's Caucus and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus also are participating in the event. They will be joined by Stephen Bradley, chairman, Philadelphia African American Chamber of Commerce, and Shariah Brown, chairman, African American Chamber of Commerce of central Pennsylvania. Minority business owners from Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia are expected to participate in the event. The MWDBE program is designed to encourage minority, women and other disadvantaged business owners to bid for and compete in state and local government bidding opportunities. In addition to the media event, the attendees will join in a networking luncheon with a number of state agencies and then be recognized in the House chamber before visiting individual legislators in Harrisburg. State agencies expected to participate in the networking luncheon include: the departments of Community and Economic Development, Conservation and Natural Resources, Corrections, General Services, Military and Veterans Affairs, and Transportation; the Game Commission; Gaming Control Board; Liquor Control Board; Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and the Turnpike Commission. ### Read more
Pa. state Rep. Morgan Cephas talks about the needs of her "middle neighborhoods" in West Philadelphia, including growing the local economy, improving social services for working families and those with disabilities. Cephas also talks about the importance of early education programs and the need to fund them properly. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Ed Gainey takes with the Pa. Secretary of Education about guiding high school curriculum for technical and occupational education for CTEs and higher education institutions to better prepare our students to compete in a global economy. Read more
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