HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Jordan Harris today was sworn into office for his third term as representative for the 186th Legislative District during a ceremony in the Capitol. 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. “I am thankful my constituents maintain their trust in me,” Harris said. “I will continue to build on that trust and expand on the work that my staff and I accomplished for the 186 th Legislative District.” During his second term, Harris fought for funding for education in Philadelphia, including for Pre-K, and championed legislation that eventually became law to help expunge criminal records of lesser offenders. Harris said he will continue to fight for more education funding, as well as common-sense gun laws and criminal justice reform. In addition to beginning his third, two-year term as state representative, Harris has been named chairman for the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “It’s an honor to have been elected to serve as chairman of this very important caucus,” Harris said. “With the upcoming session, I will see to it that the members of the Black Caucus stand united and be the voice for African-Americans and people of color across Pennsylvania on key issues, including promoting diversity and inclusion in the commonwealth’s workforce Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., today took the oath of office to begin her 12th term representing the 198th Legislative District. “I look forward to getting to work and build on the accomplishments we made during the previous session,” Youngblood said. “From passing historic legislation to allow medical marijuana in the commonwealth to increasing funding for education, I am optimistic that both sides of the aisle can work together once again and make great strides for a better Pennsylvania. We must continue to advocate for policies that put people first and expand opportunities for success.” Youngblood said she is thankful to remain House Democratic Caucus secretary for the 2017-18 legislative session, a position she was elected in to by her peers prior to last session. Youngblood became the first black female in Pennsylvania history to hold a leadership position in the General Assembly. “It’s an honor to hold this leadership post for a second term and to have been elected by my peers as the only black member represented in leadership in the House,” Youngblood said. “We have a lot of work to do to bridge some of the divides facing this Commonwealth, and this nation, but I am confident and hopeful that we will achieve great things for all Pennsylvanians.” The swearing-in ceremony in the House chamber marked the beginning of the 201st Legislative Session. Youngblood said that Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Donna Bullock today was sworn into office as representative for the 195th Legislative District during a ceremony at the Pennsylvania Capitol. 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. “I am excited for the opportunity to continue representing and fighting for the residents of the 195 th District, both at home and in Harrisburg,” Bullock said. “We have new challenges ahead in this upcoming session and I am ready to work with my colleagues to bring positive change to the commonwealth.” In addition to beginning her first, full two-year term as state representative, Bullock has been chosen to serve as vice chairwoman for the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “I am honored that my peers selected me to serve in this position for such a very important caucus,” said Bullock, D-Phila. Bullock said residents are encouraged to sign up for periodic e-mail updates by registering through her website, www.PaHouse.com/Bullock . Constituents can also stay up to date with news from Harrisburg and Philadelphia by adding her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RepDonnaBullock and following her on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/RepDonnaBullock . Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 6 – State Rep. Donna Bullock will hold an Environmental Justice Mixer and Update from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8 at Community Futures Lab, 2204 Ridge Ave. The event is free and open to the public. The meet-and-greet reception is in honor of the 25th anniversary of the 17 Principles of Environmental Justice, which were adopted at the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held Oct. 24-27, 1991 in Washington, D.C. The principles have served as the defining document and basis for the grassroots movement for environmental justice. In the spirit of the adoption of the 17 principles, this event is a gathering of contemporary environmental and social-justice professionals, activists and community members to connect with one another and continue expanding a network of people who are fighting for environmental justice in Philadelphia. Light refreshments will be provided, and Bullock will share an environmental legislative update from her first term in Harrisburg. Read more
Calling it a victory for transparency and police-community relations, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman-elect of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, thanked Gov. Tom Wolf today for vetoing House Bill 1538. Read more
Calling it an extreme honor to have the opportunity to be a strong voice for African-Americans and people of color across the commonwealth, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., was elected Tuesday to serve as the chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 10 – Educating Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Awareness Week begins Monday, culminating in Red Shirt Day on Friday, Nov. 18, said state Rep. Donna Bullock, who sponsored a House resolution commemorating the week. A news conference in the Capitol Rotunda will take place at 11 a.m. Monday . The news conference will occur during Housing Alliance of PA’s Homes within Reach Conference – a full day of panels and events centering on homelessness prevention that will take place at the Harrisburg Hilton. Slated to speak in the Capitol are: Sonia Pitzi, Office for the Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Liz Hersh, director, City of Philadelphia, Office of Homeless Services Cindy Daley, policy director for the Housing Alliance Liam Spady, The Advocacy Institute (youth advocate) More information about the Homes within Reach Conference, which is celebrating its 12 th year, can be found here . To show solidarity with children experiencing homelessness and the educators who serve them, Bullock’s H.R. 1112, adopted last month, encourages Pennsylvanians to observe Nov. 14 through Nov. 18 as "Pennsylvania Education for Youth Experiencing Homelessness Awareness Week." Pennsylvanians are urged to wear a red shirt on Friday, Nov. 18 for "Red Shirt Day," which encourages schools and communities to support assistance programs for children experiencing Read more
One of the biggest problems facing public assistance is that it is overregulated when subjected to politics. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 21 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and House Education Committee Democratic Chairman Jim Roebuck, D-Phila., will co-host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency’s Act 101 program, which provides higher education opportunities for the disadvantaged. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 26 in the Bossone Research Center Atrium, 3rd Floor at Drexel University, 3140 Market St., Philadelphia. The state-funded Act 101 program allocates money to Pennsylvania schools to provide services to academically and financially disadvantaged students to assist them so they can successfully complete postsecondary study. The current agenda is as follows: 2 p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 2:10 p.m. Panel from Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency: Christine Zuzack , vice president of state grant and special programs Ashley Ruth , public affairs technical assistance specialist 2:50 p.m. Panel Two: Antoinette Torres , associate vice provost of enrollment management, Drexel University Robert Miedel , Act 101 director, La Salle University Donna Dickinson , Act 101 director, King’s College Tom Thomas, Act 101 director, Wilkes University 3:30 p.m. Panel Three: Jerome Dean , Act 101 program graduate, Shippensburg University Act 101 students 4 p.m. Closing Remarks The Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 18 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., will host two free, public meetings this month as part of his "A Conversation with the Secretary" series. Kinsey and Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Phila., will host Pennsylvania Corrections Secretary John Wetzel for a discussion of prisons, reintegration services and other services as they relate to the prison system and programs for ex-offenders from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 21 at the First Presbyterian Church of Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Ave. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and speak with experts about the realities posed by imprisonment and the resources to help with them. In a second meeting of the series, Kinsey and Philadelphia City Councilwoman Cindy Bass will host a meeting with Pennsylvania State Education Secretary Pedro Rivera from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 27 at Martin Luther King High School, 6100 Stenton Ave. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the governor’s proposed education budget, the impact it will have on schools, what adequate funding means in Philadelphia, what parents can do to support schools and much more. Read more
Over a year ago, I began meeting with members in the northwest community about changing the name of the Francis Pastorious Mastery Charter School to honor a distinguished citizen, the Honorable David P. Richardson Jr. After a series of meetings with the Pastorious School Advisory Council and the school administration, I’m happy to announce that they voted to recommend a name change to Pastorious Richardson, Mastery Charter School. For the second phase of this project, there will be a communitywide meeting involving students, parents, graduates and neighbors to gauge your opinion of the change. This meeting will be held at 5 p.m. today, at the Pastorious School. I hope to see you there! Read more
HARRISBURG, MAY 12, 2015 - Pa. state Rep. Stephen Kinsey honors the 62nd Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement with a unanimously approved resolution in the House of Representatives. Read more
Please join State Representative Stephen Kinsey and Philadelphia Councilwoman Cindy Bass as they host a memorial ceremony and salute to veterans Saturday, May 16 at First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG). The event will include: Bell Ringing Martin Luther King High School ROTC Veteran’s Resource Room Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Information Health Screenings Movie Screening Veteran’s Luncheon Read more
The events of Baltimore are troubling but not at all surprising. What I wonder today, after watching yet another American city burn is this: who or what, is most responsible for this upheaval? Read more
HARRISBURG, April 21 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., has been appointed as the House Democratic member of the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority for the 2015-16 legislative session. The PMBDA offers low-interest loan financing to businesses owned and operated by ethnic minorities. The recommendation to appoint Kinsey was made by House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny. "The PMBDA mission is one that aligns with my goals as a state representative," Kinsey said. "I look forward to having a say as I work to help increase the growth and success of minority-owned businesses across the commonwealth. Entrepreneurship is a hard-fought goal for many Pennsylvanians, and I believe that the PMBDA can be that vehicle and play an integral role in helping minorities to realize their dreams. "Minority success in entrepreneurship directly and positively affects Pennsylvania’s economic climate, and the jobs that they create make real differences in the communities we call home." Read more
It was my sincere pleasure to host on April 20, 2015, members of the West Chester University student body and faculty, who accepted a House citation for the university’s exemplary community-service accomplishments and for being named in December to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which is no small feat. Last year, West Chester Students logged more than 600,000 hours of community service with an undergraduate enrollment of 13,700 students, thanks in part to the courses that integrate community work into curriculum. Two-hundred faculty members included a service component in classes in 2013-14. That’s great work and great learning! Read more
Pa. state Rep. Jake Wheatley hosted the second annual celebration of National Jazz Month in Pennsylvania. Rep. Stephen Kinsey, Rep. Patty Kim and Rep. Harry Lewis joined Rep. Wheatley in honoring the music genre and those who have made significant contributions to it in the Commonwealth. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Stephen Kinsey honored his brother, Captain Barry Kinsey, who is retiring from the U.S. Army after nearly 25 years of service. Kinsey recognized the sacrifices and challenges that military personnel face while serving their country. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 26 – Perpetrating academic fraud, like what occurred over two decades involving no-show classes at the University of North Carolina, would be criminally punishable in Pennsylvania under a bill proposed by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila. His bill, which will be introduced into the House Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks, would legally define academic fraud as a felony. "When a college or university cheats for its students to keep scholarships or to remain competitive in an athletic arena, it is literally stealing from students and in many cases taxpayers," said Kinsey, D-Phila. "That is a crime, and it’s time we treat it as such." Academic fraud is not currently punishable in criminal courts. Under the proposal, a person would be charged with a third-degree felony if he or she attempted to or helped a student obtain a credit, grade or test score by fraudulent means, or changed a score, grade or credit in exchange for goods or services. A perpetrator involving student athletes would be charged with a second-degree felony if he or she accepted goods or services for teaching a no-show class, steered a student athlete into a no-show class for the sake of athletic eligibility, attempted to or forged a grade or credit, or systematically conducted fraudulent business to ensure a student athlete’s academic eligibility. UNC last year disclosed academic fraud, which is believed to have taken place Read more
HARRISBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey today voiced support for Gov. Tom Wolf’s state budget proposal, unveiled this morning during a special joint session of the General Assembly. Wolf’s budget seeks to restore cuts to basic education with a four-year commitment to increase funding by $2 billion, while cutting the average homeowner’s property taxes by 50 percent and reducing the total tax burden on middle-class families. “Governor Wolf’s plan is rooted in reality and acknowledges that Pennsylvania needs long-term, sustainable funding and job growth to get its affairs back on track,” said Kinsey, D-Phila, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee. “We need a fresh approach to the budget – not more cuts, which have only served to devalue our education system and place our future prosperity in jeopardy. “At the same time, the proposal seeks $3.8 billion in local tax relief for homeowners, renters, individuals and businesses through property tax relief, wage-tax relief and expanded rent rebates. To me, this shows that while the governor recognizes the need for new revenue, he is balancing it with targeted cuts that help families prosper. I can get behind that, and I look forward to working his priorities into meaningful legislation. “Additionally, the governor embraces education in his budget and provides $1 billion toward restoring cuts to Pre-K through 12 and higher education, Read more
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