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Fighting for public safety, working across the aisle

(Jun 22, 2021)

When introducing my recent legislation that involved instituting mandatory minimums for repeat offenders of violent crimes, I knew that it might raise some eyebrows. But I made a commitment to those who elected me to represent them – a commitment to be an advocate and make sure the needs and concerns of my constituents were strongly represented. Communities in my district and others across the state are being ravaged by gun violence. Families are experiencing the loss of loved ones to senseless acts, our seniors in the community are afraid to leave their homes, and children are being robbed of their futures by being murdered. Simply put, this is not okay. My action was aimed at offering a way to help combat the epidemic of gun violence. I know that this epidemic is not a one-solution-fits-all issue, and it will take a multifaceted approach to remedy it. That is why I have been working to get funds allocated to programs that address the systemic issues that plague so many communities. My question is: what about the right now? What are we doing to instill accountability and change the trajectory of the deadly violence? It is clear many feel that my proposal is not the preferred policy solution, and that is okay. There are many other proposals to consider, but we will not be able to address the issue at hand, though, unless we come together across the aisle. Communities in our state are getting decimated, and gun violence is a leading cause of this decimation. We Read more


190th News from Rep. Amen's Desk

(Jun 21, 2021)

Property tax / rent rebate deadline extended, $3M in grant funding for the 190th, state & federal resources, and the community bulletin. Read more


Brown: Legislature must act now to guarantee housing access for all Pennsylvanians

(Jun 09, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila., has announced the introduction of new legislation in the state House to help ensure fairness in housing, remove unnecessary barriers, and allow for more Pennsylvanians to have a chance at secure and stable housing. “The ability to obtain housing should be accessible by everyone, regardless of their background,” Brown said. “We must do our part to end discriminatory housing practices in our state.” When applying for a rental home, some Pennsylvanians are experiencing housing discrimination due to past criminal history. One component to reducing recidivism is ensuring housing security. By simply checking a box saying that one has a criminal history, individuals are often immediately denied that opportunity to secure housing. Brown plans to introduce legislation to impact where criminal justice and housing rights intersect. The legislation would put an end to such discriminatory practice and “ban the box” that asks whether a person has been convicted of a crime on rental applications, acknowledging that the people being impacted the most are Black and brown people. This approach would provide individuals and their families a fair chance at putting a roof over their heads. “We must ensure a more equitable housing market for all Pennsylvanians,” Brown said. For more questions about this legislation, residents may contact Brown’s office at Read more


Brown: It’s time to end medical copays for incarcerated Pennsylvanians

(Jun 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila., has announced the introduction of legislation to permanently end medical copays for incarcerated Pennsylvanians. Paid an average hourly rate of 42 cents per hour, incarcerated Pennsylvanians regularly face difficult financial decisions during incarceration. The choice they are often forced to face is whether they should spend $5 on a copay to receive basic health care services or on other necessities, such as food, phone/email costs or undergarments. “If we do the math, an incarcerated individual will have to work about 12 hours to earn enough to pay just one medical copay,” Brown said. “Having to make such a decision places an unfair financial burden on those incarcerated.” Not only does the $5 copay pose a financial burden to those incarcerated, but it also presents a public health dilemma by discouraging sick individuals from getting needed care. While inmates still receive medical care if they cannot pay the copay, their account balance goes into the negative, often requiring additional payments from family members to pay off the balance. “This is not how health equity is achieved,” Brown noted. “We can and must do better.” To alleviate the pressure put on our incarcerated individuals to pay copays, Brown will be introducing legislation to permanently end the $5 copay requirement for medical services. Brown’s legislation follows his successful Read more


190th News from Rep. Amen's Desk

(Jun 04, 2021)

Unclaimed property search, streamlining state government, gun violence awareness month, youth summer career fest, funding opportunities for the 190th, and community resource bulletin. Read more


Brown commends DOC and Secretary Wetzel for action to ensure wider access to medical care for incarcerated individuals

(May 28, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 28 – State Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila., today issued the following statement on the Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel’s action to waive all medical co-pays for inmates due to public health concerns and to ensure wider access to care. “I applaud the most recent action to suspend medical co-pays for inmates. I want to thank Secretary Wetzel and the Department of Corrections staff on their willingness to work on common-sense solutions for those incarcerated and their families,” Brown said. During budget hearings, Brown posed his concern regarding the department’s required $5 co-pay for incarcerated individuals receiving medical care. The exchange led to a series of meetings between Brown and Wetzel, including a tour of SCI Chester and a focus group with those incarcerated. As a result of this collaboration, Brown formally requested that DOC and Wetzel consider waiving co-pays. Upon consultations with his team, Wetzel decided to waive all co-pays during the COVID-19 pandemic, citing public health concerns and access issues. “These co-pays can often be a barrier to accessing healthcare,” Brown noted. “Even without the severe effects of the pandemic, this issue demands action. And the suspension of co-pays demonstrates action in practice, moving us in a better direction. I call on my colleagues in the General Assembly to support my upcoming legislative effort to permanently eliminate all co-pays Read more


$15K in Farm to School funding announced for the 190th District

(May 13, 2021)

State Rep. Amen Brown announced new funding awarded through the Farm to School Program to Methodist Services in the 190 th Legislative District. Methodist Services was awarded grant funding in the amount of $15,000 for their School Gardens project. “Congratulations to Methodist Services and other recipients across the Commonwealth on receiving this funding,” Brown said. “We must continue to invest in sustainable food systems, focusing on local food and accessible training.” The Pennsylvania Farm to School Grant Program provides schools with funding to improve access to healthy, local foods and increase agriculture education opportunities. The program aims to bridge the gap between children and the food system by connecting them to the fresh, healthy food available from Pennsylvania agricultural producers in their community and the surrounding areas. Through changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early childhood education sites, children will become more aware and engaged with their local food system as well as empowered to leverage their own consumer influence to support Pennsylvania agriculture. More information on the program can be found at agriculture.pa.gov . Read more


$40K in Urban Agriculture funding announced for the 190th District

(May 13, 2021)

State Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila., has announced new funding for the 190 th Legislative District which has been awarded through the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program. Local Grown Salads North Philadelphia Opportunity Zone Fund LLC has been awarded grant funding for grow lights, grow units, software and lab equipment in the amount of $40,000. “We are looking for urban agricultural solutions to ensure our ecosystems transition to sustainable methods,” Brown said. “To accomplish this, we must prioritize innovative approaches and maximize opportunities for collaboration, and this funding will help do both.” The Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program (UAI) provides funding in the form of reimbursement grants to eligible applicants seeking to improve urban agriculture infrastructure in Pennsylvania. The grants awarded aim to build out the infrastructure of urban agriculture by investing in the system, filling gaps, encouraging entities to work together, finding ways to bring operations to a greater scale, overcoming food deserts, and opening opportunities for people to become social entrepreneurs. More information on the program can be found at agriculture.pa.gov . Read more


Brown: #PARescuePlan Helps Local Businesses Recover from Pandemic

(Apr 28, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Amen Brown wants you to know about the plan that he and his colleagues in the House have to help communities across the Commonwealth #RecoverRestoreReimagine in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says businesses along corridors like Lancaster Ave, 60th St, Girard Ave, and 52nd St, had it tough before the pandemic hit and the investments available through the #PARescuePlan are just what’s needed to revive those local economies. Read more


190th News from Rep. Amen's Desk

(Mar 23, 2021)

Gun safety action, COVID vaccine information, and community survey. Read more


Brown outlines action for safer communities, emphasizes community impact

(Mar 18, 2021)

This week I announced a historic agreement between Pennsylvania’s largest gun show promoter Eagle Arms Productions, the Attorney General’s office, and other community partners to take concrete steps to make Pennsylvania, and our communities in Philadelphia, safer. This voluntary agreement was a moral decision made by the gun show promoter and not a legislative action. While it respects the legal and guaranteed right to bear arms and purchase a 80% frame kit – or “ghost gun” – the agreement to ban them at Eagle Arms gun shows will make it harder for criminals to do so. Some people are taking advantage of a loophole in the law that does not require background checks when purchasing frame kits at gun shows, completing the gun to make it functional and then selling it (for double the price of purchase) to people who are not able to legally obtain a firearm for various reasons. The 18th District Philadelphia Police Captain shared with our office that there have been 35 Violation of Uniform Firearms Act (VUFA) arrests made in 2021 so far, with 20% of those arrests involving “ghost guns,” or completed 80% frame kits. This is a 51% increase from the previous year to date numbers. Please note, this is just one of the 21 Police Districts in Philadelphia. Especially in Philadelphia and larger cities around PA, a criminal’s open access to illegal guns is a real issue. My neighbors, friends, family, Read more


Fireside Chat Event & Constituent Survey

(Feb 18, 2021)

Join the event live on Facebook, YouTube, and my website RepAmen.com and take our constituent survey online. Read more


Brown announces Community Spotlight, invites nominations from 190th legislative district residents

(Feb 12, 2021)

Philadelphia, February 12 – State Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila., has announced the establishment by his office of Community Spotlight, an award that would recognize outstanding community members by featuring their profiles in Brown’s seasonal districtwide legislative newsletter. “I love our district – it’s where I grew up and was made, and throughout my life I’ve known so many everyday heroes that deserve recognition for their selfless service, profound kindness, great generosity, community work, and the list goes on,” Brown said. “We are so proud and excited to invite nomination for my office’s Community Spotlight award.” Anyone can nominate a person for the award, but only residents of the 190 th legislative districts may receive the award. To nominate friends, family, and members of the community, use the Community Spotlight online nomination form . Read more


190th News from Rep. Amen's Desk

(Feb 06, 2021)

Hello, I’m Rep. Amen – your champion at the State Capitol in Harrisburg and community advocate for our 190th legislative district. Beyond words, I am honored to have been offered the opportunity to serve. Read more


Reps. Pisciottano and Brown introduce effort to increase stipend for veterans

(Jan 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 25 – State Reps. Nick Pisciottano and Amen Brown are leading an effort to boost the state stipend for veterans who are blind, paralyzed or amputees due to their military service. The $150 monthly stipend has not seen an increase for more than two decades. Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, and Brown, D-Philadelphia, said they plan on introducing legislation that would increase the monthly stipend disabled veterans receive to $200 per month. Based on rising costs and inflation, the current $150 a month these veterans receive is worth about $98 a month, reflecting a 34% decrease in value. “These men and women gave so much in service to our country and to keep each one of us safe, including the loss of their sight and their mobility,” said Pisciottano. “Each one of them who suffered life-altering, debilitating injuries is truly deserving of a long-overdue increase to this benefit, a benefit that is well within our state’s budgetary means. I’m proud to partner with Representative Brown to make this happen and I anticipate more of our colleagues will sign on to support this worthwhile effort to provide this assistance to our disabled veterans.” “Our veterans deserve our deep gratitude and a salute for their service and for keeping our imperfect democratic republic safe.” Brown said. “However, what veterans deserve – and need more – is real, tangible assistance from our state and federal Read more


Brown receives committee assignments for 2021-22 session

(Jan 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila., this week was appointed to three standing Pennsylvania House committees, including Aging & Older Adult Services, Appropriations, and Urban Affairs. The committee appointments, made by House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, are for the 2021-22 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “I am privileged and honored to have been appointed to these important committees, including especially to the Appropriations Committee as a freshman member of the House and the Aging & Older Adult Services Committee as our great seniors have always been a strong motivating force for me personally,” Brown said. “My district has lacked in strong representation for some time now, and our constituents deserve better. They deserve a bold advocate and an impactful voice in the state Capitol, and I am committed to ensuring both.” Brown is also a member of the Philadelphia Delegation and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, serving as chair of the subcommittee on gun violence and public safety. “In addition to my committee assignments, I am honored to chair an important subcommittee of the PLBC. I have seen and felt the impact of gun violence on our community, our state, and our nation. Leading the effort to find, develop, and enact measures to prioritize commonsense gun safety, community de-escalation, and treat this crisis as what it is: a public Read more


Brown takes oath for first term as state representative

(Jan 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – State Rep. Amen Brown took the oath of office at the state Capitol today to begin his first term representing the 190 th Legislative District in Philadelphia. The noon swearing-in ceremony marked the beginning of the 2021-22 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Brown said in the new term, he will focus on quality, affordable housing; reducing food insecurity; and expanding access to resources for seniors and the aging population. He will receive committee assignments later in the month. “I am thrilled today to formally assume the elected office of state representative for our wonderful 190 th District. I was born, raised, and built in the district, and I am excited to ensure strong and bold representation and advocacy on behalf of our constituents,” Brown emphasized. “We have lacked in terms of active and accountable leadership for our district, but I know that together we can and will build a robust, responsive office and team. We are here for you.” Brown said his office can help with a variety of state-related services, including home heating, children’s health insurance, prescription drug and property tax/rent rebate assistance. His office phone number is 215-879-6615 and the email is RepAmen@pahouse.net . Residents also can learn more about Brown’s legislative priorities and the services his office provides by visiting his website at RepAmen.com or Read more


Brown Sworn In to Begin 1st Term, Lays Out Priorities

(Jan 05, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Amen Brown was officially sworn in to begin his first term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He explains his priorities and how he'll fight to put his neighbors first. Read more


190th District Newsletter & Community Bulletin

(Dec 31, 2020)

$1.5M in RACP project grants for the 190th, COVID-19 federal relief package, and holiday season greetings. Read more


$1.5M in RACP project grants for the 190th

(Dec 31, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 30 – State Rep.-elect Amen Brown, D-Phila., today announced $1.5 million in RACP state grants from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to support the Mann Center for the Performing Arts ($500,000) and the Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse ($1 million). “I am excited and honored to announce the RACP grants to the Mann Center and the Smith Playhouse. The work that was done in such a short time to secure funding to help revitalize and renovate these two historical organizations right in our community was incredible,” Brown said. “I look forward to continuing to work alongside our community partners. And, I am eager to see a successful execution of these projects.” The first grant will enable the Mann Center for Performing Arts to continue upgrades to the pavilion, the first time it has undergone such a renovation since its opening in 1976. Upgrades include an extension of the overcrowded entry plaza, renovation of the existing hilltop pavilion and plaza restrooms, an expansion of the Donor Area and Education Center and an upgrade of the current rainwater management system. The second grant will support major infrastructure upgrades to the 121-year-old Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, adding 4,000 square feet of space by transforming areas of the building that are not currently usable. “In addition to restoring the infrastructure for our historic playhouse, this grant also Read more