HARRISBURG, March 11 – Trust and inclusive policies are key in getting COVID-19 vaccines distributed to communities of color and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from multiple researchers, doctors and advocates on how to execute those strategies. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 10 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today announced the awardees of the PLBC inaugural Crystal Bird Fauset Leadership Award during Women’s History Month. The award is named in honor of former state Rep. Crystal Bird Fauset, who was a Democrat elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1938 and represented Philadelphia’s 18th District. She was the first African American woman elected in any state legislature. The honorees will be presented at a virtual event at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 18. It can be viewed live here: www.facebook.com/PALegislativeBlackCaucus . “ I am honored to present each of these accomplished Black women with the inaugural PLBC Crystal Bird Fauset Leadership Award,” Bullock said. “From the Underground Railroad to the Black Lives Matter movement, Black women have led the way. Too often their contributions to society are minimized or ignored. That is why we named this award after the first Black woman elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and to any state legislature, Crystal Bird Fauset. The three women we are honoring embody the spirit of Fauset and have made a significant impact in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through their leadership in state government. ” The honorees are former state Sen. Leanna Washington, D-Phila./Montgomery; former state Rep. Rosita Youngblood, Read more
HARRISBURG, March 9 – State Reps. Donna Bullock and Stephen Kinsey will host a joint hearing of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and House Democratic Policy Committee this week to explore how communities of color have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. and PLBC Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila., this week announced that the newly renamed James R. Roebuck Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus scholarship application period is now open. The $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to Pennsylvania residents who meet the following criteria: Be a person of color. Be a graduating high school senior or current undergrad at a college or university. Plan to enroll/return in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year. Attend the scholarship awards presentation in Harrisburg. Complete the online application. Deadline to apply is April 30 and only the first 100 applicants will be processed. Go to https://www.pahouse.com/PLBC to apply online and for more information. “Students are selected based on their academic success, leadership, extracurricular activities, community participation and financial need,” Bullock said. “These students excel in the classroom and will be the future leaders we want in business, education, medicine and our communities. This is our opportunity to assist them in achieving their goals, in particular helping with the exorbitant costs associated with college.” This year’s scholarship was renamed the James R. Roebuck Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Scholarship after former state Rep. Jim Roebuck of Philadelphia. He is a former chairman of the Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 25 -- The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Esports Association this week announced the addition of members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly to the organization’s board of directors including state Reps. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., and Mike Puskaric, R-Allegheny/Washington, and state Sens. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, and Lisa Boscola, D-Lehigh. The legislators will join educational and community leaders on the board with the goal of providing regulatory oversight and competition guidelines for interscholastic esports in Pennsylvania. The PIEA was established in 2019 as one of the first governing bodies focused solely on esports in the country, and recently opened registration for their 2021 competitive season. “I have witnessed firsthand the variety of benefits that esports has to offer, which is why I am honored to be serving on the PIEA’s board of directors to help advance their mission,” said Bullock, who also serves as the chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “As a mother of young boys who are interested in STEM learning and playing video games, I want to ensure that every student from all communities in Pennsylvania has the same level of access to esports competitions. There is a connection between academic and social-emotional achievement for students engaged in esports and that opportunity needs to be available to all students.” Esports, or Read more
The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus recently commended the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on its first Equity Report, according to PLBC chairwoman, State Rep. Donna Bullock (D-195th Dist.). Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – A bill authored by state Reps. Dan Miller and Donna Bullock to improve access to jobs for former inmates and reduce recidivism will soon be introduced in the PA House. The bill would require every person to receive a reentry certificate after leaving incarceration. The certificate would serve as proof to employers of the person’s achievements in skill development, rehabilitation, education and their readiness for safe reentry. “When a person pays their debt to society and simultaneously acquires or hones a skill to help them when they re-enter that society, we should provide them with every opportunity to do so,” said Bullock, D-Phila. “This is a bill that not only helps a person put their life back in order, but also provides employers with a workforce that is ready to go. It is a plus for everyone.” The legislation would also provide protections for employers in relation to negligence actions based solely on the hiring of a person with a criminal record. Applicants would still have to pass required clearances for employment. “This certificate would provide employers with one less reason not to take a chance on someone committed to bettering their future,” said Miller, D-Allegheny. “It helps ease the often-difficult transition back into the workforce and the community, as well as reduces the chances for a person to reoffend or return to prison.” Miller and Bullock are seeking Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said she is optimistic about Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2021-22 budget address and looks forward to working with the administration and members of the General Assembly on an equitable and inclusive final budget plan for Pennsylvanians. “While we know that compromise will have to come from across the aisle,” Bullock said, “the governor shapes what our talks will look like and we are hopeful that the outline he gave us in the form of his budget address will be a guiding point for both sides as we navigate equal and meaningful help for all Pennsylvanians, especially in this time of COVID. “As we said in the letter we sent to him two weeks ago from the PLBC, the budget sometimes impacts Pennsylvania’s Black, indigenous and people of color communities adversely, albeit maybe unintentionally. That’s why it is so important to have serious dialogue about addressing those inequities with the governor’s office and our colleagues at the beginning of budget talks. I know I will be seeking answers while sitting in on budget hearings throughout the coming weeks.” Bullock is a member of the House Appropriations Committee as well as the committees on Consumer Affairs, Professional Licensure and Urban Affairs. Read more
The PA House Democratic whip, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., today announced that state Reps. Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny; Donna Bullock, D-Phila.; Danilo Burgos, D-Phila.; Morgan Cephas, D-Phila.; Patty Kim, D-Dauphin; Kyle Mullins, D-Lackawanna; Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh; Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery; Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington; and Jared Solomon, D-Phila., will serve as deputy whips for the 2021-22 legislative session. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 25 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus this week commended the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on its first Equity Report, according to PLBC chairwoman, state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “The report hits many points that we on the PLBC fight for every day,” Bullock said. “As Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller pointed out, this cannot be a momentary, singular conversation because we watched George Floyd be murdered before our eyes without cause. This needs to be addressed every day, for every person of color, in both the workplace and our living communities.” “Every year I ask questions about racial equity at our appropriations hearings,” Bullock said. “I want to know, encourage and even urge our departments to provide diversity training, include employees of color in all aspects of managerial levels and decision-making, and ensure a healthy work environment for all at the highest levels of government. Our government agencies should, at the very least, ensure that they are representative of the people of our commonwealth for whom they serve.” The report provides information on efforts that DHS is undertaking on diversity, equity and inclusion so they may be a partner in correcting systemic racism within their own offices. While the report covers many areas within the department and where it will provide this training, it is a starting point for efforts moving forward. Read more
Members of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus, including Chairwoman Rep. Donna Bullock and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Budget Equity Rep. Napoleon Nelson sent a letter to Governor Wolf outlining what they hope to see in his 2021-22 budget proposal for the Black and underprivileged communities in the commonwealth. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 22 –State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, state Rep. Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery, chairman of the caucus’ subcommittee on budget equity, and members of the PLBC sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf today to address budget inequities in Pennsylvania and urged him to take corrective measures in his upcoming budget address for the 2021-22 legislative session. “The Pennsylvania state budget is a valuable measure of our commonwealth’s priorities and can be our best tool for racial and structural equity. Unfortunately, the budget sometimes adversely, even if unintentionally,” impacts Pennsylvania’s Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities, according to the letter. “We want the governor to know we support initiatives he may take to address racial inequities in budget funding and priorities,” Bullock said. “But we also want him to understand that we expect a bold vision for the 2021-22 legislative session in order to correct those inequities and bring necessary changes to processes that continue to short-change our communities of color at a very disproportionate rate.” The letter goes on to say those inequities were even more evident during the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn that was a result of the pandemic. “If we’ve learned nothing in the last year of living in a global pandemic,” Bullock said, Read more
Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has closed the public comment period regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s move to link the commonwealth to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI is a bipartisan, multi-state, market-based cap and trade program that aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other air pollutants from power plants. Recently, I testified in support of RGGI during a series of virtual public hearings. More than 95% of those testifying supported Pennsylvania joining this program. It is clear that the people of the commonwealth are more than ready for action to reduce carbon emissions. By participating in RGGI, Pennsylvania can incentivize power companies to do better, to reduce their pollution, and to hopefully invest in cleaner and zero-carbon energy over time. RGGI has proven state after state to be successful in reducing power sector-driven air pollution and reducing asthma attacks and respiratory-related hospital visits. However, for generations, communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the siting of polluting sources like the now-shuttered oil refinery in southwest Philadelphia and the SEPTA natural gas power plant in Nicetown. Communities living near polluting industries - most often communities of color - endure more air pollution, higher asthma rates, and more environmental health harms than white communities. These communities are also often last to benefit from climate change efforts such as Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairwoman Donna Bullock, D-Phila., this week appointed state Reps. Malcom Kenyatta and Rick Krajewski, both D-Phila., as co-chairmen of the PLBC subcommittee on voting and democracy. The committee will focus on voting rights, gerrymandering, and judicial gerrymandering. “During this very turbulent time in our country and even in our own state,” Bullock said, “we need to focus on fair, free and transparent elections. We just finished what was called one of the fairest and most efficient elections in our history yet there is rhetoric floating around our state legislature to discredit that. Let’s be clear, these recent events are modern day voter suppression efforts, and a violent attack on the votes of Black and other people of color. The establishment of this subcommittee to focus on voting and democracy is an important one and I believe that Representatives Kenyatta and Krajewski have the fortitude to keep these issues at the forefront and lead this important discussion as we move into the new legislative session.” Kenyatta also serves on of the State Government Committee and introduced legislation that would modernize the voting process by allowing more time to vote in person and with mail ballots. He was also one of the 538 Pennsylvania electors and delivered the motion to declare President-elect Joe Biden’s Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., applauded the Pennsylvania State Police on its new wide-ranging data collection program designed to capture demographic and other information related to traffic stops, but would like to see this initiative expanded to municipal departments across the commonwealth. “Last year, state Representative Rosemary Brown and I raised this issue on the handheld cell phone legislation,” Bullock said. “I’m very pleased to see PSP working on something like this and I hope to see this kind of initiative going further and being applied to all police departments across the commonwealth.” Researchers at the University of Cincinnati will analyze the data to identify potential patterns of racial/ethnic disparities in policing. Based on findings, recommendations may be made to change PSP policy or training in certain areas. Troopers statewide began documenting additional information during traffic stops on Jan. 1. They are collecting data on more than 30 fields, including driver and passenger age, gender, race and ethnicity, while also recording the duration of the stop, whether a vehicle search was conducted, and the results of that search. “This is a very good first step to ultimately stopping the inequities in traffic stops and hopefully will deter aggressive or even deadly mishaps in the future once the data is analyzed,” Bullock said. “If the data shows bias, we will need Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., this week was officially assigned to the following standing House committees: Appropriations, Consumer Affairs, Professional Licensure and Urban Affairs. These committee assignments are for the 2021-22 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “Being appointed to committees is always a signal for me that things are really in motion and we’re ready to get back into our work in Harrisburg,” Bullock said. “The work we do in our committees is vital to the entire legislative process and it’s where we weigh all the information on bills. Appropriations is vital to the budget process, but all of the committees have their merit and their importance. I’m looking forward to working with all of my colleagues this session.” In addition to her committee assignments, Bullock was recently elected as chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. Founded in 1973, the caucus was formed to serve as an information and advocacy vehicle to advance the interests of African-American, Latino, and other people of color in the commonwealth. Bullock said her office can help with a variety of state-related services. It is located at 2835 W. Girard Ave. but is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Residents can contact her office by phone at 215-684-3738 . More information is available by visiting Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 7 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus this week installed officers to serve in the 2021-22 legislative session, announced Chairwoman Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “We came together to install our officers and acknowledge the importance of our voices in Harrisburg and across the commonwealth in what has turned into a very concerning time for Pennsylvania and this country,” Bullock said. “The events of Wednesday in Washington and Tuesday in our own Senate chamber in Pennsylvania further highlighted the need for our leadership at a time like this in our history.” The following members were installed as officers: Chairwoman Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. Vice Chairwoman Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny Secretary Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York Treasurer Rep. Manny Guzman, D-Berks Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Carolyn Nichols administered the oath to each officer. In addition to officers, the following members were appointed by Bullock to lead subcommittees: Subcommittee on Health Equity and Justice – Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila. Subcommittee on Education – Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila./Delaware Subcommittee on Budget Equity – Rep. Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery Subcommittee on Women and Girls of Color – Rep. Darisha Parker, D-Phila. Subcommittee on Gun Violence and Public Safety – Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila. Founded in 1973 by then-Majority Leader K. Leroy Irvis, Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., today was sworn in for her fourth term in office, representing the 195 th legislative district. The noon swearing-in ceremony marked the beginning of the 2021-22 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “As I begin my fourth term in office, I am reminded that while we have come a long way, there is much more work to do,” Bullock said. “I remain committed to the needs of the residents in the 195 th district but also to the greater concerns of Pennsylvanians as a whole, particularly those residents of color. I will continue to fight for what is right and fair for all of our neighborhoods and the good people who live there.” She was recently elected as chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. Founded in 1973 by then-Majority Leader K. Leroy Irvis, the caucus was formed to serve as an information and advocacy vehicle to advance the interests of African American, Latino, and other people of color in the commonwealth. Irvis, who eventually went on to be the first Black Speaker of the House, saw the need for the caucus because he felt that legislators representing minority districts needed to speak with a united voice regarding the issues and concerns of their constituents. Many of the original members of the first caucus were afraid to meet in an open forum. They met in secret for the first few meetings and Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 30 – State Rep. and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairwoman Donna Bullock, D-Phila., and members of the Black Caucus sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf praising him for reallocating funds in hopes of its use for small business pandemic relief grants but also asking for continued vigilance for a fair and equitable allocation. Last week Wolf initiated a transfer of $145 million in funds from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund to the General Fund so that they may be reallocated for pandemic-related small business grants. The General Assembly would have to vote on the reallocation when lawmakers return in January. “My colleagues and I applaud this move by the governor,” Bullock said. “As we head into the new year, this funding could provide small businesses across the commonwealth with funds they need to fight this virus and support their communities. Small businesses are the lifeblood of neighborhoods and nowhere is that more evident than in communities of color. Those businesses were behind the eight ball before the pandemic even occurred so this relief will be very needed for those business owners. We need to do everything we can to ensure their success as we all navigate COVID.” The letter states the PLBC believes state resources must be directed in an equitable, impactful, and accessible manner, especially targeting areas of significant need, and is creating the subcommittee on budget equity to Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 23 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., today announced that $6.6 million in state funding will go to organizations in the 195 th Legislative District to help with projects. “I was happy to help secure this funding for these organizations and their very worthwhile projects” Bullock said. “I want to thank the governor for recognizing how vital these projects are for these groups and how important the work these groups do is for the district and our residents.” The following projects received funding: $1.25 million for Brandywine, 3025 JFK Blvd. $350,000 for U.S. Racquets Association. $500,000 for Girard College. $1 million for Philadelphia Zoo. $1.75 million for Village Square on Haverford. $1.25 million for WURD Radio. $500,000 for Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. “I am also proud to have worked with our neighboring district to support two projects that also serve the residents in our district,” she added. “Those projects are the Philadelphia Housing Authority's Sharswood-Blumberg project and the Smith Memorial Playground. Two important projects that I am happy to see supported by the governor.” The grant money is part of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, a commonwealth grant program that is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, Read more
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