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Philadelphia House Delegation praises expanded state Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit

Pa. lawmakers launch Black Maternal Health Caucus to combat ‘alarming’ maternal mortality rates

(Oct 20, 2023)

Three state lawmakers announced this week the creation of the Black Maternal Health Caucus in an effort to find legislative solutions to Pennsylvania’s high rates of Black maternal mortality and morbidity. Read more

 

Cephas to Co-Chair Pa. Black Maternal Health Caucus

(Oct 17, 2023)

A long-time proponent of Black Maternal Health reform, Pa. state Rep. Morgan Cephas stands with her co-chairs Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes and Rep. Gina H. Curry to launch the new Pa. Black Maternal Health Caucus. Cephas and the caucus will work to advance legislation like the MOMNIBUS package of bills designed to address the prevalence of maternal mortality and morbidity affecting Black mothers and birthing people of color in our commonwealth. Read more

 

Cephas, Curry, Mayes launch Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus

(Oct 17, 2023)

The Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus seeks to address disturbing trends of Black maternal mortality and morbidity and pass the Pennsylvania MOMNIBUS, a legislative package modeled after the federal MOMNIBUS legislation to change the trajectory of maternal health outcomes in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation hails grants awarded to hydrogen hub to further advance Biden’s clean energy plan in PA

(Oct 13, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 13 – The Philadelphia House Delegation lauded today the announcement of federal grants awarded through the Department of Energy to a hydrogen hub located in Philadelphia and emphasized the importance of using renewable energy sources as a path to an environmentally friendly state and country. Two hydrogen projects, Philadelphia area Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub and Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub, based in West Virginia, will receive part of $7 billion in federal grants. It is anticipated that President Joe Biden would make the official announcement during a visit to the City of Philadelphia on Friday. Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas explained that these grants will play a crucial role in the production and processing of clean hydrogen which would accelerate President Biden’s target of a 100 percent clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “Our delegation applauds the selection of our city to generate and distribute hydrogen fuel. We fully support the President’s energy plan. By generating hydrogen energy not only will we access a more efficient fuel and eliminate unnecessary costs, but we would also improve air quality across our city, affect environmental justice, as well as several other benefits,” Cephas said. “These are significant investments that would help decarbonize the Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation advocates for increase in Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program in light of events in Israel

(Oct 10, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 10 – The Philadelphia House Delegation lauded today the deadline extension of the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program, operated by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and advocated for an increase in funds to address hate crimes in the state. The deadline for the program solicitation has been extended to Oct. 30 . Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas explained that it is critical to increase funds allocated for the program. “Current tragic events around the world have proven more than ever that we must fund security upgrades at our religious institutions. Our delegation’s top priority is public safety of our city and state, but we need the collaboration of all eligible organizations. We are determined to combat antisemitism and racism in Pennsylvania. “We urge nonprofits included in the categories of race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity, among others, to take advantage of the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program,” Cephas said. The grants are aimed to protect the safety and security of the users of facilities located in the commonwealth that are owned or operated by nonprofit organizations and primarily serve individuals, groups, or institutions that are included within a bias drive category for hate crime as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication . Qualified expenses Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation, PLBC respond to independent report on alleged racial bias in charter school authorization practices

(Oct 06, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 6 – Leaders of the Philadelphia House Delegation and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today received an independent report commissioned by the Philadelphia Board of Education nearly two years ago that examined alleged racial bias in the charter school application process. In late 2021, the Philadelphia Board of Education commissioned an independent investigation concerning allegations of racial bias in charter school authorizing practices as alleged by some Black charter leaders, and whether the charter renewal process caused discriminatory effects on Black-led and Black-founded charter schools. Philadelphia-based law firm Ballard Spahr LLP led the investigation, and the Ballard firm engaged the Center for Urban and Race Equity, or CURE, to assist in its analysis. The 190-page report was released at 5 p.m. today. Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas said that while the report does not appear to reveal evidence of intentional, overt racially discriminatory acts by the school district or its leaders or find racially discriminatory effects of the charter renewal process, the report does include a series of recommendations based on the work of the investigation and is encouraging the school district to engage quickly with state lawmakers, local officials and the public to ensure a better path forward. “The Philadelphia House Delegation is committed to Philadelphia Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praises tentative agreement between Unite Here Local 634 and the Philadelphia School District

(Sep 29, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29 – Following a tense conflict concerning the Philadelphia School District and city school workers, Unite Here Local 634 announced today that the union reached a preliminary contract agreement Thursday night that would benefit its nearly 2,000 members. The tentative four-year contract, that includes raises, a $500 signing bonus and basic equipment like walkie-talkies, was arranged two days before the current collective bargaining agreement expires Saturday. Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas, who participated in a rally held earlier this month by the school workers, said this is great news not only for the union but for the whole community as parents and students are also key in the conflict. “We are pleased to learn this tentative agreement would guarantee raises during the contract period. This is not just an exclusive victory of the union, or the school district, it is also a win for the entire community,” Cephas said. “The demands of the student climate staff and food service workers are elementary. They need livable wages to offset expenses. Our delegation will continue advancing legislation that would protect worker’s rights as well as promoting and supporting every single resource that would help us amplify the voices of all workers of the commonwealth.” Members of Unite Here Local 634 who earn about $15.50 Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation members seek justice for unfair Eddie Irizarry ruling and condemn looting in city

(Sep 27, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 27 – In the wake of a disruptive wave of looting that hit Philadelphia Tuesday night, Philadelphia House Delegation members condemned the episode and emphasized that seeking justice in the Irizarry case must be separate from the looting. The chaos unfolded shortly after the announcement that a judge had dropped all charges against former Philadelphia police Officer Mark Dial, who fatally shot Eddie Irizarry. The deadly incident involving Irizarry occurred after a traffic stop. “What we saw last night is a pure and simple act of vandalism. Under no circumstances can we correlate protesters and looters. There is no possible excuse for destroying public property,” said delegation chairwoman Morgan Cephas. “We express our solidarity to the victim’s family, and we will keep monitoring the Irizarry case. This needs to be resolved in court, not on the streets of Philadelphia. We would also like to extend our support to the business owners impacted by this unfortunate episode,” Cephas added. Rep. Jose Giral, who represents the180 th Legislative District where the deadly incident took place on Aug. 14, highlighted that he is deeply concerned about the way the Irizarry investigation was conducted. “It is absolutely outrageous that those charges were dismissed. We need accountability to right the wrongs that occurred today and provide Read more

 

Philadelphia House and Senate Delegations join Unite Here Local 634 in fight for a dignifying contract

(Sep 21, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Sep. 21 – In light of recent demands presented by city school workers to the Philadelphia School District, members of the Philadelphia House and Senate Delegations today expressed their steadfast support for members of Unite Here Local 634. The delegation members, who participated in a rally held earlier today by the school workers, stated that they are fighting along with the union for a dignifying contract that could guarantee livable wages for workers before their current collective bargaining agreement expires on Sept. 30. “Workers are clamoring for the elementary right to get a fair salary to pay for rent and buy food for their families,” said delegation chairwoman Morgan Cephas. “They are requesting respect. These are employees pleading for provisions that are plain-to-see needs and commonsense demands. Their voices can longer be ignored. The countdown starts for fair pay and transparent terms in a new bargaining agreement,” added Cephas. State Sen. Nikil Saval, chair of the PA Senate’s Philadelphia Delegation, explained that the food service and student climate staff throughout schools provide vital care for Philadelphia children from the moment they walk through the doors. “These workers are the lowest paid in the school district; they are paid so little that the district is currently in violation of the city wage ordinance,” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation Leadership expresses condolences after passing of JoAnne A. Epps, acting president of Temple University

(Sep 19, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 19 – The Philadelphia House Delegation Leadership today express their condolences following the passing of JoAnne A. Epps, acting president of Temple University. “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden death of JoAnne Epps. Epps was an incredible woman who had an immensurable impact in our city. Epps’ contributions and legacy in the field of education will be remembered and continue to influence many,” said the delegation’s chairwoman, Rep. Morgan Cephas. Rep. Danilo Burgos, vice chair of the delegation, said that Epps made a genuine difference and connection with young people through her kindness and mastery of teaching. “My most sincere condolences to the Epps family,” Burgos said. “We will always be in awe of her powerful legacy. Her dedication to propel excellence in education for our community was unparalleled.” Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, delegation treasurer, highlighted that he knew Epps since he was just a teenager, as a Temple student. He explained that his impression of Epps never changed. “I met JoAnne Epps when I was a 17-year-old freshman at Temple University. Though our titles have changed over the years one thing never did, and that was she was always a friend and a mentor. I am devastated for her husband and her family and the entire Temple community. The world is a missing one of its bright lights with Read more

 

Summer/ Fall 2023 Newsletter

(Sep 14, 2023)

Dear Neighbor,As we head into the final months ofthis year, I want to share with you somehighlights of my work over the past fewmonths. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation thanks Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw for her service and commitment to the residents of Philadelphia

(Sep 05, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 5 – Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed their appreciation of the efforts of Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw who stepped into the role of the police commissioner during a critical chapter in the City of Philadelphia. “We thank Outlaw for her nearly four years of service, and we honor her as the city’s first Black woman to lead the Philadelphia Police Department,” said Rep. Morgan Cephas, chair of the delegation. “Outlaw assumed the role while we were facing turbulent times that included the pandemic lockdowns and protests over the death of George Floyd, which sparked a national wave of civil unrest. We are talking about unprecedented times,” she said. Referring to the interim police commissioner, First Deputy Commissioner John M. Stanford Jr., Cephas pointed out that the delegation was looking forward to their collaboration during a time where reducing gun violence is a top priority as they head into the fall legislative session. Stanford has more than two decades of law enforcement experience and joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 2002. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with Stanford in this new terrain and value his expertise protecting public safety in our city. We are hopeful that we have found in Stanford another ally to combat the rising crime rates boosted by gun violence in Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation advancing eviction reform

(Aug 30, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 30 – In response to a series of violent incidents involving landlord-tenant officers taking place in the city, members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today said the organization has been working hand in hand with the House Housing and Community Development Committee to help end the practice of private contractors performing eviction services. As part of this collaboration, both organizations held a public hearing Tuesday in the Philadelphia City Council Chambers on proposed reforms regarding landlord and tenant officers and evictions. Rep. Morgan Cephas, chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation, explained that a vital concern is that the eviction services are executed by people without the proper training, and carrying guns. “Moving forward there needs to be accountability and transparency with an agency that is responsible to the citizens of Philadelphia,” Cephas said. “We are determined to take this task away from the unaccountable, private entities. “We respect the need for landlords to run their business and receive their payments in a timely manner. However, the need for compassionate, respectful interaction with tenants was made obvious in the hearing,” she added. Rep. Mike Sturla, chair of the PA House Housing and Community Development Committee, highlighted that when it comes to housing it is important to look at the Read more

 

Cephas laments 40 percent increase in severe maternal morbidity

(Aug 24, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 24 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas lamented that a report released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council shows an alarming 40% increase in severe maternal morbidity rates in the state. The PHC4 report indicates a rise in severe maternal morbidity among patients hospitalized in Pennsylvania for a delivery from 2016 through 2022. Severe maternal morbidity includes sudden outcomes of labor and delivery that result in significant consequences to a woman’s health. “I am overly concerned about this report because it clearly states that we have not done enough to protect women’s health in Pennsylvania,” Cephas said. “We have tirelessly worked to advance legislation aimed at preventing maternal morbidity, but we must do more,” said Cephas, former chair of the Women’s Health Caucus who has championed this issue for years. Cephas, chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation, said that in order to improve maternal and pregnancy results it is necessary to emphasize prevention, early diagnosis and treatment. “Maternal morbidity can affect any woman regardless their ZIP Code, but I want to point out that not all women in the commonwealth have the means to access good, unbiased, maternal health care. According to the report, women insured by Medicaid and who live in areas with poverty rates over 25% are impacted the most,” she said, adding that Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praises more than $1.5 million in grant funding for schools across Philadelphia

(Aug 15, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 15 – Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed their satisfaction after the Shapiro administration announced that $1.5 million in federal grant funding has been awarded to 57 school across Philadelphia. The funds, awarded under the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, will promote nutrition education and healthier school environments by helping schools to secure fresh produce for students. Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas explained that the group is satisfied to see these grants coming to schools because nutrition and education go hand in hand. “As we know, nutrition has a great impact on a child’s learning ability. We need further nutrition education in our schools because not all children get this guidance or necessary intake of healthy food at home”, Cephas explained. “This grant is a perfect complement to the Free School Breakfast Program victory championed by Governor Josh Shapiro in the 2023-2024 budget,” Cephas added. “The spending plan includes a $46.5 million increase in funding to provide universal free breakfast to every public-school student and free lunch to students who are eligible for reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program. “This puts our schools in a remarkable path,” she said. Read more

 

Cephas praises end of contract with Real Alternatives

(Aug 07, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 7 – Following the announcement that the Shapiro administration is terminating state funding for the organization Real Alternatives, state Rep. Morgan Cephas today expressed satisfaction for the decision and indicated that it signifies a step forward in the fight to protect freedom to choose for all Pennsylvanians. Cephas, Chair of the House Philadelphia Delegation and former co-chair of the Legislative Women’s Health Caucus, said that the decision to cut ties with the program that partners with crisis pregnancy centers was needed. The legislator explained that Real Alternatives was just a pricey obstacle for taxpayers that did not provide the impartial reproductive health services that she and her colleagues have been advocating for in Pennsylvania. “This is a long-awaited triumph; our efforts have paid off,” Cephas said. “It is no secret that these crisis pregnancy centers operating under the guidance of Real Alternatives were part of a radical agenda to strengthen restrictions on abortion access at the expense of taxpayers. “A person must be free to decide what they want to do with their own body, but as soon as you walk in to one of these centers you realize that your particular situation or need might not fit the core mission of this organization: ‘to provide life-affirming pregnancy.’ This means that they already decided for their patients in advance. No feedback Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praises more than $3.6 million in grant funding for education

(Aug 04, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 4 – Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed their satisfaction after the Shapiro administration announced that $13.5 million in federal grant funding has been awarded to 26 school entities to support expectant and parenting learners. Pennsylvania’s Education Leading to Employment and Career Training Program is a federally funded program that works with intermediate units, school districts and charter schools to coordinate the continuity of educational services for people under 22 who are expecting or parenting a child and provides community resources to allow them to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. The School District of Philadelphia was awarded more than $3.62 million. Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas explained that the group is pleased to see the inclusion of The Philadelphia School district in this program as it will help boost ongoing efforts to provide educational assistance to expectant and parenting youth. “ELECT is an outstanding program that helps schools keep this segment of the student population in school without disruptions. This is crucial in a student’s efforts to obtain a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate and secure post-graduation employment, education, or training. “If we want more financially independent adults, more empowered parents, we need to start by helping our young Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation calls out Sen. Devlin Robinson for disrespecting Pennsylvania firefighter

(Aug 04, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 4 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today said a recent incident where a firefighter was verbally disrespected is an outrageous act that demands more than a mere apology. State Sen. Devlin Robinson, R-Allegheny, referred to Ken Pagurek, a first responder from Pennsylvania Task Force 1, as a “dick,” using the slur during a committee meeting on Tuesday. A video shows Robinson, who serves as the chair of the Labor and Industry Committee, leaning towards Sen. Doug Mastriano, making the disgraceful comment, presumably and wrongfully assuming that the microphone was off. The delegation noted that Mastriano seemed amused by the observation. Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas explained that the group is outraged by the confrontation and the lack of empathy shown towards the hardworking men and women who risk their lives every single day protecting communities across our commonwealth. “We are not going to let these types of degrading remarks go unchecked because of your proximity and disregard for the City of Philadelphia,” said chairwoman Cephas. “This is not a joke; it just shows the type of leadership that we have in the Pennsylvania Senate. As senators they are supposed to represent all Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, neither Robinson nor Mastriano embody the moral values that their positions require. House Democrats support the Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation expresses support for Brewerytown community shattered by grief

(Jul 28, 2023)

Chairwoman of the delegation, Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila, voiced her support for the community, but called out the General Assembly for inaction on commonsense gun reform bills. “One more young life lost is one too many. Our city grieves for the community in Brewerytown over this needless loss of a baby girl,” Cephas said. “There are ways out of this darkness that has enveloped our city, but it takes leadership by my colleagues to make the decisions that should not be so difficult.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation hails unprecedented Teamsters win

(Jul 25, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, July 25 – Following the announcement of a tentative, historic five-year contract involving United Parcel Service and the Teamsters union, members of the Philadelphia House Delegation praised the triumph and reaffirmed their commitment to keep fighting for fair pay and safe workplaces for every worker in Pennsylvania. The UPS and Teamsters covenant comes after a series of local and national rallies to support UPS workers as they fought for better wages and working conditions. Workers also warned of a possible massive strike. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas explained that the agreement is a colossal win for the more than 340,000 UPS Teamsters members nationwide. “Our delegation applauds these tentative agreements that include wage increases as well as safety and health protections, equal pay part-time rewards, and new trucks with air conditioning, among other provisions. This would certainly change the game for many other unions. The bar has been raised,” Cephas added. “Our group has been proudly walking and fighting along with the UPS workers for better pay and tangible benefits, but this is also a fight for fairness and respect. We are pleased to see that their struggles have been finally acknowledged,” she said. “We are celebrating this victory, but we also ratify our firm commitment to keep championing for all workers in the Read more

 

Pa. lawmakers launch Black Maternal Health Caucus to combat ‘alarming’ maternal mortality rates
Oct 20, 2023

Cephas to Co-Chair Pa. Black Maternal Health Caucus
Oct 17, 2023

Cephas, Curry, Mayes launch Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus
Oct 17, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation hails grants awarded to hydrogen hub to further advance Biden’s clean energy plan in PA
Oct 13, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation advocates for increase in Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program in light of events in Israel
Oct 10, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation, PLBC respond to independent report on alleged racial bias in charter school authorization practices
Oct 06, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation praises tentative agreement between Unite Here Local 634 and the Philadelphia School District
Sep 29, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation members seek justice for unfair Eddie Irizarry ruling and condemn looting in city
Sep 27, 2023

Philadelphia House and Senate Delegations join Unite Here Local 634 in fight for a dignifying contract
Sep 21, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation Leadership expresses condolences after passing of JoAnne A. Epps, acting president of Temple University
Sep 19, 2023

Summer/ Fall 2023 Newsletter
Sep 14, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation thanks Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw for her service and commitment to the residents of Philadelphia
Sep 05, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation advancing eviction reform
Aug 30, 2023

Cephas laments 40 percent increase in severe maternal morbidity
Aug 24, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation praises more than $1.5 million in grant funding for schools across Philadelphia
Aug 15, 2023

Cephas praises end of contract with Real Alternatives
Aug 07, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation praises more than $3.6 million in grant funding for education
Aug 04, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation calls out Sen. Devlin Robinson for disrespecting Pennsylvania firefighter
Aug 04, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation expresses support for Brewerytown community shattered by grief
Jul 28, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation hails unprecedented Teamsters win
Jul 25, 2023