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Cruz calls on Berks County officials, Department of State to correct mail-in ballot instruction error affecting 17,000 Latino voters

Cruz seeks volunteers for districtwide tire cleanup

(Jul 30, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, July 30 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., is seeking volunteers to join him and the Philadelphia Streets Department to collect improperly disposed tires throughout the 180th Legislative District. The Tire Roundup will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 25. People who are interested will meet at Cruz’s district office at 3503 North B St., Unit 7, 19134. For more information, call Cruz’s office at (215) 291-5643. “Tires that are lying around our neighborhoods are not only an eyesore, but they are a potential health hazard. They collect water and become breeding grounds for insects that can cause West Nile virus and other illnesses,” Cruz said. “I urge everyone to join me in making our community look better and healthier by collecting tires so they can be disposed of properly.” Cruz added they are looking for residents who have a truck to help canvass neighborhoods to remove these illegally dumped tires. The Philadelphia Streets Department’s Sanitation Division developed the tire roundup program in 1995 to address the serious problem of illegally discarded tires throughout the city. Read more


Cruz: 2018-19 budget boosts education, human services without tax increase

(Jul 03, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, July 3 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said he voted in favor of the $32.7 billion state spending plan for 2018-19, citing emphasis on education, career training, school safety and human services. “I’m very pleased with this year’s budget process. The bill passed includes significant increases in funding for our schools and major investments to enhance job growth and workforce development. It protects essential services for our most vulnerable citizens and maintains funds for public safety, transportation, and other essential services families depend upon –without increasing the tax burden for Pennsylvanians. “I’m thrilled to see $140 million more allocated for basic, special and early education; and $40 million for career and technical education – to create new apprenticeship programs and develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. “In a separate bill we committed $60 million to school and community safety. A long overdue investment for schools to fund violence-prevention programs, police officers and other initiatives. Unfortunately, gun violence in schools is a reality and we must work proactively to keep our kids safe. “We were able to maintain long-term care programs to provide both physical health and support to seniors and citizens with physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as access to quality child care. Read more


Cruz’s mental health legislation to combat gun violence moves forward

(Jun 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 20 – State Rep. Angel Cruz’s latest effort to curb gun violence is moving forward, after his mental health legislation was voted out of committee today and now heads to the full House for consideration. “Senseless killings are constantly happening in our streets and taking the lives of those we love most,” said Cruz, D-Phila. “Closing mental health loopholes is one tool, among many others I’m proposing, to help us ensure that guns do not get into the wrong hands.” Cruz, Democratic chairman of the House Human Services Committee, said his bills (H.B. 2266 & 2267) would update procedures to require officers and judges to report mental health notifications to the Pennsylvania State Police within 72 hours instead of the current seven days of adjudication, treatment or involuntary commitment. Once the information is received, PSP would be required to submit it to the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS). “Cutting this timetable is critical in making sure that our background checks systems for gun purchases have the most up to date information,” Cruz explained. “Lives are at stake and my legislation would strengthen our laws to better protect our communities.” These bills join a number of others he’s authored to prevent senseless gun violence across the commonwealth, including: H.B. 1771 – would establish a statewide gun buyback program; H.B. 657 Read more


Cruz Celebrates Juneteenth

(Jun 19, 2018)

As he celebrates Juneteenth Day, Pa. state Rep. Angel Cruz is calling on the President to extend these freedoms to families who are fleeing to the United States in hopes of leading a promising life, but are instead ripped apart and thrown in cages like animals at the border. Read more


Cruz raises awareness about little-known virus that can be deadly for Pennsylvania’s children

(Jun 05, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., is commending colleagues for supporting his efforts to raise awareness about a little-known but common virus that can be deadly for Pennsylvania’s children. “Cytomegalovirus causes a higher number of long-term health problems and childhood deaths compared to more well-known conditions, such as Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome and spina bifida,” Cruz said. “Hundreds of babies born with the illness end up losing their battle, while thousands of others develop permanent problems, such as vision or hearing loss and developmental disabilities.” Because it can be passed down from a mother to her unborn child, the virus is considered the most common congenital infection in the United States. “By adopting my House resolution to make June 2018 CMV Awareness Month (H.R. 898) , we are sounding the alarm about the warning signs while raising red flags that it can be caught with early testing, which is exactly what I’m fighting for through separate legislation,” Cruz explained. His bill (H.B. 746) would require infants who fail their newborn hearing screening or by request of their parent or guardian to be tested for CMV. While children are at risk, the virus also infects people of all ages, with most adults showing moderate to no symptoms, but who are still forced to deal with the illness for the rest of their lives. ### Read more


Cruz: $1M grant awarded to Esperanza Health Center

(Jun 05, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, June 5 – Following approval by the state Office of the Budget, state Rep. Angel Cruz announced a $1 million grant has been awarded to Esperanza Health Center to help fund construction for the new Kensington Health Center. The new facility will be built in the former bank building at 861 E. Allegheny Ave. and will be a state-of-the-art center providing primary medical and dental care as well as mental health and enabling services. “Anytime there is an opportunity to transform blight into some resourceful and sustainable in our community is a welcomed addition,” Cruz said. “I applaud Esperanza Health Center for making investments in our neighborhood that will not only improve the quality of life but also create jobs and help the economy.” "Esperanza Health Center is thrilled to receive this RACP award to help us build our comprehensive primary health care center. We are excited to invest in the health of this community and hope to be an anchor organization in the rebuilding of Kensington,” said Susan M. Post, executive director of Esperanza Health Center. “This project will allow us to provide high quality, faith-based primary health care and dental care to thousands of additional. We are thankful for this support to Esperanza Health Center and the people of Kensington." Construction is slated to begin this summer with the new health center expected to open in early 2019. RACP is administered by Read more


Cruz to team up with the Philadelphia Police Department to help recruit officers

(May 31, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, May 31 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., is again teaming up with the Philadelphia Police Department to host two officer recruitment drives from 9 a.m. to noon June 15 and June 28 at his district office, 3503 North B St., Unit 7. “Our men and women in blue put their lives on the line to protect our neighborhoods from the senseless violence we see play out on our streets far too often,” Cruz said. “This is my way of helping them best protect our neighborhoods, while providing great job opportunities for those interested in serving the community and being a role model for the younger generation.” Those with questions about either event should contact Cruz’s office at (215) 291-5643. Read more


Cruz resolution honors Puerto Rican service members killed in plane crash

(May 23, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 23 – The House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution (H.R. 938) sponsored by state Rep. Angel Cruz which pays tribute to nine Puerto Rican service members who were killed in a noncombat-related military plane crash in Georgia on May 2. The service members were flying to Arizona to decommission the plane, a WC-130 attached to the Puerto Rico Air National Guard 156th Airlift Wing, when it crashed shortly after takeoff. The plane was used in relief efforts for several hurricanes in the Caribbean, including both Irma and Maria during the 2017 hurricane season. “These nine service members truly represent the commitment that Puerto Ricans living on the island and also here on the mainland have with our nation,” Cruz said. “We honor them for their service and dedication and hope not to repeat this tragedy ever again.” Cruz added the incident involving these service members brings the total number of noncombat-related crashes of military aircraft to seven, resulting in the deaths of 27 United States service members this year. Read more


Cruz partnering with Sheriff's Office for prescription drug take-back day

(Apr 24, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, April 24 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., and the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office are partnering to help people dispose safely of unneeded prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at Cruz's district office, 3503 N. B St., Unit 7 (corner of B and Tioga streets). "You can turn in your unused or expired medications -- no questions asked – for safe disposal," Cruz said. For more information, please call Cruz’s office at (215) 291-5643. ### Read more


Cruz reminds constituents about Parking Amnesty Program

(Mar 05, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, March 5 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., reminds people that the City of Philadelphia now is offering a program to forgive older unpaid parking tickets and that his district office staff can help them navigate the process. The Parking Amnesty Program runs now through April 30 and will forgive any unpaid parking tickets issued before 2013 as long as a person does not have unpaid parking tickets between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2017. If someone has parking tickets from between those dates, they must pay them either in full or under a payment plan before the tickets issued prior to 2013 are forgiven. Cruz said the program does not cover any traffic or moving violation tickets. “Whether it’s a matter of forgetting to pay them or having financial difficulty, dealing with unpaid parking tickets can be a burden but should be addressed,” Cruz said. “My staff and I are available to help people with the process and come up with a plan to resolve these unpaid tickets.” Constituents who would like assistance with their unpaid parking tickets can call Cruz’s district office at (215) 291-5643 or stop by at 3503 North B St., Unit 7, 19134. Read more


Cruz hosts Philadelphia police officer recruitment event

(Feb 28, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said more than a dozen people attended his event designed to provide information for people interested in becoming a Philadelphia police officer. Cruz hosted representatives from the police department in his district office for the recruitment drive. Those in attendance had the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the process of becoming a Philadelphia police officer. Cruz said he is seeing positive results from hosting this event. “A constituent who attended my last recruitment drive informed me that he was hired and is starting the police academy next month. He came to this event to personally thank me,” Cruz said. “It makes me proud to see this outcome and I hope the opportunity opens for more people.” Cruz added he plans to partner with the Philadelphia Police Department to host more recruitment events in the future. Read more


Cruz to host Philadelphia police officer recruitment event

(Feb 21, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 21 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced that he is hosting a Philadelphia police officer recruitment event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 3503 North B St., Unit 7, Philadelphia. At this informal event, representatives from the Philadelphia Police Department will be available to provide residents with information on the process of becoming a Philadelphia police officer. This event is free and open to the public. ### Read more


Human Services Committee Newsletter | Winter 2018

(Feb 13, 2018)

Read on and get the latest news from the Human Services Committee. Read more


Cruz announces $1 million grant for ASPIRA and Pantoja Charter School

(Jan 02, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 2 – Following approval by the Office of the Budget, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced a $1 million grant has been awarded to ASPIRA Community Enterprises to build new facilities at Pantoja Charter School. The funding will go toward the construction of a gymnasium, an auditorium, additional classroom, office, and parking at the school. “I have no doubt that these new facilities will help our community grow healthier and stronger, and will reaffirm the connection between the school and the neighborhood,” Cruz said. “I’m glad that we were able to secure this funding that will enable ASPIRA to continue to do amazing work for our children and youth.” RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs. Read more


Regulations for recovery houses in Pa. become law

(Dec 19, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 19 – During a news conference today, state Reps. Jason Dawkins and Angel Cruz, D-Phila., celebrated the passage of Senate Bill 446 , legislation that provides for regulation and certification of recovery houses. The bill was signed into law by the governor earlier today. “Many recovery houses do an exceptional job through providing various services for their residents, but others are owned and operated by landlords whose facilities are basically 'warehouses' with little to no oversight or programs,” Dawkins said. “This new law will hold those owners accountable because they have to meet the same standards as other medical facilities throughout the Commonwealth.” Dawkins’ language in the bill will prohibit drug and alcohol recovery houses throughout Pennsylvania from discriminating against people with a physical or mental disability, including substance abuse disorders. It will also ensure that all facilities in Pennsylvania comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Cruz said, “If we really want to help those who are struggling to maintain their sobriety, they must have access to facilities that will maximize their chances for success – not set them up to fail.” Cruz’s proposal in the bill specifically addresses the Air Bridge, a network that promised Puerto Rican drug users treatment in lavish recovery houses in cities like Philadelphia. However, once people arrive Read more


Bill to address 'Air Bridge' issue heading to the governor’s desk

(Dec 13, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 13 – The state Senate today passed a bill (S.B. 446) that includes state Rep. Angel Cruz’s language to address the "Air Bridge" issue. “This legislation is needed now more than ever as we face one of the greatest public health epidemics of our time. Addiction is a terrible disease and, without standards for recovery houses, unofficial programs such as ‘Air Bridge’ will continue to take advantage of people,” Cruz said. Cruz’s proposal would ban the owners, administrators and employees of recovery houses from requiring residents to sign over their public assistance benefits. It also would ensure that all drug and alcohol recovery houses throughout Pennsylvania not in compliance with federal, state or local law be referred to the appropriate agency for further investigation. “I’d like to acknowledge the prime sponsor of the bill for his commitment and support to resolve this issue. I am confident the governor will sign the legislation into law,” Cruz said. Air Bridge is a network that promised Puerto Rican drug addicts treatment in lavish recovery houses in cities like Philadelphia. However, once people arrive to receive treatment, they are taken to live in rundown homes, share beds with several other people and are forced to relinquish their food stamps and other public assistance benefits. In April, Cruz led a public hearing in Philadelphia to discuss and find a solution to the Read more


Cruz urges vote on resolution to address committee chairman’s conduct

(Dec 08, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 8 – Following an outburst during a House committee meeting that was captured on video and has garnered nationwide media attention, state Rep. Angel Cruz is seeking to bring his resolution up for a vote to address the conduct of committee chairmen. In a letter written to House Speaker Mike Turzai, Majority Leader Dave Reed and Minority Leader Frank Dermody, Cruz expressed outrage over the behavior of state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, Republican chairman of the State Government Committee, and urged that his resolution ( H.R. 128 ) be moved out of the Rules Committee and brought to the full House for a vote. “Chairman Metcalfe is making a mockery of this great body and further demonstrating that he is unfit to serve as chairman of a committee which has oversight on very important civil rights issues,” said Cruz, D-Phila. During the State Government Committee meeting on Tuesday, Democratic Chairman Matt Bradford touched Metcalfe’s arm while trying to make a point about a bill being discussed. Metcalfe interrupted Bradford by saying, “Representative Bradford, look, I’m a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife. I don’t like men, as you might. But stop touching me all the time.” Bradford is married to a woman and has four children. Cruz said he is calling for movement on his resolution because of this outburst and an instance last session in which Metcalfe prevented a member of his committee from speaking during Read more


Cruz to host free gun safety event Dec. 16

(Dec 08, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 8 – State Rep. Angel Cruz will host a free gun safety event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 in his district office at 3503 N. B St., Unit 7, 19134. “We will have information about firearms safety, safe firearm storage, and laws pertaining to personal ownership, concealed carry and self-defense, plus more,” said Cruz, D-Phila. “Attendees 18 years of age or older will receive free gunlocks at the event.” Cruz is co-hosting the event with the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Department. For more information, call Cruz’ office at (215) 291-5643. Read more


Cruz to host two senior luncheons in December

(Dec 01, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 1 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., will host two senior luncheons to help older Pennsylvanians access local and state resources to improve their quality of life. The free events will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on the following dates and locations: Thursday, Dec. 14 - Casa Caribe,173 W. Allegheny Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19133 Friday, Dec. 15 - Somerset Villas, 200 E. Somerset St., Philadelphia, PA 19134 “Seniors are invaluable members of our community, and with these events my aim is to see that they are connected to all the programs, resources and initiatives that can help them remain active, engaged and live their best lives,” Cruz said. Attendees will be able to receive information about the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, PACE and PACENET prescription-drug plans, SEPTA Key ID, heating assistance and other state programs. For more information, residents can reach out to Cruz’s office at 215-291-5643 or visit his website, www.pahouse.com/Cruz . Read more


Cruz announces $500,000 grant for Philadelphia Streets Department

(Nov 14, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14 – Following approval by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced a $500,000 grant has been awarded to the Philadelphia Streets Department to rehabilitate and improve safety infrastructure along corridors to seven public elementary and middle schools that have been identified as “high child pedestrian crash schools” in Philadelphia. “School zones are put in place to ensure the safety of our children in and around our schools. Unfortunately, many drivers do not obey the special speed limits, needlessly putting our children at risk. Only permanent physical measures would force motor vehicles to be slowed, thus reducing speed and improving safety in school zones,” Cruz said. Cruz said the project will help reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries in neighborhoods across the city including Cramp, Tiden, Hamilton, Sullivan, Zeigler, Gideon, and Solis-Cohen. The funding will go toward the installation of stop bars, continental crosswalks, pavement markings, curb bump-outs, new ADA curb ramps, speed cushions, pedestrian count down signals, and rapid flashing beacons on routes to and at the schools. The total project cost is $5,040,192. “This grant is a great resource to coordinate transportation and infrastructure in Philadelphia. School zones and areas where safety measures are critical and indispensable,” Cruz said. “I look forward to mitigating risks, reducing Read more