Rep. Jason T Dawkins' Biography
State Representative Jason Dawkins serves the 179th Legislative District, which stretches throughout lower northeast Philadelphia and comprises the neighborhoods of Frankford, Wissinoming, Mayfair, Olney and Oxford Circle.
Prior to his election in 2014, Jason spent seven years working as a legislative aide for Philadelphia City Councilwoman Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez, where he was responsible for recreation-based development and community engagement. Jason served as a recreation liaison and special projects director and spearheaded many initiatives surrounding parks and recreation centers, libraries, and zoning regulations. In his time with Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez, Jason was able to direct more than $4 million in capital funding towards redeveloping recreational facilities in previously underserved neighborhoods.
In the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Jason serves on the Judiciary, Health, and Insurance committees, and also serves as vice chairman of the Policy Committee. He was elected by his colleagues to serve as chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation and he is also a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus.
During his time representing the 179th, Jason has championed several key pieces of legislation, amendments, and policy initiatives which include, but are not limited to:
- A first-of-its-kind legislation that seeks to create major reform in Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system. This bill would allow all Pennsylvanians currently serving sentences of life imprisonment to go before a parole board and petition their cases.
- Legislation that would help to hold local businesses accountable to their customers. Thanks to Jason’s efforts, recovery houses for those suffering from substance abuse addictions are required to prove compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act prior to receiving state licensure.
- Policies that advocate for his community by working to increase regulation and enforcement mechanisms of corner stores, often referred to as 'Stop and Gos.' This legislation, now law, has given local and state authorities the ability to ensure that these establishments meet all public health requirements necessary for receiving a liquor license.
- Legislation to honor fallen law enforcement Officer Gary Frank Skerski by naming a bridge over Castor Avenue in Philadelphia in his honor.
As a state representative, Jason has fought to serve as a voice for all Pennsylvanians. In Harrisburg, he advocates for issues that will work to alleviate poverty and propel individuals and families toward a brighter future. Jason is working to ensure Pennsylvania is moving forward, not falling behind, by helping incentivize young graduates of local research universities and colleges to remain in-state, and by promoting workforce development and further education opportunities for all. He believes the government should be a tool of the people and should be transparent and accessible to all.