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Philadelphia House Delegation: police accountability reforms are coming

Phila House Delegation Chair responds to Republican attack on democracy, attempts at voter suppression

(Apr 15, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 15 – State Rep. and Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins today made the following statement on behalf of the delegation at the conclusion of the 14th Republican-led State Government Committee hearing on voting in Pennsylvania. “We have watched the Republican leadership in the state House run 14 State Government Committee hearings on voting. The impetus of these hearings was clear at the outset and crystal clear at the end. The Republican majority in Harrisburg intends to push legislation that will suppress voters’ rights by making it harder to vote and intends to continue to force the big lie that the 2020 election was fraudulent while it was not. “The Republican members on the committee showed nothing but contempt for Philadelphia’s hardworking election workers and contempt for Philadelphia’s voters by continuously repeating false and unsubstantiated claims made by the Trump campaign and carried out across the country by those who do his bidding. “Philadelphia’s management of the 2020 election was validated by the courts, and the 2020 election was confirmed by multiple nonpartisan examinations as free, fair and accurate. “Philadelphians deserve to have their voices heard through their vote, and we, the members of the House Philadelphia delegation, will vehemently oppose any legislation perpetuating this direct hit on our democracy and the fair and valid election we all just Read more

 

Philadelphia Delegation members call for resignation of city health department commissioner

(Jan 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 29 – Members of the Philadelphia House Democratic Delegation have called for the resignation of Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley after the alleged problems with the city’s contracted vaccine organizer Philly Fighting COVID, according to the delegation’s chairman, state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila. “While in the crisis of our lifetime, the ball was dropped and left Philadelphians at risk, both for their personal information and their personal safety,” Dawkins said. “Dr. Farley has worked hard for Philadelphia, but in a moment when people’s lives are in jeopardy and when the world is watching, we cannot have such horrible decisions putting the lives and health of our citizens so at risk. The loss of the public’s trust requires that we have a change at the department. Things need to change to ensure everyone has a sense of security moving forward.” “The missteps and missed opportunities that we have seen from Philadelphia’s health department have been many,” said state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., “and in the middle of the deadliest health crisis in global history we can’t afford anymore. Commissioner Farley worked incredibly hard on testing but has unfortunately not met the moment in regard to quickly getting out the vaccine in an equitable way. And the Philly Fighting COVID debacle has become a national stain on the city. I Read more

 

Philadelphia House Democratic Delegation responds to allegations against Philly Fighting COVID

(Jan 28, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – The Philadelphia House Democratic Delegation sent a letter today to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley demanding answers to the COVID-19 vaccine problems between the city and Philly Fighting COVID, the organization tasked with administering vaccines to Philadelphia residents, according to the delegation’s chairman, state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila. “This is a completely unacceptable turn of events,” Dawkins said. “The people of Philadelphia have relied on the city to ensure they are able to access vaccines in this critical time, and if this organization is who was designated to do the job, not only did they fail to vaccinate but also failed the people of the city by then compromising their personal information. What’s worse, to then learn the organization’s CEO was allegedly taking vaccine home. If this is true, it is completely unacceptable. How did this organization even get chosen to administer the city’s plan? It is disturbing and upsetting, and answers must be given. We all have a right to know.” “People in my district are struggling to get the vaccine while this guy is taking them home,” said state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila. “I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that what he did was illegal, and he needs to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” Kenyatta represents the 181st Legislative Read more

 

Dawkins receives official committee assignments in PA House

(Jan 11, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 11 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today was assigned to three standing House committees including Health, Insurance and Judiciary. These committee assignments are for the 2021-22 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “We have a lot of work to do, particularly based on what 2020 handed us,” Dawkins said. “The committees I have been assigned to will take up some very significant legislation, and in those committee meetings we will hash out the initial details. It is important work and I look forward to working with my colleagues on issues that matter most to the people of Philadelphia and the commonwealth.” Dawkins also serves as chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation. The delegation is comprised of House members who are committed to working together for the benefit of their constituents in Philadelphia and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He 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. The phone number is (215) 744-7901 . Residents also can learn more about Dawkins’ legislative priorities and the services his office provides by visiting his website at pahouse.com/Dawkins. Read more

 

Dawkins is sworn in for fourth term to state House

(Jan 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today took the oath of office for his fourth term representing the 179th Legislative District. Read more

 

Dawkins announces $1 million grant for Frankford Library project

(Dec 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 28 - – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today announced that a $1 million state grant was awarded to the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation for renovations at the Franklin Library. “It is important to me that we bring money back to the district for projects like this,” Dawkins said. “The services provided by our libraries are indispensable and I’m pleased that the governor recognizes the importance of our libraries, schools and other historic sites especially at a crazy time like we are in now. It is in these times that the state needs to lend a hand in keeping projects on track so that our residents can benefit from the results in the future.” The renovations include: Sidewalk upgrades and new landscaping. Signage, lighting and a new entry awning and lobby. New meeting and study rooms enclosed with glass partitions on main level. Lower level reconfiguration to provide an additional meeting room. Consolidation of existing storage spaces to create a new staff workspace. Kitchen renovation. A new passenger elevator. Main stair reconfiguration. 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, civic, recreational and Read more

 

Philadelphia awarded $4 million for traffic safety projects

(Dec 08, 2020)

HARRISBURG, PA – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., chairman of the Philadelphia House Delegation, announced that Philadelphia will receive $4 million in funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Automated Red Light Enforcement program for traffic safety projects. The funding is part of more than $8 million being awarded to 10 municipalities for 16 projects across the commonwealth and comes from fines for violations at designated red-light intersections in Philadelphia. Those designated areas have been shown to have a higher rate of red-light running and safety concerns. “The Red Light Enforcement program funds are made available to help improve traffic safety and are part of the conversation we are having to make transportation funding a priority for Philadelphia,” Dawkins said. “This money is in addition to PennDOT’s current projects that are so important in the city.” Philadelphia will use the $4 million for the following: $1.5 million for Broad, Germantown and Erie transportation safety project to: Redesign the intersection of Broad Street, Germantown Avenue and Erie Avenue. Resurface Erie Avenue between Broad Street and Old York Road, including removal of trolley tracks; create space for a sidewalk-level pathway for bicycles; and dedicate spaces for buses at bus stops as well as expanded and accessible passenger facilities. Upgrade Read more

 

Philadelphia lawmakers again select Dawkins to lead their House delegation in 2021-22 legislative session

(Nov 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 13 -- State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., will again serve as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus’ 25-member Philadelphia County Delegation for the 2021-22 legislative session. Democratic lawmakers of the delegation selected Dawkins during leadership elections on Thursday. Dawkins said delegation members also re-selected Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta as vice chairman and Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler as treasurer and secretary. “I am honored by my colleagues’ trust in my ideas and abilities and look forward to continuing my role in helping to move Philadelphia and our agenda forward,” Dawkins said. “By working together toward our shared goals, we can make certain that Philadelphia remains an economic powerhouse for Pennsylvania while ensuring equality and justice for all people in our economy, in our society and in our response to crisis, from police reform to getting guns off our streets and ensuring justice, equality and science in our pandemic response.” In the current legislative session Dawkins and the House Philadelphia Delegation laid out an agenda that focuses on investing in schools and educational opportunity, reforming a criminal justice system that continues to be rife with injustice, affordable and accessible health care for all, strengthening commercial corridors in the city, reducing gun violence and investing in clean energy sources that would produce thousands of jobs, while addressing climate Read more

 

PLBC, Philadelphia House Delegation, and Police Reform Working Group members demand justice after Black man is killed by police

(Oct 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 27 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with its members and members of the Pennsylvania Police Reform Working Group and the Philadelphia House Delegation, are demanding justice for West Philadelphia resident Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man, who was killed by police on Monday afternoon in the Cobbs Creek section of the city. Members of these respective legislative bodies also called on the legislature to expeditiously pass the multiple pieces of police reform legislation languishing without action, some of which address procedures on non-lethal de-escalation methods and would instill policies for safer police interactions with residents experiencing mental health crises. “A mother watched her son, suffering from mental illness, be met with a barrage of bullets before her eyes, and a neighborhood saw the same. A mother and father lost their son, and children have lost their father--generations of one family and an entire community are now forced to bear that trauma for the rest of their lives,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “Indeed, it’s trauma that we are all forced to bear as we have yet to receive justice for the countless other Black lives killed with impunity at the hands of police. Furthermore, during a time when seeking mental health resources is strongly encouraged, this tragedy reveals that living with mental illness while Black, however, and crying for help is Read more

 

State lawmakers representing Philadelphia welcome lawsuit against commonwealth, legislature for restricting gun-safety measures

(Oct 07, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 7 – State House lawmakers representing the House Philadelphia Delegation and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today pledged their full weight behind major legal action being taken against the commonwealth for preventing local governments from enacting their own gun-safety laws. The lawsuit filed by the city and private law firms on behalf of Pennsylvanians who have been impacted by gun violence was announced at a news conference in Philadelphia today. Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins and PLBC Chairman Stephen Kinsey said it was long past time for the many people who have been impacted by gun violence to receive true acknowledgement and justice for their pain. They said the delegations they lead have worked for years to enact sensible gun-safety measures in the state but have been hampered by a Republican majority legislature determined to give no one in the state the ability to reduce gun violence and save lives. “Philadelphia and municipalities across the state took action tragedy after tragedy on behalf of the residents they serve when the state would not, only to be met with callous laws specifically designed to prevent them from doing so,” Dawkins said. “I am equally tired of the hallow promises to help reduce gun violence being made by the Republican majority following each tragedy. They hold the power to move the commonsense gun safety legislation we put forward. Yet, they continue to deny Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on House Republican Policy hearing on law enforcement; calls for further legislative action

(Aug 27, 2020)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of local and state elected officials and advocates, issued the following statement in response to a Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee hearing on law enforcement interactions with the community:“We appreciate the House Republican Policy Committee shining a light on how law enforcement interacts with communities around the state. This is a necessary discussion that is long overdue and it’s encouraging to hear presenters today acknowledge that police reform is necessary. Read more

 

Dawkins announces $166,027 in grants to help local schools during COVID-19 pandemic

(Aug 26, 2020)

Ahead of the upcoming school year, state Rep. Jason Dawkins announced today $166,027 in grants are going to help local schools improve educational services for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Dawkins, these state resources are part of the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Funds aimed at assisting schools and other educational agencies that are designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Funding is being provided to the following schools: Warren G. Harding Middle School: $88,811. James J. Sullivan Elementary School : $77,216. "During this public health crisis, safety must be the top priority," said Dawkins, D-Phila. "This funding will help our schools who need it most adapt to the challenges created by the coronavirus and allow quality learning to continue while putting the health and well-being of students and teachers first." The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act authorizes governors to determine the educational use of GEER Funds. Under ESSA, states develop plans to designate schools for support based on student groups in key areas, including academic achievement, graduation rate and regular attendance. Student groups include race, economically disadvantaged, English Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on Vice President Pence’s visit with the Fraternal Order of Police

(Jul 09, 2020)

In response to Vice President Mike Pence visiting with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, the Police Reform Working Group, made up of state and county elected officials and advocates, released the following statement:“As members of the Police Reform Working Group, we believe that the path to achieving community safety and racial justice in Pennsylvania must be two-fold. First, we must improve our current system of policing through accountability, oversight, and tangible policy changes that will diminish instances of police brutality against all citizens, but especially against the Black community. Second, we must work with communities to transform and re-envision policing itself through bold systemic changes that center around those most impacted by police violence and structural racism. Read more

 

Action on police reform the first step, but many more to come

(Jun 30, 2020)

In response to the Pennsylvania Senate passing H.Bs. 1841 and 1910, state Reps. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic whip, Joanna McClinton, D-Phila., House Democratic chair, Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., Philadelphia Delegation chairman, Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, Allegheny Delegation chairman, Dan Williams, D-Chester, Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, and Chris Rabb, D-Phila., released the following statement:“In Harrisburg, the legislative process can often be slow and grinding. However, in times of crisis, slow and grinding is unacceptable. The passage of these two police reform bills in only a month’s time reflects the fact that when people take to the streets and demand action from their elected officials, we as a General Assembly are capable of working deliberatively and quickly. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation: police accountability reforms are coming

(Jun 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – Today, state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., and chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation, announced that two police reform bills passed the Senate and sent to the governor’s desk for his signature. “It has been a group effort passing meaningful reforms to help better equip law enforcement to handle the mental and physical pressures of the job,” Dawkins said. “I am grateful to my colleagues in the House and everyone on the Police Reform Working Group for their tireless work organizing effective protests and championing these important bills.” House Bill 1910 would require officers to receive training to recognize the signs of child abuse and childhood trauma. It includes an amendment containing Dawkins’ own legislation that would require officers to undergo PTSD training after incidents involving deadly force. It also would allow commanding officers to request tests as needed, and the bill would call for increased training for officers to better understand PTSD. House Bill 1841 would require employers to disclose employment information to a law enforcement agency that is conducting a background investigation of an applicant, and to permit a court to compel the release of such employment information if the employer fails to comply. It also would free the applicant’s previous employers from civil liability for sharing employment information in good faith with a police Read more

 

Dawkins: Police reform bills pass House vote

(Jun 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., announced that H.B. 1910 and H.B. 1841 passed the House toda y. House Bill 1910, sponsored by state Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, would require police officers to receive training to recognize the signs of child abuse and childhood trauma. It includes an amendment containing Dawkins’ own legislation that would require officers to undergo PTSD training after incidents involving deadly force. It would also allow commanding officers to request tests as needed, and it calls for increased training for officers to better understand PTSD. “These reforms are long overdue,” Dawkins said. “The community should be served by officers who are mentally fit for the job and who have not shown a history of abusing power. This is a great first step to keep people safe, and to make sure law enforcement officers have the support they need. The collaborative efforts of many members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, Philadelphia Delegation and the House Democratic Caucus made this possible. We will need to continue this collaboration to achieve all we need to.” House Bill 1841, sponsored by state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, would require employers to disclose employment information to a law enforcement agency that is conducting a background investigation of an applicant, and to permit a court to compel the release of such employment information if the employer Read more

 

Philadelphia lawmakers lay out path for a ‘Just Recovery’ in Pa.

(Jun 18, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, June 18 – Philadelphia lawmakers today held a virtual news conference to lay out the steps the Pennsylvania legislature must take to create a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the calls for racial justice demanded by Pennsylvanians across the state are acted on. State Sen. Vince Hughes and state Reps. Jordan Harris and Jason Dawkins each addressed aspects of a plan to ensure a living wage and a fair return to work for all Pennsylvanians, great schools and a superior education for all from pre-school through college; career and technical training; access to quality health care and testing; a roof over every head; tax cuts for working families to ensure no one is taxed into poverty; and safe voting options and integrity to guarantee every voice is heard and every vote is counted. The lawmakers said all of these things should be available to all Pennsylvanians, especially marginalized communities that have suffered most during the COVID-19 pandemic and at the hands of a systemic system of bigotry and racism in not just law enforcement, but also in education, health care, housing, wages and working conditions. “The current crisis, both the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil unrest stemming from systemic racism, have shown that the way things were simply wasn’t working for too many Pennsylvanians,” Harris said. “We can’t go back to a broken system. Instead, we must reform nearly all aspects of our Read more

 

Dawkins: Police PTSD testing bill passes House Judiciary vote

(Jun 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., announced that his police reform legislation (H.B. 1551) was amended into H.B. 1910 today in the House Judiciary Committee, where it passed unanimously. House Bill 1910 would require officers to receive training to recognize the signs of child abuse and childhood trauma. Dawkins’ addition would require officers to undergo PTSD training after incidents involving deadly force. It would also allow commanding officers to request tests as needed, and it calls for increased training for officers to better understand PTSD. “Officers see unthinkable things on the job that could traumatize and desensitize anyone. I’m glad this important legislation is advancing so that we can make sure police officers are mentally fit to keep working safely,” Dawkins said. “This kind of direct action is how we will instill faith in police officers again, so our communities feel protected. There is more work to do and we are not backing down.” Read more

 

Kinsey, Dawkins to introduce bipartisan legislation outlawing use of chokeholds by law enforcement

(Jun 11, 2020)

In light of the death of George Floyd, another unarmed African American killed by a police officer – in this case, by one who applied unwarranted pressure to the victim’s airway for over eight minutes – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman state Rep. Stephen Kinsey and Philadelphia House Delegation Chairman state Rep. Jason Dawkins are introducing legislation to ban the use of chokeholds or any maneuver that could lead to asphyxia. Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group looks forward to working with Mayor Kenney

(Jun 09, 2020)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of elected officials and advocates working to bring accountability and transparency reforms to law enforcement, released the following statement in response to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s commitment to police reform: “To bring about true and meaningful law enforcement reform, we must work together with leaders at all levels of government so the voices of those we represent can be heard and forward-thinking change achieved. We’ve already had several conversations with Mayor Kenney’s administration and those discussions have been promising. We appreciate the mayor’s willingness to listen and believe that his announcement today is the first step in what will be a long, but productive, journey to reform. Read more

 

Phila House Delegation Chair responds to Republican attack on democracy, attempts at voter suppression
Apr 15, 2021

Philadelphia Delegation members call for resignation of city health department commissioner
Jan 29, 2021

Philadelphia House Democratic Delegation responds to allegations against Philly Fighting COVID
Jan 28, 2021

Dawkins receives official committee assignments in PA House
Jan 11, 2021

Dawkins is sworn in for fourth term to state House
Jan 05, 2021

Dawkins announces $1 million grant for Frankford Library project
Dec 28, 2020

Philadelphia awarded $4 million for traffic safety projects
Dec 08, 2020

Philadelphia lawmakers again select Dawkins to lead their House delegation in 2021-22 legislative session
Nov 13, 2020

PLBC, Philadelphia House Delegation, and Police Reform Working Group members demand justice after Black man is killed by police
Oct 27, 2020

State lawmakers representing Philadelphia welcome lawsuit against commonwealth, legislature for restricting gun-safety measures
Oct 07, 2020

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on House Republican Policy hearing on law enforcement; calls for further legislative action
Aug 27, 2020

Dawkins announces $166,027 in grants to help local schools during COVID-19 pandemic
Aug 26, 2020

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on Vice President Pence’s visit with the Fraternal Order of Police
Jul 09, 2020

Action on police reform the first step, but many more to come
Jun 30, 2020

Philadelphia House Delegation: police accountability reforms are coming
Jun 30, 2020

Dawkins: Police reform bills pass House vote
Jun 24, 2020

Philadelphia lawmakers lay out path for a ‘Just Recovery’ in Pa.
Jun 18, 2020

Dawkins: Police PTSD testing bill passes House Judiciary vote
Jun 15, 2020

Kinsey, Dawkins to introduce bipartisan legislation outlawing use of chokeholds by law enforcement
Jun 11, 2020

Police Reform Working Group looks forward to working with Mayor Kenney
Jun 09, 2020