DeLissio focuses on Pennsylvania's child welfare system during first Children and Youth Committee meeting of 2021

(Mar 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 5 – As new minority chair of the House Children and Youth Committee, state Rep. Pam DeLissio participated in the first Children and Youth Committee meeting of the 2021-22 legislative session. There are many members new to the committee and it was helpful to have the initial meeting focus on an overview of the child welfare system, commented DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. For example, Pennsylvania is one of only 11 ­states that operates in a decentralized manner as each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties operates its own child and youth agency with oversight from the state. Presenters included staff from the Department of Human Services and stakeholders representing associations that promote child welfare and related policy ensuring the health and well-being of children, youth, and their families. Information was presented on the importance of the ChildLine hotline (800-932-0313) in providing citizens a 24/7 resource to report suspected child abuse or neglect. The need for additional support for child caseworkers, integral to making the system work, was discussed. “These caseworkers experience much stress in carrying out their duties and we need to ensure that the paperwork aspect of their jobs is not redundant or duplicative, but necessary to assess the needs of the children and their families when they need it the most,” DeLissio said. The courts play a critical role in the child welfare system and the Court Improvement Read more

 

East Falls Local Article: For Better or Worse

(Mar 01, 2021)

State constitutional amendments are a serious matter. I swore an oath to uphold said constitution and it is the ultimate governing document for our commonwealth. Ultimately, matters of state constitutionality are decided by our state Supreme Court. This current session of the General Assembly has seen quite a few constitutional amendments introduced, some passing out of committee and making it to the House floor for a final vote only three weeks into the session. If a proposed constitutional amendment passes both chambers in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly the amendment is placed on the ballot for voters to decide. One such amendment will appear on the ballot on May 18. SB2 has successfully passed both chambers this session and had already passed last session. It is a constitutional amendment to curtail the Governor’s Executive powers regarding the declaration of an emergency. Basically, this constitutional amendment would limit the declaration to 21 days and if that declaration needs to be extended it would require action of the General Assembly. Currently the Governor can extend emergency declarations without legislative action. Having served in the House for the past 10 years, there is nothing more concerning than what is being proposed by this constitutional amendment. As I reflect on the severe and impactful consequences of COVID-19, a pandemic, and further reflect on my colleagues who do not fully embrace the Read more

 

East Falls NOW Article: Voting by Mail-in Ballot- Important Update

(Mar 01, 2021)

By the first Monday in February, county boards of elections (AKA City Commissioners in Philadelphia) were to have sent via the USPS, mail-in ballot applications to any eligible voter who requested to be placed on the ‘permanent mail-in ballot list file.’ You would be on this list if you checked the box that stated I would like to receive mail-in ballots this year and receive annual applications for mail-in ballots each year when you applied in 2020 for a mail in ballot. I checked that particular box, and as of this writing, I have not yet received this application. As we know, the U.S. Postal Service has had its share of challenges. Instead, I have signed up electronically to receive my mail-in ballot and I urge you to do the same. VotesPA.com will take you to the mail-in ballot application. If you want to receive a mail-in ballot for the general election as well, you can check that box on the application. If you prefer to wait and see whether or not you want to request a mail-in ballot for the general election you can apply again in the late summer or early fall. The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot for the primary is May 11. No one should apply that late as the ballot then needs to be mailed to you. You then need to complete it and return it no later than 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18. There has been much discussion about the use of mail-in ballots. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia use some form of early voting, including Read more

 

DeLissio to host 104th Town Hall meeting virtually March 19

(Feb 26, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 26 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio will host her 104 th Town Hall meeting virtually at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 19. Topics will include information on the state constitutional amendment process including the one and possibly two amendments that will be on the ballot for the May 18 primary election and an update on the COVID-19 vaccine. The mail-in ballot process will also be reviewed. “My virtual town hall meetings have continued to draw new attendees, and I’m pleased to be able to share important information and updates for our community,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “Ongoing dialogue with residents of my district is a priority for me, and these virtual events have proven a successful way to keep in touch.” The meeting will be held over Zoom and will also be livestreamed on DeLissio’s Facebook page . Anyone who wishes to participate through Zoom must register by 5 p.m. Thursday, March 18, using this link or by emailing RepDeLissio@pahouse.net . Zoom login information will then be sent. Comments or questions can be posted live or emailed in advance to RepDeLissio@pahouse.net or by leaving a message at 215-482-8726. This is DeLissio’s 1 2 th town hall held virtually since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and mitigation efforts necessitated different means to communicate and provide information. Previous town hall meetings can be viewed on Read more

 

WATCH: 103rd Town Hall

(Feb 19, 2021)

Topics included Gov. Tom Wolf’s state budget proposal, clarification of the process for mail-in ballots, and an update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution for Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Read more

 

DeLissio appointed to Children’s Trust Fund board

(Feb 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 19 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., has been appointed to serve on the board of the Children’s Trust Fund for the 2021-22 legislative session. The mission of the Children’s Trust Fund is to prevent child abuse and neglect in Pennsylvania. “We as adults have no greater responsibility than keeping children safe. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with the Children’s Trust Fund to support community programs that protect kids and strengthen families,” DeLissio said. “I’ve long been committed to helping shape policies that are in the best interests of our citizens and our children are indeed cherished citizens. We have a collective responsibility to ensure that all children in the commonwealth thrive and have every opportunity to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment.” DeLissio was appointed to serve on the Children’s Trust Fund board by House Speaker Bryan Cutler. This legislative session, DeLissio was named minority chair of the House Children and Youth Committee, which reviews bills pertaining to the youngest citizens of Pennsylvania. Read more

 

E-BLAST: Mail-in ballots helped produce a 70.93% turnout

(Feb 19, 2021)

Dear Neighbor, Mail-in ballots provide an opportunity to vote ahead of Election Day; no excuse needed. Mail-in ballots are particularly conducive to our current lifestyles; particularly those that work 10- and 12-hour shifts and multiple jobs or jobs that may not be close to home. Read more

 

E-BLAST: 103rd Town Hall meeting to be held virtually Feb. 18

(Feb 10, 2021)

Please join me for my 103rd Town Hall meeting, which will be held virtually at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18. Read more

 

DeLissio to host 103rd Town Hall meeting virtually Feb. 18

(Feb 05, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA -- State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio will host her 103rd Town Hall meeting virtually at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18. Read more

 

East Falls Now Article: Danger Will Robinson!

(Feb 01, 2021)

If you are my peer, or are a Lost In Space aficionado, you may recognize the oft heard refrain of the robot who served as companion and guardian to the young Will Robinson. It is a refrain that is still used to this day - or at least it is a phrase that I use when the occasion warrants - that occasion being a significant and serious mistake about to occur, a real disaster, actually. In this instance I am sounding the alarm about judicial gerrymandering. You may have heard me talk about, write about, conduct town halls on and post on social media about gerrymandering and the need for redistricting reform. THAT redistricting reform is about redrawing, every 10 years, the district boundaries for congressional, state representative and state senate districts. Historically, those districts have been drawn to favor the majority party in control when this event occurs. These gerrymandered district boundaries create less than competitive races for these offices and contribute mightily to gridlock and polarization at the state and federal level because the successful candidates are often beholden to an ideological extreme to get and stay in office. I have worked diligently to support legislation and advocates’ efforts to create an independent redistricting commission; independent of the Pennsylvania general Assembly that currently controls the process from end to end. Districts will be redrawn this year, and our efforts to create an independent commission were not Read more

 

East Falls Local Article: You’ve Got Mail(-In Ballots)!

(Feb 01, 2021)

Did mail-in ballots work? I would like to think this is a rhetorical question but the reality is some of my colleagues are indeed questioning whether or not mail-in ballots were a useful tool that actually expanded the franchise to vote. There is at least one co-sponsorship memo (an advance notice that legislation is coming) to repeal mail-in ballots. When I questioned my colleague about why he did this, his response was “I wanted to start a conversation.” Well, he got my attention. When Act 77 (SB 421 of 2019) became law it was a great day. It was signed into law on October 31, 2019 and for me this was all treat and no trick. As a member of the State Government Committee I was one of two (out of ten) Democrats who voted for the bill in committee and one of thirty-three (out of ninety- two) Democrats to vote for this bill on final passage. Many of my Democratic colleagues objected because straight ticket voting was being eliminated. Pennsylvania at that time was one of eight or nine states that continued to permit straight ticket voting. As with many substantive pieces of legislation, I did my best to understand the pros and cons of eliminating straight ticket voting, and it was clear to me that the benefits of permitting mail-in voting outweighed the concerns of eliminating straight ticket voting. Please keep in mind, all of these events occurred well before any of us had heard of COVID-19, let alone the fact that we would soon Read more

 

WATCH: DeLissio Offers Opening Prayer

(Jan 27, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Pam DeLissio offered the opening prayer before session. In her prayer, Rep. DeLissio shared her thoughts with colleagues about her efforts to remain hopeful each day, striving to be a better listener, and concern about the overall well being of friends and neighbors. Read more

 

WATCH:102nd Town Hall

(Jan 25, 2021)

Listen to the discussion about COVID-19 vaccine rollout, redistricting reform including the current effort to gerrymander the courts, and Pennie, the state’s health insurance marketplace. Read more

 

DeLissio to host 102nd Town Hall meeting virtually Jan. 23

(Jan 14, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 14 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio will host her 102 nd Town Hall meeting virtually at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. Topics include an update on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, redistricting reform including the current effort to gerrymander the courts, and Pennie, the state’s health insurance marketplace. “As we are beginning a new legislative session, this town hall meeting provides an opportunity to update friends and neighbors on what is happening in Harrisburg as well as share information on important topics like the COVID-19 vaccine,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “These virtual town hall meetings have proven to be a good way to stay in touch while staying safe, and I invite all residents of my district to join in.” The meeting will be held using Zoom and will also be livestreamed on DeLissio’s Facebook page . Those interested in joining should register by 5 p.m. Jan. 22 by emailing RepDeLissio@pahouse.net . Zoom login information will then be sent to those registered. Comments or questions can also be emailed in advance to RepDeLissio@pahouse.net or by leaving a message at 215-482-8726. This will be DeLissio’s 10th town hall held virtually since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and mitigation efforts necessitated different means to communicate and provide information. Previous town hall meetings can be viewed on her website, www.RepDeLissio.com . Read more

 

E-BLAST: Becoming a minority committee chair; 102nd Town Hall Meeting; Virtual PA Farm Show

(Jan 08, 2021)

This week, it was an honor to be sworn in for my sixth term as representative of the 194th district and to be named minority chair of the House Children and Youth Committee. Read more

 

DeLissio announces $1M grant for Share Food Program

(Jan 08, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 8 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio announced that Share Food Program was awarded a $1 million state grant to support improvements at the food organization’s warehouse. Share Food Program distributes food to 1,000,000 neighbors in need each month, over 50% of whom are children, and 12% who are seniors or people with disabilities. Share Food Program will use the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant to add new roof sections at its warehouse, including a new solar energy system that will help offset about 50% of the organization’s energy output. “These roof repairs are a critical need for a phenomenal organization that does vital work to reduce hunger, and the energy efficiency improvements will help Share Food Program devote more resources to its core mission of reducing hunger,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. George Matysik, executive director of Share, said “We could not be more grateful to have Representative DeLissio as an ally during this critical time. The new roof will help Share realize our food distribution warehouse’s full capacity, and predictable, low-cost renewable energy and resiliency will help Share direct more resources towards our number one aim of providing food to those who are hungry.” DeLissio added, “I was pleased to support Share Food’s request for funding to help the organization meet the increased demand for food in our Read more

 

DeLissio named minority committee chair, sworn in for sixth term

(Jan 07, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 7 - State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, who has been named minority chair of the House Children and Youth Committee, was sworn in on Tuesday for her sixth term as representative of the 194th Legislative District. “It is my honor to continue to represent the citizens of the 194th District. I remain committed to ongoing dialogue with my constituents to hear their ideas, thoughts and concerns so that I can best represent their interests in Harrisburg,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “The past year has been difficult and created additional challenges for the legislature to tackle. As we begin a new session, I am focusing on my new committee responsibilities as minority chair and focused on a review of the House rules to ensure fairness in how legislation is considered. “Currently Pennsylvania scores zero in fairness as rated by FairVote.org. Bipartisanship remains an important factor in my everyday work; my reputation for working across the aisle has produced productive conversations that build meaningful relationships, which help to advance the best policy possible.” Committee chairmanships are assigned based on seniority. The House Children and Youth Committee reviews bills pertaining to the youngest citizens of Pennsylvania, as well as bills that affect the Office of Children, Youth and Families under the Department of Human Services, and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, which is overseen by both the Read more

 

House Democrats fight to increase transparency and accountability, make sure the people come first

(Jan 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 4 – A group of 10 House Democrats announced the introduction of changes to the Operating Rules of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to reduce the impact of partisan politics, make sure ideas with broad public support get a fair hearing, and restore the people’s faith in government after the damage done by extremists in Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg. The People Before Politics plan was crafted with this central idea: lawmakers work for the people, not the other way around. It focuses on openness, transparency and citizen control of the legislative process. The People Before Politics plan includes the following proposals: Amendment 1 – The Voice of the People, sponsored by Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila. This amendment would make sure each House member has an opportunity to speak at a designated time during the first full session day of the week on any topic, similar to how the U.S. House of Representatives allows members to speak. This change would end the requirement of “unanimous consent” so often abused by extremists to silence members and prevent legislative topics bottled up in committee from being heard by the people. Amendment 2 – Let the People See, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware . This amendment would restore the rule requiring a full 24 hours before final passage of any bill, including all bills amended in the House chamber or in committee, or sent over from the state Read more

 

East Falls Local Article: Proud To Be a Chair (AKA Ranking Member)

(Jan 01, 2021)

Happy New Year! Like many of you, I am thrilled to have 2020 in the rearview mirror. We are not yet home free but we are headed in that direction with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations. I am truly honored to have been re-elected to represent the 194 th . Swearing in day is January 5 and our first day of session is scheduled for January 11. This session will be the first time I serve in the role of a minority chairman for one of the PA House committees. This chairmanship is awarded based on seniority and I am looking forward to serving in this capacity. We will find out our committee assignment closer to swearing in day and I will be sure to share that news. Even though my committee assignment, as of this writing, is yet to be determined, I plan to ensure that stakeholders are brought to the table consistently to discuss the legislation that is referred to my committee and that impacts them. Too often, I see stakeholders contacted after the fact and in some instances not at all. Stakeholders represent many varied interests and are often highly nuanced in the impact of the policy under discussion. Working across the aisle is also a critical part of my plan. On many occasions policy is developed by one party or the other, but in my opinion, the best policy is developed by a joint effort because it can incorporate a broader approach that will increase the likelihood the policy will be voted out of the chamber without contentious debate. It will also be Read more

 

East Falls NOW Article: The Year Ahead

(Jan 01, 2021)

The Year Ahead Thank you for your vote and confidence to return me to the PA House. Thank you for letting me share a few reflections on the two-year session that ended November 30, 2020 and to share my hope for the session that began December 1, 2020. On one hand, I am surprised that we are at the beginning of another year. On the other hand, 2020 took its good old time exiting and will, in my mind, always feel like Sherman’s March to the Sea during the Civil War. In March, the House passed a rule to permit remote voting, which in actuality was providing our proxy to the Whip who would then vote on our behalf. The Whip made every effort to ensure votes were cast as the member desired, however, there was no opportunity for remarks or debate if you chose not to be on the floor of the House for votes. With the exception of 3 days where I voted remotely, I was always on the floor of the House, taking appropriate precautions, because it was vital to me that I use my voice to represent you. I do not regret the decision to be present in the Capitol and will continue that in-person participation in 2021. Additionally, I found it vital to be present for committee meetings in order to participate in debate and share in discussion with my colleagues regarding the legislation before us. The year is off to a decent start with the rollout of COVID-19 related vaccines. We are not out of the woods yet, and it will be months, in my opinion, before the pandemic Read more