State Reps. Fiedler, Innamorato, Lee and Otten to introduce legislation freezing rents and mortgages during pandemic

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, March 30- Pennsylvanians are experiencing layoffs and furloughs in unparalleled numbers due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and they need relief. On Friday, state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila, Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, and Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, announced they are working on legislation to ease the burden on and increase protections for all Pennsylvanians by implementing a rent and mortgage freeze. “Across the commonwealth, families are facing the terrifying prospect of not being able to pay their rent or mortgage for the foreseeable future,” Fiedler said. “People are making choices about whether they will pay their mortgage or rent, buy food, or pay for medicine. By freezing rent and mortgage payments we can ease some of the financial stress our constituents face right now.” "These bills uphold a social contract: we're asking folks to stay home, so our responsibility is to protect those homes," Innamorato said. "April 1st is right around the corner and we have to keep people safe and economically secure as they navigate an unprecedented crisis." Other states are also looking at ways to provide relief from rent and mortgage payments; New York’s state legislature has introduced S8125A, a bill suspending rent payments for certain residential and small business tenants for 90 days, while both New York’s and New Jersey’s governors announced a 90-day Read more


Otten: DCED waivers should prioritize public health, small business

(Mar 27, 2020)

EXTON, March 27 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, released the following statement regarding Department of Community and Economic Development waivers and exemptions for businesses affected by COVID-19: “The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest challenge most of us have faced in our lifetimes, and I appreciate the difficult work Governor Wolf and our state agencies are doing to protect the health of Pennsylvanians. “Our public health and safety must remain our top priority. I am also concerned about the interests of our small business owners, who have a strong personal stake in the neighborhoods where they live and work. Local business owners support our food drives, school fundraisers and little leagues; they pay taxes that support our commonwealth and our public schools. The money we spend in locally owned businesses stays in and strengthens our communities. Allowing waivers and exemptions to large corporations and special interests that directly compete with locally owned businesses, while denying waivers to small businesses in the very same sectors, not only harms our local economies, it also endangers the lives of workers in truly life-sustaining industries, like healthcare workers on the front lines, and grocery store employees.” In a March 26 letter to Governor Wolf and DCED Secretary Dennis Davin , Otten noted that large corporations are more likely than small, locally owned Read more


COVID-19 Update and Community Resources

(Mar 24, 2020)

COVID-19 Update and Community Resources Read more



(Mar 20, 2020)

This page will be updated as information is released by the Governor and programs or funding to assist businesses become available. The site contains links to various agencies, departments, and authorities that can assist small businesses. Read more



(Mar 20, 2020)

My staff and I have been working diligently to ensure we are sharing the most important information. While there is a lot of information being shared, I want to make sure you know where to go for the most up-to-date and reliable information. Read more


Services still available by phone and email

(Mar 16, 2020)

My office will be closed to walk-in service until further notice. Please note, my staff will be able to answer your questions by email and phone. Read more


Otten announces event cancelations and district office updates in response to COVID-19

(Mar 13, 2020)

Exton, March 13 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, has canceled all remaining events for the month of March in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Otten’s district office will remain fully staffed and will continue to provide constituent services by email and phone. “My office is taking every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of our community,” Otten said. “We are following recommendations from the PA Department of Health and the Chester County Health Department to practice social distancing and limit person-to-person contact in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve .” Canceled events include Otten’s Census Recruitment Event previously scheduled for March 13, a SEPTA Key Senior ID Card Event previously scheduled for March 16 and a Real ID Information Session previously scheduled for March 30. The office is working to reschedule these events for a later date. Constituents in need of assistance with state-related services are encouraged to email or call 484-200-8259. Read more


3/12/20 – State of the Care Workforce in PA – Exton

(Mar 12, 2020)

Materials from a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing hosted by State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten. Read more


Otten to hold Census Recruitment Event in Exton March 13

(Mar 06, 2020)

EXTON, March 6 – The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting workers in Chester County for full and part-time positions in advance of the 2020 Census, and state Rep. Danielle Friel Otten will host a recruitment event at her office on March 13. The U.S. Constitution mandates that a population count happens every 10 years. The census count is used to determine how much federal funding goes to communities and states and determines how many representatives each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. “Participation in the census is of the utmost importance. Census data will determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds will be distributed to the states each year of the following decade,” said Otten, D-Chester. “Not only will governments use the census data to ensure proper representation, but our communities rely on federal funds for public school improvements, small business loans, road and bridge repairs, and senior services. It is imperative that we respond to the census to ensure Chester County is heard.” Recruiters from the Census Bureau will be at Otten’s district office for an information session on various job opportunities for the 2020 Census, how to apply, and what the census is all about. Census jobs in Chester County are starting at $27.50/hour and applicants can apply for a range of positions, including recruiting assistants, office operations supervisors, clerks, census field supervisors, and census takers. Read more


Focusing on mental health, disabilities, and care workers

(Mar 06, 2020)

It’s been a busy week here in the district and across the state. This morning I attended a Legislative Meet and Greet with the Chester County Department of Aging Services Advisory Council to learn more about the issues impacting our seniors. Read more


Otten to hold policy hearing in Exton on the state of the care workforce

(Mar 05, 2020)

EXTON, March 5 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, will hold a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on the state of the care workforce in Pennsylvania. The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 12, at the Abraham Fetters-White School, 134 Sharp Lane. The media and public are invited to attend. Otten requested the hearing to discuss the rising need for and shortage of care workers for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities; the need to raise wages and reimbursements for home health care workers and direct support professionals; and the need to ensure safe work conditions for all care workers, whether in the home or in a facility setting. Otten will be joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Panelists will include: Kevin Hancock, deputy secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Matt Yarnell, president, SEIU Healthcare PA. Lolita Owens, homecare worker, Liberty Resources. Tynia Stevens, nurse aide, Bryn Mawr Extended Care Center. Lauren House, intellectual disability deputy administrator, Chester County Department of Mental Health/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Jeanne Meikrantz, executive director, The Arc of Chester County. Pennsylvania Homecare Association. Deborah Rowe, vice president, nursing workforce development, PA Health Care Association. Read more


School safety grants, coronavirus update and upcoming events

(Feb 28, 2020)

Read my latest e-newsletter to learn about school safety grants, coronavirus, upcoming events and more! Read more


Chester County Democratic Reps applaud $2.1 million awarded in school safety grants county-wide

(Feb 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Kristine Howard, Dan Williams, Melissa Shusterman and Danielle Friel-Otten announced that 13 school districts throughout the county received $2.1 million in grant funding to enhance school safety and security. Awardees in Chester County received the following: Avon Grove School District: $45,000 Chester County Intermediate Unit 24: $256,693 Coatesville Area School District: $45,000 Downingtown Area School District: $45,000 Great Valley School District: $244,660 Kennett Consolidated School District: $45,000 Owen J. Roberts School District: $343,588 Phoenixville Area School District: $495,000 Royer-Greaves School for the Blind: $26,133 Tredyffrin-Easttown School District: $480,065 Unionville-Chadds Ford School District: $45,000 West Chester Area School District: $45,000 “I am thankful for these funds that will go directly to support and protect Chester County students. It is our duty to make sure we are creating a safe and healthy school environment for our students to prosper,” Comitta said. “As a former child welfare investigator, ensuring the safety of our community’s children has always been a top priority of mine. A safe learning environment is a productive learning environment, and I thank the Wolf administration for prioritizing our Read more


Budget, pipeline and community updates

(Feb 21, 2020)

This week, the House Appropriations Committee has officially begun to hold hearings for the 2020-2021 state budget. Read more


Pipeline Update and other news from the 155

(Feb 14, 2020)

Pipeline Update: Icedale-Twin Oaks Line: Over the past few months, we've heard from constituents concerned about activity along the Icedale-Twin Oaks pipeline in Uwchlan Township. Read more


2020 Winter Newsletter

(Feb 14, 2020)

Rep. Danielle Friel Otten's 2020 winter newsletter Read more


Fighting for public health and more updates from Harrisburg

(Feb 07, 2020)

News and events from Harrisburg and the 155th District Read more


Otten statement on Governor Wolf's budget address

(Feb 04, 2020)

EXTON, Feb. 4 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, released the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf's budget address on Tuesday. “The priorities outlined in Governor Wolf’s budget address reflect a commitment to our children, schools, and working families, and a promising start to new conversations about pipeline safety,” Otten said. “I am excited about the governor’s support for public education at all levels, including Pre-K, full-day kindergarten, basic education and special education funding, and our state colleges and universities. The first time I ever sat down with an elected official to advocate for something I cared about, it was with my then-school board director and school board president to advocate for full-day kindergarten in the Downingtown Area School District, so this investment in early education is especially meaningful to me.” Otten also expressed appreciation for the governor’s inclusion of pipeline safety in his address. “I am extremely grateful to Governor Wolf for acknowledging pipeline safety as a priority for our commonwealth. As someone who has felt the impact of pipelines in my own neighborhood and closely followed this issue through the courts, I am eager for and excited by the opportunity to get this right. We need strong legislation that creates a requirement to assess the risks associated with both new pipelines and the repurposing of old Read more


Community grants, pipeline update + more!

(Jan 31, 2020)

It was great to be back in the district this week to connect with so many members of our community. I will be back in Harrisburg next week for a busy session week. Read more


Otten announces $41K Dairy Investment Program grant awarded to local nonprofit

(Jan 24, 2020)

EXTON, Jan. 24 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, today announced that Camphill Village Kimberton Hills Inc. received a $41,389 grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program. Camphill Village Kimberton Hills is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of its residents who live with developmental disabilities. This grant will go toward the purchase and installation of pasteurization and cheesemaking equipment for the residents to utilize. This includes a 105-gallon vat, cheese press, Gouda cheese molds, an energy-efficient cooling system and vacuum packaging equipment. Additionally, funds will be used for purchasing supplies for renovations to the facility’s existing cheese cave, including drywalling and fiberglass reinforced plastic wallboard. Camphill Village Kimberton Hills will sell their cheese products through Kimberton Whole Foods and their Community Supported Agriculture share. “I’m immensely grateful that our community was selected to receive these funds,” Otten said. “Camphill Village Kimberton Hills makes such a positive impact on its residents and connects them with other people, interests and resources in a valuable way. This grant will benefit the residents, the nonprofit, the local business selling Camphill’s cheeses, and the neighbors who get to purchase and enjoy them!” The Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program was Read more