Featured News

Climate Caucus members call on the legislature to act during Climate Action Week

Friel Otten announces $60,000 to expand Communities That Care of Greater Downingtown’s Youth Prevention Councils

(May 09, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 9 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, today announced $60,000 in state funding is headed to Communities That Care of Greater Downingtown to expand the organization’s number of Youth Prevention Councils. Otten was instrumental in securing the state grant, which comes from Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development funding for community improvement initiatives. “This grant will enable CTC of Greater Downingtown to continue its mission of creating a safe, supportive community that promotes mental and behavioral health and positive choices for our youth,” Otten said. “Together we advocated for this funding, and together we’ll continue to work to address the growing youth mental health crisis in our communities and support our kids through their teens and into adulthood.” CTC of Greater Downingtown Executive Director Bethann Cinelli echoed the sentiment, saying, “CTC is grateful for Representative Otten’s efforts in securing this grant to allow us to grow our Youth Prevention Councils, giving students the lead in educating and supporting their peers about positive mental health and prevention of substance abuse.” Otten said CTC plans to use the grant funds to more than quadruple the number of Youth Prevention Councils in the Downingtown area schools and community from three to 14 and create smaller “mini-grants” to empower the student Read more

 

Four Chester County school districts receive grants to enhance safety and security

(May 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – $778,119 in state funds to enhance and implement school safety and security efforts were awarded to four local school districts, state Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten, D-Chester, announced today. The funds will be provided through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety and Security Committee. This committee is the result of Act 44 of 2018 , and is responsible for establishing the standards schools must meet when performing school safety and security assessments. Grant recipients in Rep. Otten’s district include: Phoenixville Area School District, receiving $194,480 Renaissance Academy Charter School, receiving $59,447 Spring-Ford Area School District, receiving $386,192 Coatesville Area School District, receiving $138,000 It will be the choice of the school districts to determine how exactly the funds will be used. Eligible purposes include, but are not limited to: safety and security assessments, emergency preparedness, violence prevention, intervention training programs, training of school police officers and counseling services for students. “It is vital that we provide the supports and resources necessary to keep our children safe,” Otten said. “I’m very grateful that these schools in my district will have the opportunity to use these funds to develop the programs and services that will best help them maintain a safe learning environment.” Read more

 

Community Power Summit is May 18

(May 03, 2019)

Understanding the impact people have on the environment has never been more important. Join myself, environmental groups, and community organizations on May 18 for a family-friendly event to learn more about environmental action in Pennsylvania. This community event will include an interactive virtual reality presentation about oil and gas pollution, a panel discussion about climate change and air pollution issues in Pennsylvania, fun kid-friendly activities, and more. Please join us to learn more about policies and practices that protect our environment and put our children’s health and well-being first. The Community Power Summit will take place on Saturday, May 18 at Lionville Middle School, 550 W. Uwchlan Ave., from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. If you have any questions about this event, please call Sarah Heil at 484-200-8259. Read more

 

Miss my Telephone Town Hall? Click to listen to the discussion

(May 03, 2019)

Listen to what your friends and neighbors had to say. Read more

 

Friel Otten issues statement responding to misinformation

(May 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, today released a statement responding to misinformation being spread in connection to the ongoing disruption caused by the Mariner East pipeline in Chester County which now has resulted in the removal of five families from their homes. “ Never did I call union workers Nazis. This outrage has been manufactured and stirred up by media consultants who are paid by the oil and gas industry to silence our voices. Our fight is not with the workers, and it never has been. “This pipeline carries highly volatile liquids 50 feet from where my children sleep at night. Mariner East has wreaked havoc and rained economic ruin on the hardworking residents of Chester County and across 350 miles of Pennsylvania. They have destroyed property and property values, violated constitutional rights, endangered our physical safety, insulted residents, disrupted our lives, and lied repeatedly to residents, legislators, public officials, and emergency responders. “In recent days we learned that five Chester County families lost their homes at the hands of this project. “If we continue to do the bidding of pipeline operators, if we continue to allow them to act as ‘public utilities’ when the products they transport are no such thing, we legitimize their operations and minimize the very real harm they have done and continue to do to our communities, our Commonwealth, and our Read more

 

Friel Otten joins in ‘Zero Waste PA’ bill package to address single-use plastics, litter and a ‘throwaway’ society

(Apr 10, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Rep. Danielle Friel Otten today joined other lawmakers and PennEnvironment to announce a package of bills aimed at addressing single-use plastics, pervasive issues of litter and the various environmental harms caused by a "throwaway" society. Legislation in the “Zero Waste PA” package works to address issues created by a disposable society including single-use plastics such as straws, plastic bags and Styrofoam takeout food containers, electronic waste, funding Pennsylvania’s recycling programs and more. "I am excited to introduce legislation with the goal of diverting organic waste from our landfills and incinerators. Significant waste reduction in our landfills and disposal cost savings throughout our communities will benefit both our economy and our environment by creating a market for organic waste composting and helping to reduce environmental harms to our commonwealth. I am proud to support these bills, which are a step in the right direction for Pennsylvania’s environmental future,” said Friel Otten, D-Chester. “Every day, unwitting Pennsylvanians are barraged with products that we’re expected to purchase and use, and then throw away. Only, there is no ‘away,’” said PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur. “Instead, it ends up in landfills where it can cause water pollution, in incinerators that cause air pollution, or blowing around in Read more

 

Otten bill offsetting Turnpike expansion with more green space passes House

(Mar 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – The state House of Representatives last week passed Rep. Danielle Friel Otten’s bill to allow Marsh Creek State Park to release a parcel of land adjacent to the Turnpike in exchange for land that would expand the park’s trail network and protect local wetlands and wildlife habitat. The land along the turnpike, consisting primarily of rock and road berm, was originally purchased with public Project 70 funds, so it cannot be sold or transferred unless it’s replaced with land of an equal or greater value. H.B. 387 would release that strip of land from Project 70 restrictions but transfer Project 70 protections to the new larger wooded, wetland parcel to be acquired by the park. “Under this plan, we’re showing that development doesn’t have to cost the county’s beautiful and important natural spaces,” said Otten, D-Chester. “This is a win for conservation, Chester County residents, and all Pennsylvanians.” The new parcel is part of a larger, 57-acre land preservation project coordinated among the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Natural Lands Trust, and the Turnpike Commission. The parcel of land released under the bill would allow the Turnpike Commission to widen the road. The bill now awaits consideration in the state Senate. Read more

 

Chester, Delaware lawmakers urge Wolf to halt Mariner operations until safety protocols are in place

(Mar 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 11 – Pennsylvania lawmakers representing 11 House districts and three Senatorial districts across Chester and Delaware counties have signed a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf asking him to impose a moratorium on the transmission of natural gas liquids products through the Mariner East pipeline system until the mandated protocols are in place for local responders to properly manage a pipeline emergency. Chester County Emergency Services and local school districts along the pipeline, including Downingtown Area School District, Rose Tree Media School District and West Chester Area School District have requested Energy Transfer Partners' subsidiary SPLP to provide its Emergency Response Plan for the Mariner East project, which the responders and school districts need to complete their comprehensive All Hazards Emergency Response Plans and fulfill their statutory requirements under Title 35 of state law . The letter urges Wolf to preserve the health, welfare and safety of constituents who live, work and raise their families in the high-consequence areas of Chester and Delaware counties within the impact radius of Mariner East. “We have pipelines currently transporting highly volatile products through our communities, and our local first responders are not able to adequately plan their emergency response or mitigate our risk because the operator has failed to cooperate with repeated requests for their Emergency Response Plan,” said Read more

 

Dinniman, Friel Otten Announce Formation of Pipeline Safety Caucus & March 19th Pipeline Rally in Harrisburg

(Mar 08, 2019)

WEST CHESTER (March 5, 2019) – State Senator Andy Dinniman, State Representative Danielle Friel Otten, fellow lawmakers, community groups, residents, and families from across Pennsylvania will hold a Rally for Pipeline Safety and Environmental Protection on Tuesday, March 19 at 10 a.m. in the Main Capitol Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. At the rally, residents will lobby for the passage of a package of comprehensive pipeline safety bills introduced by Dinniman and others in the wake of various environmental violations, public safety concerns, geologic problems, threats to private property and water rights, and other wide-ranging quality-of-life issues brought on by Sunoco/ETP’s controversial Mariner East project. “Mariner East may have brought area residents together and opened our eyes to the lack of strong pipeline public safety and environmental protection regulations in Pennsylvania, but this is a statewide issue and one that demands real, immediate and lasting reform,” Dinniman, who serves on the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee said. “Residents are coming to Harrisburg by the busload on March 19 to demand immediate relief and real action from the legislature so that no one in Pennsylvania will have to have their home and their safety held hostage by a pipeline project again.” The rally is being coordinated by volunteers from nearly 50 organizations across the Commonwealth. Local residents Read more

 

Mobile Office: March 7th at the Downingtown Library

(Mar 05, 2019)

Our district office staff will co-host a Mobile Office at the Downingtown Library from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Thursday, March 7th, along with staff from Rep. Dan Williams' district office. The Downingtown Library is located in the 74th Legislative District and serves residents of the 74th and 155th districts and beyond. Stop in to say hello and get help with SEPTA Senior Key Cards, Unclaimed Property searches, Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms, and other state-related services! Click here for a list of all the services our district office provides. Read more

 

Your voice empowers our community

(Feb 06, 2019)

Please help me serve you better by sharing your thoughts on our community’s needs, and then consider participating in an active constituent team to work with me on some of those issues. Read more

 

Friel-Otten appointed to House committees, including Environmental Resources and Energy Committee

(Jan 29, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 29 – State Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten announced today that she was appointed to serve on several standing House committees, including the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Friel-Otten was also appointed to the Children and Youth, Aging and Older Adult Services, and Tourism and Recreational Development committees. “These committee assignments give me the chance to work on issues that matter in our community,” said Friel-Otten, D-Chester. “I’m especially eager to join the Environmental Resources committee, as our community deals with the environmental and safety impacts of pipeline construction through our back yards. I look forward to representing our community’s interests as an active member of these committees.” The Environmental Resources and Energy Committee works with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to establish regulations on environmental issues, including air and water quality, and has oversight of the Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies. The Tourism and Recreational Development Committee oversees legislation related to the state’s tourism industry and has jurisdiction over the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The Children and Youth Committee reviews bills that affect Pennsylvania’s youngest residents and bills related the Office of Child Development and Learning and the Office of Children Youth and Families, under the Read more

 

RSVP for District Office Grand Opening Jan. 12

(Jan 04, 2019)

District Office Grand Opening Jan. 12 Read more

 

Friel Otten sworn in as state legislator for the 155th Legislative District

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten was sworn into office today to represent Pennsylvania’s 155 th Legislative District. “I’m honored and excited to begin serving our community,” said Friel Otten, D-Chester. “Chester County needs a strong voice in government, and I look forward to being a voice for the residents of the 155 th District.” Friel Otten said her legislative priorities include strong public schools, accessible and affordable health care, public safety, environmental justice, renewable energy leadership, and workforce development. Prior to taking office, Friel Otten spent the majority of her professional career in marketing and hospitality. She resides in Uwchlan Township with her husband and two children. The 155 th Legislative District comprises the townships of East Brandywine, East Pikeland, Upper Uwchlan, Uwchlan, West Brandywine, and West Vincent; the borough of Spring City; and a portion (Ward North) of the borough of Phoenixville. Constituents may visit Friel Otten’s website at www.pahouse.com/otten to learn more about the state-related services and programs available through the representative’s local and Harrisburg offices. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives swearing-in ceremony corresponds with the first Tuesday in January, every two years. This year marks Pennsylvania’s 203 rd legislative session. Learn more about the House Democrats’ Plan for PA here Read more

 

Veterans services

(Dec 01, 2018)

Below are a number of programs and services available to help veterans and their families. Please share this list with any veterans in your life. Veterans Temporary Assistance Temporary help is available for veterans and their beneficiaries who need aid for essentials such as shelter, fuel, clothing and food. If eligible, a veteran or their beneficiary can qualify for up to $1,600 in a 12-month period. The Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program Any honorably discharged veteran who is 100 percent disabled, a resident of Pennsylvania and has financial need can apply for this program, which provides real estate tax exemption on principal dwellings. Educational Gratuity Program Children of honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities or children of veterans who died in service during a period of war or armed conflict qualify for up to $500 per semester/term to help defray educational costs. Military Family Relief Assistance Program Eligible Pennsylvania service members and their family members who have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control can apply for up to $3,500 in grants. This program is available for active and past service members. Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Program Grants are available for veterans’ services organizations, non-profit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans, individual eligible counties and the State Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Dec 01, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us . Read more