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Philadelphia elected officials call for state, local reform of community-police relationships

They were arrested for having some weed in Pa. Their mugshots still follow them online

(Jul 01, 2020)

For almost 36 straight hours, Justin Stineman said, he lived and partied like a rock star.Stineman, 23, a local rapper from Lititz, Lancaster County, who performs under the name Nexus The League, said his parents were away in Italy. So he decided to play a show and host an after-party, which finally wrapped up on Jan. 22, 2018.Next, Stineman said, he and others dropped his friend off at work in Harrisburg at 7 a.m. Stineman said he was falling asleep on the way back. Later, he said, he went to take a 10-minute nap in the car, which was parked across from his home on East Lincoln Street. 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

 

Pa. small businesses can apply for ‘grants, not loans’ starting on Tuesday

(Jun 30, 2020)

Starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, the window opens for applications from Pennsylvania small businesses to tap a $225 million grant program that is intended to help them recover their losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and reopen their doors.The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program announced earlier this month by Gov. Tom Wolf, will accept applications for 10 days before closing until the second of four rounds of grant distributions begins in early August. Read more

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers advance policing reforms

(Jun 25, 2020)

Pennsylvania lawmakers endorsed bills Wednesday that would overhaul law enforcement hiring, training and use of force procedures in the wake of a national reckoning over police brutality and systemic racism.House Bills 1841 and 1910 sailed through the lower chamber with unanimous support after several impassioned speeches from members of the Black Legislative Caucus – whose floor protest two weeks ago put legislative action into motion. Read more

 

2 Pennsylvania Police Reform Bills Unanimously Pass Through House On ‘Historic Day’

(Jun 25, 2020)

Pennsylvania is taking a first step toward responding to cries for police reform. The bipartisan action comes amid the unrest over the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police.The calls for police reform and accountability are being heard loud and clear as thousands of protesters continue to demonstrate in Philadelphia and throughout the commonwealth. 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

 

Harris to introduce legislation ending law enforcement qualified immunity

(Jun 11, 2020)

Citing the disproportionate damage being done to minority communities in Pennsylvania by excessive use of force, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic Whip, will soon be introducing the Ending Immunity for Excessive Use of Force Act that would eliminate blanket qualified immunity for the use of unjustified or excessive force that results in serious bodily injury or death. 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

 

Police Reform Working Group releases statement on progress toward reform

(Jun 04, 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 on Gov. Tom Wolf’s adoption today of their request for a state-level deputy inspector general aimed at improving law enforcement conduct, as well as Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s, along with the Fraternal Order of Police’s, support of a confidential database to track complaints against police officers: Read more

 

Philadelphia elected officials call for state, local reform of community-police relationships

(Jun 02, 2020)

In the midst of civil unrest across Pennsylvania ignited by the murder of George Floyd, elected officials from Philadelphia introduced a series of much-needed reforms aimed at improving community/police relationships. Read more

 

Philadelphia House leaders applaud passage of $2.6 billion in CARES funding

(May 29, 2020)

House leaders from the Philadelphia Delegation led by Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, Democratic Chairwoman Joanna McClinton, Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins, and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Stephen Kinsey, today applauded the passage of legislation that would deliver $2.6 billion of federal coronavirus aid to Pennsylvania’s hardest hit communities and help small businesses, schools and seniors. Read more

 

House Democrats oppose budget that would hike property taxes

(May 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 26 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Democratic Whip Jordan Harris and Democratic Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford commented about today’s House vote on a partial state budget (H.B. 2387) which all 93 House Democrats opposed: “In a bipartisan rejection House Democrats stood united against the incomplete budget bill passed today. We have many questions with no answers about a $25 billion spending plan we didn’t even see in writing until today. “It’s clear that this budget doesn’t account for a multibillion-dollar revenue gap and just pushes the day of reckoning off until late November. How will the unprecedented deficit be closed? “The current plan fails to take care of homeowners struggling to pay school property taxes and will cause tax bills to increase by more than $300 million. Until we get more answers for the people we represent, Democrats will not support an incomplete budget that doesn’t meet the people’s true needs.” Read more

 

Democrats seek more support for Pennsylvania workers

(May 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 21 – Democratic leaders said any review of Unemployment Compensation during the current pandemic should be aimed at fixing problems and putting workers’ needs first, rather than simply blaming the Department of Labor and Industry for factors mostly beyond its control. The House Labor and Industry Committee today received an update on benefits for unemployed claimants from senior leaders in the department including Secretary Gerard Oleksiak. “The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a sudden, widespread economic dislocation and prevented people from working in numbers never seen before,” said Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. “It’s important to understand how the department is responding to the demand for its services while many people are still waiting for unemployment benefits. “It’s also clear that after being starved of resources for years the department is doing its best with the limited tools it has and is intently focused on getting people their benefits,” Dermody said. “We need to get payments in the hands of workers who have earned them,” said Democratic Labor and Industry Chairman Pat Harkins. “I’ve heard from many constituents about their difficulties getting unemployment payments. They are understandably frustrated and I can see why.” Harkins thanked Oleksiak for answering the committee’s questions and being Read more

 

Philadelphia House leaders secure 100,000 face masks for Philadelphians working on the front lines of COVID-19 pandemic

(May 14, 2020)

Calling it an example of working together for the greater good of Philadelphia, House leaders from the Philadelphia Delegation led by Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, Democratic Chairwoman Joanna McClinton, Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins, and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Stephen Kinsey, announced today a partnership with Lowe’s that has delivered 100,000 essential face masks to frontline workers in Philadelphia. Read more

 

House Democratic leaders denounce Republican for playing politics, wasting tax dollars and sharing fake news

(May 01, 2020)

House Democratic leaders today released the following statement regarding House Republicans’ irresponsible political antics and misinformation campaign that’s putting Pennsylvanians’ lives at risk:“History will not be kind to those that have sown division and discord during a national emergency. Astoundingly, instead of offering reassuring, responsible leadership, constructive oversight and appropriating desperately needed resources in the midst of a global pandemic, House Republicans have focused their efforts on politicizing the reopening process, undermining our faith in public health officials and engaging in a bizarre misinformation campaign by spreading fake reopening plans on social media. Read more

 

House Republicans continue playing political games with Pennsylvanians’ health insurance

(Apr 27, 2020)

Following an attempt by House Democrats to bring up legislation aimed at protecting Pennsylvanians’ health insurance, House Republicans used political gamesmanship to effectively kill any chance of the bills coming up for a vote in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. House Republicans today re-referred Democratic bills from the House Insurance Committee to the House Health Committee to avoid voting for popular measures to protect people’s health. House Democrats last week announced their intention to force these bills out of the Insurance Committee and to the full House for a vote due to inaction by that committee. Read more

 

Harris: Economies can be revived; lost lives cannot

(Apr 20, 2020)

In the midst of a rally calling to end the government closure of non-essential business due to COVID-19, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic Whip, issued the following statement:“In just 45 days, over 33,000 Pennsylvanians have tested positive and over 1,200 Pennsylvanians have lost their lives to COVID-19. This virus is disproportionately impacting our frontline health care workers, our vulnerable seniors in nursing homes, and our minority communities. Read more

 

Cephas, Harris, Schweyer work to bridge the digital divide, expand educational resources to students in need during COVID-19 pandemic

(Mar 24, 2020)

As schools remain closed, state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Peter Schweyer are introducing legislation to help connect all students with the critical resources they need to continue their education during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Advanced technology has made it possible for young people to learn outside of the classroom. However, not all families are able to afford these services and devices," said Cephas, D-Phila. "Access to quality education should not be based on your ZIP code, especially during times of crisis. This is just another way I am working ensure children in our communities have access to the same tools as everyone else." The bill would allocate grant money to school districts to provide or expand access to technology and technological equipment, like laptops or tablets, for students who do not have the means to purchase them or are unable to access the Internet from home. “As a parent of two children in the Allentown School District, I know that so many of our talented kids only have access to technology at school," said Schweyer, D-Lehigh. "When the need arrives when schools need to be closed, we must make sure students have the tools they need to continue their studies, regardless of their economic circumstances. This legislation will help close the digital divide for those less fortunate Read more

 

COVID-19 Resources and Information

(Mar 20, 2020)

** A list of informational links for resouces in and around Philadelphia related to COVID-19. This will be updated as more/new information becomes available. ** Read more

 

House Democratic leaders support Gov. Wolf’s response to state health crisis

(Mar 20, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – House Democratic leaders said criticism of Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to use emergency powers to shut down non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania is off-base in light of the most up-to-date medical guidance for dealing with COVID-19. “This unprecedented national public health emergency demands leadership from all levels of government. This is a matter of life and death, without hyperbole. That’s a reality we all need to confront. In conjunction with top medical professionals, the governor is leading our state and working to make the best decisions based on medical evidence. Every hour we see more of that evidence in front of us. “Now is the time to reduce people’s contact in order to lessen the impact of this crisis and reduce its duration. Simply put, the action taken by the governor, which is strongly supported by Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, will save lives. Taking swift action sooner rather than later will lessen the long-term impact on businesses and help our employers and employees return to normal as soon as possible. “The governor is facing impossible choices and is making decisions based on the advice of medical experts. We will continue to work and offer help and guidance to all affected employees and employers. We thank all the business owners who have led the way in this effort and helped prevent the spread of the virus, as well as the medical Read more

 

They were arrested for having some weed in Pa. Their mugshots still follow them online
Jul 01, 2020

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

Pa. small businesses can apply for ‘grants, not loans’ starting on Tuesday
Jun 30, 2020

Pennsylvania lawmakers advance policing reforms
Jun 25, 2020

2 Pennsylvania Police Reform Bills Unanimously Pass Through House On ‘Historic Day’
Jun 25, 2020

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

Harris to introduce legislation ending law enforcement qualified immunity
Jun 11, 2020

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

Police Reform Working Group releases statement on progress toward reform
Jun 04, 2020

Philadelphia elected officials call for state, local reform of community-police relationships
Jun 02, 2020

Philadelphia House leaders applaud passage of $2.6 billion in CARES funding
May 29, 2020

House Democrats oppose budget that would hike property taxes
May 26, 2020

Democrats seek more support for Pennsylvania workers
May 21, 2020

Philadelphia House leaders secure 100,000 face masks for Philadelphians working on the front lines of COVID-19 pandemic
May 14, 2020

House Democratic leaders denounce Republican for playing politics, wasting tax dollars and sharing fake news
May 01, 2020

House Republicans continue playing political games with Pennsylvanians’ health insurance
Apr 27, 2020

Harris: Economies can be revived; lost lives cannot
Apr 20, 2020

Cephas, Harris, Schweyer work to bridge the digital divide, expand educational resources to students in need during COVID-19 pandemic
Mar 24, 2020

COVID-19 Resources and Information
Mar 20, 2020

House Democratic leaders support Gov. Wolf’s response to state health crisis
Mar 20, 2020