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

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

 

Democratic legislators applaud state Supreme Court decision to halt evictions

(Mar 18, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – Following the announcement that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would be halting all eviction notices, multiple House Democrats, who earlier in the day requested this halt, issued the following statement: “We’re extremely appreciative to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for showing judicious leadership in halting all evictions statewide through at least April 3 and possibly beyond depending on the COVID-19 pandemic. “As we continually urge Pennsylvanians to stay home out of great concern for their personal health as well as the health of their community, it’s unconscionable that they could still be evicted and thrown into a world of instability when stability is what they need most. This halting of evictions doesn’t only help the homeowner or lessee, it helps the entire community. “Far too many people are living paycheck to paycheck and now face the real situation of being out of work for an extended period of time. Ensuring they have a roof over their heads for the foreseeable future isn’t simply the right thing to do, it’s the moral thing to do.” The following House Democratic legislators signed on to a letter, which can be viewed here, requesting the Pennsylvania Supreme Court halt all eviction proceedings: Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny. Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, D-Phila. State Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Phila. State Read more

 

Letter to Justice Saylor asking to suspend evictions

(Mar 18, 2020)

Letter to Chief Justice Saylor asking to expand a directive in Pennsylvania to include all foreclosures and evictions, beyond those processed through HUD. Read more

 

Pennsylvanians are sending a message; House Democrats’ Plan4PA responds

(Mar 17, 2020)

By the PA House Democratic leadership team When we return to Harrisburg after spending time in our legislative districts, we always bring back with us a pretty simple and clear message from the people we represent. The families, local business owners and community leaders we speak with at home want a Pennsylvania where public officials are fighting for them, not just the special interests and politically connected who lobby at the state Capitol every day. Working families are tired of struggling day after day to get by while big corporations and special interests get all the breaks. Our neighbors tell us it’s time for Harrisburg to stop putting politics ahead of the people, and it’s time to for us to stand together for a Pennsylvania that works for all of us. That’s why PA House Democrats have made the priorities we share with the people we represent the engine that drives our Plan4PA policy agenda. We want to grow our economy and create Good Jobs everywhere. That’s why our Plan4PA calls for jobs that pay real wages and support families. Our plan protects workers, gives them a voice in the workplace and a chance to retire. It supports careers and financial stability, not just a temporary job and the constant fear of insecurity. We want people to have access to Affordable Health Care so they can visit the doctor when they are sick. That’s why our Plan4PA Read more

 

Philadelphia House leadership, legislators, call on Governor Tom Wolf to halt all Public Utility Commission utility disconnections in wake of the COVID-19 virus

(Mar 12, 2020)

Members of Philadelphia leadership team in the state House were joined by fellow Philadelphia legislators in asking Gov. Tom Wolf to place a moratorium on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission from further utility shutoffs for the foreseeable future for all Pennsylvanians in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

 

Fiedler, Harris and Donatucci call for halt to safe injection site until more community input is received

(Feb 26, 2020)

State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila; Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic whip; and Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, issued the following statement on the prospective opening of a safe injection site in South Philadelphia:“First and foremost, let us be clear that the opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that demands our attention. Opioid and fentanyl-related deaths have skyrocketed in Philadelphia and our city has the unfortunate distinction of having one of the highest overdose death rates in the nation. That’s why we’ve unequivocally supported legislation aimed at combating this crisis and worked with Governor Tom Wolf to increase funding for treatment and recovery. Read more

 

Rep. Harris Winter 2020 Newsletter

(Feb 25, 2020)

Click here to read Rep. Harris' latest newsletter! Read more

 

NBC 10 @ Issue

(Feb 10, 2020)

Rep. Jordan Harris joins NBC 10 @ Issue to discuss Gov. Tom Wolf's latest budget proposal. Read more

 

House Democrats embrace Wolf’s vision for Pennsylvania

(Feb 04, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – House Democratic leaders praised the 2020-21 budget proposal outlined today by Gov. Tom Wolf, saying it closely tracks the Democratic Caucus’ own policy agenda, the Plan For Pennsylvania . “Governor Wolf is showing the way to make Pennsylvania a better place to live, learn and work,” said Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. “House Democrats are matching his vision with our plan for affordable health care, quality schools, good jobs, a safe and healthy environment, and justice for all people.” Wolf’s budget proposal includes heavy investment in public schools and early childhood education, as well a new workforce initiative to prepare more workers for in-demand jobs. Wolf proposed a new scholarship program to help students in the State System of Higher Education avoid crushing student debt. “This budget is a bold approach to fixing some of Pennsylvania’s most pressing issues, including reducing gun violence, increasing the minimum wage, ensuring our schools are safe places for our children to learn and addressing the rising cost of higher education,” said Democratic Whip Jordan Harris. “I’m especially glad to see Governor Wolf address the student debt crisis. Education is the elevator out of poverty and considering Pennsylvania’s students have the highest level of student loan debt in the nation, that elevator is essentially broken. The legislature must act to address this Read more

 

Harris announces over $2,900 for Chester A. Arthur School to increase healthy meal options

(Jan 29, 2020)

Citing the importance of healthy eating for students, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic whip, applauded a $2,908 grant from the federal government to Chester A. Arthur School for the purchase a new cafeteria cooler. Read more

 

Dawkins and Philadelphia Delegation applaud Gov. Wolf’s budget allocation to address lead, asbestos issues in schools

(Jan 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 29 – Members of the House Democratic Philadelphia Delegation, led by Rep. Jason Dawkins, today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to include funding to address lead issues in public schools, including those in Philadelphia, in the budget. “Our children deserve to learn, and our teachers deserve to teach, in schools that don’t make them sick,” said Dawkins, chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation. “This is something that we can all agree on. But for far too long, our children, teachers and anyone else who has entered school buildings in Philadelphia have taken their own lives into their hands because often lead and asbestos were lurking inside. “My delegation colleagues and I are overjoyed at the news that Governor Wolf will be making investments in lead and asbestos remediation projects in our schools. Finally, we can take the steps to make our school buildings safe places to learn and to teach,” Dawkins said. “After so many of us have fought for so long to bring attention to this crisis, we are so grateful that Governor Wolf is making this a priority.” Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., secretary of the Philadelphia Delegation, agreed that it’s great news Wolf plans to prioritize the funding to allow schools to get rid of toxins. “We won’t rest until this money is a reality,” Fiedler added. “Every single Pennsylvania student Read more

 

It’s time to fix Pennsylvania’s probation system

(Jan 21, 2020)

There’s a growing urgency - and willingness - to fix Pennsylvania’s probation system.Pennsylvania lawmakers can’t squander this opportunity.About 178,000 people are on probation in Pennsylvania. Criminal justice reform advocates and a growing number of lawmakers say that number is too high. The system is unnecessarily expensive and punitive. Too many people are on probation for too long, making it exceedingly difficult for those trying for a fresh start. Read more

 

How two politicians from opposite sides fixed their state together

(Jan 18, 2020)

On paper, Rep. Sheryl Delozier, a Republican from a predominantly white conservative district, and Rep. Jordan Harris, a Democrat from a predominantly black Philadelphia district, would be considered an unlikely alignment. If they sat on a cable-news panel they’d be expected to yell and point fingers at each other over partisan slights. On social media, the idea of them being friends would be considered an abomination worthy of canceling them both.But since 2018, they have been working together on criminal-justice reform — and making real change happen. Read more

 

Pa. lawmakers hope to pass probation reform bill this year but some differ on putting caps on sentences

(Jan 15, 2020)

Republican and Democratic lawmakers say they see a genuine opportunity to fix the probation system this year.Such bipartisan agreement in Harrisburg is uncommon, lawmakers concede. Still, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the probation system is too expensive and inefficient. Advocates for probation reform contend shorter sentences would give people a chance to rebuild their lives. As a bonus, it would save millions of tax dollars that could be used to improve public safety. Read more

 

Rep. Harris Fall 2019 Newsletter

(Jan 02, 2020)

Click here for Rep. Harris' fall 2019 newsletter! Read more

 

House Democratic whip applauds passage of licensure system bill

(Dec 23, 2019)

State Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia), House Democratic whip, applauds the passage of House Bill 1477 that restructures how the state’s occupational licensure system views criminal records. Read more

 

Two state legislators set the right tone for the battles ahead in 2020

(Dec 19, 2019)

State Reps. Jordan Harris and Aaron Bernstine know how to agree to disagree, and not be disagreeable. In fact, they could teach our national Democratic and Republican leaders a thing or two.Harris is a Democrat and represents the 186th legislative district and is from South Philadelphia -- “born and raised.” Bernstine is Republican and represents the 10th District, rural Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties. They duked it out – ideologically speaking – on a recent Battleground PA podcast, but left our studios patting each other on the back and guffawing uproariously at their own jokes. Read more

 

Harris disappointed, not discouraged, on lack of movement on probation reform legislation

(Dec 18, 2019)

State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic whip, issued the following statement on H.B. 1555, bipartisan probation reform legislation introduced with state Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland, not receiving a vote before the House adjourned today:“The great Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘we must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.’ This week, we must accept the disappointment that House Bill 1555 did not receive a vote in the House, but also understand that the political process is continuing to work and we still plan to get this bill across the finish line in the House when we return in January. Read more

 

Harris applauds passage of bipartisan occupational licensure reform

(Dec 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 18 – Citing the benefit to Pennsylvanians looking for employment as well as to the state’s economy, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic whip, applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation he authored with state Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland, that restructures how the state’s occupational licensure system looks at criminal records. “This legislation is about second chances, job growth and lower recidivism across Pennsylvania,” said Harris. “We know the number one way to lower recidivism and stop people from falling into the pitfall of crime is to give them a chance at secure employment and a better life, and that’s exactly what House Bill 1477 accomplishes. I’m thrilled to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, especially Representative Delozier again, to help give thousands of Pennsylvanians a chance to succeed and turn their lives around. ” “A licensing board should not reject someone applying to practice a profession solely due to an old infraction that may have nothing to do with the profession they want to serve,” said Delozier. “This legislation would not allow someone to be solely rejected based on a criminal record unless there is a direct tie to the profession.” House Bill 1477 provides alternatives to licensing boards in Pennsylvania to issue licenses to formally incarcerated and Read more

 

Bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation moves through House Judiciary Committee

(Dec 09, 2019)

Calling it a victory for criminal justice reform in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic Whip, thanked the committee chairmen and members for moving multiple pieces of legislation aimed at correcting injustices in Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system. Read more

 

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

Democratic legislators applaud state Supreme Court decision to halt evictions
Mar 18, 2020

Letter to Justice Saylor asking to suspend evictions
Mar 18, 2020

Pennsylvanians are sending a message; House Democrats’ Plan4PA responds
Mar 17, 2020

Philadelphia House leadership, legislators, call on Governor Tom Wolf to halt all Public Utility Commission utility disconnections in wake of the COVID-19 virus
Mar 12, 2020

Fiedler, Harris and Donatucci call for halt to safe injection site until more community input is received
Feb 26, 2020

Rep. Harris Winter 2020 Newsletter
Feb 25, 2020

NBC 10 @ Issue
Feb 10, 2020

House Democrats embrace Wolf’s vision for Pennsylvania
Feb 04, 2020

Harris announces over $2,900 for Chester A. Arthur School to increase healthy meal options
Jan 29, 2020

Dawkins and Philadelphia Delegation applaud Gov. Wolf’s budget allocation to address lead, asbestos issues in schools
Jan 29, 2020

It’s time to fix Pennsylvania’s probation system
Jan 21, 2020

How two politicians from opposite sides fixed their state together
Jan 18, 2020

Pa. lawmakers hope to pass probation reform bill this year but some differ on putting caps on sentences
Jan 15, 2020

Rep. Harris Fall 2019 Newsletter
Jan 02, 2020

House Democratic whip applauds passage of licensure system bill
Dec 23, 2019

Two state legislators set the right tone for the battles ahead in 2020
Dec 19, 2019

Harris disappointed, not discouraged, on lack of movement on probation reform legislation
Dec 18, 2019

Harris applauds passage of bipartisan occupational licensure reform
Dec 18, 2019

Bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation moves through House Judiciary Committee
Dec 09, 2019