State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic Whip, praised House Bill 440, legislation that passed the House today and will open Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate program to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians. Read more
Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, supporters of the Affordable Care Act across the U.S. have become incredibly anxious about the federal law, which has been argued several times in court in attempts to deem it unconstitutional. Read more
Stay updated with Rep. Harris' Summer 2020 Newsletter. Read more
The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of local and state elected officials and advocates, issued the following statement in response to a Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee hearing on law enforcement interactions with the community:“We appreciate the House Republican Policy Committee shining a light on how law enforcement interacts with communities around the state. This is a necessary discussion that is long overdue and it’s encouraging to hear presenters today acknowledge that police reform is necessary. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 23 – This week, state Reps. Stephen Kinsey, Jordan Harris, and Malcolm Kenyatta, all D-Phila., announced they will be introducing a resolution honoring Congressman John Lewis, who died on July 17. “Congressman Lewis was an integral part of the Civil Rights movement and a leading voice in the advancement of economic and social justice. His life was devoted to activism and advocacy for equal justice in America, and his actions have inspired so many today,” Kinsey said. “The next generation of leaders will continue to follow his legacy and help us achieve the equality that Congressman Lewis pictured.” “Congressman John Lewis was truly a giant of the Civil Rights movement and, beyond that, a moral compass in the United States House of Representatives,” Harris said. “Few have been able to have such a profound effect on the centuries-long struggle for equality and dignity for our Black and brown communities, but Congressman Lewis was a beacon of hope and righteousness that shined through very dark clouds in our nation’s history. It’s an honor to be fraternity brothers with Congressman Lewis in Phi Beta Sigma, and we will ensure his legacy will not be forgotten and, instead, will continue to energize and mobilize generation after generation that will carry on the mantle of this fight.” "The life and service of John Lewis was immensely influential in my own Read more
This week on Face the State we are taking a deeper dive at the reopening of Pennsylvania schools, as part of our Project Education Initiative. Later in the show, Rep. Jordan Harris joins the program with what’s next in the state’s response to COVID-19 and police reform. Read more
In response to Vice President Mike Pence visiting with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, the Police Reform Working Group, made up of state and county elected officials and advocates, released the following statement:“As members of the Police Reform Working Group, we believe that the path to achieving community safety and racial justice in Pennsylvania must be two-fold. First, we must improve our current system of policing through accountability, oversight, and tangible policy changes that will diminish instances of police brutality against all citizens, but especially against the Black community. Second, we must work with communities to transform and re-envision policing itself through bold systemic changes that center around those most impacted by police violence and structural racism. Read more
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
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 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
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, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
** 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
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