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Pa. could pass a ‘lemon law’ for homes to protect residents from shoddy construction

Hohenstein announces $2.75 million for recreation and community revitalization projects

(Sep 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., today announced $2.75 million in Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnerships Program grants for projects in his legislative district that will help create new recreational opportunities, conserve natural resources, and revitalize local communities. “I’m celebrating a total of $2.75 million dollars that is headed to our district to open up the Delaware River waterfront and create more opportunities for everyone to enjoy the outdoors and recreational facilities,” Hohenstein said. “Between development of the Frankford Boat Launch site, rehabilitation, and upgrades to the Cohocksink Recreation Center, and expanding the Delaware River Trail and adding a waterfront park. There is so much to celebrate, and I’m grateful to Governor Wolf for working with us to get this money back in our communities.” The grants approved would allocate: $2,000,000 for the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Land Conservancy to be used as payment toward the acquisition of approximately 4.8 acres in the Fishtown/Port Richmond area of Philadelphia for a waterfront park and quarter-mile segment of the Delaware River Trail. $600,000 for the Philadelphia Treasurer Managing Directors Office to be used on rehabilitation and further development of Cohocksink Recreation Center in Philadelphia. Work is to include Read more


Hohenstein: Recovery and Saving Lives

(Aug 31, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein is recognizing National Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month. He says that many of those in recovery today from opioid abuse can thank Narcan. He plans to hold training sessions in his district to teach others how to administer this lifesaving drug. With so many different people touched by addiction or abuse, he is focused on providing more recovery options to help survivors stay strong. Read more


Senior Summer Newsletter 2022

(Aug 25, 2022)

You can read a copy of my Senior Summer Newsletter for 2022 right here on my website! Read more


Conrail to Close Aramingo Avenue This Weekend for Track Replacement Near Castor Avenue in Philadelphia

(Aug 10, 2022)

King of Prussia, PA – Conrail is planning to close Aramingo Avenue between Castor Avenue and Butler Street from 5:00 PM Saturday, August 13, to 5:00 AM Monday, August 15, for track replacement, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today. During the weekend closure, Aramingo Avenue motorists will be directed to use either Castor Avenue or Butler Street to access Richmond Street or Frankford Avenue. Local access will be maintained to the shopping center. Motorists are advised to allow more time for travel near the work area because backups and slowdowns will occur along the detour route. All scheduled activities are weather dependent and subject to change. Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com or downloading the 511PA mobile application. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. For a complete list of construction projects impacting state-owned highways in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, visit the District 6 Traffic Bulletin . Information about infrastructure in District 6, including completed work and significant projects, is available at www.penndot.pa.gov/D6Results . Find PennDOT's planned and active construction projects at www.projects.penndot.gov . Subscribe to PennDOT District 6 news and traffic alerts at Read more


Safer Communities

(Aug 02, 2022)

Safe communities are on everyone’s minds right now. Back in April, I wrote about how 70% of Philadelphia residents believe community safety is the primary issue affecting their lives right now . This evening, we will be recognizing National Night Out, with the police and community organizations of the 15 th , 24 th , and 26 th police districts. People studying the rising violence, especially among our young people, cite the fact that many of the institutions that brought community together were damaged severely during the Covid-19 pandemic. National Night Out, a unique, free event that brings police, business, and community neighbors together, is one of those institutions that we missed during the pandemic. I encourage everyone to get to one of the events close to you, get to know the police who walk your streets, your neighbors running organizations that set the standards for what we expect from each other, and take the opportunity to get involved yourself. Some groups that are part of NNO are organized specifically for your kids, giving them messages about community in a way that makes sense and is real for them. Other groups are focused on helping anyone take action to make their block, their neighborhood, our city, a better place to be. These are places where everyone across generations can gather, and we can take care of each other. If we are going to repair the damage done during the pandemic, and recognize the harm that was already plaguing us, we must Read more


Anniversary of the ADA – How far we have come and how far can we go?

(Jul 27, 2022)

July 26, 2022, marks the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). There’s a fascinating story behind this image of President Bush signing the ADA. Justin Dart, the man seated in a wheelchair on the right of the photo, was a member of the President’s National Council on Disabilities. He took a leading role in building support for this proposed new law. He traveled to all fifty states, bringing together people with disabilities and compiling evidence of the difficulties and discrimination that they faced in their everyday lives. They created a record of the conditions faced by persons with disabilities in the United States, which came to be known as the “discrimination diaries.” The record created by the hearings and the individual discrimination diaries was eventually delivered to Congress and formed an evidentiary basis for the ADA. The other man seated on the left side of the photo is Evan Kemp. He was an advisor to the President as the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In that role, and with his visible disability as a man in a wheelchair, he advocated for the ADA in the halls of Congress. He actually made certain that the President was aware of instances in which some members of his own Administration were not supporting the bill. These two men have a place in history, but they were far from alone. Another story from the passage of the ADA was the Capitol Crawl on March 12, 1990 . Read more


PA has only ever affirmed rights, not taken them away. That could change.

(Jul 11, 2022)

Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the U.S. Constitution in more ways than one. Not only did we physically host the Constitutional Convention in 1787, but the Quaker-inspired Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges also formed the philosophical framework for our nation’s Supreme Law of the Land. In 1701, the Charter read, in part, “no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences...” Freedom of religion and many other civil liberties found their first foothold in the American spirit in this document. Our own state constitution mirrors the federal one and has a history of being amended only when the issue is serious, and the final change is well-considered. In the more than 300 years since that first Charter of Privileges, Pennsylvania has only affirmed and recognized rights. It has never banned or taken a right away. If SB106 and the five separate amendments it includes become law, two rights will be curtailed and a third will be placed in direct conflict with the new ‘constitution.’ This is not a well-considered legislative proposal. It is one that would slice a cut deep into the heart of our freedom. First, SB106 includes an anti-abortion provision that would take away the reproductive rights of any person who can become pregnant. In just six words this amendment would stop protecting: ‘any other right relating to abortion.’ Read more


Hohenstein celebrates inclusion of disability-inclusive curriculum in Pennsylvania’s Education Code

(Jul 07, 2022)

State Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., on Friday said he’s celebrating the fact that disability inclusive curriculum will be incorporated into Pennsylvania’s Education Code. Read more


Hohenstein: Sunshine of Scrutiny on PhilaDAO

(Jul 01, 2022)

I voted ‘yes’ on HR216 which creates a Special Committee to investigate the gun violence in Philadelphia and focuses on the District Attorney’s role in it. I voted ‘no’ in committee because I believe that we should look at the entire state of Pennsylvania where there are DA’s who have committed crimes and counties with greater increases in crime than Philly. My final ‘yes’ vote is a recognition that the Philadelphia District Attorney does need to be accountable, but the truth is that we all need to be accountable. I hope the Special Committee takes a serious look at gun violence and gets the ball rolling on real change. Read more


Hohenstein Believes in Keeping Elections Local

(Jun 30, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein is opposed to measures that would undermine the power of local election officials. He says that there’s no reason to provide intrusive powers to those from outside the area. Read more


Hohenstein: Philadelphians Know There's a Problem

(Jun 30, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein wants Philadelphians to handle Philadelphia politics. He has received calls from neighbors who are insulted at the audacity of this proposed impeachment in the Pa. House. He wants to let his community handle their local politics, just like everywhere around the state. Read more


Hohenstein: A budget is a moral document

(Jun 28, 2022)

In Harrisburg, our most important job is to pass a budget that makes people’s lives easier. We must support our schools, establish a safety net for when people face hardships, create a business environment of opportunity and respect for workers’ rights, and ensure community safety. A budget is a moral document, and it should reflect the best we have to offer each other. With $5 billion in extra revenue this year and the remaining American Rescue Plan (ARPA) dollars, the time is now to consider a range of measures that would protect life, including investments in maternal health, repair toxic schools that sicken children across the commonwealth, help families afford quality childcare or have paid time off to care for an aging loved one, and support Pennsylvania’s seniors. We can support our citizens at the same time we invest in our economy and infrastructure. The opportunity exists to fund both social programs and economic development at historic levels. We must have foresight to seize that opportunity. In my first three years in the legislature, I voted against the final budget each time – because each time it did not do enough for the people of the commonwealth and my neighborhoods. I hope that this year’s budget will include enough of the initiatives described below so that I can finally vote ‘yes.’ My first budget priority is our kids and our schools. I support proposals that will increase early childhood education by $70M Read more


Hohenstein: Supporting People Who Can Become Pregnant

(Jun 24, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein will always fight for greater access to and support of healthcare for people who can become pregnant. Here in Pa., abortion remains safe and legal, and he is working to keep it that way. With the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, he is fighting to make sure no one else loses access to safe healthcare. Read more


GOP lawmakers block assault-style gun ban for those under 21 | AP News

(Jun 21, 2022)

Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Philadelphia, called the unfettered right to bear arms a myth that leads to the type of violence seen in the Wild West. “We can say all we want about how guns will make certain people safer, they also make a whole lot of other people less safe,” he said during the brief hearing in the Capitol. Violence is occurring with legally purchased guns, he noted. “It’s legal purchases of firearms that are turning into the mass shootings that we see.” Read more


Political glaciers

(Jun 15, 2022)

One of my biggest frustrations with the legislative process is that it can be like a glacier – frozen solid and unmovable. In Harrisburg, the rules give power to a single person – a committee chair from the majority party – to freeze a bill and keep it from ever being considered. This power is ripe for abuse – and it has kept bills that had more co-sponsors than the 102 needed to pass the bill from reaching the full House. This week we saw that power wielded again by Rep. Rob Kauffman, the majority chair of the Judiciary Committee. Chair Kauffman is on record that he would never pass or move forward bills that reflect commonsense gun safety policy. For this entire session, and for many sessions before, he has refused to move bills on safe gun storage (HB699), an assault weapons ban (HB770), local control over firearms regulations (HB1538), and temporary prevention of people in mental health crisis from possessing firearms (HB1903). Last week, I joined my Democratic colleagues in asking for those four bills to be discharged – to allow them to fly over the glacier in the Judiciary Committee and come to the full House for debate and a vote. These four bills do not represent the entire solution to our gun violence epidemic, but they are important pieces of the puzzle. It is wrong to reject them, like Chair Kauffman has done, and prevent us from even discussing them. Regardless of where you stand on the wisdom of the Read more


Hohenstein: Proud, Angry, and Strong #DisabilityPride

(Jun 13, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein is disabled and proud. He says that Disability Pride is all about giving people a platform to show the world their true, fierce selves. He says the world often teaches people what is 'normal' and that people like him are different. He sees this as an opportunity to teach others what real humanity is. He is advocating for himself and others to be proud, angry, and strong enough to lift up themselves and those who need help. Read more


Hohenstein: Our children deserve action

(May 26, 2022)

On Tuesday our nation was rocked once again by a horrific act of gun violence on the most innocent in our society: young school children. A shooter walked into Rabb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas at approximately 11:32 am after shooting his grandmother and crashing his vehicle near the school. The 18- year-old male gunman was fatally shot by law enforcement on the scene after killing at least 19 children and two adults. The suspect had a handgun, an AR-14 assault weapon, and high-capacity magazines. I cannot tell you what was going through that young man’s mind when he decided to take the lives of children and teachers. I cannot tell you what went through those scared children’s and teachers’ minds as they cowered in fear. What I can tell you is that this never should have happened, and it should never happen again. I can also tell you that this incident does not stand alone and is more connected to our community than some may have you believe. Gun violence is an indiscriminate plague on our society that touches every corner of this nation, both rural and urban, white and black, old and young, in supermarkets and elementary schools, and on the streets every day here in Philadelphia. You don’t need me to tell you how many young school-age children are gunned down every day in our city; I hear you when you tell me how gun violence has shaken your world. Many of us have been touched by what seems to be the uncontrollable and inevitable tragedy of gun Read more


Boom boom boom. The soundtrack of summer in our neighborhood

(May 23, 2022)

Boom boom boom. Boom boom boom. This is the soundtrack of our neighborhood in summer, each summer for the past few years. At times, this boom on repeat is punctuated with the high-pitched revving of engines from illegal motorbikes and ATVs. Some people call this a quality-of-life issue. But the loss of sleep, the suffering of pets and kids from all the noise and the feeling that you and your neighbors are forgotten affect more than just the quality of your life, they affect how you Live. It is that feeling of being forgotten, of not being seen or heard, that is the most painful. At times we feel too poor for people to see us, or too well off for the government to spend resources on us. Welcome to the middle neighborhoods. The middle is fine if you are middle class or Malcolm, but middle neighborhoods are places that are too often overlooked. The Riverwards, and especially Port Richmond and Bridesburg, are being overlooked now. Our police are – correctly – addressing gun violence in other parts of the city. These communities are alone in the battle against the boom boom boom. I am working to change that. Over the past year, I have met regularly with the police, city agencies, and neighborhood stakeholders to address what has grown from a nuisance to a public health issue affecting entire neighborhoods who feel hostage to the noise. We worked on plans in a few different areas. One place we had success was at Frankford Boat Launch, Read more


Hohenstein, staff member test positive for COVID-19

(May 20, 2022)

Hohenstein issues a statement after testing positive for COVID-19. Read more



(May 18, 2022)

It is the day after our Primary Election Day, one of the most partisan days of the year. Most folks in the middle are often left wondering whether anyone in power is interested in the greater good. In my work for the people of my neighborhoods in the 177th, my focus has always been on the basics: better jobs, better schools, and safer communities. It is easy to say, but not so easy to accomplish because the same words can mean different things to everyone. One of the words that has many different meanings is Freedom. Everyone agrees it is a fundamental principle of our life in the United States but we can’t come to a common definition. I have spoken before about the three dimensions of freedom : individual liberty, equality of liberty for the entire population, and a system of being accountable to each other when our rights collide. To me, the way I judge whether to support a particular expression of individual liberty is whether the people exercising it recognize its impact on others. I am concerned with a ‘me first’ approach that gives no consideration to the impact one right has on another. I am also concerned with a definition of freedom that does not account for the greater good. To me, freedom of speech and expression means everyone speaking their mind, but not closing minds by banning books. To me, economic freedom means fair wages, safe workplaces, and ensuring workers right to organize; not the ‘right to work’ Read more