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We must resolve to end the mistreatment of immigrant children

(Jul 26, 2019)

There is a crisis at our southern border, and it’s not "caravans" of people from Latin America. Instead, it’s the way our nation treats its neighbors seeking asylum and opportunity. The crisis extends through the whole country, too, reaching our doorsteps in Chester County. Many could be tempted to think that Chester County – one of the wealthiest counties in America – is shielded from the effects of U.S. immigration policies and the harm they are causing children and families, but I know from firsthand experience that is not the case. In fact, I’ve seen the cases. Before I was elected to the General Assembly, I worked for Chester County’s Department of Children, Youth and Families, where I investigated child welfare. I saw many upsetting circumstances, including issues pertaining to immigration. As of 2017, 7.6 percent of Chester County’s residents are of Hispanic or Latino descent. Ten percent of our county is foreign-born. I met many families, but never asked about their immigration status. One day, I was assigned the case of a teenage boy found by police living in an apartment with many grown men, all of them immigrants working here. I had many conversations with the police officer who had contacted us due to concern about this juvenile apparently under no one’s care. No one knew if he was a runaway or an unaccompanied minor with no legal status. His real name was Read more

 

Rep. Howard congratulates Brandywine Valley SPCA on grant

(Jul 17, 2019)

MALVERN, July 17 – Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, congratulated the Brandywine Valley SPCA Animal Health Center and Animal Intake on receiving a $60,000 grant through the Municipal Assistance Program. The BVSPCA is a veterinary clinic that provides low-cost veterinary services to the public, in addition to facilitating pet adoptions and caring for homeless pets. “Pets are more than animals, they’re members of the family,” Howard said. “This grant helps enrich and improve the services BVSPCA provides to all the beloved pets in Chester County.” MAP funding assists local governments in planning and efficiently implementing a variety of services and improvements, as well as the managing of development, with an emphasis on intergovernmental approaches. “The BVSPCA is thrilled to receive this grant,” said Eli Martinez, senior director of development for the clinic. “The additional funding will provide for a teacher to focus on our humane education program, support our humane law officers as they uphold our state's animal laws, and allows the BVSPCA to provide free medical care/resources for disadvantaged pet owners in our community.” Martinez noted these measures will help keep pets out of shelters and with their owners. ### Read more

 

Chester County receives $3.08 million in PHARE funding to support affordable housing

(Jul 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 12 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Kristine Howard, Melissa Shusterman, Dan Williams, Christina Sappey and Danielle Friel Otten announced that housing programs in Chester County will receive $3.08 million through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund. The PHARE fund is managed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and funds are sourced from Marcellus shale fees, realty transfer taxes and the national housing trust fund. Awardees within Comitta’s legislative district will receive the following: Housing Authority of the County of Chester’s Locust Court Windows: $100,000 Charles A Melton Arts & Education Center; Melton Center Expanded Services Program: $200,000 Melton Center Apartments (LIHTC); The NRP Group LLC: $875,000 Safe Harbor of Chester County, Inc.: $150,000 Housing Locator Program through the Housing Authority of the County of Chester: $100,000 Friends Association for Care & Protection of Children’s Homeless Prevention Program $75,000 Gaudenzia Concord Place: $50,000 Chester County Department of Community Development’s Decade to Doorways System Prioritization and Realignment: $350,000 “I am absolutely thrilled to see state funds directed to such incredible programs in our community. These funds will allow our local organizations to continue providing their critical services, as well as expand in order to Read more

 

Howard offers House resolution condemning Trump administration’s treatment of migrant children

(Jul 11, 2019)

MALVERN, July 11 – State Rep. Kristine Howard introduced a Pennsylvania House resolution that would officially condemn the Trump administration for cruel treatment of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border. “These children have been separated from their parents and placed in unsanitary, unsafe living conditions, locked in cages with little food, and at least five children have died while in the custody of federal agencies at the border,” she said. The resolution must be approved to show that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives does not tolerate such treatment of innocent children, she said. “These detention centers are designed to serve as short-term holding facilities; however, infants, children and teenagers are spending nearly a month in them,” said Howard, D-Chester. “In Clint, Texas, minors were detained for up to 27 days with little to no access to soap, food, water or proper health care. This is unacceptable. “This horrifying treatment of migrant children has gone on since June 2018,” Howard said. “Despite the Trump administration’s promise to reunite separated families, conditions have not improved. “To separate a child from his or her family in an unknown country, subject them to utter squalor and continually neglect their well-being and health is appalling. This country was founded because of people fleeing their homelands, so how can we treat Read more

 

Rep. Howard to host a Sustainability at Home event on August 10

(Jul 02, 2019)

MALVERN, Pa. – Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, announced that she will hold a Sustainability at Home event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10 at Rita Reves Park (formerly Garrett Mill Park), located at 1040 Garrett Mill Road, Newtown Square, PA 19073. Speakers from several local businesses, clubs and organizations will guide constituents on how to practice sustainability in everyday life. Speakers include the Chester Ridley Crum Watershed, the Smart Energy Initiative, Growing Roots Partners, the Chester County Beekeepers Association, the Healthy Yards Club and more! Howard herself will say a few words. ### About Rep. Kristine Howard – Kristine Howard (D-Chester) was elected state representative for the 167th Legislative District in November 2018. The district includes Charlestown, East Whiteland, Easttown, West Pikeland, West Whiteland, Willistown Township, and Malvern Borough. Read more

 

Rep. Howard votes against uninspired, partisan budget

(Jun 26, 2019)

I voted against the 2019-20 state budget, forced on us by members in the majority whose fiscal conservatism goes to extremes that prevents compromises that could benefit most Pennsylvanians. I could not, in good faith, support a deal so insensitive to our most economically vulnerable citizens, blind to the environmental challenges arising from climate change and excessively generous to corporate interests. Read more

 

Chester County receives $1.25 million in grants to increase security measures, help crime victims

(Jun 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Melissa Shusterman, Kristine Howard, Danielle Friel Otten, Dan Williams and Christina Sappey announced that $1.2 million worth of grant funds from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will be distributed across the county to increase safety and help crime victims. Within Comitta’s legislative district, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County will receive $531,835 to provide direct services for domestic abuse survivors. Additionally, the Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County, Inc. will receive $624,328 to meet the needs of crime victims. “I am grateful for the grants awarded to the Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County and the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County. These local organizations have a tremendous impact across our county, and they deserve our full support to continue to provide critical services to residents,” Comitta said. Represented by Shusterman, Phoenixville Borough will receive $7,685 to install security cameras at their police department’s impound lot. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues to bring state money back to Chester County,” Shusterman said. “I’m confident that this initiative will make our communities safer by curtailing crime in and around the impound lot.” Howard’s district, including West Pikeland and Easttown townships, will receive grants Read more

 

Howard stands with Davidson on anti-sexual harassment and workplace discrimination bills

(Jun 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, the first Pennsylvania legislator to call on accused sexual harasser Sen. Daylin Leach to withdraw intimidating lawsuits he filed against three of his accusers, today lent her support to two bills introduced by Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, which address sexual harassment in the workplace – “#TimesUP - Sexual Harassment by Public Officials” and “Preventing Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace.” These bills together carry a bipartisan group of over 50 co-sponsors. The first bill would expand the duties of the State Ethics Commission, an independent state agency, to include investigating sexual harassment claims against officials and public employees at all levels of government in Pennsylvania. “A position of power should not exonerate wrongdoers,” Howard said. “This legislation will prevent the sort of legal extortion carried out by accused abusers like Senator Leach, who I called on back in February to withdraw lawsuits he filed against his less financially well off accusers.” Davidson’s legislation would help foster an environment within the legislature where victims of harassment and discrimination can come forward without fear of unwarranted retaliation. “For those who commit sexual harassment, we say, ‘Time’s Up,’” Davidson said. “Victims of sexual harassment involving people in positions Read more

 

Restore Pennsylvania initiative seeks to improve infrastructure while reducing environmental impact

(May 24, 2019)

Our environment is rapidly changing. Our roads and bridges are crumbling. Our jobs are disappearing. Restore Pennsylvania, or #RestorePA, addresses these problems by launching a united front, making us safer and more secure, while moving toward a more prosperous and environmentally responsible future. This plan has broad support from House members across the Commonwealth, and I want to thank my Chester County colleagues – State Reps. Melissa Shusterman, Dan Williams, Carolyn Comitta and Christina Sappey – for signing on to the #RestorePA plan. By banding together as a coalition, Pennsylvania – and Chester County specifically – will continue to be a great place to live and work. Only together will we find meaningful solutions. The #RestorePA plan is just such an innovative and forward-thinking solution to a number of problems plaguing Pennsylvania. A major defect in previous plans is budgeting – year after year, the legislature passes a budget with major funding gaps. We must ensure we have an adequate funding source to pay for desperately needed infrastructure repairs and improvements. The old standby measures have not worked. We need to find creative avenues to secure funding. A severance tax could be that creative solution. Despite being the second-largest natural gas producer, Pennsylvania is the only major gas-producing state that does not tax drillers for their pillaging. Why are these companies not paying their Read more

 

Kids Fest

(May 20, 2019)

Join me from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 1 for Kids Fest at Kathryn Markley Elementary School. Festivities will include face painting, touch a firetruck, story time with the Rep. and more! Read more

 

Rep. Howard to host Kids Fest on June 1

(May 15, 2019)

MALVERN, May 15 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, announced that she will hold a Kids Fest from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 1 at Kathryn Markley Elementary School, located at 354 Swedesford Rd., Malvern, PA 19355. Several local organizations will participate, including the East Whiteland Fire and Police Departments, the SPCA, the Chester County Historical Society, and the Chester County Library. Festivities will include activities such as face painting, touch a firetruck, story time with the Rep. and more! Read more

 

Howard announces $513,588 in school safety and security grants

(May 13, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 13 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, said $513,588 in state funds was recently awarded to two local schools to enhance and implement school safety and security initiatives. Howard said 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 Howard’s district include: West Chester Area School District, receiving $400,050. Great Valley School District, receiving $113,538. According to Howard, school districts can choose how 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. "Ensuring the safety of our children is my top priority, especially when they are in a learning environment, which is a place where all children should unquestionably be and feel safe," Howard said. "I’m thankful that these two schools in my district will receive these state funds, because these were competitive grants that I know the school districts worked hard to secure." Further information about the grants can be found Read more

 

APPRISE Medicare 101 Session

(May 09, 2019)

Learn the basics of APPRISE Medicare at my information session from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15. Read more

 

Rep. Howard questions Sunoco’s purchase of homes in West Whiteland

(May 05, 2019)

MALVERN, May 5 – Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, called on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to investigate Sunoco’s recent purchase of two homes on Lisa Drive in West Whiteland Township, the site of multiple sinkholes, including one in January that exposed part of the Mariner East 1 pipeline. According to documents posted on the Chester County Recorder of Deeds website, Sunoco bought the two homes for $400,000 apiece. No other information has been made public, and the residents are subject to nondisclosure agreements. “Where is the transparency?” Rep. Howard wondered. “What about the rest of the homes on the street? Are residents safe? Why buy these homes and not all the homes along the pipeline? What are we not being told? “The DEP needs to compel Sunoco to release more information regarding their actions. Sunoco needs to be a better member of the community.” ### About Rep. Kristine Howard – Kristine Howard (D-Chester) was elected state representative for the 167th Legislative District in November 2018. The district includes parts of Charlestown, East Whiteland, Easttown, West Pikeland, West Whiteland, Willistown Township, and Malvern Borough. Read more

 

Rep. Howard commends Environmental Hearing Board’s ruling

(May 03, 2019)

MALVERN, Pa. – Today, Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, commended the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) for ruling that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Prospective Purchaser Agreements (PPAs) with Constitution Drive Partners (CDP) were void. The PPAs would have allowed for the development of the contaminated Bishop Tube site in East Whiteland Township, and the EHB’s decision prohibits CDP developer Brian O’Neill from building homes on the toxic waste site. The DEP entered into two PPAs with CDP in 2018. The EHB ruled on April 26 that the steps taken by the DEP to provide notice and secure comment on those PPAs were inadequate, and so they were declared void. “This is a terrific first step,” Rep. Howard said. “Progress is being made, and now, we can begin moving forward with the clean up of the Bishop Tube site. Rep. Howard met with the DEP on Wednesday to discuss further steps regarding the remediation of the former Superfund site. Read more

 

Howard appointed secretary in House Children and Youth Committee

(Apr 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, was appointed Democratic secretary of the House Children and Youth Committee. She will serve as secretary with Democratic committee Chairman Joseph Petrarca. “My experience as a caseworker with the Chester County Department of Children, Youth and Families puts me in position to be a strong advocate,” Howard said. “As secretary, I am committed to creating a safer, more supportive community for the children of Pennsylvania.” The Children and Youth Committee focuses on Pennsylvania’s youngest residents, reviewing bills that impact the Office of Child Development and Learning, as well as the Office of Children, Youth and Families under the Department of Human Services. Those interested in learning more about Howard and her committee appointments can call her district office at 610-251-1070 or visit her website at www.pahouse.com/Howard . Read more

 

Real ID Information Session: May 2

(Apr 10, 2019)

State Rep. Kristine Howard will host a REAL ID Information Session from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 2 at Charlestown Elementary School, 2060 Charlestown Road in Malvern. Read more

 

167th Legislative District Listening Tour

(Apr 08, 2019)

State Rep. Kristine Howard invites you to join her at one of her "Listening Tour" events starting now through May 16th throughout the district. Read more

 

Senior SEPTA ID Event: May 5, 2019

(Apr 08, 2019)

Rep. Kristine Howard will host a Senior SEPTA ID event from 1:30p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 5 at the Chester County Library, 450 Exton Square Pkwy in Exton. Read more

 

Pipeline town hall scheduled Wednesday, March 27 in Downingtown

(Mar 22, 2019)

EXTON, March 22 – Mariner East Town Hall: Know Your Rights! will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 in the Shamona Creek Elementary School Gymnasium, 501 Dorlan Mill Road in Downingtown. State Reps. Danielle Friel Otten, Kristine Howard and Carolyn Comitta organized the town hall to help ensure that residents know how to protect their homes and property during pipeline construction. As Mariner East construction continues, temporary workspace easements are beginning to expire. Uwchlan Township Solicitor Mark Freed will explain property rights and easement agreements. Friel Otten, Howard and Comitta will hear and address concerns from their constituents. The three state lawmakers are members of the General Assembly’s newly formed Pipeline Safety Caucus, whose mission is to keep Pennsylvanians safe as pipeline infrastructure grows across the commonwealth. All community members are invited to attend. For more information, contact Friel Otten’s office at 484-200-8259. Read more