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Philadelphia Delegation lauds Wolf’s 2020-21 state budget proposal

DeLissio Fights for LGBTQ+ Legislation

(May 22, 2020)

Pa. state Rep. Pam DeLissio commits to fighting for LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination legislation this session. Currently, State law does not ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Legislation to accomplish this has been pending for over 20 years. This legislation has never been brought forward for a vote. Efforts to amend this proposed legislation into other bills has happened repeatedly with no success. Such an effort occurred again yesterday and these were my comments on that effort. Read more

 

Kenyatta continues fight to end LGBTQ+ discrimination across Pa.

(May 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 21 – On the sixth anniversary of marriage equality being recognized in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., yesterday gave an impassioned speech in the House chamber urging his lawmaker colleagues to support his legislation that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ+ residents and other minorities. The introduction of this proposal follows a similar amendment that would have outlawed employee discrimination at outdoor sportsman clubs across the state. The measure failed to pass the full House. Kenyatta, who is the first openly gay man of color to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, prefaced his speech with an emotional unprecedented public telling of his coming out story. He later expressed the dire need to pass this necessary measure in working toward a truly equal and accepting commonwealth. “I’ve never publicly talked about my coming out story, but I felt compelled to do it today,” Kenyatta said. “On this sixth anniversary of our state recognizing marriage equality, it is nice to celebrate this milestone, but we must also recognize we still have miles to go in this fight for civil rights and true equality. I will continue demanding an end to discrimination against our LGBTQ+ communities, and I will not stop until we are victorious. I once again fought to convince House Republicans to adopt my measure that would move this commonwealth forward in recognizing Read more

 

Kenyatta: Failure to pass anti-discrimination at sports clubs bill proves Pa. is losing fight for equal rights

(May 20, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 20 – In a statement today, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta said that Pennsylvania’s complacency in allowing discrimination to continue proves that the state has a long way to go in the fight for equal rights. His statement comes after legislation he introduced that would ban outdoor sportsman clubs from discriminating against an employee on the basis of age, race, sex, religion, ethnic origin, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or disability failed to pass in the full House on Monday. Of his legislation that fell short of a few votes required to pass, Kenyatta, D-Phila, said, “The loophole in making discrimination permissible in sportsman clubs, or any entity, is for them to designate themselves as private. This leverages them the ability to continue to deny these marginalized groups membership and employment opportunities. If passed, my legislation would have served as the catalyst in dismantling discrimination and the suppression of civil rights in not just sportsman clubs, but also in all factions of our commonwealth. Its defeat, however, magnifies how ingrained and normalized discrimination is across our state.” Kenyatta, who is the first openly gay man of color to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, lamented on the reality that despite tirelessly serving residents across the commonwealth, there are parts where he is still unwelcomed. “I am a black openly Read more

 

White, Solomon Legislation to Speed Property Tax Rebates Becomes Law

(May 19, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 19 – Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Reps. Martina White, R-Phila., and Jared Solomon, D-Phila., to speed up property tax and rent rebates to qualified recipients has was signed today by Gov. Tom Wolf. "Getting more money in our seniors’ pockets now, through the Rent/Property Tax Rebate program, allows them to buy more food in fewer trips," White said. "That limits their potential exposure to the virus and can help them stay safe." "I'm thrilled that Governor Wolf has signed this bill into law as it represents a fantastic chance to put money in the pockets of some of our most vulnerable citizens at a time when they really need it," Solomon said. "The commonwealth needs to use every lever at our disposal to help people, and colleagues on both sides of the aisle understand that the rebate check is a vital tool in that regard, particularly during this pandemic." Right now, rebates are distributed starting July 1. Their bill, which was amended into House Bill 1076, now Act 20 of 2020, which directs the departments of Revenue and Treasury to process 2019 rebate payments for all homeowners and renters who received a 2018 rebate and to issue those payments immediately. For anyone who became eligible in the past year, rebates would be issued immediately upon receipt of their application instead of waiting until July 1. The White/Solomon legislation was Read more

 

Rep. Burgos, Democratic colleagues, urge Supreme Court to protect residents from evictions and foreclosure during the COVID-19 pandemic

(May 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 14 – State Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., today, with dozens of House and Senate colleagues, sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to urge the court to issue an order to stave off evictions and foreclosures for 90 days after a county is moved from the “red” to the “yellow” phase by Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration. Currently, an executive order from the governor extends a stay on foreclosures and evictions through July 10. “The governor’s order to delay evictions and foreclosures is a start, but we must consider the many Pennsylvanians who have been struggling to make ends meet during this pandemic. Many will be fiscally stunted, and realistically, the timeframe for many to gradually recoup their finances after months of lacking steady income will surpass July,” Burgos said. “We can’t allow families and small business trying to gain financial stability relive the stresses, or even experience the reality of losing their homes and livelihoods, which is why we are calling on the Supreme Court to enact this deferment.” With the support of many other lawmakers in both chambers, the letter highlights a shared concern that COVID-19 could continue to cause serious challenges for many Pennsylvanians whose counties were among the first to shut down and will remain in the red phase for a longer period of time. The order would cover commercial properties also to ensure 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

 

Kenyatta applauds Wolf’s push for LGBTQ COVID-19 data collection, highlights bill to make ongoing data collecting mandatory

(May 13, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, May 13 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today commended Gov. Tom Wolf’s move to include gender identity, sexual orientation and expression in electronic health records used by health care providers to report COVID-19 data. Praising the governor’s efforts in recognizing that the LGBTQ community has been among the most critically affected groups for the novel coronavirus as progressive, Kenyatta said, “The COVID-19 health crisis has magnified and intensified the many ongoing disparities among our nation’s minority groups, especially as it relates to sexual orientation and gender identity. In our fight to combat these inequities, we must be deliberate in our approach and I applaud Governor Wolf for doing just that by mandating that health care records for testing account for LGBTQ patients receiving quality care.” The freshman legislator, who serves on the governor’s LGBTQ Affairs Commission and is also the first openly gay man of color to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, raised that more must be done to elevate the visibility of LGBTQ residents to better assess and mitigate their plights through ongoing data collections. He pointed to a bill he recently introduced that would require all state forms which collect demographic information to contain a voluntary LGBTQ identifier question for respondents to answer. “The LGBTQ community is a Read more

 

Rabb, Hanbidge resolution calls for electric vehicle impact study in Pa.

(May 12, 2020)

The resolution would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study the costs and benefits of electric vehicles of all kinds on the commonwealth’s infrastructure, environment, employment, transportation methods and economy. Read more

 

Kenyatta calls for suspension of negative credit reporting during COVID-19 in new bill

(May 12, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 12 – In efforts to mitigate the financial blowback of the pandemic, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today introduced legislation that would prohibit credit reporting agencies from negatively reporting any missed or late payments resulting from financial hardships that have hit so many Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 disaster emergency. The bill, Kenyatta said, would amend the Credit Reporting Agency Act and suspend negative reporting for 90 days after the disaster declaration is lifted. “Pennsylvanians have had their lives and livelihoods upended in the wake of this pandemic, with some families having endured the temporary lapse of a paycheck, while waiting for federal stimulus money, or for their unemployment compensation to start,” Kenyatta said. “Others, however, have relied on credit cards, or sought unplanned loans from financial institutions, or even borrowed from friends.” Kenyatta said that delinquent payment reports stemming from Pennsylvanians facing financial difficulties stand to mar otherwise decent credit histories and could potentially prevent residents from qualifying for a loan, a mortgage, employment and housing. “My bill would save countless families from this slippery slope of financial ruin and devastation,” he said. “As this economic fallout unfolds, we as lawmakers must do all we can to ensure that those struggling to rebuild their Read more

 

Kenyatta to host ‘Education in the era of COVID-19’ Virtual Town Hall

(May 08, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, May 8 -- State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., will host a Facebook LIVE virtual town hall titled “Education in the Era of COVID-19” from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 14. The town hall will examine the topics of state education funding, crisis preparedness, the digital divide, mental health supports and educational disparities. The town hall will include speakers from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Commonwealth Association of School Administrators, Philadelphia Student Union and a member of the state Special Education Advisory Council, Cecelia Thompson . The Philadelphia School District has also been invited. Online viewers will be able to offer live questions and comments during the townhall by attending through Kenyatta’s official legislative Facebook page . “The COVID19 pandemic crisis has changed the way we have been able deliver education to our children,” Kenyatta said. “It has also raised questions about our preparedness and ability to do so in the future in a productive and effective way. We must also deal with those systemic and ongoing socioeconomic challenges in education that have been exacerbated by this crisis.” Kenyatta, a graduate of Philadelphia public schools said, “I look forward to hearing from our informed guests on the many issues around schooling and education in the era of COVID-19.” Read more

 

DeLissio urges voters to consider mail-in ballot for June 2 primary

(May 08, 2020)

“These were the first substantial changes to the Pennsylvania Election Code in 82 years, and the timing has proven to be incredibly important,” DeLissio said. “This pandemic and the accompanying stay-at-home order means voting by mail has become a critical option for so many Pennsylvanians. I strongly urge all eligible citizens to consider this option for voting not just in next month’s primary, but in the November general election and beyond.” Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds Wolf’s rent and mortgage suspension, calls for lengthier freeze

(May 08, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, May 8 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order that halts foreclosures and evictions until July 10, but also announced he is drafting legislation that would extend the freeze for an additional six months. Kenyatta praised Wolf’s order, calling it a great start in ensuring that Pennsylvanians will not lose their homes during the pandemic. However, with the July 10 grace-period ending just two months from now, Kenyatta said that assurance is only short-lived. Kenyatta said the economic shockwave stemming from the pandemic will outlast the order’s two-month provision. “Pennsylvanians who have been unemployed will be fiscally stunted, and realistically, the timeframe for many to gradually recoup their finances after months of lacking steady income will surpass July. It could easily go on until the end of the year,” he said. Kenyatta called for a lengthier mortgage and rent payment freeze to allow for Pennsylvanians to financially rehabilitate. “As lawmakers, we can’t allow renters and homeowners to relive the fears and dread of homelessness. We can’t allow those struggling to rebuild their lives to be casted into a downward spiral of financial ruin because they missed mortgage or rent payments out of desperation,” he said. “This incredibly trying time has upended countless lives in various ways, Read more

 

Kenyatta: I proudly stand with Temple Allied Healthcare Professionals Union, all workers

(May 01, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, May 1 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., expressed his support for the Temple Allied Healthcare Professionals Union striking today in front of Temple University Hospital, located in Kenyatta’s 181 st Legislative District, to demand hazard pay, personal protective equipment and testing availability: “In every period in history, the labor movement has been a paramount force in dismantling systems of oppression and guaranteeing rights and protections for American workers. In the wake of this pandemic, labor is once again demonstrating that reputation,” Kenyatta said. “I stand in solidarity with Temple University Hospital workers, who have been fiercely fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic. These people have gone above and beyond in ensuring our communities receive exceptional care in sanitized environments, all the while putting themselves, and their families, at risk. It is time to give them what they are owed!” Kenyatta stressed that there is power in numbers in the efforts to make the demands of striking workers concrete, saying, “We can be victorious in this fight if we band together as a collective in thwarting this capitalistic system that grossly and consistently prioritizes profits over lives. In Harrisburg, I have been fighting for many of the provisions the union is demanding today for all workers across Pennsylvania on the frontlines of this crisis. As lawmakers, we also Read more

 

Kinsey, PLBC applaud Wolf on calling for race and data with COVID-19 tests

(Apr 27, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 27 – In a statement released today, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with its members, commended Gov. Tom Wolf for calling for more free and accessible testing, and for health care providers and medical facilities to follow the Department of Health’s mandate to include race and ethnicity data in demographics provided to the department with COVID-19 test results. “Race and ethnicity have long been factors that essentially predestine a person’s quality of life, and in the wake of a pandemic, these factors have determined the accessibility of tests, the level of care, and overall survival outcomes. It’s a reality that’s all too familiar for people of color,” Kinsey said. “I commend Governor Wolf for his efforts in addressing these deep-rooted systemic ills by pushing Pennsylvania to be among the few states to collect this critical piece of data, which will help our commonwealth to be able to better identify contraction points and mitigate spread in these communities, ultimately saving lives.” The chairman added, “The data collected surrounding this widespread event will be incredibly valuable for our ongoing efforts in the dismantling these disparities moving forward.” Read more

 

Boyle, Solomon team up to deliver PPE to Jeanes Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia

(Apr 24, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 24 – State Rep. Kevin J. Boyle was joined by state Rep. Jared Solomon, both D-Phila., on Thursday to deliver personal protective equipment to Jeanes Hospital, located in Boyle’s 172 nd Legislative District. “Northeast Philadelphia has been among the areas with the highest reported cases of COVID-19 in the city, leaving Jeanes Hospital staff scrambling to treat residents suffering from this virus and doing so without the proper protections,” Boyle said. “I was honored to help deliver these donations because we must do all we can to protect those on the frontlines working hard to protect us despite the risks.” Solomon concurred, saying, “There has been a nationwide shortage of PPE for medical workers on the frontlines, but we’ve been fortunate to be able provide these donations to keep our nurses, doctors and hospital staff safe. I am incredibly grateful to these medical professionals on the frontlines and was humbled to be able to thank them personally with this donation.” The Northeast Philadelphia lawmaker duo coordinated the drop-off with PPE donated by the American Chinese United Association, headed by chairman Jason Lam. The association has been providing donations to hospitals, nursing homes and churches across Philadelphia. Read more

 

Solomon provides over 300 free comfort meals to Northeast Philadelphia communities

(Apr 23, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 23 – To offer some relief during COVID-19, state Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., teamed up with community partners to provide hundreds of free cooked meals from popular local restaurants to various communities in Northeast Philadelphia. “We’re experiencing unprecedented and troubling times. Many residents have had their entire livelihoods upended, and others are still working on the frontlines during this pandemic,” Solomon said. “With all that’s going on, I wanted to help bring back a sense of normalcy and thank all our frontline workers through delicious comfort food staples from our community.” Solomon joined Matt Rossi, owner of Nick’s Roast Beef on Cottman Avenue, and later, Orlando Jacome, owner of Tio Pepe, at their respective restaurants in providing over 300 free meals to hundreds of residents, including medical professionals and other frontline workers. Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus chairs ask Gov. Wolf to veto S.B. 857

(Apr 22, 2020)

The original intent of S.B. 857 was to expand the use of telemedicine; however, it is the view of the Women’s Health Caucus that the bill that passed the House and Senate mostly along party lines this week would be harmful to women’s health. Read more

 

Hohenstein Puts Health & Safety of Pennsylvanians Before Profits

(Apr 17, 2020)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein continued his efforts to combat COVID-19 and protect Pennsylvanians by voting against legislation that would unnecessarily put lives at risk. Read more

 

Reps. Kenyatta, Burgos and Fiedler urge Congress to include undocumented workers in any COVID-19 response legislation

(Apr 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, Danilo Burgos and Elizabeth Fiedler, all D-Phila., introduced a resolution urging Congress to also acknowledge the roughly 10 million undocumented workers in any COVID-19 financial response legislation. The resolution comes as the federal government issues portions of the historic $2 trillion financial assistance package to individuals and businesses to help mitigate the adverse economic impacts resulting from the pandemic. “There are roughly over 10 million undocumented people living in America paying billions of dollars in state and federal taxes yearly, yet many will never benefit from the services they constantly contribute to,” said Kenyatta, who represents the 181 st Legislative District. “In this time of desperation, our government should not be complicit in watching this vulnerable population that has time and again proven themselves to be a pillar of America’s economy continue to suffer.” Burgos, representing the 197 th District, concurred with Kenyatta saying, “Undocumented immigrants consistently pay about 8 percent of their income in taxes, a sizeable percentage for many who are relegated to working low-paying jobs with no benefits. These workers produce many of the essential goods we heavily rely on, even more so during this pandemic, yet they receive nothing for their labor.” Adding to Burgos’ assertion, Read more

 

Resolution by Hanbidge, Hohenstein urges U.S. Congress to act on legislation to cover hearing aid costs

(Apr 15, 2020)

In Pennsylvania, hearing aids are only required to be covered for Medicaid recipients under age 21, while all other populations in need of hearing assistance are forced to pay for hearing aids out of pocket, with the average cost being $2,300. Read more

 

DeLissio Fights for LGBTQ+ Legislation
May 22, 2020

Kenyatta continues fight to end LGBTQ+ discrimination across Pa.
May 21, 2020

Kenyatta: Failure to pass anti-discrimination at sports clubs bill proves Pa. is losing fight for equal rights
May 20, 2020

White, Solomon Legislation to Speed Property Tax Rebates Becomes Law
May 19, 2020

Rep. Burgos, Democratic colleagues, urge Supreme Court to protect residents from evictions and foreclosure during the COVID-19 pandemic
May 14, 2020

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

Kenyatta applauds Wolf’s push for LGBTQ COVID-19 data collection, highlights bill to make ongoing data collecting mandatory
May 13, 2020

Rabb, Hanbidge resolution calls for electric vehicle impact study in Pa.
May 12, 2020

Kenyatta calls for suspension of negative credit reporting during COVID-19 in new bill
May 12, 2020

Kenyatta to host ‘Education in the era of COVID-19’ Virtual Town Hall
May 08, 2020

DeLissio urges voters to consider mail-in ballot for June 2 primary
May 08, 2020

Kenyatta applauds Wolf’s rent and mortgage suspension, calls for lengthier freeze
May 08, 2020

Kenyatta: I proudly stand with Temple Allied Healthcare Professionals Union, all workers
May 01, 2020

Kinsey, PLBC applaud Wolf on calling for race and data with COVID-19 tests
Apr 27, 2020

Boyle, Solomon team up to deliver PPE to Jeanes Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia
Apr 24, 2020

Solomon provides over 300 free comfort meals to Northeast Philadelphia communities
Apr 23, 2020

Women’s Health Caucus chairs ask Gov. Wolf to veto S.B. 857
Apr 22, 2020

Hohenstein Puts Health & Safety of Pennsylvanians Before Profits
Apr 17, 2020

Reps. Kenyatta, Burgos and Fiedler urge Congress to include undocumented workers in any COVID-19 response legislation
Apr 17, 2020

Resolution by Hanbidge, Hohenstein urges U.S. Congress to act on legislation to cover hearing aid costs
Apr 15, 2020