Krajewski announces $25K awarded to Kingsessing Recreation Center to install new, safe playground equipment

(Nov 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 23 – State Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., announced that the Commonwealth Financing Authority has awarded a $25,000 Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program grant to Kingsessing Recreation Center to replace outdated, unsafe playground equipment. “I’m thrilled to see this funding returning to our district to benefit the children at Kingsessing Recreation Center,” Krajewski said. “This will make the playground safer for the children who use the equipment, and investments in our children are investments in our future.” The funding for the grant comes from Act 13 of 2012, which established the Marcellus Legacy Fund and allocates funds to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects using the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. The program allows funds to be used for projects which involve development, rehabilitation and improvements to public parks, recreation areas, greenways, trails and river conservation. Contact Krajewski’s office at 215-724-2227 for more information about the grant. Read more

 

Solomon introduces legislation calling for lawmakers to resign upon conviction

(Nov 22, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 22 – On the heels of the conviction of Councilmember Bobby Hennon and labor leader John Doughtery on federal corruption charges, state Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., said he is introducing a bill proposing to amend Pennsylvania’s constitution to require elected officials to resign upon being convicted of a crime. Solomon said that once they are convicted of crimes, public officials lose their credibility, integrity and cannot serve their constituents without the idea of bias and corruption overshadowing any significant decisions they make. He said his legislation would be a start to putting politics back into the hands of the people. “The negative publicity of a conviction minimizes the work we do as public servants and creates a lack of trust from the people we serve,” Solomon said. “My legislation seeks to re-establish that trust.” “As elected public servants, we have a responsibility to represent our constituents and promote the general welfare of our districts with honor. Every elected officer, from a city councilmember to the governor, must make a similar promise to serve faithfully and carry out the responsibilities of their office with integrity.” Read more

 

Hohenstein announces $150,000 grant for Friends of Samuel Rec for renovations at Bernard Samuel Playground’s basketball court area

(Nov 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – State Rep. Joe Hohenstein announced the Commonwealth Financing Authority has awarded a $150,000 Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program grant to Friends of Samuel Rec to be used to renovate the basketball courts at Bernard Samuel Playground. “You can learn a lot about life through the game of basketball, like how fundamental skills are tied to your ability to succeed, and how important it is to work with your team,” Hohenstein said. “I’m thrilled that $150,000 in grant funding will be returning to my district to renovate the basketball court area of Samuel Playground. I know that the investment will not only allow those who use the court to enrich their physical health but also help them make strides socially by teaching them about the value of hard work and teamwork.” The funding for the grant comes from Act 13 of 2012, which established the Marcellus Legacy Fund and allocates funds to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects using the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. The program allows funds to be used for projects which involve development, rehabilitation and improvements to public parks, recreation areas, greenways, trails and river conservation. Contact Hohenstein’s office at 215-744-2600 for more information about the grant. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Democrats release statement on S.B. 565

(Nov 16, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – The Democratic members of the Philadelphia House Delegation and Chairman Jason Dawkins released a statement addressing the passage of S.B. 565. The bill would rescind the requirement for gun owners to have a permit to carry a firearm, openly or concealed, across the state including in Philadelphia, and would lower the minimum age which someone can carry from 21 to 18. “This year, the city of Philadelphia has suffered at the hands of gun violence, suffering 1,563 nonfatal and 391 fatal shootings as of Nov. 14. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends are all saying goodbye to loved ones who fall at the hands of offenders with guns. It is a nightmare that gets worse with each passing day. Instead of providing good guidance on the state level, the majority party is busy introducing bills that repeal good safety measures to keep Pennsylvanians, and especially Philadelphians, safe. “This is not a fight we will let go lightly. We will continue to work with local officials, and certainly our fight continues at the state level, to make sure that commonsense gun laws and practices are in place. It is irresponsible for the party in charge, our Republican counterparts, to allow this dangerous legislation to be approved. It should never have hit the House floor in the first place.” Read more

 

Young seeks to ease burden on local election officials, fights against voter suppression through new legislation

(Nov 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 8 – State Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila./Delaware, plans to introduce legislation that would combat voter suppression and make Pennsylvania elections more efficient for local election workers. Part of Young’s legislation would deal with mail-in ballots, allowing them to be counted up to 21 days before an election and requiring that the counting process start within seven days of an election. The existing election guidelines forbid any vote counting earlier than Election Day. “Mail-in voting has become incredibly popular and our election policy needs to reflect that,” Young said. “This legislation would lessen the massive burden county election workers currently face on Election Day and yield accurate election results faster.” The new legislation from Young would also give voters a chance to prove their identity if their ballot is denied because of a mismatched signature. “I refuse to allow votes to be silenced because of signature variances,” Young said. “Our election officials do a fantastic job – but they are not trained handwriting experts. If two signatures don’t match up, the voter must be notified and allowed to affirm their signature.” Under current election policy, mail-in ballots that show a signature inconsistency are immediately rejected without any notice or appeal offered to the elector. “As an elected official, it is my duty to continue the fight to eliminate Read more

 

Krajewski announces $99,500 grant for Woodlands Cemetery

(Nov 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 8 – State Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., has announced a $99,500 grant has been awarded to Woodlands Cemetery to help with several improvements on the grounds. “Working with community partners to bring state funds back to our district is truly my privilege as a state representative,” Krajewski said. “The Woodlands is a beautiful and historic space, visited by many from Philadelphia as well as people who live outside of our city. I’m glad that this grant funding will allow The Woodlands to make needed improvements, which I hope will allow for more visitors to come and enjoy the peace and serenity of the space.” The grant funding, which Krajewski worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to secure, will be used to restore ironwork at the front gates and improve the entrance and to repave roads in areas that are in the most need, to ensure the road system is safe for the community to use for recreational activities. “This grant funding will help enhance The Woodlands by restoring portions of our iron front entry gates along Woodland Avenue and by repaving sections of our roads, ensuring a safe, welcoming, and accessible space for West Philadelphians,” said Jessica Baumert, executive director of The Woodlands. "We're thrilled to receive this grant funding and so grateful for Representative Krajewski's help in securing these funds." The Woodlands' Read more

 

When humanity is lost

(Nov 05, 2021)

I’ve been deep in contemplative thought since the reporting of a SEPTA train assault. I don’t even need to specify because you know the assault of which I speak. Read more

 

Ahead of Election Day, Rabb promotes various bills designed to make elections more equitable, accessible, fair

(Oct 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 29 – Keeping in mind that free, fair elections are the cornerstone of democracy, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is promoting several bills he’s introduced ahead of Election Day, which are designed to ensure a more equitable, accessible and fair election process for all eligible voters. “Every single vote cast in an election is the voice of a person in that democracy exercising their right to shape that democracy,” Rabb said. “Voting in our country is an almost sacred right. People have died for this right. For too long, more than half the people in this country didn’t have the right to vote and couldn’t make their voices heard. Now, more people have the right to vote, but that doesn’t mean voting is accessible for everyone, nor does it mean that our election process is fair. I want to change that.” The following are just some of the pieces of elections-related legislation that Rabb has introduced: Making Election Day a state holiday : This legislation would remove Columbus Day as a holiday and make Election Day an official holiday. Ranked choice voting : This legislation would enable voters to rank candidates by order of preference rather than simply choosing one candidate. National popular vote : This legislation would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Establishing rotating ballot positions Read more

 

Bill seeks accurate data on gun violence through nonpartisan research center

(Oct 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State lawmakers representing the Philadelphia region have introduced legislation to start and fund a nonpartisan, academic research center on gun violence in Pennsylvania with the goal of providing policymakers and the public with accurate data to develop policies and programs that prevent gun violence. House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton joined state Reps. Joe Hohenstein and Stephen Kinsey in introducing the bill (H.B.2009), which was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for review. “In 2019, there were 1,541 people killed in Pennsylvania as a result of gun violence,” Hohenstein said. “There is a dire need to implement new policies that could prevent so much unnecessary death in our communities.” McClinton strongly agreed. “Gun violence has become a massive public-health crisis that must be addressed now,” McClinton said. “This center would provide key research to determine the main causes behind gun violence and what strategies are most effective at reducing it in Pennsylvania.” Gun violence is particularly rampant in Philadelphia, where more than 2,200 people were shot in 2020, according to statistics from the Philadelphia Police Department. “Shootings are happening more frequently and our current approach to combat them is not working,” Kinsey said. “Our duty as legislators is to protect and serve our constituents. Establishing this research center is Read more

 

Rabb will host virtual town hall today on Native American history, racialized mascots and allyship; plans to introduce legislation to ban Native American mascots in schools

(Oct 14, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 14 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is hosting a virtual town hall on Native American history, racialized mascots and allyship from 7 to 8 p.m. today, and has announced he will introduce legislation to ban Native American mascots in schools. “As a commonwealth borne of a colony that would not have existed without the Penn’s Treaty at Shackamaxon in 1683 between British immigrants and the Lenape Turtle Clan, Pennsylvania must commit itself to ending the extended era of collective disregard for indigenous heritage and egregious cultural appropriation,” Rabb said in a memo he circulated about the legislation he intends to introduce . Rabb noted that many public schools and sports teams across Pennsylvania use or refer to indigenous culture in their mascots and logos, and social science research has shown that derogatory mascots have a negative psychological and social impact on people with indigenous heritage. Department of Justice data shows that American Indians are more likely than people of other races to experience violence at the hands of someone of a different race, and it’s been well established that mascots, logos and the like that stereotype or fetishize Indigenous peoples highly correlates to the high suicide rate among Native youth. “At its core, the use of ‘Indian’ mascots is a denial of the personhood of Native peoples, which has real consequences,” Rabb’s memo said. Read more

 

Reps. Kenyatta, Cephas introduce legislation to ban Pennsylvania from imposing undue regulations on women’s reproductive health

(Oct 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Morgan Cephas, both D-Phila., are introducing legislation to prohibit PA from imposing undue regulations on women’s reproductive health. This legislation would protect the health care women get and their access to safe abortions. It also would prevent women from being denied the right to an abortion. “Abortion is health care, and health care is a human right,” Kenyatta said. “Abortion care should be able to be accessed without any barriers, and we should put that into law.” Cephas said, “Women’s reproductive health issues are a major problem in our country, with extreme laws or proposals across the nation to restrict reproductive healthcare. Women of color suffer from it the most.” Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of PA, Signe Espinoza, joined the lawmakers at a news conference yesterday at the state Capitol to discuss the importance of having this protection in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Rabb introduces legislation to remove Columbus Day holiday, replace it with Election Day holiday

(Oct 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has introduced legislation to remove Columbus Day as a holiday and replace it with a holiday on Election Day. “We ought to be naming holidays after people who deserve honor as determined by our collective values and collective lens,” Rabb said. “Christopher Columbus not only didn’t ‘discover’ America, his accidental landing in the Bahamas in 1492 led to a legacy of enslavement and genocide. “Celebrating a man who is connected to such atrocities might have been something people in power in the past were interested in doing, but now, people like me, people who want to lift the legacies of those from our history who deserve that recognition, want to right the wrongs of the past.” Rabb’s legislation would remove Columbus Day, which is observed on the second Monday in October (Oct. 11 this year), as a state holiday in exchange for adding a state holiday on Election Day, the first Tuesday in November (Nov. 2 this year). “If we want to acknowledge a day truly deserving of our collective respect, I can think of no better day than Election Day, when the masses, the people our government was designed to serve, take part in one of our most valuable democratic practices, and cast their ballots for the people who will represent them,” Rabb said. “The added benefit of making Election Day a holiday is that it makes the sacrosanct act of voting even Read more

 

Rabb announces parody legislation enforcing reproductive responsibility among men to highlight gendered double standards regarding reproductive rights

(Oct 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has circulated a public memo promoting a forthcoming bill , inspired in part by Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy’s innovative TExAS Act , which seeks to enforce reproductive responsibility among men through a series of means. Rabb’s bill would require men to get a vasectomy within six weeks of having their third child or their 40 th birthday, whichever comes first; codify into state law a definition of “wrongful conception” to include when a person has demonstrated negligence toward preventing conception during intercourse; would allow Pennsylvanians to take civil action for unwanted pregnancies against men who wrongfully conceive a child with them or who do not comply with the statute; and it would provide a $10,000 reward for reporting to the proper authorities those scofflaws who have not complied with the statute in the allotted timeframe, allowing for Pennsylvanians to take civil action against “inseminators.” “As long as state legislatures continue to restrict the reproductive rights of cis women, trans men and non-binary people, there should be laws to address the responsibility of men who impregnate them,” Rabb said. “My sincere hope in introducing this legislation is that my colleagues in the General Assembly consider the egregiously gendered double standard when it comes to curtailing reproductive health care as it applies to women.” Read more

 

Rabb, Polinchock introduce bill to remove DUI penalties for legal medical cannabis use

(Sep 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Todd Polinchock, R-Bucks, have introduced legislation that would ensure the rights of the more than 500,000 medical cannabis patients in Pennsylvania, protecting them from DUI penalties. “I believe that people with a medical need for cannabis, who have acted courageously to seek help for their medical condition and have been granted use of medical cannabis, should be protected from DUI penalties for their legal medical cannabis use,” Rabb said. “I know I’m not the only lawmaker in the General Assembly who has been contacted by constituents concerned that their responsible use of medical cannabis may expose them to targeting by law enforcement when they drive. “A medical cannabis user can take a miniscule amount of medicine for their ailment and weeks later, with traces of cannabis still in their system, be subject to arrest on a DUI charge if pulled over — not because they’ve driven impaired, but because our state laws haven’t caught up with the science,” Rabb continued. “And, if you think you don’t know someone who falls into this category – a person who has been prescribed medical cannabis and who drives and is fearful of the potential DUI charge they could face – you’re wrong. I am a card-carrying medical cannabis patient, and I drive regularly, including in and around Philadelphia and to Harrisburg conducting the Read more

 

Cruz proposes bill to ban deceptive tactics in police interrogations

(Sep 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 7 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., has proposed a bill that would ban deceptive tactics in police interrogations. Under state law, police officers are permitted to use deceptive tactics to secure a confession or incriminating statement. Practices that attempt to get suspects to confess to a crime, even if they didn’t commit one, have become commonplace during custodial interrogations. This is due to the assumption that only the guilty would confess. “My legislation would prohibit law enforcement officers from using deceptive interrogation tactics against any individual suspected of a crime. No innocent suspect should be pressured into confessing to a crime they didn’t commit,” said Cruz. According to The Innocence Project, more than 30% of wrongful convictions that have been overturned by DNA evidence as a result of false confessions, were attributed largely to deceptive interrogation tactics. Cruz said that deceptive tactics do not ensure that any statement provided by the accused is valid. "Presenting false information and misleading a suspect can lead to the accused admitting to a crime they did not commit," he said, pointing to the recent case where three Philadelphia cops were charged for their role in the wrongful conviction of Anthony Wright. Wright was falsely convicted of rape and served a 25-year sentence. One of the factors that led to Wright’s conviction was that he signed a Read more

 

Brooks and Fiedler Demand Accountability in Response to District’s Mishandling of Flood Response

(Sep 02, 2021)

“The events this morning were not a trivial matter. As elected officials, and as parents and grandparents of Philadelphia public school students, we were extremely frustrated and disappointed at the District's mishandling of this morning's two-hour delay of school openings in response to widespread flooding. Like caregivers across the District, we received a notification at 8:40 a.m. that schools would be delayed by two hours. Start times vary across the district, with some starting at 7:30 a.m. or 8:30 a.m., and others at 9 a.m. This notification came not only after many schools had already started, but after many families had dropped their children off at school and gone to work. This flagrant disregard for caregivers — many of whom are already juggling multiple schedules, school start-times, and jobs — unnecessarily threw so many lives into further chaos during an already difficult time. “This last-minute decision made by the District is just one example of a pattern of disrespect for our school communities, poor planning, and poor communication with families across the city. This gross mishandling of a natural disaster comes on the heels of the District’s attempt to send students back into SLA Beeber, where active asbestos remediation efforts posed serious health risks to children and active construction would have required students to use portable, outdoor toilets. While SLA Beeber families organized and won a plan for a Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus condemns Texas’ ban on abortion

(Sep 02, 2021)

Members of the Women’s Health Caucus said they want to remind Pennsylvanians that, while they are standing in solidarity with those negatively impacted by the new Texas law, abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania, and Gov. Wolf has guaranteed a veto if any restrictive legislation reaches his desk. Read more

 

Three House Dems to introduce legislation requiring eviction, foreclosure protections during COVID-19 emergency following U.S. Supreme Court ruling

(Aug 31, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 31 – Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler and Rick Krajewski, both D-Phila., and Rep. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, will introduce legislation to protect Pennsylvanians struggling to stay housed during the ongoing COVID-19 emergency from evictions and foreclosures. “Hundreds of millions of dollars of unused Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds are still available to tenants and landlords who desperately need the funds,” Fiedler said. “That’s why we will be introducing legislation to protect tenants from evictions related to the COVID-19 emergency. We know that homeowners are still struggling, too, and we know that this legislation would put in place protections for homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure. “Our legislation would ensure that tenants and homeowners behind on their payments are connected with assistance programs before they are evicted – helping people stay in their home, assisting renters and landlords in paying their bills, and protecting individual and public health,” Fiedler added. Specifically, the bill would require landlords seeking to evict for nonpayment to first apply for Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds and provide tenants with information about the program in the tenant’s language of choice. It would require courts to grant a continuance of 60 days until the application for rental assistance is approved or denied. It would require mortgage servicers to stop foreclosure Read more

 

Bullock, Hanbidge legislation to require masks for PA schools, daycare centers

(Aug 31, 2021)

According to the CDC, multiple studies have shown that transmission rates within school settings – when prevention strategies are in place – are typically lower than community transmission levels. Read more

 

Kenyatta to unveil bill to modernize TANF at news conference Friday

(Aug 26, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., will hold a news conference unveiling a bill he will soon introduce that would modernize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program by increasing the monthly benefit amount to bring families up to 50% of the federal poverty level and out of deep poverty. The news conference will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27 in Kenyatta’s North Philadelphia district at Germantown and Lehigh Avenues, 19133 . Activists from Philadelphia Community Legal Services will join Kenyatta in his calls for passage of the legislation. Kenyatta’s bill would require that TANF benefits undergo an annual cost-of-living increase to keep pace with inflation and would ensure benefits continue to be effective at providing financial stability to more than 68,500 Pennsylvania families and children receiving cash assistance -- something he said would be a serious life-improving measure for families and their children’s futures. Kenyatta pointed to a report released this week by the Meet The Need Campaign that found that in 1990, Pennsylvania’s benefit of $403 covered 43% of the federal poverty level, but in 2020 the same benefit covered a mere 22%. Furthermore, when accounting for inflation in this period, the TANF benefit has decreased in spending power by more than 50%. State Sen. Katie Muth has also introduced companion legislation to Kenyatta’s bill in the state Senate. Media Read more

 

Krajewski announces $25K awarded to Kingsessing Recreation Center to install new, safe playground equipment
Nov 23, 2021

Solomon introduces legislation calling for lawmakers to resign upon conviction
Nov 22, 2021

Hohenstein announces $150,000 grant for Friends of Samuel Rec for renovations at Bernard Samuel Playground’s basketball court area
Nov 19, 2021

Philadelphia House Democrats release statement on S.B. 565
Nov 16, 2021

Young seeks to ease burden on local election officials, fights against voter suppression through new legislation
Nov 08, 2021

Krajewski announces $99,500 grant for Woodlands Cemetery
Nov 08, 2021

When humanity is lost
Nov 05, 2021

Ahead of Election Day, Rabb promotes various bills designed to make elections more equitable, accessible, fair
Oct 29, 2021

Bill seeks accurate data on gun violence through nonpartisan research center
Oct 26, 2021

Rabb will host virtual town hall today on Native American history, racialized mascots and allyship; plans to introduce legislation to ban Native American mascots in schools
Oct 14, 2021

Reps. Kenyatta, Cephas introduce legislation to ban Pennsylvania from imposing undue regulations on women’s reproductive health
Oct 07, 2021

Rabb introduces legislation to remove Columbus Day holiday, replace it with Election Day holiday
Oct 07, 2021

Rabb announces parody legislation enforcing reproductive responsibility among men to highlight gendered double standards regarding reproductive rights
Oct 04, 2021

Rabb, Polinchock introduce bill to remove DUI penalties for legal medical cannabis use
Sep 21, 2021

Cruz proposes bill to ban deceptive tactics in police interrogations
Sep 07, 2021

Brooks and Fiedler Demand Accountability in Response to District’s Mishandling of Flood Response
Sep 02, 2021

Women’s Health Caucus condemns Texas’ ban on abortion
Sep 02, 2021

Three House Dems to introduce legislation requiring eviction, foreclosure protections during COVID-19 emergency following U.S. Supreme Court ruling
Aug 31, 2021

Bullock, Hanbidge legislation to require masks for PA schools, daycare centers
Aug 31, 2021

Kenyatta to unveil bill to modernize TANF at news conference Friday
Aug 26, 2021