Featured News

Philadelphia House Delegation praises approval of increase in public transit funding

Gaydos, Solomon call for small business emergency assistance

(Mar 20, 2020)

HARRISBURG – With the changes to daily life and business practices recommended or ordered to slow the spread COVID-19, many hardworking families and small businesses will be adversely impacted. This week, Reps. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) and Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia) introduced legislation directing the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to administer low- to no-interest emergency loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak. “As an entrepreneur, I know how difficult it can be to operate a small business even under normal circumstances,” Gaydos said. “The extenuating circumstances brought on by the governor’s emergency declaration and statewide mitigation efforts indicate that small businesses across the Commonwealth need our help now more than ever to meet payroll, overhead and other expenses that keep their doors open and their staff employed.” “The damage done to our small businesses by COVID-19 will take a long time to repair, and we in Harrisburg need to bring all our resources to bear to keep business going and workers collecting a paycheck," Solomon said. “Rep. Gaydos and I are proposing a small business support package that offers three things: emergency no-interest bridge financing to get through the crisis times; longer-term low-interest loans to help business ramp back up; and support for technical assistance providers to ensure our businesses get the Read more

 

Kenyatta to introduce legislation halting student loan repayments in response to COVID-19

(Mar 13, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 13 – With Pennsylvanians impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak , state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., is currently drafting legislation that would defer student loan repayments to PHEAA for up to 60 days. “ With all the workplace closures happening in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, many commonwealth residents are grappling to pay their necessary bills because of the sudden loss of income,” Kenyatta said. “Borrowers, especially, are unable to make payments on their student loans.” Kenyatta, who represents the 181 st Legislative District, said Pennsylvania bears the second highest average debt per student at $35,759 per student. A total of $53.7 billion collectively looms over the state’s borrowers. “We’re in the midst of an incredibly stressful time and the legislation I’m drafting aims to provide some financial relief during this pandemic,” he said. Read more

 

Kenyatta weighs in on closures, cancellations in 181st district due to COVID-19

(Mar 12, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 12 – Following Mastery Clymer Elementary School announcing its closure for precautionary measures after a student displayed flu-like symptoms and Temple University becoming the latest higher education institution in the region to move all classes online for the remainder of the semester, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., said he supports these measures and will continue to closely monitor updates from within his 181 st Legislative District. “These are aggressive but necessary moves to protect the health and human safety,” Kenyatta said. “I’ve been closely monitoring the latest updates surrounding COVID-19 and having ongoing discussions with Temple University, including the hospital, on efforts to prevent exposure. Fortunately, there hasn’t been a reported case on campus and I fully support Temple’s and Clymer’s decisions to keep its faculty, staff, students and the at-large community safe.” Kenyatta also announced the cancellation of the upcoming Women’s Resource Fair scheduled for Thursday, March 19 at Lutheran Settlement House, co-hosted by state Rep. Mary Isaacson. “Representative Isaacson and I were thrilled to co-host this event to celebrate women and encourage solidarity through this resource fair, but the state Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control have strongly cautioned against going into heavily populated contained spaces,” Kenyatta Read more

 

Philadelphia House leadership, legislators, call on Governor Tom Wolf to halt all Public Utility Commission utility disconnections in wake of the COVID-19 virus

(Mar 12, 2020)

Members of Philadelphia leadership team in the state House were joined by fellow Philadelphia legislators in asking Gov. Tom Wolf to place a moratorium on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission from further utility shutoffs for the foreseeable future for all Pennsylvanians in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

 

Sanchez, Kenyatta discuss legislation about reporting lost or stolen firearms

(Mar 10, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 10 – State Reps. Ben Sanchez, D-Montgomery, and Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., on Monday co-hosted a news conference at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Kenyatta’s 181 st Legislative District to urge the General Assembly to vote on legislation about reporting lost or stolen firearms. “ We’re standing in the epicenter of the gun violence epidemic. It’s right here in North Philly – my community – where countless lives have been taken by guns, particularly guns that have been lost or stolen only to resurface in the hands of dangerous people,” Kenyatta said. “Today, we’re demanding our state legislature to stop ignoring this critical piece of legislation and to stop putting special interests and petty partisanship over what truly matters – lives.” Sanchez reintroduced H.B. 1288 in April – it was first introduced as H.B. 1515 by former state Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, during the 2013-14 legislative session – to require any owner or other person lawfully in possession of a firearm who suffers the loss or theft of a weapon to report it to law enforcement within 72 hours of the discovery. A failure to do so would result in a summary offense. Bearing the same language, the bill was reintroduced as H.B. 832 during the 2014-15 legislative session and again in the 2016-17 session. To date, the bill has been introduced five times. “This Read more

 

Kinsey hosts first public safety listening tour series, announces upcoming tour for youth

(Mar 05, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 5 - - Seeking the public’s ideas on curbing gun violence in communities across Northwest Philadelphia, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, hosted a public safety listening event on Feb. 18 at The First Presbyterian Church. “From our neighbors and law enforcement, to local leaders and organizations, we must all be part of the conversation in putting an end to this crisis,” Kinsey said. “The first listening tour is just the beginning and was a great success. We must now take the concerns and ideas we heard to help create solutions.” Residents across Northwest Philadelphia gave their insight and experiences on their bouts with gun violence and how to combat it to a panel consisting of Philadelphia Police Capt. Nicholas Smith of the 14 th District; Chantay Love, founder and program director, Every Murder Is Real; Rochelle Curbreath, manager of legislative affairs, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority; state police Lt. Robert Bailey; and Kinsey’s Northwest Philadelphia House colleagues Reps. Chris Rabb and Isabella Fitzgerald of the 200 th and 202 nd legislative districts, respectively. Kinsey’s public safety listening tour is part of the first installment of his newly launched anti-gun violence campaign -- Step Up, Stand Up -- an initiative to tackle the root causes of gun violence through community cohesion between residents, city, state and federal elected officials, cooperation with law Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds over $14K in state grants to help preserve local historical landmarks

(Mar 03, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 4 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta today announced $14,963 in state grants are headed to the 181 st Legislative District to help support the preservation of two local historical landmarks. Historic Fair Hill, a 300-year-old Quaker burial ground and nature and history education center, and Wagner Free Institute of Science, a natural science history museum founded in 1855, received a $4,000 and a $10,953 state grant, respectively. “Historic Fair Hill and the Wagner Free Institute of Science have both served as longtime community education centers that have fostered and inspired Philadelphians’ hunger for knowledge for centuries,” Kenyatta said. “These sites are also tourist destinations that direct traffic into many of the local businesses here in North Philly. It’s critical that we preserve these organizations and help them continue their invaluable and timeless purpose.” The funding was awarded through the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Society's Cultural and Historical Support Grant Program, which provides general operating support to Pennsylvania museums and official county historic societies. Read more

 

Kinsey, PLBC, Philadelphia members honor first African-American woman House Democratic Caucus secretary

(Feb 28, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28 – In celebration of Black History Month, Pennsylvania trailblazer state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., was recognized today for her 26 years of service to the commonwealth at Philadelphia City Hall. “I am truly humbled by this honor, and I am so grateful for the constant support of my colleagues,” Youngblood said.” And to my constituents in the 198th – I am grateful to have been afforded the privilege of being your state representative for the past 26 years.” The recognition efforts were spearheaded by members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, led by Chairman Rep. Stephen Kinsey, along with the Philadelphia House Delegation led by Chairman Rep. Jason Dawkins, and Rep. Angel Cruz, all D-Phila. “Representative Youngblood dedicated her life to being a fighter and champion for her community and residents across the commonwealth,” Kinsey said. “A living legend, she has made fierce strides toward creating an equitable commonwealth and has paved the way for women and African-Americans by being the first African-American woman to hold a leadership position in the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s history.” Dawkins also thanked Youngblood for her years of public service and expressed how she was a pioneer in ensuring the possibility for others to also serve in a leadership capacity in state government. “I’m proud to be part of Read more

 

Rep. Kinsey, Gov. Wolf discuss combatting gun violence in Northwest Philadelphia

(Feb 28, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., along with c ommunity leaders, advocates, and students hosted Gov. Tom Wolf on a visit to the 201 st Legislative District at Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice to discuss tackling local gun violence and called on the General Assembly to help secure the $6 million in funding measures for gun violence prevention across Philadelphia outlined in Wolf’s 2020-21 budget proposal . “I’m extremely pleased and support Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal to keep Pennsylvanians safe. Gun violence has become a public health crisis, cutting short the lives of too many people across our commonwealth, especially here in Philadelphia,” Kinsey said. “Governor Wolf recognizes this and has stepped up to the plate with plans. We’re now demanding the state legislature does its part on solidifying this proposal to increase funding thus giving us additional resources that will assist us in battling this threat to the health, safety and welfare of the people of Pennsylvania.” Kinsey also acknowledged the need for grassroots community mobilization in quelling local gun violence and spoke about his public listening tour—Step Up, Stand Up—an anti-gun violence prevention public listening tour. “I recently launched Step Up, Stand Up to reduce—and hopefully end—gun violence across our local communities. I hosted the Read more

 

Bullock applauds more than $2M in state grants to improve safety in Philadelphia schools

(Feb 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 27 – In her ongoing effort to ensure safety in schools, state Rep. Donna Bullock, a member of the School Safety and Security Committee, today applauded over $2 million in state grants to support strengthening safety and security provisions in classrooms across Philadelphia. Bullock, D-Phila., said the funding was made available through the Committee, a subsidiary of Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. “In the second year of this grant program, the statewide funding demand again far outstripped the available resources. Each school district received a minimum grant amount, and competitive grants were awarded to public school entities and community violence reduction partners,” Bullock said. “I want to thank all the members of the SSSC and the staff at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for their diligent work throughout this grant process, as well as our Appropriations Committee staff for their support.” The grant money is a part of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety and Security Committee approval of $53.7 million in school safety and security grants to 524 school entities throughout the commonwealth. Read more

 

Rep. Kinsey to welcome Gov. Wolf to Northwest Philadelphia Friday

(Feb 27, 2020)

Rep. Kinsey to welcome Gov. Wolf to Northwest Philadelphia Friday PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 27 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., will host Gov. Tom Wolf on a tour of the 201 st Legislative District to discuss funding measures for gun violence prevention. The event will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 with Parkway Northwest High School, 6200 Crittenden St., 19138 , as the starting location. Wolf’s visit is part of Kinsey’s recently unveiled initiative, Step Up, Stand Up, to combat gun violence across Northwest Philadelphia. Wolf gave his budget address earlier this month, in which he proposed allocating $6 million across the commonwealth and $4 million in Philadelphia for anti-gun violence efforts. Kinsey, chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and PLBC members, led efforts to lobby for the funding. The media is invited to attend. Read more

 

More than 1,300 participate in Cephas’ telephone town hall to address gun violence, other critical issues facing Philadelphia

(Feb 21, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 21 – Amid recent shootings in Philadelphia, more than 1,300 people took part in state Rep. Morgan Cephas’ telephone town hall meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue of gun violence as well as other critical issues facing their neighborhoods. “We can’t let ourselves become numb and simply accept deadly shootings like the one that just happened last month on 54 th Street,” said Cephas. “However, finding a viable solution will take a multi-pronged approach that must involve input from the community. This telephone town hall is just another way I’m working to make sure our middle neighborhoods are part of the conversation.” As part of her effort to end this public health crisis, Cephas talked about the importance of passing commonsense gun safety legislation, like universal backgrounds checks, as well as investing in small businesses to create local jobs while ensuring workforce training is available to help fill those open positions. Cephas also fielded questions about mental health and affordable housing, while pinpointing concerns that participants wanted to see addressed in the 2020-21 state budget. “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’ve been in Harrisburg this week to begin a series of hearings to ensure we create a state budget plan that works for all Pennsylvanians,” Cephas explained. “From reducing crime and enacting anti-gun violence Read more

 

Kenyatta co-hosts bipartisan public hearing on combatting mental health issues among youth

(Feb 13, 2020)

WASHINGTON CROSSING, Feb. 13 – Today, longtime mental health advocate state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., co-hosted a public hearing with Rep. Wendi Thomas, R- Bucks, at the Washington Crossing United Methodist Church to discuss solutions for youth struggling with mental health. “I am thrilled to have been a part of this discussion that transcends partisanship because as public servants, we are all obligated to ensure our residents are physically, emotionally and mentally well,” Kenyatta said. “Mental health has always been a pressing and a coincidingly stigmatized issue in our society; I have been a longtime advocate for breaking those stigmas and promoting comprehensive solutions to ensure the well-being of our children.” Thomas concurred with her Democratic House colleague’s praises of the bipartisan cohesion and pointed out that mental health also doesn’t discriminate. “Mental health is an issue that does not discriminate. It affects all ages, races, genders and classes. Chances are that each of us knows an individual who has struggled with mental health issues, and we all hope that those close to us would be able to get the necessary assistance in times of desperation. Unfortunately, as many as 60% of students do not receive the treatment they need due to stigma and lack of access to services,” said Thomas, adding, “It is so encouraging to see, not only so many legislators attend our Read more

 

Kinsey to host public safety listening tour Tuesday

(Feb 13, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 13 – Seeking public input on curbing gun violence in communities across Northwest Philadelphia, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, will host a public safety listening tour on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The listening tour will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 West Chelten Ave., 19144. The public and media are invited to attend. Kinsey’s public safety listening tour is part of the first installment of his newly launched anti-gun violence campaign -- Step Up, Stand Up -- an initiative to tackle the root causes of gun violence through community cohesion between residents, city, state and federal elected officials, cooperation with law enforcement, and bolstering economic opportunity across Northwest Philadelphia. Read more

 

McClinton, Kinsey to introduce legislation to increase opportunities for pardons in Pennsylvania

(Feb 06, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced that she and Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., will soon introduce legislation to increase pardon opportunities for individuals currently serving a sentence of life in prison. House Bill 2262 would do away with the requirement for a unanimous vote by the state Board of Pardons, and instead, replace it with a required simple majority vote. This vote is needed in order to recommend a pardon or commutation of a sentence to the governor for final approval. “Criminal justice reform is front and center on the minds of legislators in Harrisburg and people all across the commonwealth,” McClinton said. “One way we can truly seek reform is to offer hope to persons who have served decades in prison and no longer pose a threat to their communities. By lowering the threshold to a three-fifths vote of the pardons board to recommend pardon or commutation to the governor, Pennsylvania can show that it is truly leading by example when it comes to reforming our criminal justice system.” “In 1995, the Pennsylvania Constitution was amended to require a unanimous vote by the pardons board. I believe we’ve come a long way in understanding that we must do more in order to provide true opportunities for rehabilitated offenders to be pardoned or have their sentences commuted,” Kinsey said. “Ultimately, the final decision will still lay with Read more

 

Kinsey applauds Wolf’s budget provisions

(Feb 05, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., applauded the 2020-21 state budget proposal outlined Tuesday by Gov. Tom Wolf. “Governor Wolf’s proposal is ambitious and is exactly what’s needed to lay the foundation that poises Pennsylvania to be a better, more equitable commonwealth,” said Kinsey, who serves as subcommittee chairman on education in the House Appropriations Committee. “My top committee duty will be to work relentlessly to ensure that these proposals become concrete and implemented.” Wolf’s budget proposal includes heavy investment in public schools and early childhood education, as well as new workforce initiatives to prepare more workers for in-demand jobs. Wolf proposed a new scholarship program to help students in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education avoid crushing student debt. “Student loan debt bounds college students to a life of misery and potential financial ruin,” Kinsey said. “I’m thrilled for these provisions that would not just provide financial relief for graduates, but also address every academic stage in the lives of young Pennsylvanians to prepare them for bright futures.” Reiterating his strong commitment to keeping Pennsylvanians safe, Wolf proposed additional measures to protect vulnerable populations and renewed his call for legislators to pass measures to reduce gun violence, including a “red flag” law and Read more

 

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

(Feb 04, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – The House Democratic Philadelphia Delegation today lauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2020-21 budget proposal for including many of the priorities they identified as important to improving the quality of life for Philadelphians and for people across Pennsylvania, according to Delegation Chairman Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila. Wolf outlined his proposal before a joint session of the General Assembly this morning. Led by Dawkins, members of the Philadelphia Delegation met with the governor earlier in the year to stress their budget priorities, including state funding to rid Philadelphia schools of toxins and fix crumbling infrastructure; funding to reduce waiting lists and provide more support for seniors, people living in poverty and those with disabilities; raising the minimum wage to a living wage; creating good jobs with an education plan to provide the skills to fill them; and addressing poverty and gun violence as a public health crisis. “The Philadelphia Delegation is grateful for Governor Wolf’s vision for the state in this, his sixth budget plan,” Dawkins said. “His proposals are people-focused and seek to provide more opportunities for everyone, not just the privileged few. We will be a loud voice in making sure they are included this year.” Dawkins said the governor’s budget proposal includes $1.1 billion to ensure students, teachers and staff can learn and work in classrooms that aren’t Read more

 

Gaydos, Solomon call for small business emergency assistance
Mar 20, 2020

Kenyatta to introduce legislation halting student loan repayments in response to COVID-19
Mar 13, 2020

Kenyatta weighs in on closures, cancellations in 181st district due to COVID-19
Mar 12, 2020

Philadelphia House leadership, legislators, call on Governor Tom Wolf to halt all Public Utility Commission utility disconnections in wake of the COVID-19 virus
Mar 12, 2020

Sanchez, Kenyatta discuss legislation about reporting lost or stolen firearms
Mar 10, 2020

Kinsey hosts first public safety listening tour series, announces upcoming tour for youth
Mar 05, 2020

Kenyatta applauds over $14K in state grants to help preserve local historical landmarks
Mar 03, 2020

Kinsey, PLBC, Philadelphia members honor first African-American woman House Democratic Caucus secretary
Feb 28, 2020

Rep. Kinsey, Gov. Wolf discuss combatting gun violence in Northwest Philadelphia
Feb 28, 2020

Bullock applauds more than $2M in state grants to improve safety in Philadelphia schools
Feb 27, 2020

Rep. Kinsey to welcome Gov. Wolf to Northwest Philadelphia Friday
Feb 27, 2020

More than 1,300 participate in Cephas’ telephone town hall to address gun violence, other critical issues facing Philadelphia
Feb 21, 2020

Kenyatta co-hosts bipartisan public hearing on combatting mental health issues among youth
Feb 13, 2020

Kinsey to host public safety listening tour Tuesday
Feb 13, 2020

McClinton, Kinsey to introduce legislation to increase opportunities for pardons in Pennsylvania
Feb 06, 2020

Kinsey applauds Wolf’s budget provisions
Feb 05, 2020

Philadelphia Delegation lauds Wolf’s 2020-21 state budget proposal
Feb 04, 2020