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State Rep. Jared Solomon introduces bill to address staff shortages in Philadelphia Police Department

Dawkins introduces bill to eliminate state government language barriers

(Apr 19, 2017)

HARRISBURG, April 19 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., introduced a bill to require state departments and agencies, elected row offices, and the General Assembly to craft language access plans to better serve Pennsylvania residents with a limited ability to speak or write in English. House Bill 1241 would require these language access plans to identify all languages spoken by at least 3 percent of the population they serve, and provide vital documents and informational materials in those languages. It also requires that oral, in-person interpretive services be provided in languages encountered at least weekly. “All Pennsylvanians should have equal access to their government,” Dawkins said. “Our departments and agencies cannot fulfill their missions if there are 500,000 people in the state they can’t communicate with. This is a matter of protecting our residents’ health, rights and well-being.” The bill would require state agencies to submit their language access plans to the secretary of administration, who would provide central coordination and technical assistance. The secretary also would make these plans available online for the public to review. In addition to entities under the authority of the governor, the attorney general, auditor general and treasurer as well as the state House and Senate would be required to publish and implement language access plans under the bill. “As the population of non-English Read more

 

Neilson invites constituents to his senior expo

(Apr 13, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, April 13 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today reminded his constituents that they’re invited to his senior expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 28 at Cannstatters, 9130 Academy Road. Neilson said there will be free health screenings, giveaways, music, light refreshments and ways to discover valuable resources they can use. “This event is a great opportunity for seniors in the community to come out and learn more about state programs that are available to help them lead happier, healthier lives,” Neilson said. “We’ll be hosting multiple local and state agencies, and my staff and I will be on hand to answer any questions that may arise.” Neilson said constituents with any questions should contact one of his district offices at (215) 330-3714. Read more

 

Cephas hosts public meeting on 'Stop-and-Go' issues

(Apr 06, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, April 6 – Philadelphia state Rep. Morgan Cephas today hosted a public meeting on the issues relating to nuisance establishments that sell alcohol and how they impact surrounding communities. "With the loosening of laws regarding liquor sales, businesses have greater opportunities to expand commerce and product lines, however, we are experiencing some unintended consequences of changing the laws," Cephas said. "It remains critical for local and state agencies to keep a watchful eye on nuisance establishments that are taking advantage of loopholes and this hearing, and others like it, is a step in the right direction." In addition to discussing the effect of these stop-and-go establishments on a state level, the public meeting also addressed how these stores may disrupt local communities. Cephas is currently working on a liquor control task force by bringing together local and state agencies, business owners and area residents that are immediately impacted by the operation of nuisance establishments. “As an organizer of this grassroots initiative and a member of the House Liquor Control Committee, I am using these opportunities to address growing concerns and attack this issue head on,” Cephas said. Among the testifiers were Officer Frank Gramlick from the 19th Police District of the Philadelphia Police Department, personnel from Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Pennsylvania Read more

 

McClinton to host Financial Literacy Seminar

(Mar 31, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 31 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, announced she will host an event designed to provide constituents with tools and information they can use to make informative decisions about their finances. The Financial Literacy Seminar will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 6 at Mercy Hospital of Philadelphia, 501 S. 54th St., 7th Floor, 19143. McClinton said constituents can learn useful information to help them navigate their public and private financial matters, including ones concerning insurance, taxes, real estate, savings and more. “Financial literacy can benefit people in regards to entrepreneurship, home ownership, education, their community and their future,” McClinton said. “I hope everyone will attend this informative event and become more invested in their financial profile for years to come.” McClinton said that invited guests include Clarifi Credit Counseling, Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, The Student Loan Doctor LLC, Budget Me Budget Services and The Ivy Investor. For more information about the event, constituents can contact McClinton’s office at (215) 748-6712. Read more

 

Stop and go public meeting scheduled for April 6

(Mar 30, 2017)

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Senior Expo April 28

(Mar 28, 2017)

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Human Services Committee 'Air Bridge' public hearing

(Mar 24, 2017)

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Fitzgerald/Kinsey host public meeting on 'Stop-and-Go' issues

(Mar 23, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 23 – Philadelphia state Reps. Isabella Fitzgerald and Stephen Kinsey today hosted a public meeting on the issues relating to stop-and-go establishments that sell alcohol and how they impact surrounding communities. "This is an opportunity to address this issue head on. Bringing everyone together under one roof allows concerns to be addressed and provides an avenue for all of us to be part of the solution," Fitzgerald said. "I remain committed to working with local and state agencies and organizations to reverse the negative trend of consequences associated with the nuisance establishments that are taking advantage of the state's liquor laws." In addition to discussing the effect of these stop-and-go establishments on a state level, the public meeting also addressed how these stores may disrupt local communities. "Overwhelmingly, this boils down to a public safety issue. The residents of northwest Philadelphia, south Philadelphia, northeast Philadelphia and the entire city deserve to live their lives without the problems caused by stop-and-go issues," Kinsey said. "I am encouraged by the actions taken today to ensure that we continue the conversation on how we can answer the public's call to provide them with the best quality of life as possible." Among the testifiers were Inspector Anthony L. Washington, Northwest Police Division commanding officer and personnel from Pennsylvania State Police Read more

 

McClinton condemns bill for reviving unconstitutional mandatory minimums

(Mar 22, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 22 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, spoked out against H.B. 741, which aims to revive mandatory minimum sentences for a number of drug-related offenses. The bill was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday. McClinton said a letter that she received from the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association stated that mandatory minimums work to improve public safety, something that she said she wrestles with. “I wonder where the safety has improved,” McClinton said. “Time and time again, I look at the unfortunate homicide rate in Philadelphia and the number of non-fatal shootings where I live and they are always high, no matter how many people are behind bars serving 10-20, 25 to life.” House Bill 741 seeks to revive mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes that were ruled unconstitutional in cases before both the Pennsylvania and U.S. supreme courts. It also would increase sentences for certain offenses. “This bill would potentially get more support if there were studies that showed crime was reduced, that neighborhoods are safer, that people stop selling drugs at the same intersection where someone gets arrested,” McClinton said. “Where is the decreased recidivism? Why hasn’t it happened yet in my community? Why are there drugs readily available and we have all these sentences, yet nothing has changed?” McClinton has been a strong advocate on criminal Read more

 

McClinton to host Entrepreneurship Seminar March 28

(Mar 17, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 17 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, will host an event to provide helpful tools for current local business owners or for people aspiring to open their own small business. The Entrepreneurship Seminar will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 28 at the Ezekiel Baptist Church, 5701 Grays Ave. Attendees will learn what it takes to establish a business and secure the necessary finances to make it happen, how to effectively establish a business by promoting a brand in all forms of media, and hear experiences in effectively establishing a business and the paths taken to achieve inspiration. “Small businesses are the backbone to our community, so we must assist them with tools to help them grow and remain successful. If small businesses thrive in our neighborhoods, then job opportunities are available to more neighbors,” McClinton said. “I encourage everyone – business owners or those looking to take on a different pathway and own a business – to come be inspired and informed.” McClinton noted seminar participants include the Enterprise Center, the U.S. Department of Small Business Administration, City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce, Office of Business Services, City of Philadelphia Department of Procurement, Southwest Community Development Corporation, Citizens Bank, African Cultural Alliance of North American, INC. and local entrepreneurs. For more information, constituents Read more

 

Fitzgerald to host town hall meeting

(Mar 15, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 15 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she will host a town hall meeting to discuss quality-of-life issues impacting residents in the 203rd Legislative District. The meeting will take place 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 23 at Simons Recreation Center, 7200 Woolston Ave., Philadelphia, 19138. Fitzgerald said government officials and community organizations that provide quality-of-life services in area neighborhoods will be on hand, including law enforcement and public safety, neighborhood beautification, public health, youth advocacy and senior services. “The purpose of this event is to provide a platform for our residents to learn about the services available to them in our community,” Fitzgerald said. “I encourage everyone to come out and become engaged in this informative event.” For more information, constituents can call Fitzgerald’s district office at (215)-549-0220. Read more

 

Fitzgerald/Kinsey to host public meeting on 'Stop-and-Go' issues

(Mar 15, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 15 – Philadelphia state Reps. Isabella Fitzgerald and Stephen Kinsey will host a public meeting on the issues relating to stop-and-go convenience stores that sell alcohol and how they impact surrounding communities. It will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 23 at the Oak Lane Library, 6614 N. 12 th St., 19126. Along with the representatives, personnel from the Liquor Control Board and Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement will be on hand to address concerns and discuss potential solutions. For more information, constituents can call Fitzgerald’s district office at (215) 549-0220 or Kinsey's district office at (215) 849-6592. Read more

 

Neilson, House members advocate for ‘My Work, My Choice’

(Mar 13, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 13 – A bipartisan group of legislators from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today rallied to prevent individuals with disabilities from being forced to sit in the community and leave day programs and sheltered workshops where they are comfortable. Following the rally, the House Human Services Committee conducted a hearing on the topic to gather more information. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) proposed changing how it administers its home- and community-based waivers. To be eligible, individuals with disabilities would be forced to spend time in the community away from sheltered workshops and day programs where they currently go. The initial proposal would have required individuals to spend 75 percent of their time in the community, rather than being segregated at day programs or sheltered workshops. This requirement left many day programs and sheltered workshops wondering how they would continue to operate if individuals can only participate essentially one day out of five. While an alternate proposal to have individuals spend 25 percent of their time in the community has been advanced, some unanswered questions remain. “All Americans deserve the right to work and should have the liberty to keep a job they love,” said Rep. Eric Nelson (R-Westmoreland). “We need more people working, not less. Clelian Heights and the Blind Association in my legislative district meet the needs of individuals with Read more

 

Dawkins condemns DA’s decision to seek life without parole for juveniles

(Mar 06, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 6 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., voiced his strong opposition to District Attorney Seth Williams’ decision to seek life without parole sentences in at least three cases with juvenile defendants. “Last year, District Attorney Williams did what was right, and announced that he would no longer pursue life without parole for those under 18 years old,” Dawkins said. “It is disheartening to see him go back on his word, and I condemn in the strongest terms his decision to revive a punishment the Supreme Court has called cruel and unusual.” In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The court later held in Montgomery v. Louisiana that its decision in Miller applied retroactively. Dawkins said as the courts began resentencing hearings, Williams announced that his office “will not be asking for cases going forward for life without the possibility of parole for people under the age of 18” in order “to give all of these individuals some light at the end of the tunnel.” “I hope that the district attorney returns to his original position, and provides these individuals – whose decades in prison began in their teenage years – what he once called ‘some light at the end of the tunnel,’” Dawkins said. Read more

 

Working together to clean up Castor Avenue

(Mar 02, 2017)

On Feb. 26, I was joined by my Chief of Staff Andrew, staffers from Councilwoman Cherelle Parker’s office, and nearly 100 volunteers from the World Church of God to help clean up Castor Avenue. Check out these stats of our progress from the day: 3,012 pounds of trash = 1.506 tons of trash 81 bags of trash 14 bags of recyclables 95 bags total (plus a mattress, a tire, a suitcase and a bicycle) 77 volunteers from the Church of God on Castor Avenue (5 more back at the church, watching children and preparing lunch) 3 state leaders 2 people who were passing by and just stopped and started to help 82 total participants 2.3 miles covered on each side of the streets 4.6 linear miles covered Everyone was out at least 3 hours (not including travel time)... 3 x 77 = 231 person-hours of cleaning 231 hours = more than a week's worth of work by 1 sanitation employee or 1 day of work from 29 employees A great effort by everyone involved. Thanks! Read more

 

Avoid having your utilities shut off, apply for LIHEAP today!

(Feb 28, 2017)

If you or someone you know received notice that you are delinquent on your PECO account, you may be eligible for assistance with grants from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP offers one-time cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to your utility company, and crisis benefits of $25 to $500 for households in immediate danger of losing heat. Income guidelines do apply . As one example, if you’re living in a household of four people with total income less than $36,450, you qualify for LIHEAP. You can apply now online using Pennsylvania’s COMPASS website. Read more

 

Cephas to host town hall meeting

(Feb 27, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 27 – In keeping with her legislative priorities, state Rep. Morgan Cephas announced she will host a town hall meeting for residents of the 192nd Legislative District. The meeting will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 at the Shephard Recreation Center, 5700 Haverford Ave., Philadelphia, 19131. Cephas said she and a panel of state, city and local officials will discuss several topics, such as the outlook and goals for the district, a public safety neighborhood review, a status update on nuisance liquor establishments and plans to address them, and a plan to strengthen neighborhood schools. “The purpose of this event is to provide a platform for community residents to learn about various resources available to them at the state and local level,” Cephas said. “It is also an opportunity for them to learn about my agenda for working toward a better quality of life for constituents who live in the 192nd legislative district.” Cephas added the attendees for the town hall meeting will be officials from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Enforcement, the Mayor’s Office of Education and the 19th Police District. Local organizations and vendors also will be there with resources to share. For more information, constituents can call Cephas’ district office at (215)-879-6625. Read more

 

Discussion on immigration and diversity Feb. 25

(Feb 22, 2017)

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Fitzgerald hosting office open house Feb. 25 (with video)

(Feb 21, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 21 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she will host an open house at her district office for constituents of the 203rd Legislative District. The free event will take place 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7178 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia, 19138. “I’m thrilled to take this opportunity to have my constituents stop by the office, meet me and my staff and learn how we can assist them with any state-related program and service,” Fitzgerald said. Refreshments will be served. Fitzgerald added people can visit her website – www.pahouse.com/Fitzgerald – which has links to information on state services and includes a form that enables constituents to email her. Fitzgerald also maintains a legislative Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RepIzzy and Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/RepIzzy . Read more

 

Cephas to hold mobile office hours throughout the district

(Feb 10, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., announced she will hold mobile offices hours for her constituents throughout the 192nd Legislative District. “I made a commitment to bring state services directly to the doors of my constituents in their neighborhoods,” Cephas said. Cephas said her staff will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first, third and last Thursday of every month at the following locations: Feb. 16 Overbrook Library, 7422 Haverford Ave., 19151 Feb. 23 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, 5398 Wynnefield Ave., 19131 March 2 Wynnefield Library, 5325 Overbrook Ave., 19131 March 16 Haddington Library, 448 N. 65th St., 19151 March 23 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, 5398 Wynnefield Ave., 19131 April 6 Overbrook Library, 7422 Haverford Ave., 19151 April 20 Haverford Library, 5543 Haverford Ave., 19139 April 27 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, new location TBD May 4 Haddington Library, 448 N. 65th St., 19151 May 18 Wynnefield Library, 5325 Overbrook Ave., 19131 May 25 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, new location TBD June 1 Haverford Library, 5543 Haverford Ave., 19139 June 15 Overbrook Library, 7422 Haverford Ave., 19151 June 22 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, new location, TBD Cephas noted her staff will offer the services that are also offered at her main office, such as assistance with the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, Read more