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Philadelphia Delegation Platform for the 2019-20 Legislative Session

Philadelphia House Delegation Members thank Commissioner Ross after 30 years of service

(Aug 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 21 – Following Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr.’s abrupt resignation on Tuesday, state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and its members thanked Ross for his nearly 30 years of service to the city in law enforcement. “It has been an esteemed honor to stand beside Commissioner Ross in our efforts to improve the lives of all Philadelphians, especially to combat the increasing gun violence in the city,” Dawkins said. “Members of the delegation thank him for his nearly three decades of dedicated service to the city of Philadelphia. “However, we are disheartened to hear of the new accusations against the police force. As members of the House of Representatives, we take any charge of sexual harassment, gender or racial discrimination very seriously. “We trust that new leadership within the Philadelphia Police Department, presently under acting Commissioner Christine M. Coulter, will continue to work to overcome any issues of discrimination or harassment existing within the department.” Read more

 

Bullock first ever Pa. legislator to attend energy academy in Colorado

(Aug 21, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Donna Bullock today said she is the first and only legislator to represent Pennsylvania during this week’s Clean Energy Legislative Academy in Breckenridge, Colo. The four-day conference brings together a bipartisan group of state legislators and their staff from across the country to learn about emerging energy issues and resources they will need to develop effective clean energy policy in their states. “I’m honored to represent Pennsylvania at this important and informative conference. I plan on learning as much as I can from the seminars and panels and legislators from other states,” Bullock said. “Pennsylvania needs laws that will help fight climate change and convert to renewable energy. I want to bring my experiences from this conference back home to not only share with my colleagues, but to craft legislation that would provide better, efficient energy policies for now and our future.” The Clean Energy Legislative Academy will hit on such topics as climate and air quality, securing our energy future, financial markets response to climate risk, and getting to 100% innovation in clean energy technology. Read more

 

Cruz to host new voting machine demonstrations Sept. 6

(Aug 21, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21 – With voters soon going to the polls and casting their ballots on new voting machine technology, state Rep. Angel Cruz will host an event where people can become familiar and comfortable with these new machines. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6 at Cruz’s district office at 3503 North B St., Unit 7, 19134. Representatives from the Philadelphia City Commissioner’s Office will be in attendance to provide demonstrations on how the new machines operate. For more information, constituents can call Cruz’s office at 215-291-5643. Read more

 

McClinton supports Gov. Wolf’s gun violence prevention executive order

(Aug 16, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 16 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, commended Gov. Tom Wolf for his executive order today on gun violence prevention: “It breaks my heart that mass shootings have become a daily occurrence in Southwest Philadelphia and across the nation. As a legislator, protecting vulnerable Pennsylvanians is my top priority, so I am glad to see Governor Wolf make this commitment to public safety,” McClinton said. “My goal is to ensure that our children, neighbors and police officers can walk the streets of Philadelphia without coming under fire.” Wolf’s executive order will immediately implement a special committee on gun violence to discuss public health and community engagement strategies. The order will also establish the Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, along with the Division of Violence Prevention within the Department of Health. The two offices will work together to tackle gun violence as a public safety and health concern. The order also calls for state police to increase monitoring of hate groups, white nationalists and other fringe organizations to combat mass shootings, while expanding the gun buyback program through the Pennsylvania State Police and municipal police departments. “Governor Wolf is taking a big step in fighting gun violence, but an executive order can only accomplish so much. It’s vital that my colleagues Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation commends courage of police after six officers shot, calls for sensible gun reform to get guns off the street

(Aug 15, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation in the PA House of Representatives, along with delegation members, on Thursday commended the courage and service of the Philadelphia Police Department after six officers were shot, and others were injured during a shootout Wednesday. “These officers put their lives on the line every day that they go to work and serve their community,” Dawkins said. “They know the dangers they face when they put on their uniform, head out the door, leaving their families behind, to serve and protect us.” A gunman began firing shots around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when police were at a house in the 3700 block of North 15 th Street in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia to serve an arrest warrant, according to news reports . Six officers were shot, all of them were eventually treated at the hospital and released, and the gunman was taken into custody after a 71/2-hour standoff. “The officers who were injured in this heinous act will have the Philadelphia House Delegation’s full support as they recover,” Dawkins said, adding “We must do all we can to prevent such senseless acts of gun violence in the future. We must do more to keep guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals.” Dawkins pointed to the more than two dozen gun reform measures that could be voted on today as steps to take to reduce gun violence and access to Read more

 

Youngblood commends authorities for bringing peaceful ending to standoff

(Aug 15, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 15 – Following a seven-hour police standoff in the Nicetown section of her district, state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood is praising the authorities involved and their efforts to bring the incident to a peaceful conclusion. “I am thankful that the six officers who were injured during this horrific event are expected to recover, and that there were no fatalities within the police department. I am also glad that no residents were physically hurt during this long ordeal,” Youngblood said. “As terrible as the situation was, it could have been a lot worse, but the Philadelphia Police Department handled it with professionalism and remained vigilant throughout the standoff. “I also commend Police Commissioner Ross and District Attorney Krasner for participating in a phone call with the suspect and his attorney that led to the gunman surrendering and ending of the seven-hour standoff.” Youngblood added this incident only strengthens the continued call for commonsense gun reform in Pennsylvania. “Our community did not deserve to be on the receiving end of this act of violence. Our law enforcement, who are out on the streets serving and protecting our communities should be able to do so safely. This suspect has a criminal record and should not have had guns in his possession. He used them illegally to fight off police who were only doing their job in serving a warrant,” Youngblood stated. “The residents of Read more

 

Boyle seeks co-sponsors for legislation to ban large capacity ammunition magazines in Pa.

(Aug 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 12 – Following mass shootings in the U.S. reportedly involving large capacity ammunition magazines, state Rep. Kevin Boyle announced he is seeking co-sponsors for his legislation that would prohibit this type of magazine in Pennsylvania. The legislation would ban the sale, offering and exposing for sale, use, purchase, possession and control of a large capacity ammunition magazine – which is defined as an automatic ammunition feeding device capable of accepting more than 15 rounds of ammunition or five shotgun shells. “In some cases, large capacity ammunition magazines can hold up to 100 rounds of ammunition and can be used in any semi-automatic firearm that accepts a detachable magazine. Because of this, many automatic and semi-automatic firearms could increasingly become lethal,” Boyle said. “While this type of magazine is illegal to use for hunting in the commonwealth, it is not illegal to use for other purposes. I don’t see the need for allowing it in Pennsylvania.” Under this legislation, Pennsylvania would join nine states and the District of Columbia in prohibiting this type of magazine. Boyle noted that large capacity ammunition magazines were used in the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Shortly after those shootings, Boyle and some fellow colleagues held a news conference to urge Gov. Tom Wolf to convene a special session of the House and Senate to address gun violence in the Read more

 

Boyle Calls For Special Session To Address Gun Violence

(Aug 07, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Kevin Boyle is calling on Governor Wolf to convene a special session of the Pa. House and Senate to address gun violence in the wake of recent deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation calls on state, federal lawmakers to act, once and for all, on gun violence

(Aug 05, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 5 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation in the PA House of Representatives, along with delegation members, called on state and federal lawmakers Monday to act on sensible gun reform. “The tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, have pained our hearts,” Dawkins said. “The news of more lives lost to gun violence is tragic. And not enacting sensible gun reform in Pennsylvania is a travesty. Dawkins pointed to Gov. Tom Wolf’s statement on Sunday, in which the governor tweeted that we can ban assault weapons and institute stricter background checks, target white nationalism and promote tolerance and invest in mental health care to help those who are struggling; but we must not accept this violence as normal. Dawkins said there are currently more than two dozen gun reform bills that could be voted on today that would make a difference in people’s lives . While we must fight back against hatred and bigotry, which seem central to the shootings this weekend, Dawkins said keeping guns out of the hands of those who wish to do harm is something we can do right now. “We are in what seems like an endless cycle of violence, killings, heartbreak, and then thoughts and prayers,” Dawkins said. “This cycle started long before El Paso and Dayton. And this cycle happens even when the shooting incidents don’t end up in national news headlines. Five people were Read more

 

General Assistance letter to Gov. Tom Wolf Re: Emergency Declaration

(Aug 02, 2019)

Letter to Gov. Tom Wolf regarding the end of General Assistance program. Read more

 

Isaacson applauds $5.7 million in state grants for district

(Aug 02, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 2 –State Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Phila., today announced just over $5.7 million in state funding is being invested in her district for five economic development projects. The state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program awarded funding for the following: $1 million to the Philadelphia Bar Association for the Equal Justice Center, an energy-efficient 160,000-square-foot office building that will contain 14 legal services organizations providing nonprofit legal services to low-income residents. Housing these organizations in one place will also reduce rent and additional operating costs. $702,000 to WHYY Inc. for the finishing stages of the HVAC replacement LED work light installation, a studio LED wall replacement, and window treatment. $1.5 million to the Pennsylvania Ballet Association for a 15,000-square-foot dance facility that will include 50,000 square feet of studios, offices and support spaces; and renovations to the current building. $1.5 million to Yards Brewing Co. for renovations to the 70,000 square-foot space to accommodate the brewery’s production and entertainment spaces, the purchase and installation of brewing equipment and improvements to the facility’s foundation. $1 million to the Parents United for Better Schools Inc. for Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia to construct a two-story gymnasium that will include a basketball court, overlapping cross-courts and proposed Read more

 

Donatucci announces $5.5 million in state funding awarded to economic development projects in Philadelphia

(Aug 02, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 2 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced three projects in Philadelphia have been awarded $5.5 million in funding. “It is awesome to see projects in my district awarded these state funds,” Donatucci said. “These dollars will go far to improve life for so many in our community.” Grants from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program were awarded to the following projects in the 185 th District: WURD Radio LLC awarded $500,000 . The scope of work entails the Tenant Improvements/Fit-out of the WURD Radio Station and office space consisting of 6,000 square feet at Project Site 1 (36th & Haverford). In addition, capital improvement to WURD Radio's infrastructure through the repairing of two AM tower antennas located at Project Site 2 (6501 Essington Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19153). Passyunk Energy Center LLC awarded $2 million . The Passyunk Energy Center plans to invest approximately 5.2 megawatts of solar photovoltaic equipment at the Passyunk site. This would be the largest single solar installation within the city and a commitment to zero emission energy throughout the Commonwealth. This solar production will generate enough electricity to operate all the equipment at the Passyunk Energy Center, as well as all the Philadelphia Gas Works electricity needs for the Passyunk site. With associated equipment, this production will support a microgrid, enabling the site to Read more

 

Burgos announces $750,000 grant to help fund next phase of Uptown Theater improvements

(Aug 02, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 2 – As part of the ongoing efforts to revitalize the Philadelphia Uptown Theater , state Rep. Danilo Burgos today announced $750,000 in state funding to help cover upcoming construction costs. “The Uptown Theater is a community landmark that dates back decades, and this money is critical in keeping its history alive,” explained Burgos, D-Phila. “Redeveloping the building will help improve our neighborhood’s landscape, attract visitors, create good paying jobs, provide a safe environment for families, and ultimately strengthen our local economy.” The grant was made possible by the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and will go towards phase three of renovations, which includes: Demolition of the basement to the sixth floor Updates to the theater’s roof, lobby, and security system New windows, doors, and lights Restoring the subway entrance The total cost for the project is $10 million and is expected to be completed by 2021. Burgos said he’s committed to working with the nonprofit organization Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation, which has played a vital part in preserving the North Philadelphia staple. The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. Read more

 

Youngblood announces $1 million grant for the Allegheny West Foundation

(Aug 01, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 1 – State Rep. Rosita Youngblood today announced the Allegheny West Foundation has been awarded a $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant to help fund the construction of a new recreation center at Panati Playground along the North 22nd Street Commercial Corridor. “The playground and current recreation center have been an integral part of the Allegheny West community. It provides families and neighbors opportunities to gather, interact and enjoy the outdoors,” Youngblood said. “I thank Governor Wolf for his commitment in allocating this grant to improve and benefit the community for years to come.” The project will construct a larger, one-story recreation center that will provide an adequate number of restrooms, house future community programs, and be more cost-effective over time. The project is estimated to cost just over $2 million. In 2014, the Panati Playground was closed for 10 months for renovations that included a spray park, more lighting, surveillance cameras, a repaved basketball courts, new playground equipment, a walking path, and an outdoor exercise area. The park reopened in July 2015. The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. Read more

 

Kenyatta: North Philly non-profit receives $4.5M Department of Labor reentry grant

(Jul 25, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, July 25 — State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., announced that OIC of America was awarded a U.S. Department of Labor Reentry Grant totaling $4.5 million, which will be used to expand its Skills, Opportunities, Achievement, and Responsibility program. These grants give organizations the opportunity to develop methods that maximize participants' inclusion and integration into society, employment opportunities, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency. The funds will be used to address the full range of challenges faced by justice-involved individuals transitioning back to the community. “I’m thrilled that this funding will come to the district to help this great organization continue its work bringing formerly incarcerated individuals back home successfully and without friction,” Kenyatta said. “This will help provide positive work and education opportunities to participants and enable them to become productive, responsible members of the community. ” The SOAR program will expand to serve 570 additional participants, bringing the total number of individuals served to nearly 3,000 by 2022. OIC of America is based in Philadelphia and operates as a national network of community-based organizations that focuses mainly on vocational training, job readiness, healthcare, education, reentry, and youth development. Read more

 

Burgos to partner with Fox Chase Cancer Center to offer breast cancer screenings

(Jul 25, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, July 25 – State Rep. Danilo Burgos announced he will partner with Fox Chase Cancer Center to host breast cancer screenings at his district office. The mobile mammography event will be held outside of Burgos’ office at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16 at 635 W. Erie Ave. Those interested in receiving a breast cancer screening are required to make an appointment. “Many of us have had either a friend or loved one who has battled this deadly disease. About one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime and some will be diagnosed with it at a young age,” Burgos said. “Early detection is so important in the fight against breast cancer and I am pleased to partner with Fox Chase Cancer Center to offer these lifesaving screenings.” Additional requirements include: Must be 40 or older and provide photo ID and insurance card. Prescription from a doctor. May not be breast feeding nor have breast fed within the last nine months. Must not have had a breast cancer diagnosis within the past three years. Must not be under treatment for breast cancer. Must not have had a mammogram in 12 months. Must be able to board the van and stand while being examined. To make an appointment or for more information, constituents should contact Burgos’ district office at 215-223-1890. Read more

 

Johnson-Harrell, Policy Committee meet to discuss gun violence as a public health epidemic

(Jul 24, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, July 23 – State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on Gun Violence as a Public Health Epidemic. Johnson-Harrell requested the hearing to discuss what more the state can do to reduce gun violence deaths and provide stronger support for community activists. Testifiers and lawmakers looked at potential solutions to the violence affecting Philadelphia. Johnson-Harrell was joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “Today’s testifiers provided a lot of very useful insight for tackling the gun violence problem in Philadelphia and I’m thankful for their input,” Johnson-Harrell said. “When we have open dialogue about the causes and drivers of these issues, we can better craft solutions that will ensure safer streets for our families. In the city, gun violence is on the rise and it’s reaching a boiling point. We need to make sure that local officials and community organizers are fully educated and equipped to solve this problem.” Sturla added: “No one should feel unsafe where they live. We need to make sure we’re protecting the most vulnerable among us and that includes children who are living in neighborhoods rife with gun violence.” The committee heard testimony from Lawrence Krasner, Philadelphia District Attorney; Richard Ross, Commissioner of Read more

 

Driscoll co-sponsors unprecedented legislation for anti-indemnity statute in construction contracts

(Jul 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 23 – State Reps. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., and Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery, today introduced unprecedented, bi-partisan legislation ( H.B. 1887 ) that would establish an anti-indemnity statute regarding construction contracts. Indemnity clauses transfer the responsibility to pay damages, including attorney and court fees, from one party to another party, usually without regard to who caused the loss. “Due to the lack of any anti-indemnity statutes in Pennsylvania, construction contractors, particularly subcontractors, are faced with the unfair practice of having to accept liability for another party’s negligence when entering into construction contracts,” Driscoll said. “This legislation would bar any claim for indemnification for losses caused by the negligence of an owner or a general contractor.” “This is about fairness,” Stephens said. “Without this legislation, many Pennsylvania construction contractors must accept liability for another party’s negligence. That can unfairly and unnecessarily add to the cost of a construction project.” In construction law, there are three forms of indemnity agreements: limited, intermediate and broad. Of these three forms of indemnity, H.B.1887 draws from limited indemnity, in which a subcontractor, if it is solely at fault, assumes responsibility for its own negligence. “This legislation would mandate a limited form of indemnification Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds Community Legal Services and Disability Rights Pennsylvania for lawsuit to save General Assistance

(Jul 22, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA , July 22 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta on Monday applauded Community Legal Services of Philadelphia and Disability Rights Pennsylvania for filing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the more than 11,000 people who are set to lose General Assistance funding when the program ends Aug. 1. “Community Legal Services and Disability Rights Pennsylvania are speaking out on behalf of the most vulnerable among us in filing this lawsuit,” said Kenyatta, D-Phila. “Many of those who receive General Assistance are people who have a temporary or permanent disability that keeps them from work. “I and many of my Democratic colleagues spoke out on behalf of these citizens when we urged our Republican colleagues to save General Assistance,” Kenyatta said. “We were not heard in Harrisburg, but hopefully this lawsuit will be heard and heeded, and General Assistance can be saved.” In June, the General Assembly voted to end General Assistance, despite the pleas from many, including Kenyatta. Earlier this month, Kenyatta and state Rep. Melissa Shusterman introduced legislation to create an Emergency Relief program , funding for which would come from the state’s General Fund, to provide relief to those who will lose General Assistance. General Assistance provides about $200 of cash assistance to about 11,000 people across the state, including grandparents caring for their grandchildren, pregnant mothers and wounded Read more

 

Cephas applauds city grants for continued improvements to business corridors in 192nd district

(Jul 22, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, July 22 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., congratulated the Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corp. on being awarded a $65,000 Commercial Corridor Cleaning Assistance Program grant from the Philadelphia Department of Commerce. “The Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corporation has been an integral part of the community by addressing the essential points of community-building such as development, employment and ensuring nearby residents have a decent quality of life,” Cephas said. “I’d like to thank City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. and the department’s director, Harold Epps, for their continued support to improve our commercial corridors. I am proud to see this grant be used to further this mission.” Cephas said the grant will be used towards creating local employment to maintain the cleanliness of streets, sidewalks and storefront areas, through a partnership between Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corp. and Juveniles Active in Science and Technology Development Services Inc., a local non-profit that focuses on improving public health by ensuring communities in Philadelphia are more livable, sustainable and equitable. “This partnership will allow our young people to have access to jobs, most importantly jobs directly contributing and investing in their own community,” Cephas said. “Their hard work will, in turn, promote a decent quality of life for their fellow neighbors.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation Members thank Commissioner Ross after 30 years of service
Aug 21, 2019

Bullock first ever Pa. legislator to attend energy academy in Colorado
Aug 21, 2019

Cruz to host new voting machine demonstrations Sept. 6
Aug 21, 2019

McClinton supports Gov. Wolf’s gun violence prevention executive order
Aug 16, 2019

Philadelphia House Delegation commends courage of police after six officers shot, calls for sensible gun reform to get guns off the street
Aug 15, 2019

Youngblood commends authorities for bringing peaceful ending to standoff
Aug 15, 2019

Boyle seeks co-sponsors for legislation to ban large capacity ammunition magazines in Pa.
Aug 12, 2019

Boyle Calls For Special Session To Address Gun Violence
Aug 07, 2019

Philadelphia House Delegation calls on state, federal lawmakers to act, once and for all, on gun violence
Aug 05, 2019

General Assistance letter to Gov. Tom Wolf Re: Emergency Declaration
Aug 02, 2019

Isaacson applauds $5.7 million in state grants for district
Aug 02, 2019

Donatucci announces $5.5 million in state funding awarded to economic development projects in Philadelphia
Aug 02, 2019

Burgos announces $750,000 grant to help fund next phase of Uptown Theater improvements
Aug 02, 2019

Youngblood announces $1 million grant for the Allegheny West Foundation
Aug 01, 2019

Kenyatta: North Philly non-profit receives $4.5M Department of Labor reentry grant
Jul 25, 2019

Burgos to partner with Fox Chase Cancer Center to offer breast cancer screenings
Jul 25, 2019

Johnson-Harrell, Policy Committee meet to discuss gun violence as a public health epidemic
Jul 24, 2019

Driscoll co-sponsors unprecedented legislation for anti-indemnity statute in construction contracts
Jul 23, 2019

Kenyatta applauds Community Legal Services and Disability Rights Pennsylvania for lawsuit to save General Assistance
Jul 22, 2019

Cephas applauds city grants for continued improvements to business corridors in 192nd district
Jul 22, 2019