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Kinsey outlines Northwest Philadelphia public safety tour, set to host communitywide meeting

(5 hours ago)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 24 – Following the spate of shootings throughout the city, one of which left an 18-month-old baby suffering from a bullet-graze wound just blocks away from his Germantown district office, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., today outlined Step Up, Stand Up -- a grassroots community campaign to end gun violence throughout Northwest Philadelphia. To kick off the campaign, Kinsey and state Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, who represents Northwest Philadelphia’s 203 rd Legislative District, were joined by local community organizations and city law enforcement for a roundtable discussion on rampant gun violence across Northwest Philadelphia. “While our loved one’s lives are cut short and our community reels for solace through these dark times; our legislature turns it back by ignoring our calls to vote on the nearly two dozen bills that would address gun violence and ultimately save lives,” Kinsey said. “We must take back our communities and I extend the invitation to anyone else in helping to develop comprehensive actions to end this public health crisis.” Step Up, Stand Up, an initiative that Kinsey is leading, is geared toward providing comprehensive approaches to reducing local and citywide gun violence through education, community empowerment and fostering healthy relationships between residents, community organizations, law enforcement, and city, state and federal officials. Kinsey said he is seeking input Read more

Rep. Kirkland to participate in forum on reducing gun violence

(7 hours ago)

In December, Kirkland was appointed to Gov. Tom Wolf’s Special Council on Gun Violence. And this month, Kirkland was appointed co-chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus’ anti-gun violence subcommittee. Read more

Cephas to host MLK Day of Justice on Jan. 18

(Jan 08, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 8 – Inspired by a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., state Rep. Morgan Cephas announced she will host a day of justice to help give people who have dealt with the state criminal justice system a second justice. The event will take place from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 at Shepard Recreation Center, 5700 Haverford Ave., 19131. “Doctor King once said, ‘If America is to remain a first-class nation, it cannot have second-class citizens.’ I whole heartedly believe this, yet we have so many people in the commonwealth who are treated unfairly following their time behind bars,” Cephas said. “This event will provide an opportunity for people to get the information and resources they need to help clear their record and get on proper footing to lead productive lives for their families and their community.” Cephas said a news conference will be held to launch the soft opening of the Haddington Participatory Defense Hub. Those in attendance will be able to learn about the state pardon process and record expungement to determine if they may be eligible to get their record erased. Refreshments will be served. To RSVP, call Cephas' office at 215-879-6625. Read more

Kinsey blasts Mummers for use of blackface for second year in a row

(Jan 03, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, called the use of blackface by members of the Froggy Carr Wench Brigade during the New Year’s Day Philadelphia Mummers Parade racist. “It was just last year, almost exactly to the date, that the Mummers stirred controversy with an incident of similar nature. PLBC representatives met with them and attempted to use that as a teachable moment on how hurtful and racist these character portrayals are, but this year, we’re through,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “We’re through with trying to reason with an entity that is essentially a modern minstrel show laced with hate speech, xenophobia and the denigration of Blackness under the guise of entertainment. We can no longer tolerate having our humanity and skin color repeatedly mocked and donned as costumes.” Kinsey applauded Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney for censuring and subsequently disqualifying the Froggy Carr Wench Brigade but pressed for more substantive consequences for performers who engage in racially insensitive behavior. “I am pleased that Mayor Kenney immediately stepped up to condemn the use of blackface; however, as chairman of the PLBC, I’m calling on the mayor to impose more harsh penalties that are swift and severe for any performer or troupe who indulges in this disgusting spectacle. Funneling taxpayer dollars in the form of city employees Read more

Kinsey, Fitzgerald welcome over 350 children at 2nd annual Holiday Toy Giveaway on Saturday

(Dec 23, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 23 – In the spirit of giving for the holiday season, state Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Isabella Fitzgerald, both D-Phila., hosted their second annual Holiday Toy Giveaway at the New Journey Christian Center on Saturday. “We’re at the peak of the holiday season and what better way to celebrate than giving toys to our local youth,” Kinsey said. “I am pleased to partner with my House colleague, community leaders and business partners in hosting another successful annual toy giveaway.” Nearly 300 families attended the event, and more than 350 children received presents, just in time for Christmas. The children and their families also indulged in holiday music, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus. “When communities come together, the possibilities are endless in how we can truly make a difference,” Kinsey said. “Our community joined forces in providing this amazing and festive event to bring joy to every child and family this holiday season. I look forward to more years of spreading joy.” The lawmaker duo thanked Pastor Rob Harrison and First Lady Liz Harrison of the New Journey Christian Center, Philadelphia 14 th Police District, Men Who Care of Germantown, Philadelphia Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Mentoring Our Youth Through the Arts, community leaders, business partners and other civic organizations. Read more

300+ seniors participate in McClinton’s 5th Annual Holiday Health & Fitness Expo

(Dec 20, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 20 – More than 300 people participated in state Rep. Joanna McClinton’s fifth annual Celebrate the Season with Seniors: Holiday Health and Fitness Expo at Motivation High School. “We hold this event every year to connect our wisest neighbors with quality care, critical resources, and a fun time to help them live their best lives,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “This is just another way we’re working to give back and bring our communities closer together during the holidays.” Participants enjoyed a delicious lunch with access to more than 30 vendors that provided free wellness services, fitness opportunities and entertainment, including: Health screenings: Mercy Health System, Main Line Health and Sayre Health Center. Cost-saving assistance: SEPTA, AARP, Connect One Health, Philadelphia Electric Co. (PECO) and Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW). Musical performances: Cornerstone Christian Academy Children’s Choir and Philadelphia Police Ofc. Shamssadeen Baukman, 18 th Police District. Exercise class: BeautiFitStrong. McClinton attributed the success of this year’s expo to the devoted volunteers, including students from Motivation High School, NSA Multicultural Academy and KIPP West Philadelphia Preparty School, along with the commitment of Oak Street Health, Compassionate Care Provider, Humana, Dedicated Senior Medical Center, and Always Read more

Roebuck joins rally to demand funding to fix toxic schools in Pa.

(Dec 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 18 – State Rep. Jim Roebuck, D-Phila., stood with dozens of teachers, students and advocates at the state Capitol to call on the General Assembly to pass legislation that would help fix unhealthy and unsafe conditions in schools across the commonwealth. “Many of our schools, particularly in Philadelphia, have deplorable conditions that are creating hazardous learning environments for both students and teachers alike. Because of these conditions, many students are developing health issues, which could cause life-long problems,” Roebuck said. “It is unconscionable that these schools continue to fall in disarray to the point that they have to be shut down only to provide a temporary fix.” Roebuck, the Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, is a co-sponsor of H.B. 1636, which would establish a $125 million grant program within the Department of Education, known as the Public School Building Emergency Repair and Renovation Grant Program. It would be funded by the state General Fund. “We owe it to the children of the commonwealth. As elected officials, we are obligated to provide safe and healthy learning environments, not put a Band-Aid on a problem that will only get worse if drastic measures are not taken,” Roebuck said. Roebuck is a member of Fund our Facilities , a coalition of elected leaders, labor organizations and community groups in Read more

Cephas introduces legislation to lower maternal mortality rates

(Dec 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 18 – In her continued effort to bring awareness to the disproportionate number of deaths of women of color during and after childbirth in the commonwealth, state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., announced she has introduced a package of bills aimed at addressing maternal mortality rates. “Pennsylvania has seen an increasing, disturbing trend in pregnancy-related deaths, with 11.4 deaths per 100,000 live births from 2012 to 2016. For women of color during that time period, that rate was more than double, at 27.2 per 100,000 live births. This is a clear indication that regardless of income and education levels, women of color are at an even greater risk than white women to die from pregnancy-related complications,” Cephas said. The bills introduced by Cephas are: H.B. 2107 – Would add severe maternal morbidity to the list of reportable events within the Pennsylvania Department of Health. H.B. 2108 – Would extend Medicaid coverage for pregnancy related and postpartum medical assistance. H.B. 2109 – Would extend Medicaid coverage to doula services and create a Doula Advisory Board. H.B. 2110 – Would require training to address implicit bias and culture competency that impact care and quality of care for patients of color, including women of color during pregnancy and childbirth. “While the death of any mother is a tragedy, Read more

Cephas to introduce legislation to protect older Pennsylvanians

(Dec 16, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 16 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., announced she is introducing legislation designed to protect older Pennsylvanians from abuse while living in assisted living and long-term care facilities. “No one deserves to be a victim of abuse, and that’s certain for our commonwealth’s aging population,” Cephas said. “Our seniors have worked their entire lives to provide for and raise their families while making significant contributions to their community. They should not be denied the appropriate level of care and compassion that they deserve.” The two bills, known as the Assisted Living and Long-Term Care Resident Bill of Rights, would explicitly convey the needs and rights of residents, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, age or ethnicity, and ensure these needs are met. Some of these needs include mail privacy, access to health care, free from restraints, right to privacy, access to the local ombudsman, and the right to live free from neglect, intimidation and physical or verbal abuse. “While these things seem to be obvious, abuse against older Pennsylvanians is a far too common reality. More than 18,000 cases of abuse were reported between 2016 and 2017. For people of color and marginalized communities, the magnitudes of abuse are higher,” Cephas said. “My legislation would help address one of the most alarming health concerns Read more

Kinsey to lead Policy roundtable with Alliance of Community Service Providers Thursday in Philadelphia

(Dec 11, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 11 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, will host a joint PLBC-House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable meeting with the Alliance of Community Service Providers at 11 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 12 at Oxford Mills, 100 W. Oxford St., 19122. Kinsey requested the meeting to have an open discussion with members of the Alliance of Community Service Providers regarding housing and longstanding obstacles such as funding cuts and long waitlists that impede the region’s most vulnerable populations from accessing resources. Other topics include ensuring people employed in the industry are properly compensated. Kinsey will also be joined by members of the PLBC, House Democratic Policy Committee, Philadelphia Delegation, Southeastern Delegation, House Democratic Human Services Committee and the House Democratic Health Committee. The media is invited to attend. Read more