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

 

Kinsey announces $5K state grant for Philadelphia’s only surviving Underground Railroad stop

(Dec 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 5 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., today announced a $5,000 state grant has been awarded to the Johnson House Historic Site that will go towards the continued preservation of historical records. “The Johnson House Historic Site is the oldest home in Germantown and also the only Underground Railroad stop still standing in Philadelphia,” said Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “This home has served as a think-tank for agents of social justice and those seeking freedom. This grant will enable JHHS to showcase and preserve the contributions of these revolutionaries for generations to come.” The Johnson House Historic Site will use the grant to organize and preserve its archives and special collections- comprised of historic materials that have been collected over the course of decades- and make them available for research and educational purposes. The grant is funded by the Historical and Archival Records Care Grant Awards, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. They are intended to improve the preservation and accessibility of historically significant records maintained by local governments, historical societies and academic institutions. Projects include initiatives such as digitization; arranging, describing and rehousing collections into appropriate formats, containers, and environments; and disaster planning. The grants are administered on a Read more

 

12/2/19 – Affordable Housing – Reading

(Dec 05, 2019)

Materials from a joint House Democratic Policy Committee-Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus public hearing hosted by State Rep. Tom Caltagirone. Read more

 

Joint HDPC-PLBC hearing examines how to fight blight, decrease homelessness

(Dec 02, 2019)

State Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks, today hosted a joint House Democratic Policy Committee and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus public hearing on affordable housing. Read more

 

Over 1,000 people served at pre-Thanksgiving event

(Nov 27, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 27 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., said more than 1,000 constituents were served during a pre-Thanksgiving event that provided a free meal and opportunities to learn about state services. The event was co-hosted by Reps. Isabella Fitzgerald, Chris Rabb, Rosita C. Youngblood, and Sens. Sharif Street and Art Haywood. There was also an appearance by Congressman Dwight Evans. “We had a wonderful turnout for the Feeding 1,000 for Thanksgiving event. It was a great opportunity to connect with our constituents here in northwest Philadelphia and provide them with a full course meal along with dessert,” Kinsey said. “Not only did we welcome people to Treasures Banquet Hall for a sit-down meal and entertainment, but we also delivered meals to those who were unable to attend in person as well as provided meals to homeless people in Center City. “This is the eighth year that this event was held and judging by the feedback, I will continue to host events such as Feeding 1,000, which the community loves. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who attended, hosted and helped make this event possible.” Read more

 

PLBC lauds accreditation for Cheyney University

(Nov 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 26 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released the following statements after the announcement of Cheyney University receiving accreditation: “The retention of Cheyney University’s accreditation is not only welcoming news for the university, but also for African American students here in the commonwealth and across the country. The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus has historically worked with Cheyney University over the years and is committed to doing what we can to foster the education process and success of all people across the commonwealth. With this accreditation, Cheyney University will remain a viable educational resource to students now and for years to come. I’m proud of the work our legislative leaders have done to support the efforts of Cheyney University and thank the leadership of Cheyney’s President Aaron Walton along with Governor Tom Wolf, Senate Appropriation Chairman Vincent Hughes, House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, House Democratic Education Chairman Jim Roebuck,” said Rep. Stephen Kinsey, PLBC Chairman. “As a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, the PLBC and I were very involved in investigating and helping to form solutions to right the ship at Cheyney and I’m proud that that same passion has been continued by current PLBC Chairman Stephen Kinsey and his leadership team. Collectively, we’ve been working with leaders in state Read more

 

Caltagirone to host joint HDPC-PLBC hearing on affordable housing Monday in Reading

(Nov 26, 2019)

State Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks, announced he will host a joint House Democratic Policy Committee and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus public hearing on affordable housing on Monday, Dec. 2 in Reading. Read more

 

Fitzgerald introduces legislation to protect gun owners, promote public safety

(Nov 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 25 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she has introduced a series of bills designated to protect law-abiding gun owners, children and residents in the commonwealth. “It’s unfortunate that anyone could potentially become a victim to gun violence here in Pennsylvania. Whether accidental or intentional, one life lost is one too many. We must put commonsense legislation in place to prevent senseless killings from occurring in the future,” Fitzgerald said. “My three bills would preserve the rights of Pennsylvanians who are carrying guns legally, safeguard our children from being killed accidentally and enforce a ‘cooling-off’ period for a person who may have experienced an unpleasant incident in their life and who looks to potentially commit an act of violence.” The bills introduced by Fitzgerald are: H.B. 2076 – Would require driver’s licenses and photo identification cards to indicate a person possesses a concealed carry permit. H.B. 2077 – Would require all firearms be safely stored whenever they are not in use. H.B. 2078 – Would establish a 72-hour waiting period for purchases of semi-automatic assault rifles. Fitzgerald is a member of the PA SAFE Caucus , which is made up of 70 members of the PA House and Senate who believe in reducing all types of violence in society through Read more

 

McClinton applauds passage of legislation outlawing sexual extortion

(Nov 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 21 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation she co-sponsored, which would outlaw sexual extortion in Pennsylvania and empower law enforcement and victim services organizations to help victims of this serious sex crime who previously fell between the cracks. “Finally, victims of this horrific crime will have an avenue to seek justice and perpetrators of sexual extortion – which the Department of Justice has said is the most significantly growing threat to children – can be held accountable,” McClinton said. “I am elated to see this legislation receive bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and I look forward to seeing Governor Wolf sign it into law.” McClinton introduced H.B. 1402 with Rep. Tedd C. Nesbit, R-Mercer/Butler. The House passed it unanimously in June. The Senate unanimously passed the bill on Wednesday after making small improvements to the legislation. Today, the House unanimously passed the bill on concurrence, and it’s headed to Wolf’s desk for his signature. McClinton said previously that by specifically adding sexual extortion as a crime, we can protect individuals from people in power who demand sexual acts, images or videos from victims, usually for something of value to the victim. “Now, would-be perpetrators will not be able to lord intimate photos or other Read more

 

Bullock commemorates Youth Experiencing Homelessness Week, Red Shirt Day

(Nov 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – Today, state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., hosted a news conference alongside state Sen. Larry Farnese to recognize Educating Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Week in Pennsylvania, as well as Red Shirt Day, which raises awareness about homelessness across the state. “Homelessness has a profound impact on children’s success in school and later in life,” Bullock said. “It’s incredibly important to raise awareness of this issue so that teachers, administrators and other educators can offer support when it’s needed most.” “The number of youths experiencing homelessness increased by 22% this year. While we don’t know what factors are driving this, we know that these students need to be supported, that they have a right to an education and as much stability as we can possibly provide,” Farnese added. “That’s why we are here today and why Red Shirt Day is so important -- to assure these kids that they are not alone.” During the 2017-18 school year, more than 36,000 students were identified as experiencing homelessness or having inadequate housing. Bullock and Farnese were joined by advocates against homelessness, including Nikki Johnson-Huston; Thomas Jackson, a policy and research analyst with People Emergency Center; Ameera Sullivan, guidance counselor at Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia; and Sonia Pitzi, Region 3 coordinator Read more

 

Kenyatta addresses closing of Pratt Early Childhood Center due to toxic conditions

(Nov 21, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 21 – Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila, issued this statement following the closing of Pratt Early Childhood Center due to asbestos and the School District of Philadelphia’s calls for Harrisburg to help fund its recently unveiled environmental safety plan for toxic hazard remediation in all its schools: “The calls from the parents, teachers, students and the School District of Philadelphia are being taken very seriously,” Kenyatta said. “No parent should have to fear sending their child to school and no child should ever be at risk for exposure to toxic materials while learning in an environment that is presumably safe. The health and safety our students and staff are my top priority and I’ve been working tirelessly to secure more funding to remove toxic hazards in schools in our community and across our city. “Just hours prior to learning about the abrupt closure of Pratt elementary school, I met with Governor Tom Wolf to discuss allocating more funds for our schools, in addition to the $4.3 million the governor provided in July.” To date, Kenyatta said, the governor has invested a total of $11.9 million for lead paint alleviation in schools across the city over two years, with $7.6 million provided last year. Since June 2018, through a combination of state funding and $11 million provided by the Philadelphia School District, 32 elementary schools have undergone lead paint stabilization by the Read more

 

Reps. Burgos, Toohil Achieve Big Win for Insuring the Spanish-Speaking Community

(Nov 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – The Pennsylvania Insurance Department recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) with the goal to be able to offer, for the first time, insurance licensing educational materials and examinations in Spanish and Chinese, according to Reps. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., and Tarah Toohil, R-Luzerne. “The option to offer these exams in Spanish is most welcomed and long overdue. My district has a very diverse population with many Spanish-speaking constituents. The Spanish educational materials and exams will benefit these citizens to help them navigate the system to easily access the information when they need it,” said Burgos. “I have many Spanish-speaking constituents who are finding it difficult to take the insurance class and pass the final exam to obtain a state license,” said Toohil. “By offering the educational materials and tests in Spanish, we are bolstering Pennsylvania’s insurance industry with new agents and allowing the minority populations greater access to the financial safety net that insurance can provide.” The two legislators met recently with Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman to discuss the department’s efforts to seek a vendor to offer the educational materials and exams in the two languages. “As a department, we are committed to advancing consumer protections through our licensing programs and remain dedicated to educate Read more

 

Hill-Evans to host Community Safety Town Hall

(Nov 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, will host a Town Hall on Community Safety at 5:30 p.m. today. The Town Hall will take place in City Council Chambers at York City Hall, 101 S. George St., York, Pa. 17401. “This meeting is an open house to discuss safety, security, and policing legislation in our communities and campuses," Hill-Evans said. “These measures directly affect our neighborhoods, and we want to hear from the community what their greatest concerns are.” For more information, those interested can call Hill-Evans’ district office at 717-848-9595. ### Read more

 

Cephas to host MLK Day of Justice on Jan. 18
Jan 08, 2020

Kinsey blasts Mummers for use of blackface for second year in a row
Jan 03, 2020

Kinsey, Fitzgerald welcome over 350 children at 2nd annual Holiday Toy Giveaway on Saturday
Dec 23, 2019

300+ seniors participate in McClinton’s 5th Annual Holiday Health & Fitness Expo
Dec 20, 2019

Roebuck joins rally to demand funding to fix toxic schools in Pa.
Dec 18, 2019

Cephas introduces legislation to lower maternal mortality rates
Dec 18, 2019

Cephas to introduce legislation to protect older Pennsylvanians
Dec 16, 2019

Kinsey to lead Policy roundtable with Alliance of Community Service Providers Thursday in Philadelphia
Dec 11, 2019

Kinsey announces $5K state grant for Philadelphia’s only surviving Underground Railroad stop
Dec 05, 2019

12/2/19 – Affordable Housing – Reading
Dec 05, 2019

Joint HDPC-PLBC hearing examines how to fight blight, decrease homelessness
Dec 02, 2019

Over 1,000 people served at pre-Thanksgiving event
Nov 27, 2019

PLBC lauds accreditation for Cheyney University
Nov 26, 2019

Caltagirone to host joint HDPC-PLBC hearing on affordable housing Monday in Reading
Nov 26, 2019

Fitzgerald introduces legislation to protect gun owners, promote public safety
Nov 25, 2019

McClinton applauds passage of legislation outlawing sexual extortion
Nov 21, 2019

Bullock commemorates Youth Experiencing Homelessness Week, Red Shirt Day
Nov 21, 2019

Kenyatta addresses closing of Pratt Early Childhood Center due to toxic conditions
Nov 21, 2019

Reps. Burgos, Toohil Achieve Big Win for Insuring the Spanish-Speaking Community
Nov 20, 2019

Hill-Evans to host Community Safety Town Hall
Nov 20, 2019