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The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus congratulates Biden and Harris on historic win

State lawmakers call for end to family deportations from Berks ICE facility

(1 day ago)

Legislators ask for release of families, children in face of COVID pandemic, unsanitary conditions Read more

 

Kinsey congratulates Bullock for being elected to chair Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus

(Nov 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 13 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Stephen Kinsey congratulated his successor state Rep. Donna Bullock for being elected to head the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus for the 2021-22 legislative session. Bullock, who currently serves as vice chair of the PLBC and will be the third woman to chair the caucus in its 47-year history, was elected by returning and new members of the 27-member bicameral caucus during caucus-wide leadership elections on Tuesday. PLBC members also elected Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, as vice chair, while Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, will retain her role as secretary, and Rep.-Elect Manny Guzman, D-Berks, will serve as treasurer. “Representative Bullock has been an outstanding vice chair of the PLBC, and I’m thrilled to see manifestations of her dedication in ensuring communities of color are uplifted and recognized in the legislative fabric of our commonwealth,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “I also want to congratulate other members for being elected to serve in their respective leadership roles. Each of these members has been championing equality and justice as activists and now as lawmakers. It’s solid track records like these that continue to propel the mission of this esteemed caucus forward.” In the current legislative session, Kinsey and the PLBC unveiled a platform that focused on investing in schools and educational opportunity, reforming a criminal Read more

 

Kinsey, PLBC congratulate McClinton on historic leap for women in Pa. legislature

(Nov 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 13 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., is congratulating state Rep. Joanna McClinton for winning the role of House Democratic Leader for the 2021-22 legislative session. McClinton was elected to lead the Democrats in the next term during the caucus’ leadership elections held on Thursday. She becomes the first woman and woman of color to be elected floor leader in the Pennsylvania House. “Representative McClinton has been breaking barriers for women and women of color throughout her life,” Kinsey said. “She was the first African-American woman to be elected to serve the 191 st Legislative District in Philadelphia County when she won her special election in 2015. From that time on she has worked hard and with purpose to win the respect of her peers and to help move the Democratic agenda of people first to the forefront of public policy. “I not only congratulate my good friend for this well-deserved recognition of her talents and ability to bring people together on behalf of the people we serve, but I also congratulate the Pennsylvania House institution as a whole for ushering in a new era of leadership where women and girls, and especially women and girls of color, can rise to the top and assume roles once reserved for men only. “I look forward to working with Leader-elect McClinton and the entire House Democratic Leadership team in helping to enact an Read more

 

The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus congratulates Biden and Harris on historic win

(Nov 09, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 9 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, along with PLBC members, issued this statement congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris: “I am thrilled to soon call Joe Biden and Kamala Harris president and vice president. Their presence in the White House will restore intelligence and dignity to these esteemed offices, and a sense of pride in the American people. It is refreshing to see concrete, well-crafted strategies to move our nation forward, and I look forward to seeing manifestations of this progress,” Kinsey said on behalf of the PLBC. “Breaking through the monotony of 231 years and 48 white men vice presidents, our nation elected its first woman and woman of color vice president, making this victory nothing short of historic. I am especially in awe that a HBCU graduate and a fellow member of a Divine 9 will soon serve as America’s vice president. Reveling in this moment means so much to me as a father of Black daughters, with Vice president- elect Harris shattering a glass ceiling, ultimately becoming a beacon of inspiration for every girl of color who can now walk through this world with the confidence in knowing that their big dreams can also become reality. “We can’t celebrate this victory in, as President-elect Biden said, ‘the battle for the soul of this nation,’ without first acknowledging the warriors of this Read more

 

PLBC, Philadelphia House Delegation, and Police Reform Working Group members demand justice after Black man is killed by police

(Oct 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 27 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with its members and members of the Pennsylvania Police Reform Working Group and the Philadelphia House Delegation, are demanding justice for West Philadelphia resident Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man, who was killed by police on Monday afternoon in the Cobbs Creek section of the city. Members of these respective legislative bodies also called on the legislature to expeditiously pass the multiple pieces of police reform legislation languishing without action, some of which address procedures on non-lethal de-escalation methods and would instill policies for safer police interactions with residents experiencing mental health crises. “A mother watched her son, suffering from mental illness, be met with a barrage of bullets before her eyes, and a neighborhood saw the same. A mother and father lost their son, and children have lost their father--generations of one family and an entire community are now forced to bear that trauma for the rest of their lives,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “Indeed, it’s trauma that we are all forced to bear as we have yet to receive justice for the countless other Black lives killed with impunity at the hands of police. Furthermore, during a time when seeking mental health resources is strongly encouraged, this tragedy reveals that living with mental illness while Black, however, and crying for help is Read more

 

Stephen Kinsey: How video gambling companies profit off communities of color

(Oct 23, 2020)

We need to stand against these types of policies that prey on communities or color and force on us additional social issues that negatively impact our economic opportunities. Read more

 

Stephen Kinsey: How video gambling companies profit off communities of color

(Oct 23, 2020)

We need to stand against these types of policies that prey on communities or color and force on us additional social issues that negatively impact our economic opportunities. Read more

 

Wheatley introduces “Return Your Rights” legislation

(Oct 16, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced a measure designed to end the cycle of branding nonviolent offenders, who have paid their debt to society, for their past mistakes. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, says H.B. 2942 would ensure their full rights as citizens are restored, provided they have served their time and paid all fines, fees and restitution. His bill would allow offenders to vote while in prison and once they are released. In addition, Wheatley’s measure would provide for the expungement of nonviolent felonies under the state’s The Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act and allow nonviolent offenders who have completed their sentence and paid any fines or related costs to obtain a firearm license. “When nonviolent offenders serve their time and have paid their debt to society, sadly it’s not uncommon for them to be subsequently denied basic rights and privileges that many of us take for granted,” said Wheatley. “While we’ve made some strides in recent years to implement meaningful criminal justice reforms, including the passage of clean slate legislation in 2018, we can and must do more. They deserve a second chance.” More information on the bill can be found at the following link: https://legis-pahofr.msappproxy.net/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=30908 Read more

 

How video gambling companies profit off communities of color

(Oct 09, 2020)

As community activists and public officials call for a change in how resources are provided to communities of color throughout the Commonwealth, some members of the state legislature are still looking into policies that exploit low-income and minority neighborhoods. The most recent example is the fast-tracking of legislation that would create thousands of mini casinos and slots parlors on every street corner in cities across the state. This is simply a proliferation of gambling that historically targets poor and largely minority communities. My colleagues and I on both sides of the political aisle are working hard to address policies that rethink how we fund and operate policing in our communities and how we can better reinvest public tax dollars back into programs that lift up minority neighborhoods. This includes investments in public education, economic development and health care. But, as the General Assembly finally begins to address the systemic issues and inequities that plague communities of color, some in the legislature are pushing for expanded gambling that will have major consequences in our neighborhoods. Even as the eyes of the world have been opened to the injustices and inequities facing people of color, a coalition of out-of-sate video gambling companies are looking to expand their predatory practices and bring tens of thousands of video gambling devices into bars, restaurants and grocery stores. These machines Read more

 

State lawmakers representing Philadelphia welcome lawsuit against commonwealth, legislature for restricting gun-safety measures

(Oct 07, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 7 – State House lawmakers representing the House Philadelphia Delegation and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today pledged their full weight behind major legal action being taken against the commonwealth for preventing local governments from enacting their own gun-safety laws. The lawsuit filed by the city and private law firms on behalf of Pennsylvanians who have been impacted by gun violence was announced at a news conference in Philadelphia today. Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins and PLBC Chairman Stephen Kinsey said it was long past time for the many people who have been impacted by gun violence to receive true acknowledgement and justice for their pain. They said the delegations they lead have worked for years to enact sensible gun-safety measures in the state but have been hampered by a Republican majority legislature determined to give no one in the state the ability to reduce gun violence and save lives. “Philadelphia and municipalities across the state took action tragedy after tragedy on behalf of the residents they serve when the state would not, only to be met with callous laws specifically designed to prevent them from doing so,” Dawkins said. “I am equally tired of the hallow promises to help reduce gun violence being made by the Republican majority following each tragedy. They hold the power to move the commonsense gun safety legislation we put forward. Yet, they continue to deny Read more

 

The Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns grand jury decision in slaying of Breonna Taylor, continues fight for police reform

(Sep 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 – Days after a Kentucky grand jury’s failure to indict one of the three police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor on charges related to her killing, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with PLBC members, said the decision is a grim reminder of how Black lives — more specifically Black women’s lives — are devalued. However, in the spirit of the esteemed PLBC’s core mission of dismantling systemic racism across the commonwealth, the caucus of legislators collectively vowed to use this pain to fuel their ongoing fight for racial justice and meaningful police reform. Kinsey, D-Phila., a father of four Black daughters, expressed that he is especially saddened. He also dissipated the attempts to vilify her memory by reflecting on Breonna’s life and her dedication to public service as a first responder on the frontlines of this pandemic. “I am a father of four Black daughters and my heart is breaking for Breonna and her family as she reflects my own girls. I see their brilliance, their strengths, and their vulnerabilities. It pains me to know that Black girls and women are denied protection and the privilege of being viewed as whole,” the chairman said. “I want to buck that narrative: Breonna was a caring young woman who had a bright future. She effortlessly juggled enjoying life and a Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee-PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold sixth hearing on Police Reform Friday in Capitol

(Sep 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 22 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus will hold its sixth hearing on police reform and community solutions. Read more

 

8/20/20 – Police Reform - Harrisburg

(Aug 20, 2020)

Materials from a public hearing held jointly with the House Democratic Policy Committee in the Capitol and co-chaired by State Rep. Patty Kim. Read more

 

8/19/20 – Police Reform - Harrisburg

(Aug 19, 2020)

Materials from a public hearing held jointly with the House Democratic Policy Committee in the Capitol and co-chaired by State Rep. Ed Gainey. Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee, PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold fifth hearing on Police Reform Thursday in Capitol

(Aug 18, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 18 –State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus will hold its fifth hearing Thursday on police reform and community solutions. Requested by state Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, HDPC Chairman Sturla and PLBC Chairman Kinsey said this hearing will focus on the Harrisburg region. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 20 in Room G-50 Irvis Office Building in Harrisburg. The media and public are urged to watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . Testifiers and members will participate in-person and remotely. Testifiers will include: Brenton Lipscomb, community activist, Black Lives Matter Kevin Dolphin, founder and CEO, Breaking the Chainz Inc. Jonathan Lee, associate professor and professor-in-charge of Criminal Justice Program, Penn State Harrisburg, School of Public Affairs Stephen Bishop, senior associate, Juvenile Justice Strategy Group at The Annie E. Casey Foundation Juan Colon, national director of Opioids and Illegal Drug Solutions, SAS Institute Following the hearing, testimony and full hearing video will be posted at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . ### Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee/PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold fourth hearing on Police Reform Wednesday in Capitol

(Aug 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus will hold a fourth hearing on police reform. HDPC Chair Sturla and PLBC Chair Kinsey said the hearing will focus on the Pittsburgh region. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19 in Room G-50 Irvis Office Building in Harrisburg. The media and public are urged to watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . Testifiers will participate remotely while members participate in-person and remotely. Testifiers will include: Michelle Kenney , mother of Antwon Rose and director of the Antwon Rose II Foundation. Jasiri X , co-founder and CEO, 1Hood Media. Rose Price , community activist. Tameka Hatcher , educational outreach/police training program coordinator, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Alphonse Gerhardstein , board member, National Police Accountability Project. Following the hearing, testimonies and full hearing video will be posted at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . ### Read more

 

Kinsey, Webster and PLBC members amplify call to remove Montco Commissioner Joe Gale

(Aug 13, 2020)

JEFFERSONVILLE, Aug. 13 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus; and Joe Webster, D-Montgomery, along with PLBC members state Reps. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, and Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today participated in a “Free from Hate” news conference led by PA Women Rise at the West Norriton Municipal Center. The group’s “Free from Hate” platform was centered around increased demands for the ousting of Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph Gale for his comments earlier this summer referring to people involved in the Black Lives Matter movement as terrorists. To further amplify their demands, the state legislators unveiled Webster’s H.R. 920 , which would impeach Gale and which Webster introduced in response to the offensive statement. “In our quest to free our communities of hate, we must condemn actors like Commissioner Gale who used his official capacity to perpetuate hate by vilifying residents’ calls for equality and justice,” Kinsey said. “Instead of being an active agent of change in upholding those calls, Gale chose to side with the powers of oppression. His actions demonstrate his complacency with injustice, making him unfit to serve the public, and for that, Gale must be removed immediately.” Concurring with Kinsey, Webster acknowledged the solidarity among lawmakers and community members, and also Read more

 

Wheatley: Minority-owned businesses need vital help, support now

(Aug 11, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 11 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding urgent help needed for minority-owned businesses: “I hear the anger and frustration from my local business owners, especially those who are considered to be historically disadvantaged, for the lack of support they’ve received during the ongoing pandemic. And frankly, I don’t blame them. “Our minority-owned businesses are hurting, and they are among the most severely impacted and the ones who need help now to stay in business. These same business owners are also anticipating significant decreases in revenue in the next year. “In the last decade, minority businesses accounted for more than 50% of the 2 million new businesses nationwide, creating nearly 5 million jobs. At present, there are now more than 4 million minority-owned companies in the U.S., with annual sales totaling close to $700 billion. But despite that growth, major disparities remain when it comes to their access to capital and other business opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that disparity even worse. Furthermore, national figures show that half of black-owned businesses nationwide will close permanently due to the pandemic. “This is unacceptable. “This week, the second round of grant applications through the COVID-19 Relief PA Statewide Small Business Assistance Program were announced. This program, which is designed to support Read more

 

Delaware County lawmakers call for investigation into violence against Black Lives Matter supporters

(Aug 07, 2020)

HARRISBURG (August 7, 2020) – Today, a group of state lawmakers from Delaware County called for District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer to investigate violence and intimidation aimed at Black Lives Matter supporters during a march in Ridley Township on Saturday, August 1 st . State Sens. Tim Kearney and Anthony Williams as well as State Reps. Leanne Krueger, Margo Davidson, David Delloso, Brian Kirkland, and Joanna McClinton signed the letter, which details how peaceful protesters were met with violence and intimidation by a group of counter-protesters. The letter calls for Delaware County’s District Attorney to investigate the counter-protesters’ actions and the Ridley Township Police Department’s response. “I was proud to participate in the Black Lives Matter protest and stand with people of all races and all ages against systemic racism,” said Sen. Tim Kearney . “But I was disturbed by the hate and intimidation that I witnessed firsthand from counter-protesters. We are better than that. We need to make sure our community feels safe when peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights.” “I join others across our community in expressing horror that this demonstration of love and support for Black lives was met by a menacing group with a mission to taunt and intimidate peaceful protesters,” said Rep. Leanne Krueger . “Instead of actively protecting the First Amendment rights of our Read more

 

8/5/20 – Police Reform – Harrisburg

(Aug 05, 2020)

Materials from a public hearing held jointly with the House Democratic Policy Committee in the Capitol and co-chaired by State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans. Read more

 

State lawmakers call for end to family deportations from Berks ICE facility
1 day ago

Kinsey congratulates Bullock for being elected to chair Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus
Nov 13, 2020

Kinsey, PLBC congratulate McClinton on historic leap for women in Pa. legislature
Nov 13, 2020

The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus congratulates Biden and Harris on historic win
Nov 09, 2020

PLBC, Philadelphia House Delegation, and Police Reform Working Group members demand justice after Black man is killed by police
Oct 27, 2020

Stephen Kinsey: How video gambling companies profit off communities of color
Oct 23, 2020

Stephen Kinsey: How video gambling companies profit off communities of color
Oct 23, 2020

Wheatley introduces “Return Your Rights” legislation
Oct 16, 2020

How video gambling companies profit off communities of color
Oct 09, 2020

State lawmakers representing Philadelphia welcome lawsuit against commonwealth, legislature for restricting gun-safety measures
Oct 07, 2020

The Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns grand jury decision in slaying of Breonna Taylor, continues fight for police reform
Sep 28, 2020

House Democratic Policy Committee-PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold sixth hearing on Police Reform Friday in Capitol
Sep 22, 2020

8/20/20 – Police Reform - Harrisburg
Aug 20, 2020

8/19/20 – Police Reform - Harrisburg
Aug 19, 2020

House Democratic Policy Committee, PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold fifth hearing on Police Reform Thursday in Capitol
Aug 18, 2020

House Democratic Policy Committee/PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold fourth hearing on Police Reform Wednesday in Capitol
Aug 17, 2020

Kinsey, Webster and PLBC members amplify call to remove Montco Commissioner Joe Gale
Aug 13, 2020

Wheatley: Minority-owned businesses need vital help, support now
Aug 11, 2020

Delaware County lawmakers call for investigation into violence against Black Lives Matter supporters
Aug 07, 2020

8/5/20 – Police Reform – Harrisburg
Aug 05, 2020