Davidson Against Gaming Expansion

(Oct 26, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Margo Davidson argues against a bill that would expand gaming in Pennsylvania as a way to balance the state budget. Davidson decries the corporate welfare and special carve outs in the bill while not helping small businesses and regular Pennsylvanians. Read more

 

PLBC, Philadelphia Delegation hail passage of new authority to deal with 'stop-and-go' nuisances

(Oct 25, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 25 – State Reps. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., and Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today hosted a news conference in the state Capitol, celebrating passage of a bill that would increase the state's authority to deal with "stop-and-go" nuisance businesses in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. The new authority is included in a Fiscal Code bill (H.B. 674), which the House passed Tuesday. The Senate passed the bill Monday. Under the bill, if the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board finds that a licensee does not meet a requirement under the Liquor Code for seating, square footage, food or health, it could suspend the license immediately. The bill also would give local government entities the power to make recommendations to the LCB to investigate establishments believed to be failing to meet code requirements. “While stop-and-go enforcements have always been a popular idea, it took a great amount of courage and political will to get it done,” said Harris, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “There were a lot of sacrifices made to ensure these enforcements were put in place. None of this would be possible without the bipartisan and bicameral collaboration that we saw take place.” In September, Harris hosted state Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, for a tour of stop-and-go establishments in Philadelphia. Harris also sponsored earlier legislation to address the issue of stop-and-gos. Read more

 

McClinton Ending Stop and Go Nuisances

(Oct 25, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Joanna McClinton celebrated with her colleagues after legislation was sent to the governor that aims to put a stop to stop and go nuisance establishments, which have been plaguing Philadelphia and Delaware County communities. Read more

 

Bullock Ending Stop and Go Nuisances

(Oct 25, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Donna Bullock celebrated a win against stop and gos after legislation was sent to the governor that would help crackdown on the nuisance establishments. Read more

 

Harris Ending Stop and Go Nuisances

(Oct 25, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Jordan Harris commends the teamwork and dedication that produced legislation awaiting the governor’s signature that would help crackdown on stop and go nuisance establishments and keep communities safer. Read more

 

Harris Gets Support from Trio of Eagles for Clean Slate Legislation

(Oct 24, 2017)

Chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, Rep. Jordan Harris, is getting support from a few members the Philadelphia Eagles for his clean slate legislation, House Bill 1419, which would implement automatic sealing of records after a period of time with no action required by the person. Read more

 

PLBC hosts meet and greet luncheon with Philadelphia Eagles

(Oct 24, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 24 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today hosted a meet and greet luncheon with players from the Philadelphia Eagles. During the luncheon, PLBC members and Philadelphia Eagles players discussed criminal justice reform efforts taking place in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Eagles players in attendance included: Malcolm Jenkins, Torrey Smith and Chris Long. Chairman Jordan Harris, D-Phila., applauded the players for using their platform to uplift Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents. “Beyond being stellar athletes, they have been a vital part of the conversation around criminal justice reform in our nation,” Harris said. “It’s time to remove the scarlet letter that prevents many Pennsylvanians from being able to receive gainful employment, adequate housing and loans to pursue a post-secondary education. If passed, our clean slate bill would be the first of its kind anywhere in the country.” Harris and Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland, have introduced H.B. 1419 which would implement automatic sealing of records with no action required by the person. Harris said he believes clean slate legislation can get passed this session, but only if both parties reach a compromise to improve outcomes for all Pennsylvanians. State Reps. Donna Bullock and Joanna McClinton, both D-Phila., discussed their experience today. Bullock is the vice chairwoman of the PLBC. “I admire athletes who use their Read more

 

Harris joins Center for American Progress for national discussion on criminal justice reform

(Oct 24, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 24 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, joined the Center for American Progress, the National Employment Law Project, and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia to discuss criminal justice reform in Pennsylvania and across the nation. Harris joined the discussion Monday via video conference. Harris was joined by state Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland, and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., to discuss the efforts of clean slate legislation. Harris championed Act 5 of 2016 which seals non-violent misdemeanor convictions for people who have been crime-free for 10 years. Harris and Delozier have introduced H.B. 1419 which would implement automatic sealing of records with no action required by the person. “This is not a Democratic or Republican issue – it’s about providing better service to people in our communities,” Harris said. “Moreover, it’s about dollars and cents. Too often, criminal records are dooming people to a life of poverty through the creation of a social and financial underclass.” Harris calls the clean slate movement the next long-range plan on criminal justice reform. “Bills like these disrupt the cyclical nature of incarceration,” Harris said. “If we are serious about rehabilitating and reintegrating residents back into society, then we need to do something sooner rather than later. We can no longer look Read more

 

Harris urges Amtrak to honor legacy of Congressman Gray

(Sep 29, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today joined Sen. Bob Casey and members of the Gray Coalition to urge Amtrak to rename its 30th Street Station as the “William H. Gray III 30th Street Station.” Harris was also joined by Reps. W. Curtis Thomas and Donna Bullock, both D-Phila. “We are standing on the shoulders of giants and Congressman Gray was one of those giants who paved the way for many of us today,” Harris said. “He dedicated his life to making Philadelphia a better place. In fact, without his help, Amtrak would have never received the funds necessary to complete the restoration project for 30th Street Station.” In 2014, the United States Congress unanimously passed H.R. 4838 to rename 30th Street Station as the “William H. Gray III 30th Street Station. In August 2014, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 4838 into law. Since then, Amtrak has failed to rename the station after the late Congressman Gray. To urge Amtrak to immediately change the name of the station, Harris co-sponsored H.R. 419 , which was unanimously adopted by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “It’s time to fully honor Congressman Gray’s legacy by renaming 30th Street Station,” Harris said. “Amtrak must comply with H.R. 4838, as unanimously passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. It’s the right and honorable thing to Read more

 

Youngblood Launches Diaper Need Awareness Week

(Sep 27, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Rosita Youngblood kicked off the 4th Annual Diaper Drive as part of Diaper Need Awareness Week in Pennsylvania. Youngblood was joined by House colleagues and advocates from diaper banks across the Commonwealth. Read more

 

Harris, Ortitay react to fire chief’s comments

(Sep 27, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and state Rep. Jason Ortitay, R-Washington/Allegheny, released the following statement in response to a written comment by Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 2 then-Chief Paul Smith: “There is no place in society for racism and hate, and the language used by Mr. Smith should be eliminated from everyone’s vocabulary,” Ortitay said. “That is a derogatory and hurtful term and should never be used. I strongly condemn this type of language. It is my understanding that Mr. Smith resigned Tuesday afternoon. “Those in positions of authority and leaders in the community need to be careful about the language they use. Words matter. Others, especially children, take note of the language used by those in positions of influence and the attitudes promoted by such language. We need to set a better example of respect and compassion for each other.” "Chief Smith's behavior was out of step with the values of the average Pennsylvanian," Harris said. "Unlike athletes, celebrities, or even other citizens, he is a public servant who has held the trust of the general public in the capacity in which he serves them. That capacity came under question, due to his behavior, and he did the right thing by resigning. “He could no longer be trusted to serve the general public in his current capacity as the very Read more

 

Joint effort by House and Senate to raise awareness on diaper need in Pa.

(Sep 26, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – Kicking off “Diaper Need Awareness Week” in Pennsylvania, and continuing to promote a plan for Pennsylvania that puts people first, state Reps. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., and Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, along with state Sen. John Blake, D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe, announced today their efforts to advocate and raise awareness about the growing “diaper gap” among many families living in communities across the state. Earlier in the day, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Hill-Evans and Youngblood ( H.R. 506 ) dedicating the week of Sept. 25 through Oct. 1 as “Diaper Need Awareness Week” in the Commonwealth. Youngblood said the basic, yet essential, necessity of having a reliable stream of clean diapers for babies, and incontinence products for adults, is often overlooked by many lawmakers and government officials. “We need to focus on a clear plan for Pennsylvania – one that puts people first and establishes a new way forward for our state,” Youngblood said. “Access to a reliable supply of clean diapers is a necessity for the health and well-being of Pennsylvania's children and incontinent adults, but, unfortunately, across our commonwealth, and across this country, there is a growing epidemic as many working families and seniors on fixed incomes are simply unable to afford disposable diapers and undergarments. The long-term Read more

 

Harris announces $250,000 DCED grant to revitalize communities

(Sep 25, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 25 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today hosted a news conference to announce a $250,000 Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development grant he helped secure. The grant will be used in Harris’ district in the following neighborhoods: Point Breeze, Grays Ferry, Graduate Hospital, and Kingsessing. “Thank you to the state Department of Community and Economic Development for continuing to invest in communities that need it most,” Harris said. “Many older residents living on fixed incomes cannot afford tree trimming and removal services. This grant will help revitalize our community and address a pressing quality-of-life issue.” The grant will be used to remove overgrown and unwanted vegetation and debris from community common spaces, alleyways and commercial corridors. The funds will also go toward training to provide returning citizens with tree trimming and removal skills. Harris was joined by representatives from Ready, Willing and Able, NSA Education Network, and Surge Recovery. “These grant dollars serve a dual purpose: they allow us to work with our community partners and assist returning citizens by providing them with valuable skills,” Harris said. “These individuals will be able to work under the guidance of trained professionals to develop a skill set that will be a tremendous asset to our community. Once Read more

 

Bullock introduces legislation to increase access to solar energy

(Sep 21, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 21 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., has introduced legislation ( H.B. 1799 ) that would make solar energy more accessible to low-income and disadvantaged Pennsylvanians. Bullock announced the introduction of this bill today at a joint news conference with PECO. “Many families in Philadelphia are forced to choose between heating their homes and what’s for dinner,” Bullock said. “While there are other, more energy-efficient alternatives, these options are simply out of reach for many of our residents. Instead of thinking about alternative energy, they may be struggling to repair a leaky roof or are fighting to keep the lights on.” House Bill 1799 would allow utility companies like PECO to own and operate Pennsylvania-based solar sites and provide solar energy to low-income residents at a discounted rate. Under Act 213 of 2004, Pennsylvania electric distribution companies and electric generation suppliers are required to produce 18 percent of electricity through alternative resources by the year 2021. “House Bill 1799 would make solar energy more accessible to all Pennsylvanians – no matter how much they make or what their credit score is,” Bullock said. “Investing in solar energy has the potential to transform our lives, improve our neighborhoods and energize our economy. It can also remove the perception that solar energy is only reserved for the wealthy.” The average cost for Read more

 

PLBC visits Cheyney University to celebrate HBCU week

(Sep 21, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Rep. Joran Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, visited Cheyney University this week to celebrate National Historically Black College and University week. Harris and several members of the PLBC were joined by Congressman Dwight Evans to discuss the importance of HBCUs in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. “It was a pleasure to join my colleagues and speak with Cheyney University students about the role that HBCUs play in our nation,” Harris said. “Cheyney University is much more than a place we send our students to learn. For 180 years, Cheyney has prepared students of color to successfully take on the world. We must ensure that it continues to do so.” Established in 1837, Cheyney University is the nation’s first historically black college. Harris and other members of the PLBC serve on the Cheyney University task force. In May, the task force urged the State System of Higher Education to forgive the university of more than $30 million in loans. “Our visit to Cheyney University was productive and gave us an opportunity to speak with students and get their perspective on what is happening at the university,” said Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee. “As Democratic chairman, I believe these conversations are important and help us make thoughtful decisions in Harrisburg. This encourages me to intensify my Read more

 

PLBC honors legacy of Lenora M. Smith

(Sep 20, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 20 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, released the following statement honoring the life and legacy of Lenora M. Smith, Esquire: “Ms. Lenora M. Smith was truly the embodiment of what is means to be a public servant. A South Philadelphia native, she was a civil rights attorney best known for defending Harrisburg’s most vulnerable residents. She often took on the cases of those who needed her help the most – giving a voice to the voiceless and hope to those who had lost it. She was a force to be reckoned with and that is why we honor her. “Ms. Smith was also a trailblazer who knocked down barriers impacting both women and African Americans. She used her role as vice president of Harrisburg City Council to put the needs of the people first. Even after leaving office, she continued to fight for those who were unable to fight for themselves. Her legacy will serve as a constant reminder of how much we have accomplished, but also how much we have left to do.” ### Read more

 

Harris: Budget Solution Requires Leadership

(Sep 12, 2017)

Chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Rep. Jordan Harris says the House GOP proposal to raid several state agencies to balance the state budget does nothing to protect Pennsylvanians or move Pennsylvania forward. Read more

 

Harris joins Pa. Human Relations Commission and Greater Harrisburg NAACP to take a stand against hate and bias

(Sep 11, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 11 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today joined the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Greater Harrisburg Chapter of the NAACP to take a stand against hate and bias. According to the PHRC and the NAACP, there has been an increase in hate and bias incidents over the past year, including the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. “The actions we have seen in Charlottesville and across our country are unpatriotic and un-American,” Harris said. “Some wish to take us back as a nation. We can’t allow that to happen.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 2016 was an unprecedented year for hate. Anti-Muslim hate groups grew from 34 to 101 last year. In addition, the number of hate groups operating in 2016 rose to 917. “It is our responsibility to stand up and tell our children this is unacceptable,” Harris said. “Standing on the sidelines only allows this behavior to flourish. We must continue to root out systemic injustice wherever we see it. This means meeting people where they are to have discussions on hate and bias. This includes in barbershops, beauty salons, churches, mosques and even on the streets.” “I would like to thank the NAACP and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission for all of their work,” Harris said. “We’re all in this together. We must continue to work Read more

 

Harris Stands with NAACP Against Hate

(Sep 11, 2017)

Chairman of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus Rep. Jordan Harris joined the Pa. Human Relations Commission and the Greater Harrisburg Chapter of the NAACP to stand together against hate and bias in light of recent acts of racism around the country. Read more

 

Youngblood: Books to Barbers Campaign Begins

(Aug 25, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Rosita Youngblood dropped off books at local barbershops to begin her annual Books to Barbers campaign in an effort to increase childhood literacy in Philadelphia. Read more