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PLBC statement on state police shooting of Monroe County teen

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns Zappala actions

(Jun 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 4 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the PA Legislative Black Caucus, along with members of the PLBC today condemned the actions of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala to ban plea deals for clients of attorney Milton Raiford because Raiford said publicly he felt the DA’s office was systemically racist in dealing with defendants of color. In an email made public, Zappala ceased plea deals for anyone Raiford is or would be defending moving forward, pending a decision by him. “For the district attorney of any county to say the office will cease plea deals across the board for an attorney’s clients because that attorney has disagreed with the DA publicly is abuse of power, period,” Bullock said. “But in this particular case, a Black lawyer and his clients, many of them people of color, are being treated differently because the DA refuses to face the criticism of systemic racism in our criminal justice system. This is disgraceful, appalling, disturbing and unacceptable, and needs to be remedied immediately. A full investigation needs to be launched as well with the findings made public.” “Over the past several years, we have seen the systemic inequality and bias of the criminal justice system laid bare,” said state Rep. Austin Davis, chair of the House Allegheny County Delegation and a PLBC member. “This past week, we have seen just how local this issue truly is in the Read more

 

Bullock announces PLBC scholarship awardees

(Jun 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 3 – State Rep. and PLBC Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila., this week announced the awardees of the newly renamed James R. Roebuck Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus scholarship for 2021. A virtual award ceremony will take place at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 23. It can be viewed live on Facebook @PALegislativeBlackCaucus and pahouse.com/PLBC. The scholarship recipients are: Jaelynn Pearson, Philadelphia, Hill Freedman World Academy. Labiq Jaigirdar, Philadelphia, George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science. Deiveian Story, Philadelphia, The Workshop School and Community College of Philadelphia, dual enrollment program. Jasmine Vega, Philadelphia, Archbishop John Carroll High School. Abronah C. Taylor, Harrisburg, Kutztown University. Mephki Lopez, Philadelphia, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. Mya Hill, Philadelphia, Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School. Annechase Obame , Harrisburg, Central Dauphin East High School. Asia Blocker, Lansdowne, The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr. Norah Ostin, Pittsburgh, Oakland Catholic High School. Criteria for the $1,000 scholarships: A Pennsylvania resident. A person of color. A graduating high school senior or current undergrad at a college or university. Plan to enroll/return in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year. Attend the scholarship awards Read more

 

Nelson: Police Reform is Only Part of the Equation

(May 26, 2021)

On the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, Pa. state Rep. Napoleon Nelson challenges his fellow Pennsylvanians to continue the fight for racial justice and equality. Read more

 

House Democrats seek to prevent prison gerrymandering

(May 26, 2021)

“It’s better for the purposes of drawing our legislative districts, which are population-based, to count these individuals in the communities they call home. It will result in better, more even representation for all Pennsylvanians.” Read more

 

Nelson: Renewing the Call for Racial Justice

(May 25, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Napoleon Nelson reflects on the last year since George Floyd was murdered, noting that when justice is ripped away from others, we feel it in our bones. He talks about the need to do everything that’s possible to make sure this Commonwealth and country moves further towards true justice and equality. Read more

 

Bullock condemns misleading mailings to Black and Brown communities

(May 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 7 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chair and state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., released a statement regarding the upcoming ballot questions that will be posed to voters May 18 as a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly in two consecutive sessions. “Since the pandemic began special interest groups funded by out-of-state billionaires have been spreading lies about COVID-19 and the governor’s effort to save lives. They hosted maskless rallies and demanded an end to mitigation efforts- spreading the virus, putting essential workers at risk, and making our recovery more challenging. “Now these same special interests are spending millions of dollars clogging mailboxes with misinformation about the upcoming ballot questions. They claim to be speaking for workers everywhere, but especially for workers of color. It’s outrageous, it’s appalling, and it’s insulting. These groups have spent years opposing every attempt to improve the lives of working people and now they’re trying to say supporting equality also means risking lives and destroying the existing checks and balances against any governor’s ability to declare a disaster. “There’s an old adage among attorneys: If the facts are on your side pound the facts, if the law is on your side pound the law, but, if you don’t have the facts or the law on your side then pound the table. These lie-filled mailers are Read more

 

PLBC Addresses Systemic Inequities & Implicit Bias in Pa.

(May 07, 2021)

Members and associates of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus introduced their package of bills aimed at eliminating systemic racial inequities and addressing implicit bias in healthcare, state services and more across the Commonwealth. Read more

 

PLBC outlines legislative agenda for systemic equity

(May 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 5 – State House members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and supporters today outlined their legislative agenda for systemic equity at a Capitol news conference. Members spoke about bills that would resolve bias, create diversity and provide inclusion, bridging the racial divide and inequities in legislation, state government agencies and health care. “This agenda is a road map for changing the way we deliver services, distribute resources and otherwise do business in the Commonwealth in all matters so that everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, gender, or Zip code, will have the same access and the same expectation as residents of Pennsylvania,” said PLBC Chair and state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “The inequities in health care, housing and employment that were exacerbated by the pandemic are not new. They are systemic and often rooted in generations of racism. To address these systemic inequities, we have to remove stigmas, address implicit bias, and invest in systemic equity in ways that provide fair and equitable access to wealth, health, safety and more. We cannot continue doing things as we’ve done in the past and expect the outcome to be different. I have said that before, it still holds true and will continue to be true until we make substantial changes. We won’t relent until we see these changes.” “I truly appreciate the leadership of PLCB Chairwoman Bullock to keep us Read more

 

PLBC responds to Chauvin guilty verdict

(Apr 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 21 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today called for continued action on policing and ending systemic racism after a jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three charges filed against him for the May 2020 murder of George Floyd. “The conviction of Derek Chauvin on all charges against him for the murder of George Floyd brings justice to George and his family, though my heart remains heavy,” said state Rep. Donna Bullock, chairwoman of the PLBC. “The more than nine and a half minutes Chauvin spent disregarding and taking the life of a Black man laid bare the truth of policing of Black and Brown people in America. “This heinous and very public crime against George Floyd at the hands and knee of Chauvin and the surrounding officers who did nothing to stop it was by no means an isolated incident of police brutality on people of color, but its raw and visible reality marked a point in our history where people who did not once see or believe, now see and believe. The verdict in this case gives me relief, but the families of Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, Adam Toledo and many others are still waiting on this kind of justice. We need to continue to work together to bring about the change the PLBC, our Police Reform Working Group and lawmakers across the nation have been working toward for years,” she said. PLBC Vice Chair Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, said Read more

 

BioTech Innovation Organization, Pfizer share vaccine efficacy, role in COVID-19 recovery

(Apr 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 12 – As Pennsylvania expands vaccine eligibility, the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from the manufacturers tirelessly working to develop safe and effective vaccines for global use. At a Policy Committee hearing today, testifiers included representatives from Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Pfizer, who provided details on the technology behind the development of the COVID-19 vaccines and how the United States can reach herd immunity. Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and state Reps. Patty Kim and Darisha Parker facilitated the hearing, where Amy Walker, director of Infectious Diseases Policy for Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Lisa Coen, senior director, Vaccine Public Affairs with Pfizer, shared insight into the science behind the creation of COVID-19 vaccines, ongoing research, development and trials. Walker shared that five presidents, both Democratic and Republican, have been vaccinated, highlighting that the vaccines have received bipartisan support. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have conversations based on science and fact. These vaccines will save lives and I encourage everyone eligible and interested to take the advice of scientists and medical professionals and help put this pandemic behind us,” Bizzarro implored. “It is important for us to hear this testimony today, especially for my constituents,” Parker said. “Communities of color have battled COVID extra Read more

 

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus holds budget information session with state Budget Secretary Jen Swails

(Mar 31, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 31 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chair Rep. Donna Bullock and PLBC Subcommittee Chair of Budget Equity Rep. Napoleon Nelson this week held a budget information and listening session with members of the PLBC and featured guest speaker state Budget Secretary Jen Swails. The discussion centered on state budget priorities for Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color communities across the commonwealth and concerns as well as suggestions for how the state budget could be fair and equitable. The PLBC plans to use the information from the listening session to formulate a response and requests for upcoming state budget negotiations. "We heard from business leaders, educators, advocates, and parents from communities of color across the commonwealth,” said Bullock, D-Phila. “We will use this information to inform our budget priorities as a caucus and advocate for equitable state investments in our communities. We can’t continue doing the same things when addressing the budget and expect a different outcome or result." "We do not take lightly the obligation to fight for the residents in our commonwealth who have known suffering, poverty and inequalities for generations,” said Nelson, D-Montgomery. “Leaders from these many communities came together to speak to their needs and seek our support. We have heard their call, and we will respond. The Legislative Black Caucus Subcommittee on Budget Equity will Read more

 

Racism on Pennsylvania high schools and college campuses creates barriers to opportunity

(Mar 26, 2021)

How far have we come, and how far do we have to go to diminish -- and possibly eradicate -- racism in high schools and college campuses? Our hearing on racism on the topic pulled the curtain on the continued systematic injustice towards minority students on high school and college campuses and the lack of diversity in educators. In some Pennsylvania school districts there is a blatant lack of effort to recruit and retain educators of color and that is problematic. The historic limited access to education for people of color is still happening. Students shared their stories of the mental, physical and emotional toll their experiences with racism and discrimination have had on their well-being. Fortunately, these students turned their painful experiences into meaningful advocacy. Their testimony showed the challenge facing educational institutions in Pennsylvania. Educators, including teachers and administrators play a large role in dispelling hate in their schools. It’s imperative that they are reflective of the communities that they represent but the statistics show, they don’t. While students of color make up 33 percent of Pennsylvania’s population, less than 5 percent of teachers are people of color. Across the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education faculty, 4 percent are Black, 3 percent are Hispanic and just 6 percent are Asian. When students see a diversity that reflects them in their educators, it shows promise. It shows Read more

 

Madden, Kenyatta lead discussion on racism on high school and college campuses

(Mar 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 25 -- Education and shattering social norms are key in combatting racism in high schools and colleges, as evidenced by testimony at today’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing hosted by state Reps. Maureen Madden and Malcolm Kenyatta. The Monroe and Philadelphia County legislators led today’s discussion bringing together state officials, students and educators to brainstorm solutions that aim to help break cycles of systemic racism via policy development and implementation. “How do we start conversations that help people understand that freedom of speech should not be a free pass for racism? We all deserve to be respected and the blatant hate and disrespect for others is impacting lives. Hate has no place in our education system. Students go to school to learn, grow and often overcome any barriers the hand that life has dealt them. I’m grateful for this forum today to learn what’s happening in our education system and what lawmakers can do to overcome the racism in our schools,” Madden shared. “Terms like ‘diversity quota’ and ‘affirmative action applicant’ are just some of the covertly racist insults that disparage the merits of students and faculty of color in academia. Ultimately, these slights have devastating effects on the emotional and mental health of these students and faculty, thereby straining their likelihood to graduate and excel at these institutions,” Read more

 

Madden, Kenyatta to examine incidents of racism on high school and college campuses at Thursday’s public hearing

(Mar 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – Recent incidents of racism involving students at the high school and college levels will be discussed at a House Democratic Policy Committee virtual hearing hosted by state Reps. Maureen Madden and Malcolm Kenyatta. The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 25. To view the hearing, the media and public can tune in to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee or the committee’s Facebook page -- @PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Madden and Kenyatta will be joined by committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and Democratic Policy Committee members to hear from educators, state officials and advocates on how to curb racism with meaningful policy reforms. Additional hearing information will be available by clicking here . Read more

 

Krajewski: Dignity and forward thinking needed with approaches for incarcerated parents

(Mar 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – The House Democratic Policy Committee’s Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People hosted a roundtable discussion focusing on incarcerated parents and the impact of incarceration on families. Led by Subcommittee Chair Elizabeth Fiedler, state Reps. Rick Krajewski and Summer Lee facilitated the meaningful discussion bringing together advocates and formerly incarcerated individuals to discuss ways to best serve our communities and the families impacted by the criminal legal system. “The trauma of family separation impacts the children and families of those incarcerated, and specifically the parent-child bond, as well as the whole community,” Fiedler said. “Those impacts are immediate and severe and they are deep and long-lasting. We deserve a legal system centered on people- and community-focused models of care that operate with transparency and accountability. We must take steps to a better future for our families.” "We live in a society that doesn’t exercise humanity when we look at or talk about incarcerated people," Krajewski said. "So often, we forget that these people have family members who are trying to carry on while they are incarcerated, often including children who are especially vulnerable.” Lee added, “We sometimes lose how incarceration impacts so much more than just the individual. Entire families and Read more

 

PLBC Chair Bullock, Rep. Kim joint statement on AAPI violence, racist attacks

(Mar 18, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and state Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, a member of the PLBC and an Asian American, are speaking out against the recent violence against Asian Americans and the uptick in harassment toward the AAPI community in light of the attack in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 16. “This week, we saw another attack on people of color at a time when our country is still reeling from a global pandemic and overt racist acts and violence,” Bullock said. “For weeks, the AAPI community has reported a rise in hate crimes against their loved ones and small businesses. Their calls for action were ignored by many; their voices silenced in discussions about racism in this country. We in the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus want our brothers and sisters in AAPI communities to know we stand with you, beside you and support you in every way possible. We recognize this attack on Tuesday, March 16 for what it is: a hateful, racist attack on Asian Americans and, in particular, on women of color. As legislators, we must do everything in our power to protect these communities of color and stand in solidarity with them at this time.” “Asian-American communities are vitally important, and we want to make sure that all of our neighbors in these communities feel safe and supported,” Kim said. “The worst thing we can do is nothing. I plan to work with Read more

 

Breaking down information barriers key to supporting communities of color through COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine efforts

(Mar 11, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 11 – Trust and inclusive policies are key in getting COVID-19 vaccines distributed to communities of color and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from multiple researchers, doctors and advocates on how to execute those strategies. Read more

 

PLBC awardees for inaugural Crystal Bird Fauset Award, Women’s History Month

(Mar 10, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 10 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today announced the awardees of the PLBC inaugural Crystal Bird Fauset Leadership Award during Women’s History Month. The award is named in honor of former state Rep. Crystal Bird Fauset, who was a Democrat elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1938 and represented Philadelphia’s 18th District. She was the first African American woman elected in any state legislature. The honorees will be presented at a virtual event at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 18. It can be viewed live here: www.facebook.com/PALegislativeBlackCaucus . “ I am honored to present each of these accomplished Black women with the inaugural PLBC Crystal Bird Fauset Leadership Award,” Bullock said. “From the Underground Railroad to the Black Lives Matter movement, Black women have led the way. Too often their contributions to society are minimized or ignored. That is why we named this award after the first Black woman elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and to any state legislature, Crystal Bird Fauset. The three women we are honoring embody the spirit of Fauset and have made a significant impact in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through their leadership in state government. ” The honorees are former state Sen. Leanna Washington, D-Phila./Montgomery; former state Rep. Rosita Youngblood, Read more

 

COVID-19 impact on communities of color focus of public hearing Thursday

(Mar 09, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 9 – State Reps. Donna Bullock and Stephen Kinsey will host a joint hearing of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and House Democratic Policy Committee this week to explore how communities of color have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

 

Bullock announces renamed PLBC scholarship, application period

(Mar 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. and PLBC Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila., this week announced that the newly renamed James R. Roebuck Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus scholarship application period is now open. The $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to Pennsylvania residents who meet the following criteria: Be a person of color. Be a graduating high school senior or current undergrad at a college or university. Plan to enroll/return in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year. Attend the scholarship awards presentation in Harrisburg. Complete the online application. Deadline to apply is April 30 and only the first 100 applicants will be processed. Go to https://www.pahouse.com/PLBC to apply online and for more information. “Students are selected based on their academic success, leadership, extracurricular activities, community participation and financial need,” Bullock said. “These students excel in the classroom and will be the future leaders we want in business, education, medicine and our communities. This is our opportunity to assist them in achieving their goals, in particular helping with the exorbitant costs associated with college.” This year’s scholarship was renamed the James R. Roebuck Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Scholarship after former state Rep. Jim Roebuck of Philadelphia. He is a former chairman of the Read more

 

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns Zappala actions
Jun 04, 2021

Bullock announces PLBC scholarship awardees
Jun 03, 2021

Nelson: Police Reform is Only Part of the Equation
May 26, 2021

House Democrats seek to prevent prison gerrymandering
May 26, 2021

Nelson: Renewing the Call for Racial Justice
May 25, 2021

Bullock condemns misleading mailings to Black and Brown communities
May 07, 2021

PLBC Addresses Systemic Inequities & Implicit Bias in Pa.
May 07, 2021

PLBC outlines legislative agenda for systemic equity
May 05, 2021

PLBC responds to Chauvin guilty verdict
Apr 21, 2021

BioTech Innovation Organization, Pfizer share vaccine efficacy, role in COVID-19 recovery
Apr 12, 2021

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus holds budget information session with state Budget Secretary Jen Swails
Mar 31, 2021

Racism on Pennsylvania high schools and college campuses creates barriers to opportunity
Mar 26, 2021

Madden, Kenyatta lead discussion on racism on high school and college campuses
Mar 25, 2021

Madden, Kenyatta to examine incidents of racism on high school and college campuses at Thursday’s public hearing
Mar 23, 2021

Krajewski: Dignity and forward thinking needed with approaches for incarcerated parents
Mar 19, 2021

PLBC Chair Bullock, Rep. Kim joint statement on AAPI violence, racist attacks
Mar 18, 2021

Breaking down information barriers key to supporting communities of color through COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine efforts
Mar 11, 2021

PLBC awardees for inaugural Crystal Bird Fauset Award, Women’s History Month
Mar 10, 2021

COVID-19 impact on communities of color focus of public hearing Thursday
Mar 09, 2021

Bullock announces renamed PLBC scholarship, application period
Mar 08, 2021