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PLBC Fall 2022 newsletter

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

 

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus responds to DHS equity report

(Feb 16, 2021)

The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus recently commended the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on its first Equity Report, according to PLBC chairwoman, State Rep. Donna Bullock (D-195th Dist.). Read more

 

Bullock, chair of PLBC, responds to Gov. Wolf’s budget address, looks for budget equity

(Feb 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said she is optimistic about Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2021-22 budget address and looks forward to working with the administration and members of the General Assembly on an equitable and inclusive final budget plan for Pennsylvanians. “While we know that compromise will have to come from across the aisle,” Bullock said, “the governor shapes what our talks will look like and we are hopeful that the outline he gave us in the form of his budget address will be a guiding point for both sides as we navigate equal and meaningful help for all Pennsylvanians, especially in this time of COVID. “As we said in the letter we sent to him two weeks ago from the PLBC, the budget sometimes impacts Pennsylvania’s Black, indigenous and people of color communities adversely, albeit maybe unintentionally. That’s why it is so important to have serious dialogue about addressing those inequities with the governor’s office and our colleagues at the beginning of budget talks. I know I will be seeking answers while sitting in on budget hearings throughout the coming weeks.” Bullock is a member of the House Appropriations Committee as well as the committees on Consumer Affairs, Professional Licensure and Urban Affairs. Read more

 

PLBC responds to DHS equity report

(Jan 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 25 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus this week commended the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on its first Equity Report, according to PLBC chairwoman, state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “The report hits many points that we on the PLBC fight for every day,” Bullock said. “As Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller pointed out, this cannot be a momentary, singular conversation because we watched George Floyd be murdered before our eyes without cause. This needs to be addressed every day, for every person of color, in both the workplace and our living communities.” “Every year I ask questions about racial equity at our appropriations hearings,” Bullock said. “I want to know, encourage and even urge our departments to provide diversity training, include employees of color in all aspects of managerial levels and decision-making, and ensure a healthy work environment for all at the highest levels of government. Our government agencies should, at the very least, ensure that they are representative of the people of our commonwealth for whom they serve.” The report provides information on efforts that DHS is undertaking on diversity, equity and inclusion so they may be a partner in correcting systemic racism within their own offices. While the report covers many areas within the department and where it will provide this training, it is a starting point for efforts moving forward. Read more

 

PLBC Members Seek Equitable Budget from Gov. Wolf

(Jan 25, 2021)

Members of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus, including Chairwoman Rep. Donna Bullock and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Budget Equity Rep. Napoleon Nelson sent a letter to Governor Wolf outlining what they hope to see in his 2021-22 budget proposal for the Black and underprivileged communities in the commonwealth. Read more

 

Bullock, Nelson, PLBC send letter regarding budget equity to Gov. Wolf

(Jan 22, 2021)

“The Pennsylvania state budget is a valuable measure of our commonwealth’s priorities and can be our best tool for racial and structural equity. Unfortunately, the budget sometimes adversely, even if unintentionally,” impacts Pennsylvania’s Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities, according to the letter. Read more

 

Reps. Kenyatta and Krajewski, PLBC condemn H.B. 38

(Jan 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 21 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Rick Krajewski, co-chairs of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus’ Subcommittee on Voting and Democracy, today condemned Republican state Rep. Russ Diamond’s dangerous proposal that would amend the state constitution to divide the state’s highest courts into over 30 districts across the state. Kenyatta and Krajewski, both D-Phila., also slammed claims made by Diamond, R-Lebanon, to bolster his proposal that these changes would allow for more Black judges in the appellate court system. “So much blood has been spilled on American streets in the fight to safeguard our democracy. It’s a fight that continues today, but state Representative Russ Diamond’s proposal spits in the faces of these slain foot soldiers for justice, making their pursuits count for naught, and stands to undo their legacy by usurping power from the people and placing it in the palm of the one-party-controlled General Assembly to gerrymander judicial districts,” Kenyatta said. “Additionally, Representative Diamond padding support for his dangerous bill with feigned concern for diversifying our courts system is an absolute disgrace. “This bill doesn’t allow for more Black justices—that’s just a ruse. It would instead minimize Black voting power in Pennsylvania’s largest and predominately Black cities to elect only three justices statewide. This bill further Read more

 

PLBC chairwoman Bullock announces subcommittee on voting and democracy

(Jan 14, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairwoman Donna Bullock, D-Phila., this week appointed state Reps. Malcom Kenyatta and Rick Krajewski, both D-Phila., as co-chairmen of the PLBC subcommittee on voting and democracy. The committee will focus on voting rights, gerrymandering, and judicial gerrymandering. “During this very turbulent time in our country and even in our own state,” Bullock said, “we need to focus on fair, free and transparent elections. We just finished what was called one of the fairest and most efficient elections in our history yet there is rhetoric floating around our state legislature to discredit that. Let’s be clear, these recent events are modern day voter suppression efforts, and a violent attack on the votes of Black and other people of color. The establishment of this subcommittee to focus on voting and democracy is an important one and I believe that Representatives Kenyatta and Krajewski have the fortitude to keep these issues at the forefront and lead this important discussion as we move into the new legislative session.” Kenyatta also serves on of the State Government Committee and introduced legislation that would modernize the voting process by allowing more time to vote in person and with mail ballots. He was also one of the 538 Pennsylvania electors and delivered the motion to declare President-elect Joe Biden’s Read more

 

PLBC installs officers for 2021-22 session

(Jan 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 7 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus this week installed officers to serve in the 2021-22 legislative session, announced Chairwoman Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “We came together to install our officers and acknowledge the importance of our voices in Harrisburg and across the commonwealth in what has turned into a very concerning time for Pennsylvania and this country,” Bullock said. “The events of Wednesday in Washington and Tuesday in our own Senate chamber in Pennsylvania further highlighted the need for our leadership at a time like this in our history.” The following members were installed as officers: Chairwoman Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. Vice Chairwoman Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny Secretary Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York Treasurer Rep. Manny Guzman, D-Berks Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Carolyn Nichols administered the oath to each officer. In addition to officers, the following members were appointed by Bullock to lead subcommittees: Subcommittee on Health Equity and Justice – Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila. Subcommittee on Education – Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila./Delaware Subcommittee on Budget Equity – Rep. Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery Subcommittee on Women and Girls of Color – Rep. Darisha Parker, D-Phila. Subcommittee on Gun Violence and Public Safety – Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila. Founded in 1973 by then-Majority Leader K. Leroy Irvis, Read more

 

PLBC commends Gov. Wolf for pandemic-related small business grants

(Dec 31, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 30 – State Rep. and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairwoman Donna Bullock, D-Phila., and members of the Black Caucus sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf praising him for reallocating funds in hopes of its use for small business pandemic relief grants but also asking for continued vigilance for a fair and equitable allocation. Last week Wolf initiated a transfer of $145 million in funds from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund to the General Fund so that they may be reallocated for pandemic-related small business grants. The General Assembly would have to vote on the reallocation when lawmakers return in January. “My colleagues and I applaud this move by the governor,” Bullock said. “As we head into the new year, this funding could provide small businesses across the commonwealth with funds they need to fight this virus and support their communities. Small businesses are the lifeblood of neighborhoods and nowhere is that more evident than in communities of color. Those businesses were behind the eight ball before the pandemic even occurred so this relief will be very needed for those business owners. We need to do everything we can to ensure their success as we all navigate COVID.” The letter states the PLBC believes state resources must be directed in an equitable, impactful, and accessible manner, especially targeting areas of significant need, and is creating the subcommittee on budget equity to Read more

 

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

(Dec 02, 2020)

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

 

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

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus responds to DHS equity report
Feb 16, 2021

Bullock, chair of PLBC, responds to Gov. Wolf’s budget address, looks for budget equity
Feb 05, 2021

PLBC responds to DHS equity report
Jan 25, 2021

PLBC Members Seek Equitable Budget from Gov. Wolf
Jan 25, 2021

Bullock, Nelson, PLBC send letter regarding budget equity to Gov. Wolf
Jan 22, 2021

Reps. Kenyatta and Krajewski, PLBC condemn H.B. 38
Jan 21, 2021

PLBC chairwoman Bullock announces subcommittee on voting and democracy
Jan 14, 2021

PLBC installs officers for 2021-22 session
Jan 07, 2021

PLBC commends Gov. Wolf for pandemic-related small business grants
Dec 31, 2020

State lawmakers call for end to family deportations from Berks ICE facility
Dec 02, 2020

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