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PLBC honors scholarship award winners with ceremony

Kenyatta introduces bill to strengthen protections against cyberattacks

(Mar 04, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 4 – With the ongoing attempts of cyberattacks targeting Pennsylvanians, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., has introduced legislation that would help protect the commonwealth’s cyber infrastructure. “From email and phone scams to personal data breaches, it is unconscionable the number of attempted cyberattacks occurring in Pennsylvania. With everyone constantly connected on their phones, computers and other electronic devices, the amount of potential attacks will only increase,” Kenyatta said. “We have to protect Pennsylvanians’ personal information and the creation of the Cybersecurity Innovation Commission would do just that.” House Bill 225 would create a Cybersecurity Innovation Commission to safeguard Pennsylvania’s data by conducting cybersecurity audits, improving security and privacy standards and analyzing the protocols. The commission also would work with businesses to make sure they are up-to-date on the newest technology. During recent House Appropriations Committee budget hearings, officials with the Governor’s Office of Administration testified that while they follow national federal guidelines and best practices to defend the commonwealth against cyberattacks, they still have seen an increase in the number of threats, with 18 billion in 2018. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Pennsylvania ranks 18th in the nation for the amount of identity theft cases. Read more


Rabb seeks nominations for 'phenomenal women'

(Mar 01, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, March 1 – State Rep. Chris Rabb is calling on his constituents to nominate a woman from the 200th Legislative District who is making in a difference in the community, home or at work. Rabb will honor these women during a luncheon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 15 at the Pleasant Recreation Center, 6757 Chew Ave., Philadelphia. The media is invited to attend. The luncheon also will provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about state-related programs that could benefit them and their families. Rabb said constituents can nominate a phenomenal woman by visiting his website at www.pahouse.com/Rabb , or by calling his office at 215-242-7300. The deadline for nominations is March 11. Read more


Davis: $45,000 grant awarded to local nonprofit veterans program

(Mar 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 1 – A national nonprofit organization situated in West Mifflin is receiving a $45,000 state grant to help fund the group’s initiative of providing welcome home kits to at-risk veterans, announced state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny. Davis said Operation Troop Appreciation, located at 1200 Lebanon Road, has been selected by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to get the grant through the Veterans Trust Fund, which is replenished by generous Pennsylvanians who make a voluntary $3 donation when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or photo ID, or renewing a vehicle registration. “Since becoming a nonprofit organization in July 2004, Operation Troop Appreciation – which we’re proud to have located in our district – has been a source of hope and appreciation for veterans abroad and for those returning home,” Davis said. “This selfless organization, which is completely run by volunteers, works tirelessly to make sure veterans have what they need while overseas and ensures veterans don’t end up on the streets once they return home. It’s with great appreciation and gratitude that I announce this grant for Operation Troop Appreciation.” Aside from grant money, funding for OTA comes by way of donations. Read more


Cephas applauds $86,000 to help Philadelphia veterans

(Mar 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 1 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas announced today that St. Joseph’s University is receiving $11,836 to help fund its efforts to assist veterans. The grant money is part of the Veterans Trust Fund and will be used to support the school’s podcasts that highlight business topics of interest to women veterans and military spouses. “The commitment, dedication and sacrifice of our veterans has opened the door to freedoms that too many in this country take for granted. While we can never fully repay them for their service, this money is critical in supporting programs aimed at helping our nation’s heroes here at home,” Cephas said. “I commend Governor Tom Wolf for awarding these funds, and I share in his passion to putting veterans and their families first.” St. Joseph’s University was one of three organizations in Philadelphia that received VTF funding: Military Assistance Project: $49,600 to provide free legal services to veterans Veterans Multi-Service Center: $25,000 for its women veterans program A complete list of recipients can be found here . The VTF is funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily make a $3 donation when applying for or renewing their driver’s license, photo ID, or a motor vehicle registration. The VTF also receives proceeds that come from the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans license plate and private donations. Since the grant program began in 2013, more than Read more


McClinton announces appointment of deputy caucus chairs

(Feb 26, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 26 – House Democratic Caucus Chair Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced the appointment of four legislators to serve in the newly-created role of deputy caucus chair for the 2019-2020 legislative session. The newly appointed deputy caucus chairs are: State Rep. Morgan Cephas, Philadelphia County State Rep. Ed Gainey, Allegheny County State Rep. Frank Burns, Cambria County State Rep. Michael Schlossberg, Lehigh County “As the first woman and the first African-American to serve as the House Democratic Caucus chair, I am committed to ensuring that our new members have the information and mentorship they need to best serve their communities. I also know it is equally important to work hand-in-hand with our experienced members to better meet the needs of all of our constituents. For those reasons, I’m grateful to be joined in this effort by four deputy caucus chairs who represent a cross-section of our caucus in terms of gender, race and geographic location,” McClinton said. In their new roles, the deputy caucus chairs will work closely with the 24 new members of the House Democratic Caucus to provide peer mentoring in areas such as messaging, legislative goals, district office outreach and constituent services. The deputy caucus chairs will also work with McClinton to prepare special informational presentations for legislators and to encourage all members to routinely attend daily caucus meetings Read more


Know your rights regarding housing issues

(Feb 25, 2019)

I’m inviting you to learn about your rights by attending my Housing: Know Your Rights event on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Berean Presbyterian Church, 2101 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, 19122. Renters and homeowners can receive information on their rights as well as on a number of state-related programs, such as help to heat your home and assistance with rent or property taxes. Read more


Bullock Fights For Diversity in PSP

(Feb 25, 2019)

During a House Budget Hearing in Harrisburg, Pa. state Rep. Donna Bullock questioned the lack of diversity in the Pennsylvania State Police. She discussed why it’s critical to have troopers of all different backgrounds. Read more


PLBC hosted a Tuskegee Airmen program for Black History Month

(Feb 25, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 23 - State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus hosted a Black History Month program to celebrate the Tuskegee Airmen and women. "The Tuskegee Airmen and women proved everyone who doubted the leadership skills of black Americans wrong,” Kinsey said. “Before the civil rights movement began to form, these heroes helped open doors for black Americans in the military and beyond.” The event featured a panel discussion with Tuskegee Airmen and women from the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., including Nathan O. Thomas, Dr. Eugene Richardson, and Alma Bailey. The panel was hosted by Junious R. Stanton. There were also performances by the Kappa Concert Choir and dance selections from Sanaa Sewell, a fifth grader from the Mathematics Science and Civics Charter School. Read more


Davidson prime supporter of bill passed to help first-time homeowners

(Feb 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 25 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, announced that the state House of Representatives last week voted to pass a bill that she supported to give first-time homebuyers a tax deduction for money saved toward the purchase of a home. “I was a prime supporter of this bill because we have to make it easier for ordinary Pennsylvanians to own their own home,” she said. “Last week’s vote showed overwhelming bipartisan support for this legislation, which would make homeownership more accessible. I hope the Senate will hear the resounding roar of support for this bill and move it forward to the governor’s desk.” The First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account Act would allow Pennsylvanians to open special savings accounts and take state tax deductions for eligible expenses such as a down payment and closing costs. Account holders would be permitted to claim deductions for a total of $50,000 over a 10-year period. Annual contributions would be capped at $5,000 for single taxpayers and $10,000 for those filing a joint return. The bill would apply to first-time homebuyers and those who have not owned or purchased a home within the three years leading up to the purchase. Allowing Pennsylvanians to establish first-time homebuyer savings accounts could result in an annual increase of up to 4,000 home purchases within the state, with the projected impact from economic activity, job creation and earnings reaching as high as Read more


Burgos Celebrates Dominican Independence Day

(Feb 19, 2019)

As the first Dominican elected to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Pa. state Rep. Danilo Burgos gave the keynote address in Harrisburg to honor 175 years of independence for the Dominican Republic. He explains the legislation he’s working on to help people of all backgrounds achieve the American Dream. Read more


House Democrats sponsoring bills to improve access to career & tech ed programs in Pa.

(Feb 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 19 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, today announced his support for a bipartisan package of legislation that would enhance the quality of career and technical education programs throughout Pennsylvania. This four-bill package aligns with the House Democrats’ Plan4PA to give students throughout the commonwealth a quality education that would jumpstart their careers in vocational and technical job fields. “As Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, I am committed more than ever to improving the delivery of Career and Technical Education programs to those who need them the most,” Roebuck said. “These past few years, numbers have risen to more than 67,000 Pennsylvania high school students being able to participate in CTE programs. This bipartisan package of bills – especially my two bills – would build upon the success we have already seen, while also giving stakeholders a voice to make much-needed changes.” In 2015, the House unanimously adopted H.R. 102 to establish the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness. The subcommittee, co-chaired by state Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, made several recommendations that resulted in this package of legislation, including calling for a central database of resources. “Young Pennsylvanians contemplating career paths have access to a wealth of resources from Read more


Bullock Pushes for Community Solar

(Feb 19, 2019)

At a Capitol news conference, Pa. state Rep. Donna Bullock promotes legislation enabling community solar projects in Pennsylvania. In community solar, participants can subscribe to a portion of an offsite solar project and receive credit on their electricity bill for the power produced, just as if the panels were on their roof. Read more


Rabb to host annual millennial brunch

(Feb 15, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 15 – In his continued effort to connect with young people in his district, state Rep. Chris Rabb announced he will host his third annual millennial brunch from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at Mt. Airy Nexus, 520 Carpenter Lane, 19119. Rabb said the brunch is a great opportunity for residents, students, activists and leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 to gather for food and networking and to get information about what they can do to improve their schools, help fight crime and improve their neighborhood. Residents interested in attending are urged to call Rabb’s office at 215-242-7300. Read more


Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus to host Tuskegee Airmen program for Black History Month

(Feb 15, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., announced that the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus will host a Black History Month program to celebrate the Tuskegee Airmen. The ceremony will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at New Covenant Church of Philadelphia, 7500 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19119. "The Tuskegee Airmen’s excellent combat record served as an example to all who doubted the leadership skills of black Americans'” Kinsey said. “Even before the civil rights movement took shape, these heroes helped open doors for black Americans in the military and beyond.” The event will feature a panel discussion with members of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen hosted by Junious R. Stanton. Speakers include Tuskegee Airmen and women Nathan O. Thomas, Dr. Eugene Richardson, Bertram Levy and Alma Bailey. Read more


Today's moment in Black History

(Feb 14, 2019)

Cathay Williams was the first and only known female Buffalo Soldier during the Civil War. Read more


Gainey condemns, seeks answers after apparent racial incident in Pittsburgh

(Feb 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, is demanding answers after an apparent racial incident occurred in Brushton in Pittsburgh on Thursday. Gainey, who is in Harrisburg attending budget hearings, said he was contacted by a neighborhood resident about what appeared to be a doll that had been hung by the neck from a utility pole. Gainey in turn contacted city officials, who quickly had the doll removed. The incident remains under investigation. “I am disturbed and sickened by this incident,” Gainey said. “I find it appalling, but sadly not surprising that in 2019 we are still confronted with these public displays of hate in our communities. “Whether it is a racially motivated incident like this or an attack on a religious group, we cannot allow hate to fester and take hold in our communities. While we cannot allow events like this to define who we are, neither can we allow them to pass unremarked,” Gainey said. “We are better than this, Pittsburgh is better than this. “I want to thank the people in the community who brought this to my attention and also thank the city for its quick response in removing it. I also hope – and will continue to seek -- that those who perpetrated this wanton act are brought to justice.” Read more


Today's moment in Black History

(Feb 13, 2019)

On this date in 1920, Andrew "Rube" Foster organized the first successful black baseball league at a YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri. Foster also served as its president. Read more


Bullock Fights For Quality Schools

(Feb 12, 2019)

Read more


Today's moment in Black History

(Feb 11, 2019)

Nelson Mandela was released from prison on this day in 1990 after spending 27 years as a political prisoner of the racist South African government. He became the country's first black president in 1994. Read more