Rabb Pushing for Voting Reform

(Jun 13, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb spoke at a press conference in Harrisburg about making Pennsylvania's elections easier for voters to do their civic duty. Rabb has introduced wide reaching legislation that would make voter registration automatic, introduce early voting, remove restrictions on absentee voting and more. Read more


Rabb to host 2017 Summer Kick-Off

(Jun 12, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, June 12 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced he is hosting a Summer Kick-Off from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center, 8500 Pickering St., Philadelphia. “I'm very excited to bring the community together and meet new people in my district," Rabb said. “We will have something for everyone, so bring your entire family.” According to Rabb, the event is free and will feature a number of different programs and groups that provide services to the local community, vendors, main stage entertainment, food and refreshments. Rabb said children and youth will have the opportunity to make a pledge against bullying and gun violence. The pledge will honor the role that young people, through their own decisions, can play in reducing bullying and gun violence. Representatives from local and state agencies will also be available to provide information about a variety of social services. Attendees can ask questions and receive help regarding any state-related issue. “I like to hear first-hand what issues our constituents face in their daily lives, and my staff will be available to provide on-the-spot assistance,” he added. For more information, contact Rabb’s office at (215) 242-7300 . Read more


Rabb: Bad Bill, Bad Process

(Jun 08, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb opposes a bill that would change the state's pension system for new employees, and also strongly opposes the process by which the bill was railroaded through the House State Government Committee, not giving members a proper amount of time to fully understand the legislation. Read more


Let’s build a Pennsylvania that provides equal shelter for all

(Jun 08, 2017)

I strongly oppose House Bill 1095 , voted out of the State Government Committee yesterday, because it would deny access to public benefits to more than 50,000 immigrants in Philadelphia and more than 180,000 immigrants across Pennsylvania. This is a bad bill because it is bad policy. While other states are moving in the opposite direction, some Pennsylvania lawmakers reject the fact that immigrants have helped us build our economy and made America the economic engine of the world. As the sponsor of the Police & Community Safety Act, I am committed to making sure everyone - regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or immigration status - has equal access to food, health, education and housing. We need to understand that social equity and inclusion are pillars in the process of developing a safer, more just and inclusive society at large. I adamantly oppose this bill because it would needlessly erode the quality of life of some of our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians and dishonor the very tenets on which our commonwealth was founded. Read more


Rabb responds to double homicide shooting in East Mount Airy

(Jun 07, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, June 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., released the following statement regarding the double homicide shooting that took place near the 1000 block of Sydney Street in East Mount Airy, located in the 200 th Legislative District: “I am profoundly saddened to learn of the double homicide of two young lives that took place near the 1000 block of East Sydney Street in East Mount Airy. I was also deeply disturbed to learn of the home invasion and murder, also in Northwest Philadelphia. I am extending my deepest condolences to the victims and their families during this very difficult time. However, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. “Our communities are awash in trauma from lethal weapons and we must fix that. We can’t let this become normal. The issue is not about eliminating guns. This is about owning up to the simple fact that too many people are dying, being shot or traumatized by senseless violence. This is about demanding sensible, evidence-based solutions to this crisis. “There are desperate and traumatized people who need genuine help, not more ammunition. I am partnering with Northwest Victim Services to assist in providing some coping tools to get through the trauma. I’m also facilitating conversations with the community and our police districts to equip everyone with tools to be vigilant about safety. We must attack this problem together and never let this become normal.” Read more


Rabb, Fitzgerald to host free shredding events June 10

(May 30, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, May 30 – State Reps. Chris Rabb and Isabella Fitzgerald, both D-Phila., announced they will host shredding events in their respective districts. The events will be held 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 10 at the following locations: New Covenant Campus, 7500 Germantown Ave., 19119 West Oak Lane Charter School, 7115 Stenton Ave., 19138 The event will allow people to protect themselves from identity theft by disposing of unwanted documents that contain personal information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers. Residents may bring up to two large bags of documents to shred. Read more


Honoring Veterans on Memorial Day

(May 29, 2017)

On this Memorial Day weekend, I hope you’ll all join me in taking time to remember the sacrifices of those who have given their lives in service of our country. Over the course of U.S. history, hundreds of thousands of Americans have served in the Armed Forces. Many of us have had the fortune to know a veteran – there is likely one in your family. This Monday, we pause to remember those who did not make it home. We can never repay them, but we can remember them and honor them for the selfless decision to serve on our behalf. And we must also remember to reach out to our living veterans and those still serving our country. If you or a family member need assistance navigating the services available for veterans or military members, my office stands ready to help. A complete listing of programs and eligibility requirements, as well as the appropriate applications and forms, can be found online at the Veterans Affairs website. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs offers a brochure listing benefits and services for veterans and their beneficiaries in Pennsylvania. You can download a copy here . Veterans who were released or discharged under conditions other than dishonorable are also eligible to have their status included on their Pennsylvania driver's license. Learn more at the PennDOT website . As we prepare for upcoming events in observance of the holiday, my district office will be closed on Friday, May 26 and Monday, May 29 . If Read more


Rabb Explains Recent Votes

(May 24, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb discusses recent votes in the House of Representatives, including the measure to make Pennsylvania compliant with federal Real ID regulations. Rabb missed a few days of session earlier in the year due to an unplanned surgery; he explains his position on the major votes that were taken in his absence. Read more


Rabb honors milestones, achievements and legacy of Dr. Edith Mitchell

(May 22, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 22 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., issued the following statement in response to the adoption of H.R. 116, a resolution recognizing the milestones, achievements and legacy of Dr. Edith Mitchell of Philadelphia: "Dr. Mitchell has spent her career excelling as a physician, researcher, educator and member of the United States Air Force. Not only has she helped advance the field of oncology, she has dedicated herself to helping underserved communities access quality care and advocating for African-American physicians as a member, and now president, of the National Medical Association, the nation’s largest and oldest organization representing African-American physicians and their patients. "As the son of a proud and long-time NMA member, the late Dr. Maurice F. Rabb Jr., I have a deep appreciation for Dr. Mitchell’s career and service. My father, after whom the NMA’s Rabb-Venable Award for Outstanding Research in Ophthalmology was partially named, was a pioneering ophthalmologist, researcher and educator in his field, himself the son and namesake of a family practitioner, Kentucky's first black anesthesiologist and NMA member, Dr. Maurice F. Rabb Sr. "He was in the first class of African-Americans to desegregate and graduate from the University of Louisville and University of Louisville Medical School, and would be appreciative of Dr. Mitchell’s commitment to supporting and increasing the number of medical Read more


Rabb opposes GOP gun, school, anti-environment bills

(Apr 25, 2017)

Since I am recovering from a recent surgery, I am unable to be in Harrisburg this week, but I wanted to go on record opposing the following bills that are expected to be voted on today or Wednesday: H.B. 97, H.B. 1071 and H.B. 671. Here are some of my reasons why: H.B. 97 – Charter school bill -- We need to lead the country on charter school accountability, transparency and innovation; -- Charters need to complement traditional public schools, not cannibalize them; -- Despite its best intentions, this bill needs significant improvements. You can read more at www.pahouse.com/Rabb/InTheNews/NewsRelease/?id=84005 . H.B. 1071 – Overruling communities that want to ban or limit plastic bags -- This bill encourages us to remain stuck to 20th-century solutions like a plastic bag stuck on a sea turtle's head; -- This bill is pushed by the right-wing corporate front group ALEC – it doesn't help our environment; -- Consumers and retailers are not loyal to plastic bags; they're committed to affordability, convenience and ease of use; -- Oil companies and the plastic-bag manufacturers are really the only beneficiaries of plastic bags; -- We would be better served by other market-based innovations that promote environmental and economic sustainability for the long-term benefit of Pennsylvania businesses, consumers and the land, water and wildlife of our commonwealth. H.B. 671 - Would essentially strip Philadelphia and other Read more


Rabb backs Democratic charter school reforms to treat all Pa. public schools equally

(Apr 19, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, April 19 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., strongly supports the package of charter school reforms House Democrats announced today, which would treat all Pennsylvania public schools – both traditional and charter – and their students equally under law. "Both charter schools and traditional public schools are considered public schools under Pennsylvania law. Both receive tax dollars. I firmly believe that all of these public schools and their students should be treated equally under law," Rabb said. Rabb said the proposed reforms House Democrats unveiled today include: H.B. 1199 , introduced by Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., which would end conflicts of interest in tax-funded payments for charter school leases and potentially help to recover millions of dollars from leases the state Auditor General's Office has identified as questionable. H.B. 1204 , introduced by Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, would provide a clear process for administrators to follow when closing a traditional or charter school building. Her bill would also allow the state to develop a database of unused or underused school facilities to ensure their potential sale or re-use benefits the taxpayers who paid for them. Rabb said, "Often these closings can be damaging to a neighborhood and this legislation would do a lot to address that." H.B. 1202 would require charter schools to use the same teacher evaluation system already in use Read more


Rabb's proposed VOTE Act would make voting much easier in Pa.

(Apr 11, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, April 11 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., will introduce a bill to make it much easier to vote in Pennsylvania. "With the April 17 deadline to register to vote in the Pennsylvania primary just days away, I'm encouraging everyone who qualifies to make sure they register. You can even register online at votespa.com . And I'm also looking ahead to ways the legislature can make it easier to use your constitutional right to vote. Many of these are things that other states already allow, and Pennsylvanians deserve the same ease of voting," Rabb said. "Our commonwealth is only as strong as the democracy we bolster through our state laws. In an era of record low turnout and deep public cynicism, it's more important than ever to create new avenues of expression and engagement for citizens and to expand and empower our electorate toward liberty and justice for all." Rabb's proposed Voting Opportunities Toward Empowerment (VOTE) Act would: Provide for no-excuse-needed absentee voting and create the option for a permanent absentee voter status for those who are disabled or otherwise unable to travel to the polls. Establish early voting beginning 15 days before Election Day and ending at 6 p.m. on the Sunday before the election. Voting sites would be open at or after 7 a.m. and close by 8 p.m. each day, with at least 10 hours for voting each weekday and at least eight hours for voting on each Saturday and Sunday. Read more


Policy Committee listens to concerns for people with intellectual disabilities

(Apr 11, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, April 11 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Isabella Fitzgerald, both D-Phila., hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing today at SpArc Philadelphia to discuss concerns for people with intellectual disabilities. "This hearing is an opportunity to hear from those on the front lines,” said Kinsey, a longtime advocate for individuals living with disabilities. “At the end of the day, it is incumbent upon us as a lawmaking body to help the thousands of disabled Pennsylvanians who are disadvantaged get the support and services they need and deserve. I look forward to continuing this conversation by working with my colleagues and finding ways to ensure that we are providing the necessary means to support the needs of our most vulnerable citizens here in the commonwealth." “It’s our responsibility to help each individual, regardless of disability, to reach their maximum level of achievement and independence, given their specific circumstances,” Fitzgerald, cohost of today’s hearing, said. “We’re here to empower people with disabilities and provide them equal access to opportunities. They need to be treated fairly because they certainly have a lot to teach us and a lot to offer to society.” “As policy makers, we need to work together with all stakeholders to pinpoint where the greatest needs lie. From there, we can establish ways to ensure those in need receive the care and support Read more


Kinsey, Fitzgerald, Rabb to host Policy Committee hearing on concerns for people with intellectual disabilities Tuesday in Philadelphia

(Apr 06, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, April 6 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey, Isabella Fitzgerald, and Chris Rabb, all D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on concerns for people with intellectual disabilities. The public hearing will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 11 at SpArc Philadelphia, 2350 W. Westmoreland St., Philadelphia. Kinsey, Fitzgerald, and Rabb requested the hearing to collect input from local groups about how state government can better address concerns of the intellectual disabilities community. The current agenda is: 10:00 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel from Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services Larry Pace , director of operations Liat Richardson Owens , program manager 10:30 a.m. Panel Two: Kathy Brown-McHale , CEO, Special People In Northeast, Inc. Marsha Drenth , program director, Deaf-Blind Living Well Services Marian Baldini , president and CEO, KenCrest Services 11:10 a.m. Panel Three: Audrey Coccia , co-executive director, Vision for Equality Ed McNicholas , advocacy manager, Vision for Equality Marian Baldini , consumer and family satisfaction team manager, Vision for Equality Boyd Carroll , resident, Inglis House 11:50 a.m. Closing Remarks Read more


Rabb to introduce bill to reform special elections for Pa. legislature

(Mar 24, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 24 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., plans to introduce a bill to reform special elections for the Pennsylvania legislature. "Like last Tuesday's election in Philadelphia, these special elections are often low-turnout, and they can put someone in a state House or Senate seat for most of a two- or four-year term. We need to make sure they are conducted the right way – that Pennsylvania legislators are elected, not selected," Rabb said. "I'm encouraged that this bill has already garnered bipartisan interest." "Under current law, a candidate for a special election is nominated by a process in accordance with their respective political party rules. Unfortunately, such processes often discourage broad candidate recruitment, vetting and input or review from committee people and the voters they were elected to serve," Rabb said. "To remedy this issue, my proposal would establish transparency and public integrity in the special election process for senators and representatives in the General Assembly." Under Rabb's bill, people interested in running in a special election would be required to: File their candidacy with the political party in each county of the legislative district; Pay a filing fee; and Prepare, or publicly opt out of preparing, a short video announcing their candidacy which would be posted on the Department of State’s website and made available to the Pennsylvania Read more


PLBC disappointed at return of secretive policing bill

(Mar 20, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 20 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said the PLBC is disappointed at the return of the police secrecy bill the House passed today and is calling for Gov. Tom Wolf to veto it again. Similar to a bill Wolf vetoed at the end of last session, H.B. 27 would block the release of the name of a police officer who discharges his or her firearm or uses force that results in death or serious injury until the completion of an official investigation that is not defined and that could take up to 30 days after the incident. "This bill would further erode the trust between citizens, specifically people of color, and our police forces at a time when police-community relations are too often strained," Harris said. "Hiding the name of a police officer involved in a potentially deadly encounter is not the way to improve trust between law enforcement and communities that have historically been marginalized by those in power. "We need more trust between police and the people they serve, not less." Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., vice chairwoman of the PLBC, said, "Transparency is a goal we strive for at all levels of government. Police departments perform a highly skilled and dangerous job for the people, but they also should remain accountable to the people. I believe those ideas are not mutually exclusive and that acknowledging this will help build better relations among Read more


Rabb to introduce 'sanctuary commonwealth' bill

(Mar 13, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., plans to introduce a "sanctuary commonwealth" bill to keep families together and maintain trust between Pennsylvania police and the communities they serve. Rabb's legislation would bar Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies from using agency or department funds, facilities, property, equipment or personnel to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest people for immigration enforcement purposes. "Some in Harrisburg are busy attacking sanctuary cities again, even though sanctuary cities create safer communities. Our communities are more stable when families are stable -- separating family members destabilizes our communities. Attacking sanctuary cities will not make us safer, as immigrants, both documented and not, are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the U.S.," Rabb said. "Pennsylvania and America are at our best when we live up to our founding principles and reject the outrageous rhetoric being spouted by too many in Harrisburg and Washington," he said. Rabb said his bill would take the burden and cost of enforcing federal immigration law off local and state police in Pennsylvania. "Instead of getting 'bad dudes' off our streets, the Trump administration's stepped-up raids are often rounding up people for relatively minor offenses or civil immigration law infractions and breaking up families,” Rabb said. "My sanctuary Read more


State Rep. Chris Rabb hopes to make an impact in first term

(Mar 03, 2017)

Chris Rabb, our representative to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, overcame enormous odds to win the seat in last November’s election. The Democratic Party establishment – the ward leaders and committeemen who usually select the people whose names appear on Philadelphia’s ballots – had someone else in mind. He ran an arduous and unorthodox 18-month campaign that beat the machine. His tenure in Harrisburg on our behalf is likely to be just as interesting. Read more


Rabb Community Forum a Success

(Feb 27, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb hosted a community forum titled "Where We Go From Here." The meeting gave an opportunity for community members to network with each other and generate ideas on how to improve neighborhoods, communities, the city, the state and the nation. Over 200 people attended the forum, held at the Masjidullah Center for Human Excellence. Read more


Rabb plans community forum Feb. 25 at mosque

(Feb 14, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., will host a community forum titled "Where We Go from Here" from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Masjidullah Center for Human Excellence, 7401 Limekiln Pike. "There's a lot of understandable anxiety about what the new president and his team have done and what they may do next. I want to give people an opportunity to come together, ask questions, be heard, and draw on the collective wisdom of the community," Rabb said. Rabb said the main goal of the forum is to determine next steps on a local level for a nation in transition by: Strengthening local communities' future through conversations that matter; Engaging with local and state government officials; and Enabling networking between citizens committed to action. "I specifically chose a mosque as the location because I want to show that Philadelphians stand with our Muslim neighbors, and that we consider our diversity to be a strength," Rabb said. Rabb's staff will also have information at the event about state services. Residents of the 200th Legislative District in northwest Philadelphia can reserve seats by calling Rabb's office at 215-242-7300, emailing RepRabb@pahouse.net or visiting https://is.gd/RabbFeb25Forum . ### Read more