HARRISBURG, April 13 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, is advocating for formal acknowledgement of the extraordinary work of caregivers of Pennsylvania’s veterans through the Hidden Heroes campaign. “Many times, a veteran’s caregiver is a spouse, parent and other loved ones whose lives are transformed, their goals set aside, and they rearrange their lives to help the ones who sacrificed the most for us,” Rabb said. “We need to recognize that these women and men are heroes and sacrifice more than we currently understand.” The Hidden Heroes campaign is an initiative through the Elizabeth Dole Foundation that seeks to raise awareness of the struggles of these special caregivers. It also seeks to establish a national registry where veterans and their caregivers can access resources available to them. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 21 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today released the following opinion/editorial in cooperation with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators: Governments from across the globe recently came together in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, for the 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), to identify the next steps the world’s governments must take to address the worsening impacts of climate change. But it isn’t just federal governments who will ensure we meet our global climate goals. States are also vitally important. This past week, I traveled to COP27 with a delegation of state legislators from across the United States. We worked to shine a light on the way our home states are leading efforts to combat climate change and equitably transition to a clean energy economy. In the wake of consequential midterm elections and a new report that the U.S. has warmed 68% faster than the planet as a whole, U.S. states are more ready than ever to lead in the passage and implementation of strong climate policy. Some may be still asking why state governments matter in the fight against global climate change. After all, addressing climate change will require an all-hands-on-deck approach with buy in from all nations. But local and state climate policy solutions are critical. The impacts of climate change are not uniform and result in different types of burdens depending on Read more
In a meeting of the Pa. House Judiciary Committee, Republican legislators pushed forward their plan to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Many Philadelphia Democratic members call these efforts a witch hunt and a politically motivated overreach, pointing to a lack of substantive facts and due process. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – The House Judiciary Committee decided by partisan vote Tuesday to move forward with H.R. 240 , otherwise known as the resolution to impeach District Attorney of Philadelphia Larry Krasner for misbehavior in office. State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., said the decision by Republicans in the PA House is the height of absurdity. “This resolution is nothing more than partisan drivel, put forth in the dying days of a lame duck session. It is a political stunt with far-reaching potential consequences. Not only does it deprive Philadelphians of their agency as voters, but it sets a dangerous precedent where this constitutional body is removing local elected officials from office because of disagreements over how policy is enacted,” Rabb said. “I hope the irony of giving district attorneys broad discretion to operate and then getting upset when they use said discretion is not lost on everyone.” A vote on the House floor on the resolution is likely to be held on Wednesday, as it is the last constitutionally mandated session day before the new term. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Rabb wants to remind you that The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP, application season is now open. Call his district office at 215-242-7300 and his skilled staff will work with you to get you and your family the help they need. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 2 – With Election Day just under a week away, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today is highlighting a package of election-related legislation that would reshape the way elections are conducted in Pennsylvania. “The election process is the keystone of our democracy, and I believe every eligible voter has the right to a process that is easy to use, understand, access and trust,” Rabb said. “There are too many systematic deterrents and structural flaws that disenfranchise current and potential voters. This legislation will break down those barriers and springboard our fragile participatory democracy toward a more equitable, inclusive and efficient electoral system.” The legislation is as follows: Making Election Day a state holiday , which would remove Columbus Day as a holiday and replace it with an Election Day holiday, ( H.B. 2112 , H.B. 2113 and H.B. 2114 ). Rotating ballot positions , which would establish a randomized candidate ballot position rotation system to ensure no candidate has an unfair advantage based on the luck of the ballot position draw, ( H.B. 1797 ). Electing the president by popular vote , which would authorize the Commonwealth to join the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote and thereby guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes, ( H.B. 270 ). Modernizing the system by which the collection of signatures for Read more
PHILADEPHIA, Nov. 1 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today applauded the awarding of $1 million in state grant funding to the Weavers Way Cooperative Association for its Weavers Way Germantown Development project. The project will restore the building at 328 W. Chelten Ave. by renovating the façade with new storefront windows and an easy-to-access vestibule; as well as building a new roof, plumbing, fire suppression and mechanical systems; and upgrading the electric and lighting. The funds will be used to cover construction costs and initial store inventory. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 1 – On the last day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot in Pennsylvania, state Reps. Rick Krajewski and Chris Rabb, both D-Phila., and civil rights groups reacted to a new report, which found that 42,976 people in Pennsylvania will be formally disenfranchised. The report is by The Sentencing Project, which found that across the country, 4.6 million people, or one in every 50 adults, will be barred from voting in the 2022 midterms due to a felony conviction. In Pennsylvania, only those incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. The 45.4% who will be disenfranchised are African American in a state that is less than 12.2% Black. In addition, advocates warned that thousands of Pennsylvanians currently held in local jails will be unable to vote despite being legally eligible to cast a ballot. A 2021 report by All Voting is Local, Committee of Seventy and Common Cause PA found that only 52 people had requested mail-in ballots in the 2020 general election using an address associated with one of 18 county jails. At the time, nearly 25,000 people were held in jails across the 67 counties. Reactions to the report included: "Felony disenfranchisement is a manifestation of how we dehumanize people in the carceral system,” Krajewski said. “We value retribution over rehabilitation. Punishment over restorative justice. And because we believe people who make mistakes should be penalized, it also means that we Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 27 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced that $500,000 in state grant funding has been awarded to Wissahickon Valley Park in Northwest Philadelphia. The Friends of the Wissahickon are set to receive $500,000 in grant funding to help Wissahickon Valley Park accommodate the recent influx of visitors. The money will go toward the construction or adaptive reuse of existing park restrooms and amenities, such as water bottle filling stations, litter receptacles, bike parking stations, hand sanitizer dispensers and diaper changing tables. “People want many things from their state government, among them is quality recreation. By funding this project, we are making a commitment to bettering the lives of everyone living in our community,” Rabb said. “Grant funding like this is just a small step in our continuing journey toward a more equitable society.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, announced today that they are drafting legislation to expand the environmentally friendly options available to Pennsylvanians for after-death care. “This is about increasing green options for Pennsylvanians such as the use of alkaline hydrolysis, also known as water-based cremation,” Rabb said. “It would also allow for a process called natural organic reduction, where the body is placed in a large vessel with straw, wood chips and other natural materials. The body then decomposes naturally, with the process sped up by the presence of microorganisms.” The process used in natural organic reduction uses one-eighth the amount of energy of a more traditional cremation and creates soil that is perfectly safe for gardens, trees and general land use. Cremation is viewed as an environmentally friendly alternative to burial; however, that’s not necessarily the case as the process required to cremate a body needs heat in excess of 1,600 degrees. The amount of energy required to generate heat above 1,600 degree is massive and emits about as much carbon dioxide as taking a 1,000-mile-long road trip in a car, Rabb said. Rabb is a member of the PA Climate Caucus. Read more
Armed with the strongest of beliefs that no one should be forced to give birth, Pa. state Rep. Rabb rallied to defend abortion rights. He explained that no government has a place in anyone’s uterus and vowed to continue to fight to keep it that way. Read more
A recent Supreme Court ruling says your mail in ballot might not be counted if the date is not written on the envelope. Your vote matters! Watch this short video and make sure your vote gets counted. Read more
Rep. Chris Rabb on WHYY's Radio Times discussing reforms to the Heart and Lung Act. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 19 – State Reps. Chris Rabb and Brian Sims, both D-Phila., introduced legislation in February that would inject more transparency into the Heart and Lung Act benefits system. As news organizations report on the city controller’s audit of the Philadelphia Police Department, Rabb said he has legislation ready that would address one major flaw outlined in the audit. Some of the controller’s recommendations include improving the accuracy and consistency of the data collected and tracked related to Heart and Lung benefits and having the police department work with the Office of Risk Management to design a better process for identifying instances where investigation and action is required against officers who abuse the system. “Too often, as investigative reports have found, there are so-called injured officers holding down second jobs, playing on travel softball teams and engaging in strenuous physical activity, all while supposedly being too injured to perform police work,” Rabb said. “Each time a law enforcement officer unfairly benefits from and abuses the system, they are taking money from not only taxpayers, but also their fellow police officers, as well as sowing distrust with the public.” This legislation would make it more difficult for officers to abuse the system by requiring that the physicians who evaluate injured officers are chosen independently. As things stand, the Fraternal Order of Read more
Building a stronger community by bringing people together is what Pa. state Rep. Rabb’s Grown Folks Fall Festival is all about. This year the “grown folks” enjoyed music, dancing, food, and much more, all while gaining valuable information about state services and programs available to those who need them. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 10 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced today that he has authored legislation that would establish uniform procedures for school boards to follow before being able to restrict students’ access to books. “Book bans are an attempt to censor educators and restrict the information and educational materials that students can have access to in school,” Rabb said. “In addition, these effectively unilateral decisions made by school boards are extremely harmful to LGBTQ+ youth and students of color given that the subjects discussed in these so-called ‘inappropriate’ and ‘explicit’ books often discuss many serious and real issues impacting these communities.” Efforts taken to ban books are often unpopular among both teachers and students, Rabb said. However, elected school boards continue to run roughshod despite protests by education professionals and students themselves. His legislation would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education and school boards to participate in, at minimum, two public hearings moderated by professionals with ample knowledge of the books in question prior to any vote to ban them. Pennsylvania has the unfortunate designation of being the state with the second-largest number of books that are currently banned from its school libraries and curriculum. Rabb participated in a Freedom to Read news conference at the state Capitol during Banned Books Week Read more
Rep. Rabb is highlighting his spate of Native-centered legislation on Indigenous Peoples’ Day to bring awareness to the continuing and widespread disregard for indigenous peoples, their history, culture, and the misappropriation thereof, and how Pennsylvania can substantively right these wrongs. Read more
Philadelphia, Oct. 6 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., joined SEPTA today for the unveiling of historic panels at the transit authority’s Chestnut Hill West Regional Rail Station and the renaming of the station in honor of Richard Allen. “It’s wonderful to see this station renamed after someone of Richard Allen’s caliber. He was an abolitionist, educator, writer and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church,” Rabb said. “These historic panels tell our stories and share our history, the city’s history, in the public space and allow all who ride SEPTA to learn and grow with each trip.” Rabb, along with community stakeholders, worked tirelessly throughout the year to have the Allens Lane and Allens Lane Bridge, which were named for former mayor of Philadelphia William Allen, an enslaver and British loyalist, renamed after Richard Allen, an 18 th century minister and civil rights leader. The SEPTA regional rail station now holds a new name due to the community’s and Rabb’s efforts. View the photo gallery here . Read more
Bills would protect both healthcare providers and patients. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., participated today in an environmental justice policy hearing held jointly by the PA House Democratic Policy Committee and the Legislative Black Caucus, which highlighted the importance of environmental policy on equity and health in Pennsylvania’s underserved communities. “I reflect on the efforts of my grandmother who was fighting the environmental justice fight before this term was coined. She was able to keep an incinerator from her all-Black, working-class community while at the same time the city was building a pool in a white neighborhood, a public pool that was not truly accessible to the public, just white folk in the public. From the time she helped close that incinerator and keep it from moving into that community, we’re still talking about this issue over 50 years later,” Rabb said. “Unless we talk about the systemic issues at the root of this, we are not going to move forward. “We are in this together, it’s so basic, but it’s so important. I want to encourage all of us who live in, work in and represent folk in urban communities to reach out to our rural brothers and sisters who are in the struggle with us. You are not just part of an environmental justice community, you are a part of a community of struggle, and that struggle starts with recognizing the structural inequalities that hurt everyone.” Rabb has Read more
“We had a number of testifiers from various backgrounds who were talking about the impacts of environmental justice, whether they are from energy communities where there are coal fields or urban communities,” state Rep Chris Rabb said. “Folks who have been doing this work for decades or just recently, but the common theme was we need action, and we need collaboration, and we need help and resources from our state government. Rhetoric is not enough.” Read more
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