Smith-Wade-El announces $500K state grant to develop ‘Prince Street Hub’ to help unsheltered Lancastrians

(May 22, 2024)

LANCASTER, May 22 – The Lancaster Redevelopment Fund has received a $500,000 grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Keystone Communities Program to develop a site to address the needs of unsheltered individuals in Lancaster County. The “Prince Street Hub” will offer needed aid to unsheltered Lancastrians by providing an emergency congregate shelter, permanent affordable housing, crisis housing, and a day center. “Every Lancastrian, every Pennsylvanian, has the right to a roof over their heads, and the Prince Street Hub will help them from getting temporary shelter to permanent housing,” Smith-Wade-El said. “The housing crisis is real, and it’s time to put in the work, not just the words, to help our people get back into a home and back on their feet. We’re at our best when we work to secure rights, such as a safe, warm, dry home, for all our friends and neighbors. Alongside DCED, the Lancaster Redevelopment Fund and the Lancaster County Homelessness Coalition, it’s an honor and a privilege to be a partner in this work.” Run by DCED, the KCP encourages the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors that support the growth and stability of neighborhoods and communities, social and economic diversity, and a strong and secure quality of life. Local governments, redevelopment and housing authorities, nonprofit organizations, community development Read more

 

Health advocates speak out in support of Smith-Wade-El’s Legionnaires disease legislation

(May 17, 2024)

LANCASTER, May 17 – Local and state health experts joined state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, at a news conference on Thursday to support his legislation (H.B. 2145) aimed at preventing Legionnaires disease. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella bacteria, which is naturally occurring in freshwater, including water that supplies public water systems. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal. Pennsylvanians who are at increased risk for complications with this disease include people over 50, those who smoke or have lung disease, and those who live with cancer or are otherwise immunocompromised. “All Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean water, but too many people in low-income housing are drinking water contaminated by the Legionella bacteria,” Smith-Wade-El said. “This bill seeks to a public good ensuring that everyone in Pennsylvania can enjoy their right to clean, healthy water.” Smith-Wade-El’s legislation would establish guardrails to ensure public safety and prioritize root cause solutions to ensure water is properly tested and treated before it enters homes and buildings for human use. The legislation also aims to equip consumers with the information and tools necessary to manage their risk of the disease through notifications of water system disruption events that can lead to greater Legionella bacteria exposure. State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El speaks in support of eviction reform at Philly Town Hall

(May 17, 2024)

LANCASTER, May 17 – On Wednesday evening, state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El joined Philadelphia Councilwoman Kendra Brooks and state representatives from the city—Jordan Harris, Elizabeth Fiedler and Rich Krajewski—and over 60 community members in South Philadelphia to speak about his eviction sealing bill, H.B. 1769 and other legislative eviction reform initiatives. “Home is where life begins for Pennsylvania families – for all of us,” said Smith-Wade-El. “When our children get up in the morning to go to school, they should do so from a bed in a home that is safe, warm and dry. Real educational equity would ensure that all children have a home to go home to so they have the stability needed to grow and flourish socially and academically. Inaccurate, unscrupulously distributed eviction records haunt families and make children homeless, even in cases when the judge found in the tenant’s favor. It’s time to put a stop to that.” “The harm of eviction records falls most heavily on Black women and their children, and the damage ripples out into our classrooms, our schools and our communities,” said Councilwoman Kendra Brooks of Philadelphia City Council. “We can’t expect our young people to succeed in school during the day if they don’t have a safe place to lay their head at night.” State legislators spoke in support of H.B. 1769, which would increase access to affordable housing Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus praises state boards for new policy to protect LGBTQ+ youth

(May 03, 2024)

Celebrating the five state boards -- the state boards of Nursing, the Medicine, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors, Psychology and Osteopathic Medicine -- who all voted recently to adopt new statements of policy opposing the use of conversion therapy on minors in Pennsylvania, members of the Pennsylvania House LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus issued the following statement: “The LGBTQ+ community often faces a troubling disparity, where accessing appropriate health care can be tainted by discrimination, misunderstanding and systemic barriers. This new policy, adopted throughout the state, validates what advocates have been saying for decades about the dangers of conversion therapy, and sends a clear message that we will not let hatred masquerade as medical treatment here in Pennsylvania.” The new policies notify licensees that all five boards consider the use of conversion therapy to be unprofessional, harmful conduct that may subject any licensee engaging in it to administrative discipline. They said that conversion therapy refers to any practice that seeks or purports to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. “The LGBTQ+ community's experience with health care must reflect inclusivity, respect, and understanding, ensuring every individual receives the quality care they deserve, free from discrimination or bias." Read more

 

Fiedler, Green join legislators, coalition of community and labor organizations to oppose private school vouchers

(Apr 29, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, April 29 -- On Friday, state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler and Roni Green, both D-Phila., attended a news conference at City Hall to voice their support for investing in public education and rejecting voucher schemes in the 2024 state budget. Organized labor, education advocates, and community organizations were in attendance to support fully funding Pennsylvania’s public schools. The event followed the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission’s recommendations to address Pennsylvania’s unconstitutional K-12 school funding system, recommendations that included $300 million for facilities upgrades last year. Private school vouchers divert tax dollars that could be used to repair school buildings, instead affording them to the elite (more than half the time to families making over $200,000 ) to support institutions that openly discriminate against students, the legislators said. “Every tax dollar given to voucher programs is another tax dollar diverted from our neighborhood public schools,” said Fiedler. “At a time when so many of our schools are struggling to stay open due to toxins and overdue repairs, our priority must be fully funding public schools and their buildings. As Democrats, we cannot allow vouchers to have a place in our state budget.” "We can't afford entitlement programs. We must first fix what's broken," said Green. Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El and Sturla help secure $3 million grant for Lancaster’s Water Street bike project

(Apr 26, 2024)

LANCASTER, April 26 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El and Mike Sturla, both D-Lancaster, helped the city of Lancaster secure a $3 million state grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to support the Water Street bike project. “Being on a bike offers the opportunity to see the world differently,” Smith-Wade-El said. “Having learned to ride a bike at the late age of 29, I can say it changed my life. I am thrilled that PennDOT has awarded Lancaster City $3 million to help execute the Water Street bike project. A city that is safer for cycling is safer for pedestrians, safer for people pushing strollers, safer for accessing public transit. This a smart investment in our city and in our future.” Sturla added, “I thank PennDOT for awarding this grant to enable the city of Lancaster to continue their successful strategy in making our community even more friendly to bike riders.” The Water Street bike project extends from Fairview Avenue up to Harrisburg Pike and includes a mixture of shared on-street bike facilities and a half-mile portion that will be off-road. According to Smith-Wade-El and Sturla, the project will include intersection improvements along the length of Water Street with raised intersections, speed humps, bump-out curb extensions, ADA compliant ramps, piano key crosswalks and rapid flashing beacons. Three intersections and one segment along Water Street are in the High Injury Network as Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El congratulates area school districts for receiving $480K in safety grants

(Apr 25, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 25 – State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, today announced that $480,760 in state grants have been awarded to public schools in the 49th District by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to reduce gun and group violence in Lancaster County schools. The following public school districts have received funding: School District of Lancaster $ 269,655 Penn Manor $ 211,105 “All Pennsylvanians deserve to be safe, especially our kids and especially when they are at school,” Smith-Wade-El said. “These grants, which were funded by our votes in Harrisburg, will give our schools the tools they need to increase school security, provide mental health resources for students, and reduce violence. Thanks to this funding, our kids will be able to focus on what they should be doing at school — learning.” View a full list of awards, including dollar amount and school entities approved for funding, here: School Safety Awards . Nonpublic School Awards . Funds will advance the School Safety and Security Committee’s goal of ensuring that all Pennsylvania students can learn in safe, healthy school environments by helping school entities address basic safety needs and mental health services identified in the Committee’s recently adopted Revised Baseline Criteria Standards . Read more

 

Grants, April 22

(Apr 22, 2024)

April 22 grants Read more

 

State Reps. Smith-Wade-El, Kenyatta and Benham applaud two state boards’ opposition to conversion therapy

(Apr 17, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; Malcom Kenyatta, D-Phila.; and Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny, today applauded the Pennsylvania boards of Psychology and Osteopathic Medicine for their recent adoption of new policies opposing the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ+ minors. The representatives issued the following statement: “We applaud the state Boards of Psychology and Osteopathic Medicine’s adoption of a new Statement of Policies (SOP) that opposes the use of the discredited, pseudoscientific practice of conversion therapy on minors in Pennsylvania. Conversion therapy, also known as conversion abuse, is a dangerous practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression that has resulted in profound physical and psychological harm on patients, including depression, trauma, and suicide. “We hope that the state boards of Medicine, Nursing and Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors will vote in the coming weeks to adopt similar SOPs opposing the use of conversion therapy. “Although we are glad to see esteemed state medical boards gradually take steps to oppose the practice of conversion abuse, this is happening at too slow a rate. It is long past time that Pennsylvania joins the 20 other states outlawing the practice. Our bill, the Protection of Minors from Conversion Therapy Act, would prohibit a mental health Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El and Arkoosh visit Refresh Lancaster

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Valerie Arkoosh joined state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, for a tour of Refresh Lancaster’s mobile unit at Union Community Care last Friday. Refresh Lancaster is a collaboration between Lancaster Emergency Medical Services Association and Lancaster County Homelessness Coalition that offers free weekly showers, hygienic kits, medical care and referrals to social services in a mobile unit at several locations throughout the county. “In my experience working as an activist in Lancaster, I found that many of the people most in need of social services were nervous about approaching state organizations for help,” Smith-Wade-El said. “I wanted to share with Secretary Arkoosh how Refresh Lancaster is successfully reaching out and building trust with these vulnerable members of our community by serving as a low-barrier entryway to the commonwealth’s extensive network of social and health services.” Smith-Wade-El and Arkoosh also toured Union Community Care’s new dental unit where the staff stressed dental care as a critical part of health care. The tour highlighted how managed-care organizations use Medicaid waivers to serve residents in need. “People who are unhoused experience higher health care spending and poorer long-term outcomes, and approachable, empathetic supports and assistance can be a bridge to stability and a Read more

 

Grants, April 9

(Apr 09, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Agriculture: Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program Who May Apply: Agricultural producers or processors and nonprofits, for-profits, local government entities, and institutions such as schools, universities or hospitals that operate middle of the food chain activities or invest in equipment that will benefit middle of the supply chain activities. Use: Activities that expand capacity and infrastructure for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling or distribution of targeted local and regional agricultural products Funds: Grants will be awarded to the extent that funds are available. Grant requests shall be between $10,000 and $100,000. Application Deadline: May 15, 2024 More information: PDA Website Department of Health: WalkWorks Grant Program Who May Apply: Municipalities located in either a PA Department of Health State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) priority county or in communities with an overall percentile rating above 60 in the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s PennEnviroScreen Tool. The 10 current SPAN counties include Clearfield, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Northumberland, and Philadelphia. Use: Funds and structured pre-planning assistance will be available to a limited number of municipal and/or multi-municipal applicants to complete the Read more

 

PLBC proposes legislation to help with fair housing

(Apr 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 9 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus spoke at a news conference today regarding legislation that would create a fairer housing market. April serves as National Fair Housing Month, bringing awareness and advocating policy for individuals that have been discriminated against and wrongfully evicted, and educating residents on their housing rights and the resources available to them. House Bill 96 , introduced by state Rep. Donna Bullock, would prohibit landlords from inquiring or requiring disclosure about certain arrest records of potential tenants as a condition of a lease. “In Pennsylvania, a person can be denied a rental property based off a conviction or even just an arrest — it doesn’t matter if it was years ago or even decades ago. Many times, individuals who are denied a lease were never convicted, completed a deferred judgement or have long since turned their life around. And when landlords use this tactic, it’s overwhelmingly used to be discriminatory toward Black and brown Pennsylvanians,” Bullock said. “We must pass legislation that prohibits landlords from inquiring or requiring disclosure of certain arrest records — such as juvenile records, arrests with no conviction, convictions older than seven years and convictions that aren’t felonies or misdemeanors — as a condition of a lease. Housing Read more

 

African-American Health Fair

(Apr 02, 2024)

African-American Health Fair, April 6 Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El, Bullock hold news conference on youth homelessness

(Mar 27, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 27 – State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, was joined by state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., and community stakeholders in a Capitol news conference yesterday to call for an increase in the 2024-2025 budget to address the upcoming shortfall in supports for homeless youth in Pennsylvania. “Today, there are over 40,000 students without housing in our state, struggling to go to school and learn despite not having a home of their own,” Smith-Wade-El said. “Though our school districts have been able to provide some needed support thanks to the American Rescue Plan for Homeless Children and Youth, they will no longer be able to do so when this aid runs out January 31st, 2025. With evictions still on the rise since the COVID pandemic and affordable housing at a minimum, we should be doing everything we can to provide support to this vulnerable population, but right now there are no plans to make up for this shortfall in the proposed 2024-2025 budget. “I am calling on the state to step up and ensure that these vulnerable members of our society get the supports they need to feel safe and secure so they can succeed in school in the 2024-2025 state budget,” Smith-Wade-El said. “If we do not do this, I promise you that Pennsylvania will be plagued for years to come from the effects of our abandonment of these kids.” “Housing insecurity knows no boundaries. It spans rural townships and cities and Read more

 

House Democrats Introduce Eviction Record Sealing Legislation

(Mar 25, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, and Elizabeth Fiedler, Rick Krajewski and Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman Jordan Harris, all D-Phila., today introduced H.B. 1769 that would seal some records in certain cases such as no-fault evictions. “Millions of renters across the commonwealth are struggling to find housing because one mistake or emergency had led to an eviction on their records,” Smith-Wade-El said. “After these no-fault evictions, households often struggle -- sometimes for months -- to find housing, which can result in devastating consequences, including the breakup of families, the loss of employment, and even ending up homeless. This legislation would help give Pennsylvania renters a fair chance at finding housing by establishing procedures for limited access to eviction records. Our Fair Housing Access legislation is a commonsense step that would make it easier for working-class Pennsylvanians to access housing.” According to the legislators, as soon as an eviction is filed, it becomes a permanent mark on someone’s background, making harder to find housing. The record remains even if the case was withdrawn, the tenant endured domestic violence, or the court found in favor of the tenant. Smith-Wade-El said that evictions disrupt workforce development for large swaths of communities and strain existing social support systems throughout the state. These records can put vulnerable Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District

(Mar 19, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs: Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Drop-In Centers Who May Apply: Existing organizations that have the capacity to provide or expand drop-in center services for individuals with SUD, including single county authorities, DDAP licensed treatment providers, organizations that offer clinical services and recipients of DDAP’s prior funding opportunities for Drop-In Centers. Use: To expand drop-in center services for individuals with SUD. Funds: Up to $6,575,000 is available. DDAP expects to award approximately eight grants totaling $750,000 each. Application Deadline: April 12, 2024 More information: DDAP Website PROGRAMS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Department of Agriculture: Farm Vitality Planning Grant Who May Apply: Farmers, prospective farmers, and others may apply. Use: Strategic business planning to expand or diversify farms or support transition of ownership. Funds: $500,000 in funding is available. Grants shall not exceed $7,500. Application Deadline: Applications will be received until funds are exhausted. More information: Pennsylvania Bulletin Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Recruitment Incentives for Law Enforcement Who May Apply: Local law enforcement agencies, campus or university police, railroad or street railway police, airport authority police, and county park police. Use: Funding is explicitly to support Act 120 training and recruitment Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El announces $500K state grant to develop ‘Prince Street Hub’ to help unsheltered Lancastrians
May 22, 2024

Health advocates speak out in support of Smith-Wade-El’s Legionnaires disease legislation
May 17, 2024

Smith-Wade-El speaks in support of eviction reform at Philly Town Hall
May 17, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Environmental, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 17, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Environmental, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 07, 2024

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus praises state boards for new policy to protect LGBTQ+ youth
May 03, 2024

Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 01, 2024

Fiedler, Green join legislators, coalition of community and labor organizations to oppose private school vouchers
Apr 29, 2024

Smith-Wade-El and Sturla help secure $3 million grant for Lancaster’s Water Street bike project
Apr 26, 2024

Smith-Wade-El congratulates area school districts for receiving $480K in safety grants
Apr 25, 2024

Grants, April 22
Apr 22, 2024

State Reps. Smith-Wade-El, Kenyatta and Benham applaud two state boards’ opposition to conversion therapy
Apr 17, 2024

Smith-Wade-El and Arkoosh visit Refresh Lancaster
Apr 10, 2024

Grants, April 9
Apr 09, 2024

PLBC proposes legislation to help with fair housing
Apr 09, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
Apr 03, 2024

African-American Health Fair
Apr 02, 2024

Smith-Wade-El, Bullock hold news conference on youth homelessness
Mar 27, 2024

House Democrats Introduce Eviction Record Sealing Legislation
Mar 25, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District
Mar 19, 2024