PLBC installs officers for 2023-24 session

(Jan 05, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus this week officially installed officers to serve in the 2023-24 legislative session in a virtual ceremony that included guests Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, former PLBC members Pennsylvania Lt. Gov.-elect Austin Davis and U.S. Rep.-elect Summer Lee, and other dignitaries, PLBC members and former members. Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania Judge Lori Dumas administered the oath of office. The following members were installed as officers: Chairwoman, Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. Vice Chairman, Rep. Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery Secretary, Rep. Darisha Parker, D-Phila. Treasurer, Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster In her remarks as the returning chair of PLBC, Bullock recognized the 50 years since the organization was formed in the legislature. “This is a moment 50 years in the making,” she said. “We are sending folks to Congress, the lieutenant governor's office, all over this country to continue the good work that we do here in the General Assembly. Two years before the PLBC was formally formed, Black members met in secret. We are not meeting in the shadows anymore. We are doing the work. We are getting the job done. This year, with the largest and the most diverse PLBC membership in our commonwealth’s history, we represent Black, Latino and Asian communities across the commonwealth. While we center our policies on Black Pennsylvanians, we acknowledge Read more


Smith-Wade-El takes oath for first term

(Jan 03, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Ismail “Izzy” Smith-Wade-El took the oath of office today in the state Capitol to begin his first term representing the 49 th Legislative District, which comprises part of the city of Lancaster, Lancaster Township and Millersville Borough. The noon swearing-in ceremony marked the beginning of the 2023-24 session of the Pennsylvania House. Smith-Wade-El is also scheduled to be installed as treasurer of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus during its installation of officers at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4. The installation will be streamed live on the PLBC website or on the PLBC’s Facebook page. Smith-Wade-El said some of his priorities in his first term are affordable housing, justice and public safety; high-quality affordable healthcare for all; LGBTQ rights; cannabis decriminalization; high-quality education for children regardless of Zip code; workers’ rights; climate action; returning power to local government, and reproductive rights and health care. “I am honored to represent the 49 th District in the PA House of Representatives,” Smith-Wade-El said. ‘I am looking forward to drawing on my depth of skills and experiences acquired as an activist and president of the Lancaster City Council to improve our residents’ quality of life, make our communities safer and stronger, and increase economic opportunities for all.” Read more


Smith-Wade-El announces $4.4M in grants for Lancaster City

(Dec 16, 2022)

LANCASTER, Dec. 16 -- Rep.-elect Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, announced $4.4 million in grants have been awarded to Lancaster organizations by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The grants will be used to improve community safety, support local law enforcement in transparency and accountability efforts, and help vulnerable populations and religious communities to protect themselves as the community pushes back against hate and white nationalism. The first set of grants come from the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Established in 2019 after the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh that claimed the lives of 11 worshippers, the program supports grants for security enhancements to nonprofit organizations who principally serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication, such as race/ethnicity/ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity. The following Lancaster organizations received these grants: $50,000 to Bright Side Opportunities Corporation. $97,000 to the Church World Service Lancaster. $97,000 to the Islamic Community Center of Lancaster. $25,000 to the Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition. $6,296 to Lancaster Pride. $10,000 to Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lancaster. “What unifies the recipients of these Read more


State Rep.-elect Smith-Wade-El’s statement on violence in Lancaster City

(Dec 13, 2022)

LANCASTER, Dec. 13 -- Rep.-elect Ismail Smith-Wade-El has issued the following statement: “Over the past two weeks, Lancaster City has seen four separate shootings, and what appears to have been a dangerous accidental discharge of a firearm last night. Three of these shootings took place in the 49th Legislative District. These acts of violence are taking the lives of our loved ones, devastating our friends and neighbors, and undermining the safety that we deserve to feel in our communities. “Investigations are ongoing into these shootings. While there is much we do not yet know about the circumstances of these needless acts of violence, we know all too well their devastating impact: children left without their parents and parents left without their children. From the candlelight vigils and public outpourings of emotion, we do know those who have been harmed and killed are deeply loved by their friends and family. We offer our condolences and our prayers to all affected. “Luis Oscar Sanchez, Wakiel Jones, and James Jeffery Diggs deserved better. Their families deserve better. Our blocks, our community deserves better. “Let me be clear: our vision for this community has no place for gun violence, and no place for the legal and social apathy that enables it. We all deserve to feel safe in the places that we call home and we all have a responsibility to make that vision a reality. “We deserve Read more


McClinton applauds, welcomes newest members to House Democratic Caucus

(Dec 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – To kick off the new legislative session, Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus Majority Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, is welcoming the largest class of incoming legislators to the House Democratic Caucus in more than 15 years. “In January, the House Democratic Caucus will proudly swear in the largest and most diverse class of freshmen legislators in over a decade,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “These public servants are already on the ground in their communities, talking to neighbors, and prepared to be their voices in Harrisburg next month. Without a doubt, they will strengthen our legislature with their diverse experience and perspectives.” House Democrats will welcome 26 new members from communities across the state; some from districts that have never before been represented by a Democrat. New members include: Anthony Bellmon (D-Phila.) : Bellmon served in Philadelphia Congressman Brendan F. Boyle’s office for eight years, solving housing, student loan and immigration issues. As senior adviser to the congressman, Anthony worked on Capitol Hill advancing policy issues to better the lives of children and working families. Lisa A. Borowski (D-Delaware) : Borowski formerly served as vice president of the Radnor Township School District’s school board, leading the way on crafting one of the Read more


PA Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Dec 01, 2022)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Unclaimed property may include: Closed bank accounts Uncashed checks, including paychecks Lost stocks and bonds Contents of safe deposit boxes Proceeds from the demutualization of insurance companies Expired gift cards/gift certificates To find out if you have unclaimed property, search your name in the Unclaimed Property database at or call 1-800-222-2046. There is NO CHARGE to claim your unclaimed property. Read more


Need help heating your home? Apply to LIHEAP this winter.

(Dec 01, 2022)

Pennsylvanians in need of energy assistance are encouraged to apply to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for 2022-2023 winter heating season. To see if you qualify, view the table via the link above, and click here to apply online using COMPASS. A paper application can also be found here . Everyone should be able to keep warm during the coldest months of the year, and LIHEAP is a true security blanket for those who are in need. Read more


PennDOT is hiring for winter maintenance

(Dec 01, 2022)

PennDOT is currently hiring employees for the Winter Maintenance Program. Employees hired for the Winter Maintenance Program are critical to a safe winter season, and these temporary opportunities are an excellent pathway to a permanent career with PennDOT. For more information on how to apply, click here . Read more


Get quality health coverage at a low cost through Pennie

(Dec 01, 2022)

Pennsylvanians can enroll in 2023 health insurance coverage through Pennie now until Jan. 15, 2023. Last year, many Pennsylvanians enrolled in health insurance through a Pennie plan and paid lower monthly premiums due to premium subsidies included in the American Rescue Plan Act. The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act extended these subsidies until Jan. 1, 2026. Visit or the Pennie Customer Service Call Center at 1-844-844-8040. Read more