PLBC supports Cheney University community in accreditation fight

(Feb 23, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 23 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today stood with Cheney University officials, the student community, Gov. Josh Shapiro and others at a rally in support of efforts to remove the nation’s first historically Black college from probation in its accreditation. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education recently placed Cheyney on probation and gave university officials until March 1 to submit a plan that maps out how they plan to continue educating students should they fully lose their accreditation. The event acted both as a celebration of the university’s 187 th anniversary and a rally to fight back against what they consider unfair and groundless treatment by MSCHE. Rep. Napoleon Nelson, PLBC chairman, and Sen. Vince Hughes, who previously chaired the PLBC and is now the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a Cheyney University Trustee, both offered remarks. PLBC members Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, and Rep. Carol Kazeem, D-Delaware, joined Nelson and Hughes on behalf of the caucus. According to university officials who also spoke at the event, MSCHE auditors made multiple on-site evaluations at the university last year and offered them a clean bill of health. So it was a complete surprise to them to be placed on probation and threatened with losing their accreditation. “Cheyney University is the nation’s oldest Historically Black Read more

 

Nelson weekly email update for Feb. 23, 2024: Budget hearings, Black History Month, Standing with Cheyney University

(Feb 23, 2024)

Most of the week was spent in Harrisburg for budget hearings. This will be a theme for the next few weeks as I take my role on the House Appropriations Committee quite seriously. There are some very important priorities that might move in this year’s budget, including the funding of public education, the status of the minimum wage in PA, the implications of climate change on our agriculture industry and our investment in innovative, resilient farming practices, and our continued investment in housing access and mental health supports. However, Black History Month takes a backseat to no one… in fact, it literally keeps me in the driver’s seat as I travel the state enjoying events and representing the PA Legislative Black Caucus. This week’s travels brought me to Penn State University’s Altoona campus for their African American Read In. Their theme for the year was Black Ecologies and I read a few poems from the provocative and talented young poet, Saeed Jones. On Tuesday, I enjoyed a virtual Black History Month celebration that centered on the arts and the legacy of African Americans on the nation’s artistic expression. I came back home Wednesday to celebrate with the students and parents in Cheltenham School District’s Black History Month program. There are few things that I enjoy more than seeing our young people learn and perform and Wednesday’s festivities gave me all of that. Finally, on Friday I stood with the Cheyney University community to decry the uncalled for and... Read more

 

Nelson weekly email update for Feb. 16, 2024: The Week That Was

(Feb 16, 2024)

I’m going to open this weekly newsletter with brief recap of some quick hitters from the week. On Monday, the newly created Indigent Defense Advisory Committee held its inaugural meeting. This moment deserved a celebration and I was thrilled to join other legislative leaders in recognizing this moment. A special shout out to Montgomery County’s Chief Public Defender, Christine Lora and our own Senator Art Haywood for serving on this committee and for joining the celebration! On Wednesday, I traveled back to Harrisburg to advance a bill out of the House Judiciary Committee. My legislation (HB 1678) would cut down the amount of time an incarcerated individual might need to serve prior to being eligible for parole as a result of earning academic or vocational milestones while in prison. Research has shown that formerly incarcerated people are significantly less likely to offend again when they are able to find quality employment and maintain sound financial footing. This bill moved out of committee with a vote of 24-1. I’m working on getting that one negative vote on my side!Also on Wednesday, I was thrilled to present a check to the Springfield Commissioners for $300,000 to assist with the acquisition of 2.76 acres of open space on Haws Lane. This funding, secured by Sen. Haywood and me, will help the township protect local ecological habitat and expand our passive recreation offerings. As our community awaits our second round of snowfall, I am currently in Pittsburgh to... Read more

 

Nelson presents check to Springfield Township

(Feb 15, 2024)

SPRINGFIELD, Feb. 15 – Springfield Township received a $300,000 check presented by state Rep. Napoleon Nelson on Wednesday. The funds will be used as a payment toward the acquisition of approximately 2.7 acres along Haws Lane for habitat protection and passive recreation . “It is paramount that we preserve open space to help limit urban and suburban sprawl,” said Nelson, D-Montgomery. “I am pleased to partner with Springfield Township on this and other quality of life issues.” Nelson said the grant was awarded under the Community Conservation Partnership Program. “The Board of Commissioners appreciates the partnerships with local governments that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has fostered through the Community Conservation Partnership Program to protect critical natural areas and open space such as Harston Woods,” Springfield Township President James M. Lee said. More information about the Community Conservation Partnership Program is available here: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/Communities/Grants/pages/default.aspx . Nelson represents the 154 th Legislative District comprised of Cheltenham, Jenkintown and Springfield in Montgomery County. ###rjb/2024/bfg Editors Note: An image of Rep. Nelson presenting a ceremonial check can be found here . Read more

 

Nelson weekly email update for Feb. 9., 2024: Governor's Budget Address, Environmental Conference postponed

(Feb 11, 2024)

The Governor gave a speech this week that sets the stage for our legislative debate for at least the next 5 months and an provide an impact could be felt for decades. Gov. Josh Shapiro offered his 2024 Budget Address, officially kicking off months of hearings, negotiations, finger pointing, and (hopefully) compromise. The nearly 90-minute long speech touched on everything from menstrual pads to school taxes to public transportation to agriculture; public safety and public infrastructure; minimum wage and medical debt. Read more

 

Nelson weekly email update for Feb. 2 2024: Celebrating Black History Month

(Feb 02, 2024)

Black History Month is upon us once again! My traditional exuberance for this month has run head-first into the realities of my new role as the Chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. I look forward to the Black history programming in our schools and at Arcadia. The church services always step up their celebration of African and African-American culture. I make it a point to add even more Black owned businesses to my shopping rotation. Read more

 

Applications open for PLBC’s Roebuck Scholarship

(Jan 29, 2024)

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus www.pahouse.com/PLBC Applications open for PLBC’s Roebuck Scholarship HARRISBURG, Jan. 29 – Applications are now being accepted for the 2024-25 James R. Roebuck Scholarship by the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Foundation. This prestigious scholarship was named after the Hon. James R. Roebuck, former member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and champion for education. Roebuck served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1985-2020 and served as chair of both the House Education Committee and the PLBC. The $1,000 scholarship is funded by private donations and does not use any taxpayer or other public dollars. To be eligible an applicants must be a: Resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Person of color. Graduating high school senior or current undergraduate college student. The application deadline is 5 p.m., Friday, April 5. Applicants are responsible for submitting all material to the PLBC on time. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated. Applications will be reviewed and scored by the scholarship committee. Successful applicants will receive the scholarship for educational Read more

 

Nelson weekly email update for Jan 26, 2024: Annual Environmental Conference is Feb. 23

(Jan 26, 2024)

This year’s conference is going to be a special event. We will be virtual again, but our focus will be on Environmental Justice and the work of identifying and advancing Environmental Justice solutions and action in communities that often have other things on our minds. Read more

 

Nelson announces $75,000 grant for Cheltenham Township

(Jan 24, 2024)

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE State Rep. Napoleon Nelson D-Bucks County www.pahouse.com/ Nelson Nelson announces $75,000 grant for Cheltenham Township HARRISBURG, Jan. 24 – State Rep. Napoleon Nelson announced today that Cheltenham Township in Montgomery County will receive $75,000 in funding towards its Robinson Park restoration project. The funds come from the Pennsylvania’s Coastal Resources Management Program with Cheltenham providing a match of $96,000. Cheltenham Township will restore the 4.4-acre Robinson Park located at the center of the Wyncote neighborhood. Approximately 100 acres of medium-density residential and institutional land use are currently discharging stormwater through the center of Robinson Park. Project Plan Phase 1 of this project will design park renovations that will improve water quality, mitigate flooding, enhance native habitat, and connect the public to this important headwater. This design and engineering project will promote stormwater infiltration, evapotranspiration, and filter runoff to prevent up to 13 tons of sediment from discharging annually to Tookany Creek and downstream to the Delaware Bay. “This project is a win-win for the residents of Cheltenham and the surrounding areas,” Nelson Read more

 

Nelson weekly email update for Jan 19, 2024: Addressing student mental health resources

(Jan 19, 2024)

This week I spent time in Harrisburg (and perhaps more hours on the PA Turnpike) to advocate for our students. I frequently talk to you about the conversations and policy development addressing our school funding. This week, however, was dedicated to the mental well-being of our students. On Thursday, the House Education Committee voted to advance legislation addressing student mental health resources. Amongst the bills that were moved out of committee were bills that would direct schools to include the suicide prevention hotline info on the back of student identification cards as well as a charge for districts to create comprehensive student counseling plans. A third bill that we advanced, H.B. 1519, is legislation I authored that would allow students to take off three days of school each year as mental health days. They would be able to do so without the need for a doctor’s note, and those days would be considered excused. We’re fortunate here in our district that our schools are accommodating to the needs of students and families in this way, but their ability to accept excused absences without doctors’ notes involves some Pennsylvania Department of Education administrative workarounds that are common practice, but not sufficiently codified in the School Code. For many, my legislation may be seen as redundant, but I’m okay with that. I’m okay with redundantly codifying administrative practices because this work improves the visibility and acceptance of the mental health... Read more

 

Nelson, Venkat introduce resolution to raise awareness of data privacy

(Jan 18, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 18 – Today, Reps. Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery, and Arvind Venkat, D-Allegheny, introduced a resolution to recognize Jan. 21-27 as Data Privacy Week. In 2022, data breaches affected more than 422 million people. “As new technology continues to emerge, we must raise awareness of data privacy to ensure Pennsylvanians have knowledge about the data being collected and relevant policies and laws,” Venkat said. “With this resolution, we will do just that.” Nelson added, “As data breaches become more and more common, it is important that we learn about and enact ways to protect our privacy in both our personal and work lives.” Now, with technology such as artificial intelligence emerging, it’s important to protect privacy , Nelson and Venkat noted. Together, they will work with members of the House of Representatives, as well as the Emerging Technologies Caucus, to pass legislation to enhance data privacy laws in Pennsylvania. ### House Democrats are committed to promoting better jobs, better schools and better communities. Putting people ahead of politics, House Democrats are leading the charge to lower taxes, help workers save for retirement, put more teachers in local schools, and make communities safer. More information on these successful efforts is at pahouse.com/deliveringforpa . Read more

 

Venkat, Nelson introduce resolution to raise awareness of data privacy

(Jan 18, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 18 – Today, Reps. Arvind Venkat, D-Allegheny, and Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery, introduced a resolution to recognize Jan. 21-27 as Data Privacy Week. In 2022, data breaches affected more than 422 million people. “As new technology continues to emerge, we must raise awareness of data privacy to ensure Pennsylvanians have knowledge about the data being collected and relevant policies and laws,” Venkat said. “With this resolution, we will do just that.” Nelson added, “ As data breeches become more and more common, it is important that we learn about and enact ways to protect our privacy in both our personal and work lives.” Now, with technology such as artificial intelligence emerging, it’s important to protect privacy , Nelson and Venkat noted. Together, they will work with members of the House of Representatives, as well as the Emerging Technologies Caucus, to pass legislation to enhance data privacy laws in Pennsylvania. ### House Democrats are committed to promoting better jobs, better schools and better communities. Putting people ahead of politics, House Democrats are leading the charge to lower taxes, help workers save for retirement, put more teachers in local schools, and make communities safer. More information on these successful efforts is at pahouse.com/deliveringforpa . Read more

 

Nelson weekly email for Jan. 12, 2024: MLK Day

(Jan 12, 2024)

Monday is MLK day, the time we take a day off from work to celebrate the life and legacy of one of the nation’s great leaders. Traditionally, I would take this space to pull some of Martin King’s greatest quotes, or perhaps his most meaningful but seldom quoted passages and write something inspiring that speaks to the depth of my gratitude to Dr. King and how his prescient words guide me in my work today. I’m not going to do that today. His campaign is just as timely today as it was 60 years ago and I never let Dr. King’s march towards a better nation slip away from my consciousness. However, I am thrilled to be able to say that, right now, today, I’m busy DOING the work. I guess that is my MLK message for 2024. There are times when you need to be inspired or hear words of direction. There are times when you need to be called away from your routine and towards the service of others. Finally, there are times when you find yourself already on the field focused on your assignment building our beloved community. If you are focused, just keep going. As the great poet Edgar Guest says, "I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day." Read more

 

Nelson weekly email for Jan. 5, 2024: Neighborhood Coffee on Thursday, January 18

(Jan 05, 2024)

We’re going to start by hosting a neighborhood coffee at 9 a.m. Thursday, January 18 at Sumatra Café on Greenwood Avenue. Coffee and Danish are on me. Come on out Wyncote! Let’s ring in the New Year together. Read more

 

Nelson weekly email for Dec. 28 2023: End of the Year Updates

(Dec 28, 2023)

I’ve spent much of the last few weeks discussing Harrisburg activity, but I want to end the year with some updates on the important stuff here at home. Read more

 

Nelson announces grant requests funded in eastern Montgomery County

(Dec 20, 2023)

A good stormwater management system is a win-win because it helps mitigate environmental impacts from climate change, but it also helps the local economy by curbing flood damage and the economic hit that goes with it. I was happy to help Springfield and Cheltenham receive funding for these worthy projects Read more

 

Nelson weekly email update for Dec. 15, 2023: PA Legislature passes over two dozen bills this week

(Dec 15, 2023)

This was a busy week in Harrisburg as the House and Senate had a LOT of legislation that needed to get across the finish line before we embark on an extended winter break. I will talk about some of those key pieces of legislation that we voted on in just a minute, but the most impactful moment of the week was a well-deserved tribute. Read more

 

Nelson weekly email update for Dec. 8, 2023: Remembering Pearl Harbor

(Dec 08, 2023)

I want to wish those who served a warm holiday and thank you for rising to the moment. While gratitude is just and admiration is righteous, I believe that the best way to honor those who died and those who found clarity of purpose on that infamous day is to step into the gap and support each other. Let’s not wait for our own Pearl Harbor to help others, even in our imperfections. Read more

 

Nelson weekly email update for Dec. 1, 2023: Meet the new staff member

(Dec 01, 2023)

Welcome to my weekly newsletter, where you will find legislative information and updates from Cheltenham, Jenkintown and Springfield along with information about state-related programs and services. Read more

 

Nelson weekly email update for Nov. 22, 2023: Happy Thanksgiving

(Nov 22, 2023)

I’m not sure what your house is going to be like this weekend, but my house is going to be busy and happy. I love the Thanksgiving holiday. I love the food and getting together with family. The weather is going to be perfect so my traditional run in the park is on as hoped. I have so much to be thankful for today and so many memories of loved ones that I’ve recently lost that can warm my heart and keep a smile on my face. I spend the year looking forward to Thanksgiving weekend for these precious moments to recharge and be restored. Read more

 

PLBC supports Cheney University community in accreditation fight
Feb 23, 2024

Nelson weekly email update for Feb. 23, 2024: Budget hearings, Black History Month, Standing with Cheyney University
Feb 23, 2024

Nelson weekly email update for Feb. 16, 2024: The Week That Was
Feb 16, 2024

Nelson presents check to Springfield Township
Feb 15, 2024

Nelson weekly email update for Feb. 9., 2024: Governor's Budget Address, Environmental Conference postponed
Feb 11, 2024

Nelson weekly email update for Feb. 2 2024: Celebrating Black History Month
Feb 02, 2024

Applications open for PLBC’s Roebuck Scholarship
Jan 29, 2024

Nelson weekly email update for Jan 26, 2024: Annual Environmental Conference is Feb. 23
Jan 26, 2024

Nelson announces $75,000 grant for Cheltenham Township
Jan 24, 2024

Nelson weekly email update for Jan 19, 2024: Addressing student mental health resources
Jan 19, 2024

Nelson, Venkat introduce resolution to raise awareness of data privacy
Jan 18, 2024

Venkat, Nelson introduce resolution to raise awareness of data privacy
Jan 18, 2024

Nelson weekly email for Jan. 12, 2024: MLK Day
Jan 12, 2024

Nelson weekly email for Jan. 5, 2024: Neighborhood Coffee on Thursday, January 18
Jan 05, 2024

Nelson weekly email for Dec. 28 2023: End of the Year Updates
Dec 28, 2023

Nelson announces grant requests funded in eastern Montgomery County
Dec 20, 2023

Nelson weekly email update for Dec. 15, 2023: PA Legislature passes over two dozen bills this week
Dec 15, 2023

Nelson weekly email update for Dec. 8, 2023: Remembering Pearl Harbor
Dec 08, 2023

Nelson weekly email update for Dec. 1, 2023: Meet the new staff member
Dec 01, 2023

Nelson weekly email update for Nov. 22, 2023: Happy Thanksgiving
Nov 22, 2023