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PLBC Fall 2022 newsletter

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PLBC celebrates 50 years as a formal caucus with K. Leroy Irvis Day of Action

(May 23, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 23 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus held its second annual K. Leroy Irvis Day of Action today in honor of the first Black speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and to celebrate its 50th year as a formal legislative caucus. “Today is a joyous day. It is a reminder of the hard work this caucus has done over the last 50 years and the hard work still left to do,” State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said. “We honored our past by remembering the life and legacy of former Speaker K. Leroy Irvis, and we invested in our future by presenting scholarships to the bright and promising young men and women who earned them with their scholarly prowess.” Following a 10 a.m. news event on the front steps of the Speaker K. Leroy Irvis building, Black Pennsylvanians — youth, community leaders, small business owners, clergy and advocacy organizations — gathered for a series of panels on the state of Black Pennsylvania, labor, cannabis and voter disenfranchisement. As part of the day of action, the PLBC congratulated the following recipients of the 2023 PLBC James Roebuck Scholarship: Mamadou Bah, Upper Merion High School; Kayla Banks, Cheltenham High School; Jayant Bullet, Cumberland Valley High School; Makalya Coleman, George Washington Carver High School; Ellyssa Elliot, Reading High School; Read more

Parker Working for Financial Literacy

(May 04, 2023)

Pa. state Rep. Darisha Parker joined Auditor General Timothy DeFoor and students and faculty of Martin Luther King Jr. High School in North Philadelphia to discuss the importance for integrating financial literacy education programs into high school curriculum for Pennsylvania students. Read more

Representatives host Delta Day at state Capitol

(May 03, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 3 – State Reps. Gina H. Curry, D-Delaware, La’Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny, and Morgan Cephas, D-Philadelphia, said that they were proud to host Delta Day at the state Capitol on Tuesday. Delta Day is celebrated by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, which was founded in 1913 by 22 collegiate women on the campus of Howard University. Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated is one of the preeminent service-based sororities, with predominantly more than 300,000 Black members and more than 1,000 chapters worldwide. The sorority has maintained a commitment to social activism, academic excellence and civic engagement. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated has 29 chapters in Pennsylvania. On Delta Day, members from throughout the commonwealth come to the Capitol to connect with elected officials, advance legislation and serve as a voice for others. “The women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated continue to be magnificent examples of servant-leaders with their commitment to their communities,” Curry said. “That is why I introduced H.R. 100 to recognize and honor the members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated on Delta Day.” “This was the first year back after three years of meeting virtually for Delta Days in Harrisburg,” Mayes said. “It was a great opportunity for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated members to come to our Capitol to lead the conversations Read more

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Ban on shackling pregnant women, solitary confinement in prison advances in Pa. House

(Apr 19, 2023)

The House Judiciary Committee unanimously reported out House Bill 900, which, in addition to bans on shackling expectant mothers, includes a host of measures to implement best practices, some of which are already in place in federal prisons. Read more

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus calls for Legislature to take action, pass gun safety legislation following continued national tragedies

(Apr 17, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus is calling on the General Assembly to act and pass gun safety legislation following multiple mass shootings across the nation and the unjust expulsion of two legislators, and the attempted expulsion of a third, in Tennessee for so-called “disorderly behavior” following their protest in favor of gun reform in the Tennessee House chamber. Today they joined Black legislators across the nation in decrying the parliamentary rules and procedures Republican majorities are using – or abusing – to stifle Black voices and avoid holding votes on the issues people want addressed, such as gun violence, but that they and their big moneyed backers don’t like. According to PLBC Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila., Republican legislators in Tennessee thought they could hide behind the veil of rules and procedure when expelling Rep. Justin Jones, D-Nashville, and Rep. Justin Pearson, D-Memphis, but the racist undertones prompting their expulsion were obvious. People should look no further than the recently leaked video of Tennessee Republican lawmakers discussing the vote, she said. In recent weeks, the nation has been shocked by the news of not one, but two mass shootings occurring at a school in Nashville, TN and a bank in Louisville, KY. A total of 11 people combined lost their lives in these shooting sprees. PLBC lawmakers are saying enough is enough, and that Pennsylvania and Read more

Women’s History Month is the perfect time to recognize women’s issues

(Mar 17, 2023)

Entering Women’s History Month this March has me pondering a lot of issues related to women, especially women of color, and where we are headed. In the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, I can tell you we are going in the right direction in terms of addressing important issues that impact the daily lives of women who have been historically underserved, underrepresented, misunderstood, ignored and generally not heard. We elected the first woman – a Black woman – to serve as speaker of the House. This role has always gone to white men with the exception of K. Leroy Irvis, a Black legislator from Pittsburgh, who served as speaker back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Speaker Joanna McClinton is accomplished, is the former Democratic leader in the House, is an attorney and represents the good folks of the 191st District in Philadelphia and parts of Delaware County. She brings experiences to this General Assembly that resonate with so many Pennsylvanians and is committed to making sure that everyone and every issue is heard during her tenure at the rostrum. Some of the issues that I know exist, and ones that were discussed during my time as chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus’ Subcommittee on Women and Girls of Color, include a backsliding of women’s reproductive rights, the need to raise the minimum wage, period poverty, and health care access and maternal mortality, to name a few. Women’s personal Read more

PLBC announces Crystal Bird Fauset Leadership honorees

(Mar 14, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 14 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, announced the awardees of the PLBC Crystal Bird Fauset Leadership Award, which is now an annual recognition event for the PLBC during Women’s History Month. Honorees will be awarded in a virtual ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 23. The ceremony can be viewed live at Facebook.com/PALegislativeBlackCaucus/. The award is named in honor of former state Rep. Crystal Bird Fauset, who was a Democrat elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1938 and represented Philadelphia’s 18th Legislative District. She was the first Black woman elected in any state legislature. “For so long, the accomplishments of Black women have been ignored or minimized,” Bullock said. “While we celebrate these women all year long, we wanted to highlight extraordinary Black women in Women’s History Month and all that they do here in the commonwealth. It’s important for everyone – especially little Black girls and boys – to see someone who looks like them making big impacts in Pennsylvania and in leadership roles. These women are leaders we look to everyday - in both their professional and personal lives. We are so proud of each of them and are grateful for their service to this commonwealth.” The honorees this year are former state House member from Pittsburgh and current U.S. Rep. Summer Lee; former Read more

Bullock named chair of House Children and Youth, Ethics committees

(Mar 13, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., has been appointed chair of standing state House committees on Children and Youth and Ethics for the 2023-24 legislative session. “Our committees drive the entire legislative process by vetting and moving bills to the floor for a vote,” Bullock said. “The committees I chair this session are critical to moving legislation that benefits and considers the well-being of our children, while the Ethics Committee is important to ensuring the ethical behavior of members as they conduct business in our chamber and as elected officials throughout this session. I’m looking forward to getting to work and getting things done for the commonwealth.” In addition to her committee assignments, Bullock was reelected to chair the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. Founded in 1973, the caucus was formed to serve as an information and advocacy vehicle to advance the interests of African American, Latino and other people of color in the commonwealth. Bullock’s district office is located at 2835 W. Girard Ave. Residents can stop by or call 215-684-3738 to set up an appointment or for inquiries. Read more

PLBC agenda, governor’s budget priorities are aligned

(Mar 07, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 7 – Prior to his budget address today, the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus sent a letter to Gov. Josh Shapiro outlining their budget priorities. Following is their statement on his budget proposal: “The governor has heard our priorities and heeded our requests, as was evident in his budget address to the General Assembly today when he specifically named the PLBC in his remarks. It was a historic moment for this body and it underscores the importance of our partnership and involvement in the budget process. We are energized by his vision and know our collective voice is heard by the Shapiro-Davis administration. We are confident we will be able to continue and, where needed, expand upon the great work that was started under the Wolf administration. Education, environmental justice, maternal mortality and discrimination are just a few of the issues that we continue to bring to the forefront and we are encouraged by the governor’s including them in today’s proposal. “With a commitment to fairly funding our schools, regardless of location in the commonwealth, we are hopeful that we can fulfill our constitutional commitment to an equitable education for all children. We need to invest in our schools, thereby investing in our children. In addition, we are encouraged by a commitment to higher education, and we want to be sure that our two HBCUs – Cheyney University and Lincoln University - receive the same Read more

Bullock Comments on The State of Black Pa.

(Feb 28, 2023)

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus Chairwoman Donna Bullock endorses a report on the State of Black Pennsylvania. The report was compiled by state Sen. Art Haywood’s office and provides data on many issues affecting Black and brown people living in the Commonwealth. Bullock says data from this study will play a critical role in developing policies that provide equity and justice to all Pennsylvanians. Read more