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Rep. Kinsey applauds Gov. Wolf’s prompt response to COVID-19

(Mar 13, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 13; State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration for their prompt and proactive response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "This public health crisis is a trying time for our community, our commonwealth and our nation. Today, I applaud Governor Wolf, our Department of Health and the entire administration for their bold and sensible approach to this developing situation," Kinsey said. "I encourage everyone to heed the advice of the CDC and our state's health professionals, follow safe and healthy hygienic procedures and support each other while we deal with the coronavirus and implement necessary safety and security measures." Earlier today, Wolf announced the closure of Pennsylvania K-12 schools and has taken other actions aimed at safeguarding public health across the commonwealth. For the most recent news and updates on COVID-19 and the administration's decisions, please visit http://health.pa.gov/ . Read more

Kinsey hosts first public safety listening tour series, announces upcoming tour for youth

(Mar 05, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 5 - - Seeking the public’s ideas on curbing gun violence in communities across Northwest Philadelphia, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, hosted a public safety listening event on Feb. 18 at The First Presbyterian Church. “From our neighbors and law enforcement, to local leaders and organizations, we must all be part of the conversation in putting an end to this crisis,” Kinsey said. “The first listening tour is just the beginning and was a great success. We must now take the concerns and ideas we heard to help create solutions.” Residents across Northwest Philadelphia gave their insight and experiences on their bouts with gun violence and how to combat it to a panel consisting of Philadelphia Police Capt. Nicholas Smith of the 14 th District; Chantay Love, founder and program director, Every Murder Is Real; Rochelle Curbreath, manager of legislative affairs, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority; state police Lt. Robert Bailey; and Kinsey’s Northwest Philadelphia House colleagues Reps. Chris Rabb and Isabella Fitzgerald of the 200 th and 202 nd legislative districts, respectively. Kinsey’s public safety listening tour is part of the first installment of his newly launched anti-gun violence campaign -- Step Up, Stand Up -- an initiative to tackle the root causes of gun violence through community cohesion between residents, city, state and federal elected officials, cooperation with law Read more

PLBC: Federal anti-lynching law 100 years overdue, but not too late

(Mar 04, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 4 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with its members, today issued a statement following the passage of the Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act in the U.S. House, a bill that carries the namesake of 14-year-old Emmett Till, an African-American boy who was brutally lynched by a white mob after being falsely accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi: “I, along with members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, applaud last week’s passage of the Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act to finally make this barbaric behavior a crime under federal law,” Kinsey said. “It’s been too many years -- 120 years to be exact -- and countless lives overdue, but hardly too late. This gruesome act of domestic terrorism has been used to instill fear and maintain white supremacy across our country, including here in Pennsylvania. It’s the ultimate consequence African-Americans suffered for daring to assert their humanity and exercise their right to live in a society that cast them as subhuman and only worthy of servitude. Sadly, many African-Americans are still reeling from the trauma of stories of their loved ones and neighbors being lynched. We must recognize that young Emmett Till’s murder was not that long ago and there have been many others in recent years.” The legislation passed 410-4. The dissenters were 3 Republicans and 1 Read more

Kinsey, PLBC, Philadelphia members honor first African-American woman House Democratic Caucus secretary

(Feb 28, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28 – In celebration of Black History Month, Pennsylvania trailblazer state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., was recognized today for her 26 years of service to the commonwealth at Philadelphia City Hall. “I am truly humbled by this honor, and I am so grateful for the constant support of my colleagues,” Youngblood said.” And to my constituents in the 198th – I am grateful to have been afforded the privilege of being your state representative for the past 26 years.” The recognition efforts were spearheaded by members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, led by Chairman Rep. Stephen Kinsey, along with the Philadelphia House Delegation led by Chairman Rep. Jason Dawkins, and Rep. Angel Cruz, all D-Phila. “Representative Youngblood dedicated her life to being a fighter and champion for her community and residents across the commonwealth,” Kinsey said. “A living legend, she has made fierce strides toward creating an equitable commonwealth and has paved the way for women and African-Americans by being the first African-American woman to hold a leadership position in the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s history.” Dawkins also thanked Youngblood for her years of public service and expressed how she was a pioneer in ensuring the possibility for others to also serve in a leadership capacity in state government. “I’m proud to be part of Read more

Rep. Kinsey, Gov. Wolf discuss combatting gun violence in Northwest Philadelphia

(Feb 28, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., along with c ommunity leaders, advocates, and students hosted Gov. Tom Wolf on a visit to the 201 st Legislative District at Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice to discuss tackling local gun violence and called on the General Assembly to help secure the $6 million in funding measures for gun violence prevention across Philadelphia outlined in Wolf’s 2020-21 budget proposal . “I’m extremely pleased and support Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal to keep Pennsylvanians safe. Gun violence has become a public health crisis, cutting short the lives of too many people across our commonwealth, especially here in Philadelphia,” Kinsey said. “Governor Wolf recognizes this and has stepped up to the plate with plans. We’re now demanding the state legislature does its part on solidifying this proposal to increase funding thus giving us additional resources that will assist us in battling this threat to the health, safety and welfare of the people of Pennsylvania.” Kinsey also acknowledged the need for grassroots community mobilization in quelling local gun violence and spoke about his public listening tour—Step Up, Stand Up—an anti-gun violence prevention public listening tour. “I recently launched Step Up, Stand Up to reduce—and hopefully end—gun violence across our local communities. I hosted the Read more

Rep. Kinsey to welcome Gov. Wolf to Northwest Philadelphia Friday

(Feb 27, 2020)

Rep. Kinsey to welcome Gov. Wolf to Northwest Philadelphia Friday PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 27 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., will host Gov. Tom Wolf on a tour of the 201 st Legislative District to discuss funding measures for gun violence prevention. The event will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 with Parkway Northwest High School, 6200 Crittenden St., 19138 , as the starting location. Wolf’s visit is part of Kinsey’s recently unveiled initiative, Step Up, Stand Up, to combat gun violence across Northwest Philadelphia. Wolf gave his budget address earlier this month, in which he proposed allocating $6 million across the commonwealth and $4 million in Philadelphia for anti-gun violence efforts. Kinsey, chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and PLBC members, led efforts to lobby for the funding. The media is invited to attend. Read more

Kinsey, PLBC celebrate Pa. trailblazers for Black History Month 2020

(Feb 27, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 27 – In celebration of Black History Month 2020, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, hosted a panel discussion Saturday at Martin Luther King High School in Germantown featuring six distinguished influencers of color from across the commonwealth who shared their sacrifices and achievements in being the first to shatter the glass ceiling in their professions. In light of the upcoming elections and the 150 th anniversary of the passage of the 15 th Amendment, the panel also noted the importance of the national theme for Black History Month 2020, African Americans and the Vote. “We’ve blended the PLBC’s theme and the national Black History Month theme to both showcase our contemporary trailblazers who have made history in our Commonwealth and instill the importance of voting, especially in this critical year for our democracy,” Kinsey said, “Thank you to our panelists and moderator for providing this informative discussion.” Joining Kinsey in facilitating the event were PLBC members Reps. Jordan Harris, Democratic whip, Dan K. Williams, Carol Hill-Evans, Isabella Fitzgerald, Malcolm Kenyatta, PLBC associate member Rep. Maria Donatucci, and House colleague Rep. Joe Webster. The panelists included former Philadelphia Mayor W. Wilson Goode Sr., Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal, Superior Court Judge Carolyn Nichols, Philadelphia Read more

PLBC unveils statewide anti-gun violence measures

(Feb 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today announced the caucus’ comprehensive measures to reducing gun violence statewide. The first was the appointments of Reps. Edward C. Gainey, D-Allegheny, and Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, as chairs of the caucus’ anti-gun violence subcommittee, who began their tenure immediately. “In the fight to eradicate gun violence in their own communities and across our commonwealth, Representatives Kirkland and Gainey have always been on the frontlines,” Kinsey said. “Both lawmakers serve with me on the PA Safe Caucus and both respectively lend a set of skills and perspectives on how we can move forward with ensuring all communities are safe.” Gainey, who is serving in his fourth term representing the 24 th Legislative District, lost his sister to gun violence after she rejected a man’s advances. He also recently introduced legislation, H.B. 307, that would ban the possession, purchase, transfer and use or manufacture of assault weapons. “My sister’s life was tragically cut short for simply standing her ground and telling a man no. Her memory guides me in ensuring no other woman or person is innocently gunned down for their right to live,” he said. “As legislators, it is our duty to protect and serve our constituents through the creation of comprehensive laws and initiatives. Read more

PLBC urges Judicial Conduct Review Board to investigate Allegheny County judge

(Feb 12, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – Following Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Mark Tranquilli being reassigned on Tuesday to summary appeals after allegedly calling a Black female juror “Aunt Jemima” and making other racist remarks toward her, members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus are now urging the Judicial Conduct Review Board to investigate. Leading the effort are PLBC members representing Allegheny County, who condemned Tranquilli’s comments as another manifestation of a broken criminal justice system that systemically targets black and brown people. “The alleged comments made by Judge Mark Tranquilli are alarming on multiple fronts,” said state Rep. Austin Davis, who represents the 35 th Legislative District in Allegheny County. “On one hand we have an individual tasked with upholding the law to the highest extent but who clearly harbors bias and judgment toward defendants before a verdict is even reached. On the other hand, we have a judge who harbors an even stronger bias toward people of color, both of which are a recipe for disaster and an injustice to our community. I’m calling on the Judicial Conduct Review Board to do a thorough investigation into this matter.” State Rep. Edward C. Gainey, who represents the 24 th Legislative District, also in Allegheny County, echoed similar sentiments. “Our society is based on the belief that justice is blind – that regardless of race, color Read more

McClinton, Kinsey to introduce legislation to increase opportunities for pardons in Pennsylvania

(Feb 06, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced that she and Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., will soon introduce legislation to increase pardon opportunities for individuals currently serving a sentence of life in prison. House Bill 2262 would do away with the requirement for a unanimous vote by the state Board of Pardons, and instead, replace it with a required simple majority vote. This vote is needed in order to recommend a pardon or commutation of a sentence to the governor for final approval. “Criminal justice reform is front and center on the minds of legislators in Harrisburg and people all across the commonwealth,” McClinton said. “One way we can truly seek reform is to offer hope to persons who have served decades in prison and no longer pose a threat to their communities. By lowering the threshold to a three-fifths vote of the pardons board to recommend pardon or commutation to the governor, Pennsylvania can show that it is truly leading by example when it comes to reforming our criminal justice system.” “In 1995, the Pennsylvania Constitution was amended to require a unanimous vote by the pardons board. I believe we’ve come a long way in understanding that we must do more in order to provide true opportunities for rehabilitated offenders to be pardoned or have their sentences commuted,” Kinsey said. “Ultimately, the final decision will still lay with Read more