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PLBC Spring-Summer 2021 newsletter

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PA’s Part in the Underground Railroad

(Sep 22, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Donna Bullock, chair of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus, is proud to recognize Underground Railroad Month in Pa. She says that we must never forget the stories of Black folks who were enslaved, and the stories of those who risked their lives to end slavery and free others. She's celebrating the contributions of Black Americans in our democracy and encourages others to take a moment to learn more about how Pa. played a part in the Underground Railroad. Read more

Bullock, PLBC rally for equal pay for Black women

(Sep 21, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus were joined by women’s groups and advocates at a state Capitol rally to call for an end to the wage gap for Black women. PLBC Chairwoman Donna Bullock said Black women make 58 cents on the dollar compared to their white male counterparts and that Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which is recognized every year, has moved to later in the year for 2022. The day coincides with the amount of time it takes Black women, working full time, year round, to ‘catch up’ to a white man’s salary from the previous year. “We are just now reaching the same pay that white men made last year because the wage gap got wider,” Bullock said. “It took us longer to get to this point this year. We are a little over three months from the end of this year. We’re moving backward. That is unacceptable and its far from equal. Regardless of education, experience or even geographic location, Black women continue to lag behind on the pay scale.” Bullock said the wage gap has widened significantly, as the difference in pay in 2021 was 63 cents on the dollar. “Throughout the course of a 40-year career, Black women are behind nearly $1 million,” Bullock said. “That is simply unconscionable and we won’t stand for it.” “In order to get by this institutional racism in every workplace, we need to stand up and say Read more

Bullock: Black Women Deserve Equal Pay

(Sep 21, 2022)

Recognizing the unfortunate truth that a Black woman would have to work about nine months into the next year to earn an equivalent salary to her white male counterpart, Chairwoman of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus Rep. Donna Bullock rallied support for the cause at the state Capitol. Bullock says this year marks the first time since Black Women’s Equal Pay day has been reported, that the pay gap widened. Read more

PLBC statement on DelRosso House chamber remarks

(Sep 21, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released the following statement on comments made by state Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso in the House chamber today: “Today is a very significant day in the lives of Black women. It is a day when we recognize the disparity and inequity of salaries for Black women compared to white males, and how those inequities impact their families, their communities and our commonwealth, as a whole. “To state Representative Carrie Lewis DelRosso: your insensitive comments about providing ‘your help’ to get our House Leader Joanna McClinton elected to this very prestigious position were disrespectful and tone deaf. Leader McClinton is the first woman leader of the Democratic Caucus. But even more significant, she is the first BLACK woman leader elected to this position in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. “To insinuate that you had anything to do with her rise to the position of leader is beyond ludicrous and is a total disregard for everything that Black women have had to work for – twice as hard -- as our white counterparts. Leader McClinton brings hard work, determination, education and her life experiences to the position, and your arrogance to try and minimize this accomplishment for whatever reason is appalling. “There was no place for that conversation today or ever. To use a Black woman’s success to promote yourself is disingenuous and disrespectful.” Read more

Kinsey, Bullock introduce legislation to address sickle cell disease

(Sep 21, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chair Donna Bullock, both D-Phila., have introduced a resolution to promote greater access and research for sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that predominately affects African Americans. The disease produces abnormal red blood cell shapes (i.e. crescent or “sickle”) that cause red blood cells to become hard, sticky, and die at an earlier rate than normal red blood cells. This can lead to serious complications among individuals, such as anemia, infections, strokes and more. There have been new therapies to address sickle cell that have greatly improved in recent years, but Kinsey said he wants it to be more accessible to low-income individuals. “We need to ensure that folks with sickle cell have access to address their medical needs, and it starts with having them covered by Medicaid and Medicare programs,” Kinsey said. “This disease has affected many Black folks for far too long, and we must make sure that they do not face any barriers when it comes to addressing this disease.” This resolution would call on federal policymakers to ensure that individuals have access to all medications and forms of treatment, as well as ensure that any new therapies are covered by Medicare and Medicaid programs. Additionally, this resolution would designate the state Department of Health to conduct a Read more

PLBC meets with NAAGA and Second Amendment Caucus on gun issues

(Sep 20, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 20 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus met with the National African American Gun Association and the House Second Amendment Caucus to discuss gun issues in the commonwealth, according to PLBC Chair Donna Bullock. “In order to get something done on gun crime and violence, we need to talk to every stakeholder,” said Bullock, D-Phila. “Though we may disagree on some policy issues, it doesn’t mean we can’t talk about the gun violence that is plaguing the commonwealth and where we can find common ground to make a difference. “Black gun owners are uniquely positioned to discuss public safety and gun violence prevention while protecting the rights of legal, responsible gun owners.” The National African American Gun Association was founded “to expose, educate, and motivate as many African American men and women to go out and purchase a firearm for self-defense and to take training on proper gun use.” It’s launch date was Feb. 28, 2015, in honor of Black History Month. Read more

Bullock: Marginalized Communities Most Impacted by Climate Change

(Sep 20, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Donna Bullock, chairwoman of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus, has seen Black, brown, low income, and vulnerable communities endure the brunt of polluters, the climate crisis and its impacts. She says that now is the time to hold bad actors accountable and address environmental justice by giving these same communities input and a voice. Read more

Climate Caucus members call on the legislature to act during Climate Action Week

(Sep 20, 2022)

“Climate action requires us to prioritize environmental justice,” said state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “Much of the climate crisis is rooted in environmental racism, and to correct that we have to be intentional about reducing air pollution, building climate resilience and giving voice to vulnerable communities.” Read more

Bullock: Want a Better Pennsylvania? Listen to Black Pennsylvanians

(Sep 14, 2022)

Seeking a better Pennsylvania for all of the commonwealth’s residents is what public service is all about for me. I’ve spent the better part of my adult life seeking ‘what is better’ for my community in many different capacities. And after serving a term as the chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus (PLBC), here is what I know: listening to and investing in Black Pennsylvanians will pay major dividends – boosting both the commonwealth’s economy and social justice efforts. In August, the PLBC took to the road – to the city of Erie – to attend a series of conversations, policy hearings and listening sessions with Black business owners, clergy, elected officials and community leaders. It was meaningful to both the legislators and Black residents of Erie. A little history. In 2017, Erie was named the worst city in the country for Black Americans to live. 47% of the Black population lived in poverty, and there were other health and socioeconomic disparities. There was outcry from Erie’s Black community. For some, the report only confirmed what they already knew. Fast forward to September 2021, Erie County declared racism a public health crisis and established the Erie County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission. Now known as Diverse Erie, the commission has been working to advance homeownership, entrepreneurship, and more among Erie’s Black residents. They are recruiting Black educators and Read more

Policy hearing focuses on youth violence intervention and prevention

(Aug 23, 2022)

The House Democratic Policy Committee convened a hearing Tuesday morning with the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus to discuss methods of youth violence intervention and prevention. Read more