PLBC condemns book bans at start of national Banned Books Week

(Sep 27, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – State Rep. and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila., was joined by members of the PLBC, LGBTQ+ Caucus, Latino Caucus and Equity Committee today to denounce the banning of books on diversity from schools in the commonwealth. This action was spurred in part by the overturning of a year-long book freeze in a York County school district and the new push by Republican state lawmakers to ban critical race theory, which is not taught in any district in the state currently. Two students who led the protest on the book freeze in Central York School District, Edha Gupta and Christina Ellis, spoke at the news conference. “Banning books on diversity is the direct result of this Republican manufactured crisis on critical race theory,” Bullock said. “This fearmongering has parents and school districts scrambling to stop something that doesn’t exist. Part of the negative effect of this overreaching response is children are kept from reading books that reflect their diverse school community and world around them. “If we continue to allow groups to pedal this misinformation, this ban will only be the tip of the iceberg. We owe our children more than that and we are calling out districts that minimize or restrict information through book bans or perpetuate this made-up crisis that is merely a political platform.” Pennsylvania is one of a growing list of states trying to enact a CRT ban, Read more

 

Bullock, Kinsey introduce bill for health equity

(Sep 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 3 – State Reps. Donna Bullock and Stephen Kinsey, both D-Phila., have introduced a bill that would formally establish the Office of Health Equity in state statute to ensure that Pennsylvania’s current commitment to equitable health care for every resident continues. “Health care is a basic human right,” Bullock said. “This fundamental truth is acknowledged by the World Health Organization and embraced by scores of nations – developed and lower-income countries alike – that have built health systems devoted to providing equal access to quality health care for all citizens. In order to establish an ongoing commitment to the health of all Pennsylvanians, regardless of income, Zip code, etc., this is a necessary step to oversight and advocacy in health care.” According to the Pennsylvania Office of Health Equity, health equity means that every resident can live a healthy life regardless of race, sex, location, education or income level. The office works to ensure all Pennsylvanians receive the care they need, regardless of any of the social or economic factors listed above. “This last year has made abundantly clear that our health system discriminates against marginalized people and populations without access to care,” Kinsey said. “As this catastrophic episode in our history continues to claim the lives of the undervalued and underpaid, we can no longer ignore nor delay righting this Read more

 

Bullock, Hanbidge legislation to require masks for PA schools, daycare centers

(Aug 31, 2021)

According to the CDC, multiple studies have shown that transmission rates within school settings – when prevention strategies are in place – are typically lower than community transmission levels. Read more

 

Police, Labor Relations topic of public hearing hosted by Pa. Legislative Black Caucus Wednesday

(Aug 17, 2021)

Philadelphia, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Donna Bullock is convening a meeting of the House Democratic Policy Committee and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus to discuss the role of labor in police reforms. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 18 at Temple University, Fox Gittis Room, 1776 N. Broad St., Philadelphia . The Fox Gittis Room is located just off the Broad Street Lobby, Alumni Hall at the Liacouras Center. The media and public are encouraged to attend. Masks are required. Additional information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings is available at www.pahouse.com/policy . Read more

 

PLBC Spring-Summer 2021 newsletter

(Aug 12, 2021)

PLBC Spring-Summer 2021 newsletter featuring budgeting for racial justice and equity, promoting health and public safety and upcoming events. Read more

 

House Democratic Leaders blast social media troll for comparing Black lawmakers to rioters attacking the U.S. Capitol

(Jul 19, 2021)

House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Phila/Delaware, Whip Jordan Harris, D-Phila, and Legislative Black Caucus Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila., issued the following statement today after an elected official trolled social media for attention by comparing Black lawmakers to the insurrectionists who invaded the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Read more

 

PLBC touts $30 million for community violence prevention

(Jun 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – Today the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus touted the $30 million included in the state budget which will go toward community violence prevention including fighting gun violence, according to state Rep. and PLBC Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila. Earlier this year, Bullock along with state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Amen Brown, both D-Phila., introduced H.B. 696 which provided for a similar community violence grant program. State Sen. Art Haywood, D-Phila., introduced a companion bill in the Senate. “Gun violence is epidemic in scope but personal in nature,” Bullock said. “The families of loved ones who have lost their lives to gun violence have rallied with us and asked us as legislators to do something. This money is an investment to be used toward that next step in the work for which the PLBC has been laying the groundwork for years. This investment will finally help us move forward to begin investing in programs that we know will work and are led by people in our communities with boots on the ground.” “Countless Pennsylvanians are carrying the physical and mental trauma of gun violence, with many experiencing the devastating effects daily,” Cephas said. “The funding is available for our legislature to become intentional with quelling this public health crisis. As lawmakers, it is our moral obligation to protect residents across this state, and the budget must reflect that. Read more

 

PLBC condemns violent police arrests of teens in Ocean City, MD

(Jun 16, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 16 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and members of the PLBC this week strongly condemned the recent actions of Ocean City, MD police in arresting four Harrisburg teens over alleged vaping and other violations. “I watched the videos of these teens being arrested and saw how quickly things escalated,” Bullock said. “We must ask ourselves – how does a simple citation lead to police violence? How can we better train police to handle these situations? This incident is further proof why there needs to be police reform not just in the commonwealth, but across the nation. We are working on those reforms in Pennsylvania and would hope that other states are following in the same way. “The kind of local mandates and ordinances that led to this incident are similar to pretextual stops. The ordinances allow law enforcement to harass and find reasons to arrest when a simple citation or warning would have sufficed. Instead, we have teens being tased and physically assaulted by law enforcement. “These teens were not armed and to suggest these officers had a right to operate this way is absurd and needs to be addressed. This incident needs to be investigated and these officers need to be held accountable to the fullest extent.” Read more

 

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns Zappala actions

(Jun 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 4 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the PA Legislative Black Caucus, along with members of the PLBC today condemned the actions of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala to ban plea deals for clients of attorney Milton Raiford because Raiford said publicly he felt the DA’s office was systemically racist in dealing with defendants of color. In an email made public, Zappala ceased plea deals for anyone Raiford is or would be defending moving forward, pending a decision by him. “For the district attorney of any county to say the office will cease plea deals across the board for an attorney’s clients because that attorney has disagreed with the DA publicly is abuse of power, period,” Bullock said. “But in this particular case, a Black lawyer and his clients, many of them people of color, are being treated differently because the DA refuses to face the criticism of systemic racism in our criminal justice system. This is disgraceful, appalling, disturbing and unacceptable, and needs to be remedied immediately. A full investigation needs to be launched as well with the findings made public.” “Over the past several years, we have seen the systemic inequality and bias of the criminal justice system laid bare,” said state Rep. Austin Davis, chair of the House Allegheny County Delegation and a PLBC member. “This past week, we have seen just how local this issue truly is in the Read more

 

Bullock announces PLBC scholarship awardees

(Jun 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 3 – State Rep. and PLBC Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila., this week announced the awardees of the newly renamed James R. Roebuck Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus scholarship for 2021. A virtual award ceremony will take place at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 23. It can be viewed live on Facebook @PALegislativeBlackCaucus and pahouse.com/PLBC. The scholarship recipients are: Jaelynn Pearson, Philadelphia, Hill Freedman World Academy. Labiq Jaigirdar, Philadelphia, George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science. Deiveian Story, Philadelphia, The Workshop School and Community College of Philadelphia, dual enrollment program. Jasmine Vega, Philadelphia, Archbishop John Carroll High School. Abronah C. Taylor, Harrisburg, Kutztown University. Mephki Lopez, Philadelphia, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. Mya Hill, Philadelphia, Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School. Annechase Obame , Harrisburg, Central Dauphin East High School. Asia Blocker, Lansdowne, The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr. Norah Ostin, Pittsburgh, Oakland Catholic High School. Criteria for the $1,000 scholarships: A Pennsylvania resident. A person of color. A graduating high school senior or current undergrad at a college or university. Plan to enroll/return in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year. Attend the scholarship awards Read more

 

Bullock, Davis take a stand against solitary confinement for vulnerable populations

(Jun 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 3 — State Reps. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., and Tina Davis, D-Bucks, were joined by state Sen. John Kane, D-Delaware/Chester, at a news conference Wednesday at Eastern State Penitentiary supporting legislation that would prohibit solitary confinement for vulnerable populations. There are over 47,000 inmates in Pennsylvania’s corrections system. One method of discipline is solitary confinement in which inmates are deprived of normal human interaction and any form of intellectual stimulation, such as reading materials. Solitary confinement has been found to induce hallucinations, depression, anxiety, and paranoia, and its impact can be devastating on inmates’ long-term psychological and emotional well-being. House Bill 1037 would prohibit using solitary confinement on: pregnant or postpartum women. women who have recently suffered a miscarriage or terminated a pregnancy. LGBTQ individuals. inmates with certain mental, intellectual, or developmental disabilities. inmates 21 and younger or 55 and older. The bill would also prohibit the use of restraint chairs, chemical agents, and shackles, as well as put an absolute cap on the use of solitary confinement for all inmates at 15 days. “Solitary confinement started at Eastern State Penitentiary in 1829 as an experiment in rehabilitation and prison reform thought to bring out the best in people,” Bullock said. “Instead, the isolation caused extreme mental Read more

 

Preservation projects in 195th District awarded more than $500,000 in state grants

(May 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 26 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., announced more than $500,000 in Commonwealth Financing Authority grants awarded to projects in the 195 th Legislative District. “These projects are important to the district,” Bullock said. “The pandemic was catastrophic, but we cannot let it derail these important works being done to preserve history, architecture and culture in our communities. I’m thankful this administration has maintained a sense of importance with programs like CFA, even during the challenges of our economic recovery from the pandemic.” The projects include: $300,000 for Coltrane House Project. The Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation will use the Blight Remediation Program funds to restore the currently blighted Coltrane House and its neighboring blighted properties which will expand the footprint of the Coltrane House to lead to the creation of the John Coltrane Museum and Cultural Arts Center. $100,000 for Dox Tharsh House. Beech Interplex Inc. will use the Blight Remediation Program funds to rehabilitate a blighted structure that is currently a 3-story brick façade wall and a partial side-bearing wall with internal wood bracing to support the structure that is known as the Dox Trash House. Exterior improvements will be completed to ensure historical accuracy, to establish the Read more

 

We’ve lived the pain of separation from incarcerated loved ones. Pa. can do better for families.

(May 25, 2021)

Reps. Donna Bullock and Rick Krajewski discuss the topic of visitation and communication with incarcerated parents, including their personal perspectives as people who grew up with an incarcerated parent. Read more

 

PA Legislative Black Caucus statement on anniversary of George Floyd's death

(May 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – On the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer and convicted murderer Derek Chauvin, the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released a statement on the state of race relations, police reform and the road ahead. “On this anniversary, let’s not say his name in vain,” said PLBC Chair state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “Let not our calls for accountability and justice be used to inflate budgets but rather, let our calls for substantive police reform be heard and included in discussions, not diluted, ignored and waived off. We marched, we prayed, we demanded, and we saw some change. Yet, we still have work to do.” “George Floyd should be alive today, but instead, he joins the long list of Black people who were targets of police violence,” said House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “We have the power to enact real change within policing across Pennsylvania. We must hold bad actors accountable, end systemic racism and save lives.” “One year after the murder of George Floyd, our country and state have much more to do to increase police accountability and professionalism,” said state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny. “The work of our advocates, community members and families of those killed has pushed the legislative process to the point that we are today, and now, we as members of the Read more

 

Bullock condemns misleading mailings to Black and Brown communities

(May 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 7 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chair and state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., released a statement regarding the upcoming ballot questions that will be posed to voters May 18 as a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly in two consecutive sessions. “Since the pandemic began special interest groups funded by out-of-state billionaires have been spreading lies about COVID-19 and the governor’s effort to save lives. They hosted maskless rallies and demanded an end to mitigation efforts- spreading the virus, putting essential workers at risk, and making our recovery more challenging. “Now these same special interests are spending millions of dollars clogging mailboxes with misinformation about the upcoming ballot questions. They claim to be speaking for workers everywhere, but especially for workers of color. It’s outrageous, it’s appalling, and it’s insulting. These groups have spent years opposing every attempt to improve the lives of working people and now they’re trying to say supporting equality also means risking lives and destroying the existing checks and balances against any governor’s ability to declare a disaster. “There’s an old adage among attorneys: If the facts are on your side pound the facts, if the law is on your side pound the law, but, if you don’t have the facts or the law on your side then pound the table. These lie-filled mailers are Read more

 

PLBC outlines legislative agenda for systemic equity

(May 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 5 – State House members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and supporters today outlined their legislative agenda for systemic equity at a Capitol news conference. Members spoke about bills that would resolve bias, create diversity and provide inclusion, bridging the racial divide and inequities in legislation, state government agencies and health care. “This agenda is a road map for changing the way we deliver services, distribute resources and otherwise do business in the Commonwealth in all matters so that everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, gender, or Zip code, will have the same access and the same expectation as residents of Pennsylvania,” said PLBC Chair and state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “The inequities in health care, housing and employment that were exacerbated by the pandemic are not new. They are systemic and often rooted in generations of racism. To address these systemic inequities, we have to remove stigmas, address implicit bias, and invest in systemic equity in ways that provide fair and equitable access to wealth, health, safety and more. We cannot continue doing things as we’ve done in the past and expect the outcome to be different. I have said that before, it still holds true and will continue to be true until we make substantial changes. We won’t relent until we see these changes.” “I truly appreciate the leadership of PLCB Chairwoman Bullock to keep us Read more

 

PLBC responds to Chauvin guilty verdict

(Apr 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 21 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today called for continued action on policing and ending systemic racism after a jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three charges filed against him for the May 2020 murder of George Floyd. “The conviction of Derek Chauvin on all charges against him for the murder of George Floyd brings justice to George and his family, though my heart remains heavy,” said state Rep. Donna Bullock, chairwoman of the PLBC. “The more than nine and a half minutes Chauvin spent disregarding and taking the life of a Black man laid bare the truth of policing of Black and Brown people in America. “This heinous and very public crime against George Floyd at the hands and knee of Chauvin and the surrounding officers who did nothing to stop it was by no means an isolated incident of police brutality on people of color, but its raw and visible reality marked a point in our history where people who did not once see or believe, now see and believe. The verdict in this case gives me relief, but the families of Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, Adam Toledo and many others are still waiting on this kind of justice. We need to continue to work together to bring about the change the PLBC, our Police Reform Working Group and lawmakers across the nation have been working toward for years,” she said. PLBC Vice Chair Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, said Read more

 

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus holds budget information session with state Budget Secretary Jen Swails

(Mar 31, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 31 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chair Rep. Donna Bullock and PLBC Subcommittee Chair of Budget Equity Rep. Napoleon Nelson this week held a budget information and listening session with members of the PLBC and featured guest speaker state Budget Secretary Jen Swails. The discussion centered on state budget priorities for Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color communities across the commonwealth and concerns as well as suggestions for how the state budget could be fair and equitable. The PLBC plans to use the information from the listening session to formulate a response and requests for upcoming state budget negotiations. "We heard from business leaders, educators, advocates, and parents from communities of color across the commonwealth,” said Bullock, D-Phila. “We will use this information to inform our budget priorities as a caucus and advocate for equitable state investments in our communities. We can’t continue doing the same things when addressing the budget and expect a different outcome or result." "We do not take lightly the obligation to fight for the residents in our commonwealth who have known suffering, poverty and inequalities for generations,” said Nelson, D-Montgomery. “Leaders from these many communities came together to speak to their needs and seek our support. We have heard their call, and we will respond. The Legislative Black Caucus Subcommittee on Budget Equity will Read more

 

PLBC Chair Bullock, Rep. Kim joint statement on AAPI violence, racist attacks

(Mar 18, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and state Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, a member of the PLBC and an Asian American, are speaking out against the recent violence against Asian Americans and the uptick in harassment toward the AAPI community in light of the attack in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 16. “This week, we saw another attack on people of color at a time when our country is still reeling from a global pandemic and overt racist acts and violence,” Bullock said. “For weeks, the AAPI community has reported a rise in hate crimes against their loved ones and small businesses. Their calls for action were ignored by many; their voices silenced in discussions about racism in this country. We in the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus want our brothers and sisters in AAPI communities to know we stand with you, beside you and support you in every way possible. We recognize this attack on Tuesday, March 16 for what it is: a hateful, racist attack on Asian Americans and, in particular, on women of color. As legislators, we must do everything in our power to protect these communities of color and stand in solidarity with them at this time.” “Asian-American communities are vitally important, and we want to make sure that all of our neighbors in these communities feel safe and supported,” Kim said. “The worst thing we can do is nothing. I plan to work with Read more

 

Shusterman, O’Mara, Bullock and Davis hosting virtual press conference on Equal Pay Day

(Mar 17, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 17 -- State Reps. Melissa Shusterman, Jennifer O’Mara, Donna Bullock and Tina Davis will host a virtual news conference to discuss the gender wage gap and their legislation to help close it on Equal Pay Day, March 24. The public may livestream the event at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 24 by visiting PAHouse.com . “We’re going to talk about pay inequality on March 24 because this day marks how far into the year the average woman must work to earn what the average man earns in the previous year, regardless of experience or job type,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “Equal Pay Day should be January 1 for everybody. Pay disparities among women, especially women of color whose Equal Pay Day does not come until later in the year, cause them to annually miss out on tens of thousands of dollars. It is long overdue that we close the gender wage gap.” “On average, a woman who works full-time in Pennsylvania earns 20% less than our commonwealth’s working men,” said O’Mara, D-Delaware. “It’s time that we discuss what contributes to this wage gap and how we can close it so Pennsylvania women can better support themselves and their families. Our commonwealth has not updated its equal pay law in half a century, so this is a topic we desperately need to revisit to ensure that working women are protected.” “I know women who were paid less than men while performing the same Read more

 

PLBC condemns book bans at start of national Banned Books Week
Sep 27, 2021

Bullock, Kinsey introduce bill for health equity
Sep 03, 2021

Bullock, Hanbidge legislation to require masks for PA schools, daycare centers
Aug 31, 2021

Police, Labor Relations topic of public hearing hosted by Pa. Legislative Black Caucus Wednesday
Aug 17, 2021

PLBC Spring-Summer 2021 newsletter
Aug 12, 2021

House Democratic Leaders blast social media troll for comparing Black lawmakers to rioters attacking the U.S. Capitol
Jul 19, 2021

PLBC touts $30 million for community violence prevention
Jun 25, 2021

PLBC condemns violent police arrests of teens in Ocean City, MD
Jun 16, 2021

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns Zappala actions
Jun 04, 2021

Bullock announces PLBC scholarship awardees
Jun 03, 2021

Bullock, Davis take a stand against solitary confinement for vulnerable populations
Jun 03, 2021

Preservation projects in 195th District awarded more than $500,000 in state grants
May 26, 2021

We’ve lived the pain of separation from incarcerated loved ones. Pa. can do better for families.
May 25, 2021

PA Legislative Black Caucus statement on anniversary of George Floyd's death
May 25, 2021

Bullock condemns misleading mailings to Black and Brown communities
May 07, 2021

PLBC outlines legislative agenda for systemic equity
May 05, 2021

PLBC responds to Chauvin guilty verdict
Apr 21, 2021

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus holds budget information session with state Budget Secretary Jen Swails
Mar 31, 2021

PLBC Chair Bullock, Rep. Kim joint statement on AAPI violence, racist attacks
Mar 18, 2021

Shusterman, O’Mara, Bullock and Davis hosting virtual press conference on Equal Pay Day
Mar 17, 2021