Dawkins Announces New Plan to Put Philly First

(Jan 17, 2019)

As chairman of the Philadelphia House Delegation, Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins joined his Democratic colleagues to unveil a new comprehensive plan that tackles the issues facing Philadelphia and creates solutions that puts their communities first. Read more


Philadelphia Delegation announces its legislative platform for 2019-20

(Jan 16, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 16 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, chairman of the Philadelphia House Delegation, along with delegation members today announced their legislative agenda during a news conference at the state Capitol. The delegation said its top priorities for working toward a better Philadelphia include investing in education and schools, criminal justice reform, health care for all, strengthening commercial coordinators, and alternative energy methods. "We are joining forces to work as one unit for the betterment of all Philadelphians, and that begins with fighting for what our constituents need the most,” Dawkins said. "We are also focused on making sure that everyone gets a fair shot and equal treatment." “Last session we worked in bipartisan fashion to get clean slate legislation signed into law and bring real criminal justice reform to those who need it,” said Rep. Jordan Harris, the Democratic Whip. “Now, we must continue fighting for further reform to reduce recidivism and allow Pennsylvanians who have paid their debit to society to pursue a productive path to citizenry.” “For too long our criminal justice system has been an injustice system for the mentally ill, the poor, and people of color,” said Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta. “While we’ve made progress, our prisons remain overcrowded, inmates mistreated, and mental health problems ignored. I stand with my Philadelphia colleagues to address Read more


Dawkins to host weatherization events

(Jan 07, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 7 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., announced he will host three weatherization events to inform constituents how they can keep their homes warm and save money this winter. The three events will be held: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 at the 2nd Baptist Church, 1801 Meadow St., 19124. 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 at Houseman Recreation Center, 5901 Summerdale Ave., 19124. 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28 at Ziehler Recreation Center, 100 E. Olney Ave., 19120. Dawkins said experts will be on-hand to provide information and resources for people to prepare their homes for the cold months ahead. “There are many people in our community who struggle to make ends meet, and it can be more difficult in the winter when paying heating bills,” Dawkins said. “I want to ensure everyone has the information that can help keep their families warm and save money at the same time.” For more information, constituents can call Dawkins’ constituent service office at (215) 744-7901. Read more


PLBC statement on Mummer’s Parade

(Jan 03, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 3 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released the following statements after seeing reports of racist behavior at the Mummer’s Parade: “The issue we are seeing here is a history of controversial characters and portrayals,” said state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, chairman of the PLBC. “The actions of those involved was intended as a form of comedy, but many viewers on the outside of the event believe it was in poor taste. We want to work on educating the public about how these actions can affect those around them, and how we might be able to better work for the future by working together on this parade as a whole community. The PLBC will continue our fight against acts of racism and fight for non-discriminatory legislation that updates the laws to help combat racism and racist behavior. Even if we cannot defeat it altogether, we should have better laws in place to discourage hateful practices and better educate the public.” “It doesn’t matter if it’s blackface or a black face, racial insensitivity has no place in Philadelphia,” said state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., former chairman of the PLBC and House Democratic Whip. “Sadly, this Parade has a tradition of racial insensitivity at best and racism at worst. It’s high time the sponsors and all others involved take a deliberate look at the messages being put forth by the parade. I look forward to joining other Read more


Dawkins takes oath of office for start of 2019-20 session

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins today was sworn in to office to represent the 179 th Legislative District during a ceremony that ushered in the 2019-20 legislative session at the Pennsylvania Capitol. “I am excited and honored to continue to serve my community and district as its state representative,” Dawkins said. “I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to continue our efforts to make Pennsylvania a safe place to live, work and raise a family, including efforts to reform our state’s criminal justice system, promote workforce development and further education opportunities for all.” Dawkins was re-elected to his third term in office Nov. 6. He was recently elected as chairman of the Philadelphia County Delegation and is a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. Dawkins is a member of the PA SAFE Caucus, a group of legislators dedicated to reducing all types of violence in society through adequate mental health services funding, enforcing existing and creating stronger tools for law enforcement, and resources to deal with the effects of addiction and illegal drug trade, and solutions to reduce gun violence and promote public safety. The 179 th Legislative District stretches throughout lower northeast Philadelphia and comprises the neighborhoods of Frankford, Wissinoming, Mayfair, Olney and Oxford Circle. The district office telephone number is 215-744-7902. Read more


Philadelphia Delegation lauds passage of Federal First Step Act

(Dec 19, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 19 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation in the House of Representatives, applauded the passage of “First Step Act,” which is designed to reform the criminal justice system and ease punitive prison sentences at the federal level. “The First Step Act will change criminal justice reform in the United States as we know it. Even though there is lot more to accomplish when it comes to criminal justice reform, this is definitely a step in the right direction,” Dawkins said. “This legislation was long overdue – for too long we have only been tough on crime. It is past time to take a step back and reevaluate what works better for our communities, our states and the nation. “I’m glad to see action on mandatory minimums. As we all know they drive up the cost of the system by imposing longer prison terms on more offenders, in many cases nonviolent offenders, and they provide little enhancement to public safety. “Pennsylvania took the lead on criminal justice reform in the nation, when we passed the Clean Slate legislation and we’re eager to see more change happen across the country.” The U.S Senate passed the “First Step Act” (87-12) last night. The House is expected to take up the Senate version of the bill at a later date. The House passed a similar version of the bill back in May by a wide margin, 360-59. Read more


Democratic lawmakers select Dawkins to lead Philadelphia Delegation in Pa. House

(Nov 14, 2018)

Democratic lawmakers select Dawkins to lead Philadelphia Delegation in Pa. House HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., will serve as chairman of the Philadelphia County Delegation for the 2019-20 legislative session. Democratic lawmakers of the delegation selected Dawkins during leadership elections on Tuesday. Dawkins said the leadership team is filled out by state Rep.-elect Malcolm Kenyatta, who will serve as vice chairman, and state Rep.-elect Elizabeth Fiedler as treasurer and secretary. “This new slate of leadership represents the direction of Philadelphia as a whole – inclusion, diversity, and progressive values,” Dawkins said. “I look forward to continuing my role as a leader and member of the delegation to move Philadelphia forward.” The Philadelphia delegation has been successful in pushing for legislation to address “stop-and-go” nuisance market areas, state funding for gun violence reduction, police-community relations, and getting more funding for school safety, business development and transportation grants within the Philadelphia area. “I grew up in Philadelphia, and I will continue to work tirelessly to make sure Philadelphians know they are taken care of,” Dawkins said. “By working together toward a common goal, we can ensure that Philadelphia remains an economic powerhouse for Pennsylvania.” For the last two years, Dawkins served as the delegation’s vice Read more


Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Nov 01, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us . Read more


Senior prescription program expanded to help more people

(Oct 23, 2018)

I voted for legislation that would allow more senior citizens in Philadelphia and across the state pay for their prescription medication. Putting people first and focusing on health care is part of the House Democrats' Plan for Pennsylvania. Read more


Dawkins announces school safety grant for Mastery Charter School

(Oct 04, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today announced Mastery Charter School’s Smedley Campus has been awarded a $8,506 Safe Schools Targeted grant. It is among the $8.4 million in grants being distributed across the commonwealth. Dawkins said the school will use the funding to establish and implement programs to prevent and reduce violence. “Children and their parents should never have to fear whether or not they will return home from school,” Dawkins said. “Schools are for learning, succeeding and growing. These grants will help provide a safe and healthy environment for our children to learn, and teachers to teach.” Dawkins added the School District of Philadelphia will receive a $25,000 grant toward security-related equipment, including student, staff and visitor identification systems; metal detectors; protective lighting; surveillance equipment; special emergency communications equipment; electronic locksets; deadbolts and theft control devices; and training in the use of the security-related technology. The Safe Schools Targeted Grant program, awarded through the Pennsylvania Department of Education, assists schools in promoting an environment of productivity, safety and learning, as well as highlighting and promoting antiviolence efforts between schools, parents, and law enforcement and officials. For a list of awardees and their award amounts, visit the PDE’s website . This program is separate Read more


House passes bill protecting domestic abuse victims from gun violence

(Sep 26, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., applauded the passage of H.B. 2060, which is designed to strengthen the Protection from Abuse Act and convictions of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence that require relinquishment of firearms. “This bill will help protect victims who need it most,” Dawkins said. “Allowing abusers to have so much time to turn in their firearms only puts victims at more risk of harm. We need to shorten that window.” H.B. 2060 would require court-ordered abusers to surrender their guns within 48 hours in protection-from-abuse cases, rather than the current period of 60 days. The defendant would also be prohibited from turning over their weapons to a family member or friend and instead would be required to relinquish them to a proper holder such as law enforcement, an authorized gun dealer or an attorney. H.B. 2060 now moves to the Senate for consideration. Rep. Dawkins also previously introduced H.B. 2097, which similarly offers protection to domestic abuse victims by proposing a statewide notification system to alert victims and law enforcement when abusers purchase firearms Read more


Rabb, Dawkins secure $1 million for local library project

(Sep 06, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 6 – The Free Library of Philadelphia is receiving $1 million in state funding thanks, in part, to the efforts of state Reps. Chris Rabb and Jason Dawkins, both D-Phila. Gov. Tom Wolf authorized the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant for the 21 st Century Libraries Initiative involving the Frankford, West Oak Lane and Parkway Central locations in the city. The funding will go towards revamping the three buildings with new and expanded services, technology upgrades and structural improvements, including new furniture, roofs, and windows. “Our students rely heavily on libraries as educational resources that assist them with homework assignments and help expand their learning capabilities,” Rabb said. “I want to commend Governor Wolf for sharing our commitment to our children’s future.” Dawkins said, “Libraries are critical information hubs as well as commonplaces for members of the community to interact. These upgrades will create new opportunities, which will help attract more people to the neighborhood and ultimately play a role in growing our local economy.” The project is estimated to cost about $37.2 million. The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. ### Read more


Dawkins to host annual Frankford Community Day

(Jul 24, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, July 24 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins has announced that he will host his annual Frankford Community Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Gambrel Playground, 1900 Wakeling St., 19124. “I am excited to host my annual community day in Frankford,” Dawkins said. “For the past three years, I have been able to bring my community together and provide them with various resources to meet their needs. Once again, I look forward to this year’s event, meeting my neighbors face-to-face, and addressing any issues they have.” Dawkins said the free event will feature food, live music and entertainment, and local vendors. Representatives from local and state agencies also will be available to provide information about a variety of social services. For more information, contact Dawkins’ constituent service office at 215-744-7901. Read more


Dawkins condemns Trump’s family-separation policy

(Jun 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 20 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., issued the following statement concerning President Trump’s immigration policies: “This administration’s immigration policy is shameful and disgraceful. There is no excuse for our nation to be willingly participating in such inhumane treatment of families who have come to our country seeking safety and asylum. “There has been pushback against this policy from both sides of the aisle. I am sure a bipartisan solution can certainly be found without cruelly tearing families apart. “I call the Trump administration to immediately terminate this policy, and for the reunification of all children and parents who have been separated thus far.” A resolution urging President Trump to reverse his zero tolerance family-separation immigration policy will be introduced in the state House in the upcoming days. Read more


Dawkins supports legislation to protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence

(Jun 19, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 19 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today voted in favor of H.B. 2060 , legislation that would strengthen the Protection from Abuse (PFA) Act and convictions of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence that require relinquishment of firearms by limiting the third-party safekeeping options available for firearms. “We’ve heard of far too many incidents of needless violence where perpetrators have used guns obtained from friends and family after a PFA order has been issued,” Dawkins said. “Prohibiting family and friends from taking weapons from the convicted individual and reducing the maximum time for relinquishment of firearms from 60 days to 48 hours are essential for victims of domestic violence when facing imminent threats from their abusers.” The legislation, voted out of the House Judiciary Committee today, is similar to Dawkins’ H.B. 2097 , which aims to create a statewide notification system to alert victims of domestic violence, the general public, and law enforcement agencies when a known domestic violence abuser attempts to purchase or transfer a gun at a licensed firearms dealer. “I’m glad to see more legislators who understand the importance of protecting victims of domestic violence by limiting their abuser’s ability to possess and procure firearms,” Dawkins said. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration. Read more


Dawkins, Stack to host Pathways to Pardons event June 13

(Jun 07, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, June 7 – Area residents interested in learning more about Pennsylvania’s pardons process are invited to attend a meeting Wednesday, June 13 hosted by Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., and Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mike Stack. The Pathways to Pardons meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Northeast Frankford Boys and Girls Club, 1709 Kinsey St., 19124. Dawkins said those in attendance can learn how the pardon process works in Pennsylvania and work toward a pardon for past convictions. “With this event we hope to become a resource for those in need of a second chance and a positive path in life. We can no longer deny opportunities for citizens to better themselves and support their families because of a minor conviction,” Dawkins said. The program will be interactive and questions from the audience will be welcome. For more information, contact Dawkins’ office at (215) 744-7901. Read more


Dawkins seeks immediate action on Olney Elementary asbestos hazard

(Jun 06, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, June 6 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today called for immediate action from the School District of Philadelphia on a report of a severe asbestos hazard at Olney Elementary School, and he wants the school closed until the hazard is addressed. In a letter to Superintendent Dr. William Hite, Dawkins said: "It is simply unacceptable for students and staff to be exposed to asbestos fibers at more than 100 times the minimum level required to raise alarm. We cannot have our youngest and most vulnerable children exposed to these hazards and threats." Dawkins' letter continued: "I demand to know why I, along with other elected officials throughout the city, have not been briefed on these conditions. Moving forward, the School District of Philadelphia must ensure that we are informed and armed with the information we need to keep our constituents safe and healthy – a full, districtwide report detailing hazardous conditions, such as lead, asbestos, and other toxic substances, found in the city’s schools is long overdue. "It is clear that action is needed immediately in the case of Olney Elementary. We must work now to schedule action this summer, so that we may address this issue. In the meantime, this school building cannot remain open to students and staff. It is unacceptable to require students or district staff to sacrifice their health and well-being for a moment longer in this building." Dawkins said it Read more


Dawkins Observes Ramadan With Pa. House

(May 24, 2018)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins thanks his colleagues in the House of Representatives for unanimous passage of his resolution observing the Holy Month of Ramadan, a month of reflection and prayer for the Muslim community, which runs from sunset on May 15, 2018, through sunset on June 14, 2018. Read more


Dawkins to host landlord-tenant clinic May 30

(May 17, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, May 17 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., will host a landlord-tenant clinic at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 30 at his district office, 4667 Paul St., 19124. “I encourage everyone who's facing possible eviction, habitability problems, rent increases or other landlord-tenant issues to attend this clinic. We’ll have staff from local nonprofit organizations offering free guidance about your rights as tenants and connecting you to further resources,” Dawkins said. Philadelphia VIP will also provide information about tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities, relevant housing laws, and basic information about the court process for tenants. An RSVP is required. More information is available by calling Dawkins' office at 215-744-7901. ### Read more


Bridge formally dedicated for fallen officer Gary Skerski

(May 08, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, May 8 – The life and legacy of the late Officer Gary Skerski was memorialized today as state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., police officers and other public officials joined to formally dedicate the bridge that now bears his name. The Officer Gary Frank Skerski Memorial Bridge was dedicated at 10 a.m. today with Skerski’s family, a great number of police officers, representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police and city and state officials in attendance. Dawkins sponsored the law that renamed the bridge on Castor Avenue over Frankford Creek for Skerski, who was shot and killed in May 2006 while responding to a reported armed robbery at a café near Arrott and Adams avenues in the Frankford section of the city. Skerski had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 16 years. “Officer Skerski gave his life protecting our community,” Dawkins said. “There is nothing we can do to replace his life or repay him for his valor. However, we can give his name a prominent spot in our community, near the place where he laid down his life protecting the people and the city he so bravely served. “This bridge will also be a solemn and constant reminder of Officer Skerski and how valuable it is to have police protection in the community. It was an honor and privilege to sponsor the legislation that dedicated this bridge in his name,” he said. In addition to Dawkins, state Reps. Angel Cruz and John Taylor, Read more