Featured News

Fitzgerald introduces full-day kindergarten bill

Fitzgerald, Democratic lawmakers to hold news conference on legislation to increase accessibility of menstrual hygiene products

(Oct 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, will hold a news conference next week on H.B. 1708 , which would require public schools serving students in grades six through 12 to provide free menstrual hygiene products in school bathrooms. Reps. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, and Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., and state Sen. Maria Collett, D-Bucks/Montgomery, will also speak on menstrual equity bills they will be introducing. The news conference will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 in the Capitol Rotunda. Otten said her bill was inspired by one student’s concern over “period poverty,” or the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products. Seventeen-year-old Lilly Minor from Owen J. Roberts High School told Otten that access to these products is limited in school bathrooms, and while they can be obtained at the nurse’s office, this is not the most accessible solution. “Lilly brought this issue to my attention and reminded me that this issue is occurring even in a relatively affluent area, so the problem is likely to be significantly worse in less well-off regions of our commonwealth,” Otten said. “If girls and women cannot access these products, it impacts their ability to work, go to school and enjoy aspects of everyday life.” Innamorato’s bill will focus on providing free menstrual hygiene products in the bathrooms of classroom Read more


Fitzgerald named Champion of the Year by Rebuilding Together Philadelphia

(Sep 26, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 26 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., was awarded the 2019 Champion of the Year award by Rebuilding Together Philadelphia on Tuesday. “I am honored to receive this recognition,” Fitzgerald said. “This organization does invaluable work in Philadelphia to provide necessary home repairs, modifications and improvements for homeowners in need. I am proud to have been recognized along with Senator Art Haywood and Congressman Dwight Evans for our work to securing funding for this organization, to further its mission and purpose.” Fitzgerald, Haywood and Evans helped Rebuilding Together Philadelphia secure funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency to rehab 44 homes in the 203rd District. ### Read more


West Oak Lane Charter School Receives $52,900 to provide fresh fruits and veggies to students

(Jul 15, 2019)

Congrats to West Oak Lane Charter School for receiving $52,900 in grant money to provide students with fresh fruits and veggies. The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). The program’s goals are to create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices, expand the variety of fruits and vegetables students experience, increase fruit and vegetable consumption, and positively impact students’ present and future health. FFVP was first implemented in Pennsylvania in 2004 and expanded to all 50 states in 2008. West Oak Lane Charter School was among the 220 schools from across the commonwealth selected for grants totaling almost $5.5 million. Read more


Fitzgerald: Budget forgets middle class, most vulnerable citizens

(Jun 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., issued the following statement regarding House passage of the state budget bill: “I voted no on House Bill 790 because it doesn’t put all people first. For years, we have seen states that surround Pennsylvania increase the minimum wage – some at least twice -- since the last time it was increased here. It hasn’t changed in more than a decade, yet people continue to struggle to make ends meet. “The people of Philadelphia deserve a living wage. The city has a poverty rate of 26%. If a person is making $7.25 an hour, which is a shame in the first place, their annual income is only $14,616 a year, and that’s before taxes! Our citizens should not work hard for 40 hours or more every week and still live below the poverty line. Pennsylvania is long-overdue to raise the minimum wage, yet this budget ignores that. “This budget bill also forgets our most vulnerable citizens by eliminating the General Assistance fund. This money would have helped those Pennsylvanians who just need a little bit of help. It could have been for things that many of us take for granted: buying toiletries, diapers for babies, getting the bus to go to a doctor’s appointment. “The $200 a month provided by the General Assistance fund would help victims of domestic abuse, residents with disabilities, our veterans, and people who are struggling with opioid addiction. It’s a Read more


Deadline extended for Pa. Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

(Jun 10, 2019)

I'm happy to announce that the deadline for the 2018 Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended to Dec. 31, 2019. The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded, and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria. You can get your application at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190. My office also can help you, so don’t hesitate to contact me. Read more


You’re invited to my Town Hall and Health Fair

(Jun 10, 2019)

Please join us at the Lawncrest Recreation Center for a Town Hall and Health Fair. You can learn about state and local services that could benefit you and your family, as well as talk with me about any concerns you may have. When: Saturday, June 15 Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Where: Lawncrest Recreation Center, 6000 Rising Sun Ave., 19111 I hope to see you there! Read more


Fitzgerald Fights To Protect Children From Bullying

(Apr 04, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald joined her colleagues for a public hearing in Philadelphia to discuss the best ways to combat bullying. She explains why we must address the issue now to protect our children. Read more


Fitzgerald Works To Provide Hygiene Products For Incarcerated Women

(Mar 27, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald continued her fight in Harrisburg to bring dignity to incarcerated women. She explains how her bill would ensure their needs are met. Read more


Legislative package would help incarcerated women, parents in Pa.

(Mar 27, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 27 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., and colleagues today unveiled a package of legislation that would help incarcerated women and parents in Pennsylvania. “As chairwoman of the Women and Girls of Color Subcommittee of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, I traveled to SCI-Muncy last year, which is one of the two state prisons that house female inmates, and heard the cries for help,” Cephas said. “The visit made me realize that while I'm proud of the significant strides we've seen in our fight for criminal justice reform, we must include our women and girls of color in the bipartisan discussion. "Women are the fastest-growing segment of the incarcerated population. According to a report from the Vera Institute of Justice, the number of women in jail in the U.S. has grown 14-fold since 1970. Furthermore, a majority are accused of non-violent offenses. What's often ignored by our criminal justice system, though, is the fact female offenders have vastly different needs and experience different stresses compared to men.” Cephas plans to introduce two bills: one would create a Women and Girls Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency; the other bill would require the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to submit an annual report on healthcare screenings and care services they provide to the House Health and Human Services committees and the Senate Health and Human Read more


PLBC condemns divisive invocation given in the House Chamber

(Mar 26, 2019)

Members from Philadelphia and of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today condemned a divisive opening prayer delivered Monday in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Here’s a selection of quotes. Rep. Stephen Kinsey, PLBC chairman: “On a day that should have been celebrated, we found ourselves confused and mortified. The swearing-in of Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell as the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was overshadowed by the outrageous remarks made by the Republican member. This is disgusting behavior. I choose to celebrate the diversity of our caucus, and welcome Representative Johnson-Harrell with open, loving arms. I believe our Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said it best, ‘It was beneath the dignity of the House.’ There is no room for hate.” Rep. Donna Bullock, PLBC vice chairwoman: “It is unfortunate that prayer was used to intimidate and divide. As our state legislature becomes more diverse, as we elect more women, more people of color, and people of different faiths and experiences, our ability to work together for all Pennsylvanians will be tested. I pray that my colleagues come to understand that Pennsylvania's diversity is our strength, not the enemy.” Rep. Summer Lee, PLBC treasurer who represents a portion of Allegheny County: ”We want to foremost, recognize and celebrate the historic victory and swearing-in of Read more


Fitzgerald introduces full-day kindergarten bill

(Feb 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 27 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., today introduced legislation that would implement full-day kindergarten across the state. “Educating children in a positive, structured environment enhances their development,” Fitzgerald said. “All children deserve these benefits and the best chance at success.” House Bill 641 would require school board directors across the state to establish and maintain a full-time kindergarten program for children between ages 3 and 5. It would also develop a Full-Day Kindergarten Implementation Advisory Committee to develop plans and advise school districts on how to implement full-day kindergarten programs. The legislation would require school districts to establish their programs by the 2020-21 school year. Read more


Join me for my open house Feb. 13

(Feb 11, 2019)

I invite you and your family to attend my open house in my district office from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7178 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia, 19138. My staff and I will be available to answer questions and provide information on the SEPTA Photo ID program, Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, unclaimed property and many other state-related services and programs. For more information about this email or any state-related concern, please don’t hesitate to contact me . Read more


Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate

(Jan 24, 2019)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2018 tax year are available – and my office staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The rebates normally are distributed by the Department of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more


Economic business summit stresses support, growth

(Jan 23, 2019)

“The summit is a community-building event,” said Fitzgerald. “Small businesses have been the lifeblood of our community. [And] where you have strong businesses, you have robust communities.” 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


Northwest Economic Empowerment Business Summit Jan. 19

(Jan 11, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 11 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald will be joined by Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Chris Rabb, Sen. Art Haywood and Councilwoman Cherelle Parker to co-host an annual summit to help current and future business owners succeed and prosper. The 2 nd Annual Northwest Economic Empowerment Business Summit, organized by Fitzgerald, will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at Masjidullah, the Center for Human Excellence, 7433 Limekiln Pike, 19138. The theme of this year’s summit is “Continuing the Journey.” Those attending the summit can take part in a variety of workshops and hear from expert panelists about starting a business or making an existing business thrive. “Business owners are a vital part of our community,” Fitzgerald said. “We want to provide constituents with the opportunities and resources to assist them, whether it’s starting their own business venture or growing their existing business.” Fitzgerald said there will be door prizes and continental breakfast and lunch will be served. Congressman Dwight Evans will be the keynote speaker. Representatives and their staff also will be available to answer questions and provide information on state government-related services. For more information and to RSVP, please call Fitzgerald’s office at 215-549-0220 or by email at repizzy@pahouse.net . Read more


Fitzgerald to host MLK Day community celebration

(Jan 09, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she will host an event to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy while promoting peace. The MLK Day of Service will be held from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21 at the West Oak Lane Senior Center, 7210-18 Ogontz Ave., 19138. “Many people see this holiday just as a day off from work or school. I believe Martin Luther King Jr. Day should be celebrated as a day on and not a day off,” Fitzgerald said. “We can best honor his legacy by volunteering to help our fellow citizens and creating opportunities to promote a better community. I hope everyone will join us to celebrate what we have accomplished coming together, and what we envision for the months and years to come.” Fitzgerald said the service project consists of creating banners expressing the vision of a world without gun violence. Projects will be displayed in Fitzgerald’s district office. Fitzgerald added she and her staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide information on state services. Attendees can also meet with staff from the offices of: Councilwoman Cherelle Parker Sen. Art Haywood Congressman Dwight Evans Fitzgerald said representatives from Nicetown CDC NAC & Energy Center will be distributing information on weatherization and weatherization kits. Oak Street Health will be offering resources on healthy lifestyles. Read more


Fitzgerald sworn in for second term as state representative

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – During a ceremony at the state Capitol to open the 203rd legislative session, state Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald took the oath of office to begin her second term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “What an honor it is to be re-elected to serve the folks from the 203rd Legislative District,” Fitzgerald said. “I want to thank them for continuing to put their trust in me, and I am driven to ensure that their interests are represented within their communities and across the state.” During her first term, Fitzgerald stood up for women’s health, victims’ rights, and fought against sexual harassment and abuse. She helped to bring enforcement to Stop-and-Gos, and awareness to the public health risk that bullying causes for our youth. “As I get ready to serve my next term, I am reminded of our victories for state funding to reduce gun violence, our hearings to support victim services, and legislative packages to help address the needs of incarcerated women. We have plenty to work on in the coming session. It’s going to take a lot of effort, but I and my colleagues look forward to the challenge,” Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald encourages her constituents to contact her via email at RepFitzgerald@pahouse.net , through her website at www.pahouse.com/Fitzgerald , or on social media at www.facebook.com/RepFitzgerald and www.twitter.com/RepFitzgerald . EDITORS/ASSIGNMENT DESKS: A photo of Rep. Read more


Fighting hunger this holiday season

(Nov 21, 2018)

With the holidays upon us, I want to remind everyone that the commonwealth offers some excellent resources to help families who may be struggling with food insecurity. Check out these links for: A list of food banks by county An interactive map of food pantries A list of state food programs Ideas for fighting hunger in your community If you don’t need help but want to volunteer your time or resources, you’ll find plenty of opportunities in the links above. This holiday season, let’s work together to make sure everyone has blessings to count. 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