PLBC applauds state funding for gun violence reduction initiatives

(Sep 07, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 7 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus applauded the announcement made today by Gov. Tom Wolf that more than $1.5 million in funding will be allocated across the commonwealth to help reduce gun violence. "The crisis created by the illegal gun violence epidemic cannot be averted without those on the frontlines of this fight having access to the resources and tools needed to do the work of healing those affected,” said state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., PLBC chairman. “The PLBC is proud to stand with Governor Wolf as we begin to ensure that our communities have the support and tools needed to begin to address this public health crisis." “The PLBC has been working hard to address gun violence in our community as a public health issue, because we understood that resources follow public health concerns. Today’s grant is a result of our collective work with Governor Wolf, city officials, and local advocates,” said state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., vice chair of the PLBC. “As a member of the School Safety and Security Committee, I hope to bring more resources to Philadelphia to address gun violence in and around our schools.” “It is no secret there is a gun violence epidemic in the commonwealth. From Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and all points in between, shootings are taking lives one or two at a time, destroying our communities and families,” said state Rep. Chris Read more


Gainey to host Pittsburgh backpack giveaway on Saturday

(Aug 15, 2018)

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, will host a Back to School Giveaway for students in grades K through 5 from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at the Destiny International Ministry, 7061 Lemington Ave., Pittsburgh. The annual event is an opportunity for Gainey to meet students from the community as they prepare for the new school year. Each student in attendance will receive a backpack and supplies for the school year. The event will also feature information on state programs for kids, safety information, music and food. “The Back to School Giveaway is an event I look forward to every year,” Gainey said. “A new school year provides students an opportunity to take on new challenges, and I enjoy playing a role in helping them grow. Our students truly are our future, and we must do everything we can to help them reach their greatest potential.” Gainey said he is encouraging all grade students in his community to attend this family-friendly event and hopes to see a strong turnout. Any individuals or businesses interested in donating supplies, backpacks or food for the event should contact’s Gainey’s office at 412-665-5502. Read more


Summer 2018 Newsletter

(Jul 30, 2018)

Summer 2018 Newsletter Read more


Gainey: Grants will give at-risk youth greater early education opportunities

(Jul 17, 2018)

PITTSBURGH, July 17 – A number of newly awarded grants will increase early education opportunities for at-risk children in the 24 th Legislative District, state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, announced today. The grants to a school district and two organizations in Gainey’s district will fund slots in the state’s Pre-K Counts program. “Early education programs for at-risk youth are the cornerstone to ensuring every child across the commonwealth gets their fair share of educational opportunities before entering kindergarten,” Gainey said. “Those who attend public preschool programs have shown to be much more academically prepared than kids who did not have this opportunity prior to starting public school.” The list of Pre-K Counts recipients in Gainey’s district include: Hosanna House, Inc. Imani Christian Academy Wilkinsburg Borough School District Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides free, high-quality pre-K services to at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds. Children in families earning up to 300 percent of poverty, or a family of four earning $75,300 annually, are eligible to apply. Statewide, about 2,125 new slots in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts were made available. Read more


Legislators offer ways to improve police-community relations

(Jun 26, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Reps. Austin Davis, Ed Gainey and Jake Wheatley, all D-Allegheny, along with Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila, and other members from across the state, offered solutions on how to restore public trust and improve the professionalism of law enforcement, during a news conference today held at the Capitol. They hoped taking action will help improve police and community relations. Wheatley and other lawmakers unveiled a framework for legislative action, including three main initiatives: Establishing a licensing board or commission, similar to nearly every other professional occupation from doctors and lawyers to barbers, that would be able to independently take action regarding individuals’ ability to participate in that profession. They believe law enforcement should be no different. Creating a bipartisan caucus to bring policymakers together to offer ideas and best practices from across the commonwealth Enacting legislation similar to laws that apply to teachers, so that any incidents or transgressions related to their employment can be shared with potential employers. “As a parent, none of us want to ever bury a child,” said Wheatley, who is also Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee. “We want to find ways on how we can prevent and possibly eliminate police shootings of unarmed men and women, particularly those of color.” The news conference was held almost a week after the Read more


Gainey: Budget includes more money for opioids and Pre-K funding

(Jun 21, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 21 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, released the following statement about the general appropriations bill for the 2018-19 fiscal budget that the House passed on Wednesday: “Passing House Bill 2121 in a timely fashion with no additional state taxes is a plus. I’m proud that the House came together in bipartisanship to get this accomplished. “I’m particularly pleased about the $4.5 million in new funding to provide home visiting services to families affected by substance abuse in order to continue to fight against the opioid and heroin epidemic that has plagued the entire state of Pennsylvania. As the co-chairman of the Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education Caucus, maintaining support for those who are suffering from addiction is a priority. “I am also happy to know that $60 million will be committed to school and community safety. Unfortunately gun violence in schools is becoming a disgusting trend, and we must work together to keep our kids safe while they earn their education.” Additionally, Gainey noted the $140 million surplus for basic, special and early education. “I’m particularly happy about the surplus in funds for early education for Pre-K and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance,” Gainey said. “As you know, I am a strong advocate of Pre-K programs and educating children early, because statistics show that Pre-K has lifelong benefits for students as they Read more


Happy Juneteenth Independence Day!

(Jun 19, 2018)

Celebrating Juneteenth Read more


Gainey: Allegheny County sites approved as ‘Qualified Opportunity Zones’

(Jun 15, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, announced today that the U.S. Treasury Department has approved 12 low-income communities in his district as “Qualified Opportunity Zones.” The communities – which include six in Pittsburgh and six in Wilkinsburg – were nominated under a federal program that attracts private investors to distressed communities through tax incentives. “The Treasury’s approval will give these distressed communities a chance to attract long-term investments in businesses, real estate and other ventures,” Gainey said. “The investments will breathe new life into these neighborhoods and open new doors for residents.” Under the program – administered by the Treasury under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – states may nominate a certain percentage of census tracts as Qualified Opportunity Zones. Private investors receive tax benefits for investing capital gains in these areas and adjacent tracts. Pennsylvania was given the opportunity to designate 300 low-income community tracts as opportunity zones. Read more


Gainey: Preservation Pittsburgh seeks to add park to National Registry of Historic Places

(Jun 13, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, today announced that Preservation Pittsburgh was awarded $5,000 in funding from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The commission awarded the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant to Preservation Pittsburgh, a community-based advocacy organization dedicated to preserving historic, architectural, cultural and environmental heritage. The group seeks to list Highland Park, founded in 1889, on the National Register of Historic Places. “Highland Park is important to Pittsburgh, especially since we can trace the land owned to Edward Bigelow who was known as the ‘Father of Pittsburgh’s Parks,’” Gainey said. “The park is also home to the city’s oldest operating zoological park.” Additionally, the project will involve contracting a researcher to document the park, create a historical narrative, and establish arguments for significance. Preservation Pittsburgh’s primary goal is to promote the importance of preservation issues in the deliberations and decisions of public officials, private groups, developers and the general public. Money for the grants is from the Keystone Recreation Park, and Conservation Fund and is supported annually by a portion of the state realty transfer tax revenue. Overall, $1.2 million in grants was awarded to 28 historical and heritage organizations, museums, and local governments in 19 counties. Grants require a 50/50 Read more


Gainey and advocates rally for ‘Day of Action on Gun Control’

(May 22, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 22 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, joined students, gun safety advocates and groups to raise awareness for sensible gun safety bills today at the Capitol. “An overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians support universal background checks and the gun violence crisis that we’re facing is not going to go away without legislators being proactive about it,” Gainey said. “We must address the gun issue immediately.” Gainey reiterated that he is not trying to take away anyone’s guns or infringe upon a person’s Second Amendment rights. Instead, he is urging for bipartisan support in passing commonsense gun laws in order to help save lives in schools, churches and in any other public spaces. “Mass shootings have overwhelmingly increased nationwide and it is not OK for us to sit back and do nothing,” Gainey said. “Pennsylvania must take action against gun violence through advocacy, education and most importantly through legislation.” Jacob Talton, Gainey’s father, shared his experience with gun violence while discussing the murder of Gainey’s sister and the effect it has had on her children. CeaseFirePA, One Pennsylvania, Mothers With a Voice, the Fathers Who Care Foundation and the Coalition for Fathering Families were also in attendance. Earlier this year, Gainey introduced H.R. 837 , which would direct the Joint State Government Commission to research gun violence as a Read more


Gainey on Sickle Cell Awareness

(May 02, 2018)

Pa. state Rep. Ed Gainey stood proudly with advocates and colleagues raising awareness about sickle cell disease to not only find a cure but help those living with the illness lead a long fulfilling life. Read more


Gainey: Grant will help enrich senior programs

(Apr 24, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 24 – An area senior center will receive an $82,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, announced today. The grant to Vintage Inc., will help the center continue providing vital programs and services for area residents. “Our seniors enrich our community in so many ways,” Gainey said. “It’s essential that we keep them engaged and thriving, both mentally and physically. Area centers like Vintage function as a gateway, providing access to programs on health, nutrition, financial counseling and other topics. This funding will not only help the center continue its current programs, but also develop new ones to attract more area seniors.” Vintage is one of 41 senior centers throughout the state that will receive a total of $2 million in 2017-18 Senior Community Center Grants. Funding for the grants comes from the Pennsylvania Lottery. Read more


Gainey: Pitt’s Manufacturing Assistance Center to receive grant

(Apr 05, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 5 – The University of Pittsburgh’s Manufacturing Assistance Center will receive a $45,495 grant to support and expand apprenticeship programs, state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, announced today. “The MAC is a leader in training students to master the high-tech skills they need for jobs such as precision manufacturing and machine programming,” Gainey said. “Some of the most successful training comes in a hands-on workplace environment, so apprenticeships provide invaluable experience. Funding that helps MAC and its partners build strong apprenticeship programs pays off by helping Pennsylvania workers get and retain high-skill jobs.” The grant is one of 61 – totaling $3.5 million – awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry through Local Workforce Development Boards across Pennsylvania. About half, including the one to MAC, are “capacity building” grants – designed to support businesses, industry associations, chambers of commerce, training providers, career and technical centers, and intermediaries interested in sponsoring registered apprenticeship programs. In addition to the MAC grant, the following Western Pennsylvania unions received grant awards through LWDBs: Keystone Mountain Lake Regional Council of Carpenters – $70,000 pre-apprenticeship/apprenticeship grant; Western PA Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship and Training – $85,000 Read more


Gainey resolution to call upon Joint State Government Commission to research gun violence as public health crisis

(Mar 28, 2018)

HARRISBURG, March 28 – In the hopes of combatting ongoing gun violence plaguing communities across the commonwealth, state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, is introducing a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to research gun violence as a public health crisis. “An individual in Pennsylvania is killed every six hours due to gun violence,” Gainey said. “I believe the General Assembly should not sit on its hands as thousands of Pennsylvanians are injured or killed by firearms every year. We, as legislators, must utilize every tool that we have to keep Pennsylvanians safe from gun violence.” It’s estimated that nearly 40 percent of firearms sold in the U.S. are sold without a meaningful background check, which means millions of guns are blindly sold each year to individuals who potentially should not own a firearm. In addition, violent behavior due to a mental health disorder accounts only for about 4 percent to 5 percent of gun violence. Gainey said the matter of researching gun violence has seen great resistance, but there’s growing momentum to change the tide. In 2012, former U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey announced his opposition to an amendment he authored in 1997 – the Dickey Amendment – that prohibited the Centers for Disease Control from using federal funds to research gun violence as a public health crisis. Despite his prior stance on the matter, Dickey now believes researching the topic could have Read more


Gainey’s legislation key in Wolf’s 21st century voting reform plan

(Mar 26, 2018)

HARRISBURG, March 26 – A House bill introduced by state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, that would reform the voter registration system by instituting automatic registration of all eligible voters with included provisions to opt out is an important piece of legislation included in Gov. Tom Wolf’s 21 st century voting reform plan announced today. “Voting is a fundamental right guaranteed to all Americans,” Gainey said. “Unfortunately, many do not vote, citing the burdens associated with voter registration such as time and financial costs resulting from going to the polls. I’m confident that my bill will alleviate some of those burdens and give all eligible voters in the commonwealth an opportunity to cast their ballot.” Under H.B. 193 , the responsibility of voter registration would be passed from eligible voters to the Pennsylvania Department of State. The secretary of the commonwealth would initiate the program to automatically register eligible voters whose information is provided to any one of the Pennsylvania departments of Transportation, Human Services, or Military and Veterans Affairs. The data would then be forwarded to the registration commission of the county in which the voter resides. The elector would then receive a postcard with information on how to opt out of registration and how to choose a party affiliation. Gainey’s legislation is among a number of bills that make up the framework of the governor’s Read more


PLBC accepting scholarship applications until April 30

(Mar 05, 2018)

HARRISBURG, March 5 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus , has announced that the PLBC’s annual scholarship competition is accepting applications up to April 30. “I’m more than happy to announce that it’s again that time of year where the PLBC is offering to assist minority students in pursuing higher education,” Gainey said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their dedication and commitment to enrolling in college and pursuing their dreams.” The scholarships are available for high school seniors and first-year college students who will be enrolled in an accredited two- to four-year Pennsylvania college or university. Gainey said the students applying for the scholarship must be an ethnic minority student, have a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, reside in the legislative district of and be sponsored by a PLBC member, and demonstrate leadership qualities. Additionally, a 500-word essay on the student’s academic plans and career goals also must be submitted. Only the first 250 applications submitted will be considered and the PLBC only will acknowledge receipt of those first 250. So, while applications will be accepted up to April 30, students are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible, Gainey said. Finalists will be contacted in mid-May. If selected, the recipient will receive a $1,000 award. Read more


Read my spring 2018 newsletter

(Feb 27, 2018)

In this newsletter I address topics that include juvenile reform, banning rapid firearms, and decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Read more


Scholarship Summit - March 10

(Feb 21, 2018)

Calling all 11th-graders and 12th-graders! Come visit Rep. Gainey's 2nd Scholarship Summit. Read more


Minority-owned businesses could qualify for low-interest loans

(Feb 16, 2018)

The Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority offers low-interest loans to businesses owned and operated by minorities. Eligible applicants are any businesses owned and operated by ethnic minorities, except non-franchised restaurants. Such persons include, but are not limited to: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Eskimos; and Aleuts. PMBDA loans can be used to finance a portion of the costs of land, building, machinery and equipment; and to provide working capital to minority business enterprises unable to fully finance these projects with equity, bank financing, or other private and public sources. You can obtain more information, including how to apply, by clicking HERE . Read more


Gainey bill would require veterinarians to report opioid prescriptions

(Jan 29, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 29 – Now that Gov. Tom Wolf has declared the state’s opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency, state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, is pushing his proposal to amend the state’s controlled substance drug monitoring law to remove an exemption for veterinarians. Currently, the law requires physicians, dentists and providers who are licensed to prescribe schedule drugs to register in the system. But the law exempts veterinarians, even though they prescribe opioid-based painkillers such as tramadol, ketamine and hydrocodone, which are chemically similar to commonly abused opioid drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. Gainey, a founding member of the PA HOPE—Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education—Caucus, said the loophole is permitting citizens with opioid addictions to feed those addictions by turning to vet-prescribed opioids. “While the drug registry system is a vitally important tool in combatting the opioid crisis, it leaves open a dangerous door by permitting pet owners with opioid addictions to “vet shop” to secure opioid-based pet medications for their own use,” Gainey said. “There are numerous reports of pet owners intentionally injuring their pets to secure opioid prescriptions. My proposal would put an end to vet-shopping by requiring vets and pharmacists who dispense veterinary medicine to submit information on each controlled medication dispensed.” The bill would Read more