Featured News

Hohenstein issues statement on Phila. DA Krasner impeachment vote

A game changer for infrastructure and our neighborhoods

(Nov 08, 2021)

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a game changing law that establishes programs to create millions of family sustaining jobs, address the climate crisis, and connect us through classic infrastructure like bridges and roads and informational infrastructure to get high speed internet to everyone, no matter where they live in this great country of ours. The basics of the act are simple, but powerful things that everyone can agree makes sense: Clean water – replacing lead pipes and getting truly clean, safe drinking water to everyone. For people in the Riverwards, this should mean improvements to an aging water system going underneath increasingly unstable streets. Access to the internet – providing $65 Billion. While this is primarily focused on rural areas, the program will also make internet services more affordable and provide good paying jobs in the trades for constructing the physical infrastructure that will be needed. Roads, bridges, and climate change (oh my) – the investment to repair our roads and bridges is designed to be completed in a way that will reduce our impact on climate change. Again, for people of the 177 th , there is a program that will impact us directly – Safe Streets and Roads – to reduce traffic fatalities. Mass transit and rail – appropriating almost $90 Billion over the next five years to agencies like SEPTA to improve and expand services and expand fleets Read more

 

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Be an educated voter.

(Nov 01, 2021)

On May 19, 1963, President John F. Kennedy told students at Vanderbilt University, “the educated citizen knows that … only an educated and informed people will be a free people – that the ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” Our right as citizens to vote was established with our Constitution in 1787, first as a right of white, landowning men, then developed and expanded to include everyone after they turn 18. Now more than ever we need to be vigilant to make sure that universal access remains not only the letter of the law but the truth in practice. In most elections, a small percentage of eligible people vote. There are many reasons for that. I believe one of the most important is tied to what President Kennedy identified – education. Our lives are busy, but I encourage you to become an ‘educated citizen.’ On Tuesday we’ll mostly vote for statewide and local judges. Who our judges are matters, so it is important to learn their positions on issues, their reputations for ethics and truth, and their reputations for fairness and balance. Tomorrow is the final day to cast a vote in this year’s election. For the past seven weeks, our fellow citizens have been voting, casting votes at voting centers or by mail. Early figures show that in this year, one year removed from a historic Presidential election, we are lagging. Of over 110,000 mail-in ballots requested by Read more

 

Pennie's Open Enrollment Period is now open

(Nov 01, 2021)

The 2022 Open Enrollment Period for Pennsylvanians seeking health insurance coverage through Pennie is now open (as of Monday, Nov. 1) and will remain open through Jan. 15, 2022 . Pennie connects customers with financial aid and helps them shop for, compare and purchase health insurance. Nearly everyone qualifies for savings because of the American Rescue Plan. Pennie was created through legislation in 2019, moving Pennsylvania from the federal-based exchange to a state-based marketplace, which helped residents save hundreds – and, in some cases, thousands – of dollars on health insurance. Customers may see additional savings when enrolling in a 2022 Pennie plan because of the American Rescue Plan, according to state Rep. Tony DeLuca , Democratic Chairman of the House Insurance Committee. If you have questions, Pennie has answers via its FAQ page . Visit Pennie.com or call 1-844-844-8040 for more information. While open enrollment continues through Jan. 15, 2022, the last day to enroll for coverage starting Jan. 1 is Dec. 15, 2021 . Visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website for more information on how to get health insurance. Read more

 

Bill seeks accurate data on gun violence through nonpartisan research center

(Oct 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State lawmakers representing the Philadelphia region have introduced legislation to start and fund a nonpartisan, academic research center on gun violence in Pennsylvania with the goal of providing policymakers and the public with accurate data to develop policies and programs that prevent gun violence. House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton joined state Reps. Joe Hohenstein and Stephen Kinsey in introducing the bill (H.B.2009), which was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for review. “In 2019, there were 1,541 people killed in Pennsylvania as a result of gun violence,” Hohenstein said. “There is a dire need to implement new policies that could prevent so much unnecessary death in our communities.” McClinton strongly agreed. “Gun violence has become a massive public-health crisis that must be addressed now,” McClinton said. “This center would provide key research to determine the main causes behind gun violence and what strategies are most effective at reducing it in Pennsylvania.” Gun violence is particularly rampant in Philadelphia, where more than 2,200 people were shot in 2020, according to statistics from the Philadelphia Police Department. “Shootings are happening more frequently and our current approach to combat them is not working,” Kinsey said. “Our duty as legislators is to protect and serve our constituents. Establishing this research center is Read more

 

It’s time to help those who help others live with dignity

(Oct 26, 2021)

My parents raised me to always pay attention to the people who needed a little help being heard. Often, those people were the ‘different’ kids, people with disabilities that make them go through life with extra challenges. This week, the people who are members of the Intellectual Disability/Autism (ID/A) community are paying attention to the people who need to be heard. They are raising their voices, not for themselves, but for the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who take care of them. In a role reversal, folks in wheelchairs, who live in constant need, are calling on me and my fellow legislators to provide DSPs with living wages and safe workplaces. To be sure, this is not completely altruistic, but the ID/A community has recognized that if justice and fairness are to prevail, we need to take care of everyone in the care system for people with disabilities. #SuportMeSupportDSPS is their moto. Among the people who came to Harrisburg is Michael Anderson, an advocate from the ARC of Philadelphia. I first met Michael in my Bridesburg office, and I just saw him again, lobbying this week in Harrisburg for the fair treatment of the people who serve his community. Michael is a forceful voice for people like him who need improved services. He knows all about the Community Living Waiver backlog that has left 10,000+ eligible and deserving individuals (and the families of those folks) to live in constant limbo. Michael knows that even before Read more

 

An ally for equal and adequate health care

(Sep 28, 2021)

In Pennsylvania’s male-dominated, Republican-controlled legislature, women need allies to ensure their health care rights and access to safe, legal abortions. I am an ally. My role in this debate is to vote for policies that ensure women equal and adequate health care. My role is to speak truth to the power that my fellow lawmakers – predominantly middle-aged white guys like me – wield over women’s needs. Too often, this debate devolves into judgmental statements that focus exclusively on the woman and her actions and choices, as if these decisions exist in some bubble that absolves men from having to contend with these extremely difficult and personal decisions relating to abortion. The debate also gets bogged down by philosophical and theological gray areas and a continually threatening loop. In reality, a woman’s access to safe, legal abortion is necessary for public health. We are talking about access to a full range of health care by more than half our population (there are nearly 280,000 more women than men in the state). Everyone should have accurate information about all their health care options, which includes access to abortion. Restricting that information and access – especially in the draconian manner contemplated in the Texas and Mississippi laws currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court – will not eliminate abortions. It will only make getting one more difficult and dangerous. The result will Read more

 

Hohenstein, neighbors and other public officials to discuss construction problems in city

(Sep 22, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 22 – State Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., will hold a news conference at noon Friday, Sept. 24, at 2343 E. York St., the home of a constituent who is dealing with the aftermath of faulty construction in her neighborhood. Hohenstein will be joined by fellow lawmakers and people who have been impacted by shoddy techniques used during construction on their homes or in their neighborhoods and those who are fighting the massive, out-of-scale development they say threatens to change the whole character of their blocks. Among those expected to join Hohenstein Friday are: Drew Miller and Venise Whitaker, representing the Riverwards L&I Coalition, a neighborhood group seeking to help neighbors fight irresponsible development. Adrian Bondy and Hanna Sherril from the Build Like You Live Here campaign and their fight against a monstrous development at 2400 E. Huntingdon St. Clarice Brooks, who will discuss the lack of protection for existing neighbors. Megan Murray, who will discuss faulty new home construction. Tamika Tansley, who will talk about the lack of protection for faulty renovations – especially with stucco. Nancy Lewis and Michelle Gaffney, who also will talk about the lack of protection for existing neighbors. State Reps. Mike Driscoll, 173 rd Legislative District, and Mary Read more

 

We must pass an agenda that values our children

(Sep 21, 2021)

The only way to stop the merry-go-round of school and business closures, of hospitals being overrun, and of the economic crises that result in lost work is to get as many people vaccinated as possible and to engage in other behavior that will mitigate the spread. Read more

 

It’s time for the building industry to take Mr. Roger’s advice

(Sep 14, 2021)

It doesn’t take much to be a good neighbor. The folks at Riverwards L&I Coalition have invoked America’s neighbor, Mr. Rogers, as part of its drive to have our neighborhoods respected. “The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling they are worthwhile,” he once said. I know my neighbors are worthwhile; their lives and their families are valuable. If others fail to regard that value, I want to show them the way. That is why I am introducing a package of bills in Harrisburg that seeks to hold builders and developers accountable when they fail to recognize the value of people who put their trust in them to care for their investments. A family’s most valuable investment is their home. It is where we watch our children grow, where we celebrate life’s victories, and where we comfort one another during difficult times. In recent years, several issues have arisen in the Philadelphia region regarding residential construction and faulty, defective building materials and/or building techniques. I have heard stories from many families who were impacted by shoddy techniques used during construction and faced repairs costing tens of thousands of dollars. Other long-time residents have had the quiet enjoyment of their home disintegrated by profit-mongering builders who literally cut corners and leave once stable rowhomes at risk of collapse. In some of my neighborhoods, Read more

 

20 Years After – How did 9/11/2001 change us?

(Sep 09, 2021)

Our experiences of September 11, 2001 are, first and foremost, intensely personal. As Laurie Guadagno, sister of Flight 93 hero Richard Guadagno, put it: “The world changed. My family changed.” We all changed that day. Like almost everyone who lived through it, I can remember where I was and what I was doing on that day. I was in my fourth-floor walk-up office at Nationalities Service Center downtown. With a fellow attorney, I listened to a North Jersey AM station we managed to find on the radio. The announcer was seeing the events directly from his studio, looking across the Hudson at the World Trade Center towers: first burning and then collapsing. The anguish in his voice was palpable and he described this as the worst day since December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. I went home to be with my wife and kids. We checked the news online but put Sesame Street on the TV. We gave our children one last day of innocence. We all remember how we felt on September 11 th . Maybe today, we need to remember how we felt on September 12 th . We made decisions to come together. We shared grief and sadness. We also shared the feelings of pride as we recognized that our country was not simply a piece of land, it was an idea that occupied a place in our hearts and minds. Even though the sense of security we had as a nation was gone, we found a resilient core and had a sense of community that was greater than it had been in a generation. Read more

 

34th Annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade and Family Celebration

(Sep 06, 2021)

34th Annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade and Family Celebration Read more

 

Albert Gannotta's 103rd birthday celebration

(Aug 31, 2021)

Rep. Joe Hohenstein presented a House of Representatives citation to Al Gannotta, a WWII veteran, who is celebrating his 103rd birthday! Read more

 

Open the umbrella to protect our students and school staff

(Aug 31, 2021)

How much does it need to rain before an umbrella is opened? In Philadelphia, it’s been raining cats and dogs for quite some time and needs protection from the storm. That protection can come from some of the $2.3 billion that was placed in the state’s “rainy day” fund in June, and I am urging my colleagues in the Pennsylvania legislature to authorize its use. If we are wise, also would spend the stimulus and infrastructure funds currently being appropriated in Washington. Our local and state economies need this investment.?? On August 10th, 2021, the U.S. Senate gave bipartisan approval to a $1 trillion infrastructure bill to rebuild our nation's deteriorating infrastructure and help improve the lives of many Americans. Of that $1 trillion, Pennsylvania could potentially see $11.3 billion going to projects such as highway work, bridges, and public transportation. My focus has been renovation of school infrastructure, especially in Philadelphia.? We all are well aware of the health risk posed by COVID-19 in our schools. The Wolf administration’s universal masking requirement in schools and its vaccine campaign are designed to keep our kids, teachers, and staff safe, but that is not the only grave health crisis facing our schools. According to a report conducted by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers in 2021, "Dozens of Philadelphia public schools continue to have Read more

 

Hohenstein: As US House Lawmakers Return to DC, the PA Delegation Should Back Infrastructure

(Aug 24, 2021)

As lawmakers in the US House return to Washington DC to continue to work on the President’s broader Build Back Better agenda, we may see a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure agreement much sooner than the larger reconciliation package. I hope my counterparts in the PA Congressional Delegation on both sides of the aisle will support much-needed improvements in infrastructure when they have the opportunity to vote for the proposed bipartisan package. I also hope they will vote for immediate passage of the larger reconciliation bill, because it adds investments from caregiving to education to school construction and more to the infrastructure plan. As a state lawmaker, I have seen firsthand people in my district trying to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal relief efforts already underway via the American Rescue Plan -- most visibly, stimulus checks and child tax credit payments -- have been a lifesaver for many of my neighbors because they put money directly in the pockets of those impacted the most. The additional investments included in the reconciliation bill are necessary to ensure that our recovery includes all Pennsylvanians, and that the economy that emerges after COVID is one that rewards work and not wealth. While the American Rescue Plan and what could be passed via reconciliation both provide very tangible, immediate solutions that working people can see in their bank accounts, Pennsylvanians shouldn’t overlook how much Read more

 

Hohenstein: We must step up now and show humanity at its best

(Aug 17, 2021)

As I watch the humanitarian crisis unfold in Afghanistan, I can’t help but think that our city is facing a humanitarian crisis of its own. In Philadelphia, we are preparing to evict homeless, mostly drug addicted, people from the places they have encamped – telling them to move on but not providing a real destination. These are people least able to absorb hardships. Read more

 

Hohenstein: Investing in Neighborhoods

(Aug 13, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein is excited about the passage of the Build Back Better plan and wants to make sure that the jobs it creates make their way to Philadelphia communities. He says that infrastructure investments will have positive impacts on the Port of Philadelphia and SEPTA mass transit funding. He wants to see more investments in people and neighborhoods, including wider access to high-speed internet and support for healthcare and frontline workers. Read more

 

Hohenstein: Immigrant Workers Need Driver's Licenses

(Aug 12, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein recently learned that over half of the agriculture workforce is immigrant workers who have helped provide food throughout the pandemic. He is working to allow those workers to obtain driver's licenses and learner's permits so that they can be fully licensed and insured. This will increase safety on the roadways and provide more economic opportunities for these hard-working families. Read more

 

Hohenstein: Temple's Expansion of Medical Care

(Aug 10, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein is happy to see Temple University purchase the building that was once Parkview Hospital to expand medical care services. Not only will this expansion create 500+ new jobs, he says he's happy to see more medical services focused on quality care and accessibility for all coming to the area. Read more

 

Now open for applications: Alternative fuel vehicle and agriculture funding opportunities

(Aug 10, 2021)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebates (Funding Source: Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants Fund) Who May Apply : Pennsylvania residents who purchase/lease a new or used alternative fuel vehicle with a purchase price of $50,000 or less. Businesses are not eligible . Use : To defray costs of purchasing a battery electric vehicle (BEV), hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (HFCV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, electric motorcycle, natural gas vehicle, or propane vehicle. Purchase price cannot exceed $50,000 to be eligible for a rebate. Funds : Up to $1,000 rebate depending on type of vehicle; additional $1,000 rebate for low-income households. Application Deadline : Rebates are first-come, first-served. Application must be submitted within 6 months of purchase. More Information : Click on https://www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/GrantsLoansRebates/Alternative-Fuels-Incentive-Grant/Pages/Alternative-Fuel-Vehicles.aspx . Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture: Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : State and local organizations, producer associations, academia, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders. Use : To assist with the growth, certification of seed, and marketing of eligible crops including hemp, hardwoods, honey, Read more

 

Put People First -- Pay UC Benefits Now

(Aug 10, 2021)

Our UC system has failed many people – not because there is not enough money – but because it has not gotten to people in time. Read more