Frankel, Schwank encourage colleagues to wear blue ribbons May 3 to support family, survivors of Pittsburgh synagogue attack

Action comes as federal trial against shooter gets underway

HARRISBURG, May 2  With trial of the perpetrator in the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue attack underway, state Rep. Dan Frankel and state Sen. Judith Schwank are encouraging their colleagues in the General Assembly to wear blue ribbons on Wednesday to show their support for family members and survivors of the attack.

“Family members and survivors of the Oct. 27th attack live with those events every single day, and the court proceedings and media attention they generate stand to intensify those painful memories,” said Frankel, D-Allegheny. “We can’t erase the trauma for those hurting, but by wearing this ribbon, we can let them know that we stand with them and wish them strength.

“As a body, we can also act quickly to pass the anti-hate crimes legislation we recently unveiled. Doing so will send a strong, bipartisan message that our commonwealth will not tolerate acts of hatred against Pennsylvanians based on how they worship, who they are or who they love.” 

Schwank said, "This is just one small way we can express support for the family members and survivors of the Pittsburgh Synagogue attack as the trial begins. It's crucial that we do not allow this attack to be forgotten or minimized and that it serves as a reminder to us all of the very real threats members of the Jewish faith face. Together, we can send a message to all that wish to intimidate, threaten or attack others that hatred will not be tolerated in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

The bipartisan anti-hate crime bill package recently unveiled by Frankel, state Sen. Democratic Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, and state Rep. Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery, would expand protections to cover LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities, strengthen civil and criminal penalties, increase training for police and educators, encourage the reporting of hate-based incidents in schools and provide a means for those convicted of hate crimes to perform community service or complete classes related to the motivating factor in the crime.