Kenyatta joins cleanup efforts in wake of citywide protests, reiterates the dire need to address poverty in PA

PHILADELPHIA, June 3 Following the damages to local businesses in the wake of days of protests across Philadelphia, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., along with residents, took to the streets with brooms and trash bags to clean debris and broken glass along business corridors across his 181st Legislative District in North Philadelphia.

Kenyatta expressed solidarity with protestors’ outrage with systemic injustices, raising the dire need for criminal justice and police reform nationwide. He also marveled at neighbors subsequently in helping to repair their communities and discussions of future efforts to rebuild them.

“Out of this explosion of emotion has also come an explosion of unity and camaraderie, not to rebuild back to the broken ‘normal’ that brought us here, but to build on higher ground,” Kenyatta said. “People came out with their own brooms and trash bags to help clean business corridors, joined in an effort to right some of the wrongs that scarred our city last night and that have scarred our city for generations.”

The legislator, who is a staunch advocate for civil rights, including economic justice, added, “While we must talk about criminal justice and police reform, we can’t forget the core of this is POVERTY. Until we address that, the desperation and hopelessness will continue.”

Asserting that poverty is the moral injustice of our time, during the 2019-20 legislative session, Kenyatta introduced twin legislation, H.B. 1623 and H.B. 1624, that aim to eradicate poverty in Pennsylvania by directing the Department of Human Services to maintain a system to track intergenerational poverty through collected data that would be analyzed by a commission comprised of cabinet members who would use the data to implement policies and programs addressing poverty, public assistance, education, and other issues, as needed, to reduce the rate of childhood and adult poverty.

In conjunction with the data collection, the second piece of legislation would require the Independent Fiscal Office to conduct a completed poverty impact analysis on the governor’s proposed budget, the enacted budget, and any bill, amendment, or joint resolution upon written request of a member of the General Assembly.