Featured News

Kenyatta announces $215.6K in grants to combat homelessness

Kenyatta blasts 2021-22 budget as a failure to Pennsylvanians in crisis

(Nov 23, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 30 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta lambasted the completed fiscal-year budget that passed the full House Friday evening, calling it an absolute failure because it completely squanders the one-time $1.33 billion in CARES Act funding by using it for recurring state government expenses, instead of to help Pennsylvanians in crisis. “In the wake of fatal pandemic that has claimed the lives of nearly 10,000 Pennsylvanians and decimated our economy, the majority party in the legislature misused vital funding from the CARES Act that was intended by Congress to reduce the burdens that resulted from COVID-19’s impact to pad holes in our budget,” said Kenyatta, D-Phila. “This budget is a disgrace, as it prioritizes state government over the needs of people across our commonwealth.” This type of budgeting, Kenyatta said, is unpragmatic for several reasons because it frivolously uses one-time funding for recurring costs. “What happens next year when there are no billions of dollars in federal funding to haphazardly use to satisfy these debts?” he posed. “This limited funding was the only window of opportunity to target critical areas that were most impacted during this public health and economic crisis, such as child care, healthcare providers and first responders, veterans, one of our state’s largest workforce -- the restaurant industry, rent and mortgage relief, and small businesses. Now we’re Read more

 

Kenyatta calls for statewide mask requirement in new bill as COVID-19 cases surge

(Nov 19, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – Charging that more must be done in the wake of surging COVID-19 cases, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta has introduced legislation that would implement one of the most effective strategies at reducing its spread—a statewide mask requirement in all public spaces to be enforced by non-law enforcement entities. “Countless medical reports and public health experts have pointed to the effectiveness of masks—properly covering the nose and mouth—to both the wearer and people in the wearer’s proximity,” said Kenyatta, D-Phila. “Nearly 10,000 Pennsylvanians, including our most vulnerable neighbors, have succumbed to this deadly virus so far. Being a good neighbor by wearing a mask is by far the best act of benevolence we can all take to keep our communities safe.” Reiterating his call for action, Kenyatta highlighted those most at risk such as the essential workers and caregivers risking their health and safety to ensure no community lacks vital necessities, the small business owners and local economies suffering from the impact of this virus, and the families struggling with the mounting pressure of financial insecurities as the reality of a utility shut-off, eviction or food scarcity during the upcoming winter months. “We can’t adequately protect lives and work towards a sound revival of our economy without first getting control of this virus through better, more intentional Read more

 

Philadelphia lawmakers again select Dawkins to lead their House delegation in 2021-22 legislative session

(Nov 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 13 -- State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., will again serve as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus’ 25-member Philadelphia County Delegation for the 2021-22 legislative session. Democratic lawmakers of the delegation selected Dawkins during leadership elections on Thursday. Dawkins said delegation members also re-selected Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta as vice chairman and Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler as treasurer and secretary. “I am honored by my colleagues’ trust in my ideas and abilities and look forward to continuing my role in helping to move Philadelphia and our agenda forward,” Dawkins said. “By working together toward our shared goals, we can make certain that Philadelphia remains an economic powerhouse for Pennsylvania while ensuring equality and justice for all people in our economy, in our society and in our response to crisis, from police reform to getting guns off our streets and ensuring justice, equality and science in our pandemic response.” In the current legislative session Dawkins and the House Philadelphia Delegation laid out an agenda that focuses on investing in schools and educational opportunity, reforming a criminal justice system that continues to be rife with injustice, affordable and accessible health care for all, strengthening commercial corridors in the city, reducing gun violence and investing in clean energy sources that would produce thousands of jobs, while addressing climate Read more

 

Cephas, Kenyatta and Innamorato hold hearing to discuss plan to help low-income tenants facing eviction amid COVID-19

(Oct 09, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 9 – In their ongoing efforts to keep people in their homes, state Reps. Morgan Cephas, Malcolm Kenyatta and Sara Innamorato held a public hearing today to discuss legal aid for tenants facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The three brought members of the House Democratic Policy Committee and experts together to discuss legislation they are introducing to provide legal representation to low-income tenants facing an eviction hearing. "A study from the Center for American Progress shows nearly 90% of landlords and property managers across the country have access to legal representation compared to just 10% of tenants. And in most eviction cases, tenants without representation lose," said Cephas, D-Phila. "This ultimately comes down to fairness and the need to prevent our most vulnerable neighbors from being tossed out on the street. Our plan aims to connect them with the quality protection they need to help keep a roof over their head, especially during this health crisis." “The CDC’s moratorium will only stave off evictions until the end of the year, but the threat of a large-scale housing crisis still looms, so we must act now,” said Kenyatta, D-Phila. “During these uncertain and incredibly stressful times in which medical experts are urging everyone to stay at home, Pennsylvanians should be able to take solace in having a home of their own to retreat to. Read more

 

10/9/20 – Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction – Virtual

(Oct 09, 2020)

Materials from a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing held virtually and co-chaired by State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, Sara Innamorato and Morgan Cephas. Read more

 

HOUSE DEMOCRATIC POLICY COMMITTEE HEARING Topic: Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction

(Oct 08, 2020)

AGENDA 10:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel One: Patrick Cicero Executive Director, Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network John Pollock Coordinator, National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel Sam Chenkin Founder, Reclaim The Sector 10:30 a.m. Questions & Answers 10:50 a.m. Panel Two: Bob Damewood Staff Attorney, Regional Housing Legal Services Kevin Quisenberry Legislative Director, Community Justice Project Rasheedah Phillips Managing Attorney of Housing Policy, Community Legal Services, Inc. A. Michael Snyder Chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association Catherine Carr Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force Co-Chair, Philadelphia Bar Association 11:30 a.m. Questions & Answers 11:50 a.m. Closing Remarks Read more

 

HOUSE DEMOCRATIC POLICY COMMITTEE HEARING Topic: Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction

(Oct 08, 2020)

AGENDA 10:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel One: Patrick Cicero Executive Director, Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network John Pollock Coordinator, National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel Sam Chenkin Founder, Reclaim The Sector 10:30 a.m. Questions & Answers 10:50 a.m. Panel Two: Bob Damewood Staff Attorney, Regional Housing Legal Services Kevin Quisenberry Legislative Director, Community Justice Project Rasheedah Phillips Managing Attorney of Housing Policy, Community Legal Services, Inc. A. Michael Snyder Chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association Catherine Carr Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force Co-Chair, Philadelphia Bar Association 11:30 a.m. Questions & Answers 11:50 a.m. Closing Remarks Read more

 

HOUSE DEMOCRATIC POLICY COMMITTEE HEARING Topic: Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction

(Oct 08, 2020)

AGENDA 10:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel One: Patrick Cicero Executive Director, Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network John Pollock Coordinator, National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel Sam Chenkin Founder, Reclaim The Sector 10:30 a.m. Questions & Answers 10:50 a.m. Panel Two: Bob Damewood Staff Attorney, Regional Housing Legal Services Kevin Quisenberry Legislative Director, Community Justice Project Rasheedah Phillips Managing Attorney of Housing Policy, Community Legal Services, Inc. A. Michael Snyder Chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association Catherine Carr Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force Co-Chair, Philadelphia Bar Association 11:30 a.m. Questions & Answers 11:50 a.m. Closing Remarks Read more

 

State lawmakers representing Philadelphia welcome lawsuit against commonwealth, legislature for restricting gun-safety measures

(Oct 07, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 7 – State House lawmakers representing the House Philadelphia Delegation and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today pledged their full weight behind major legal action being taken against the commonwealth for preventing local governments from enacting their own gun-safety laws. The lawsuit filed by the city and private law firms on behalf of Pennsylvanians who have been impacted by gun violence was announced at a news conference in Philadelphia today. Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins and PLBC Chairman Stephen Kinsey said it was long past time for the many people who have been impacted by gun violence to receive true acknowledgement and justice for their pain. They said the delegations they lead have worked for years to enact sensible gun-safety measures in the state but have been hampered by a Republican majority legislature determined to give no one in the state the ability to reduce gun violence and save lives. “Philadelphia and municipalities across the state took action tragedy after tragedy on behalf of the residents they serve when the state would not, only to be met with callous laws specifically designed to prevent them from doing so,” Dawkins said. “I am equally tired of the hallow promises to help reduce gun violence being made by the Republican majority following each tragedy. They hold the power to move the commonsense gun safety legislation we put forward. Yet, they continue to deny Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee to hold virtual hearing Friday on legal aid for tenants facing eviction

(Oct 06, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 6 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing on legal aid for tenants facing evictions. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 9. The media and public can watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . Requested by state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila; Morgan Cephas, D-Phila.; and Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny; the hearing will collect testimony from policy experts as they work on legislation to provide legal aid for tenants. Testifiers and legislators will speak remotely. Testifiers will include: Patrick Cicero , executive director, Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network. John Pollock , staff attorney, Public Justice Center. Sam Chenkin , founder, Reclaim The Sector. Rasheedah Phillips , managing attorney of housing policy, Community Legal Services Inc. Bob Damewood , staff attorney, Regional Housing Legal Services. Kevin Quisenberry , legislative director, Community Justice Project. A. Michael Snyder , chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association. Catherine Carr , civil gideon and access to justice task force co-chair, Philadelphia Bar Association. Following the hearing, testimonies and full hearing video will be posted at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more

 

Boyle, Kenyatta to introduce legislation to ensure democracy isn't compromised in the November election

(Sep 28, 2020)

Just weeks before the general election, state Reps. Kevin Boyle and Malcolm Kenyatta are introducing legislation to strengthen Pennsylvania's election laws and help ensure democracy isn't compromised in November. "It's no secret that this president will go to great lengths to ensure victory, no matter what the American people want," said House State Government Committee Democratic Chairman Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery. "With Pennsylvania being a key battleground state, we have a responsibility in the state legislature to close unnecessary loopholes and make sure everyone's vote counts." Boyle said today their proposal would crackdown on so-called faithless electors by amending Pennsylvania's Election Code to require presidential electors to vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates who received the highest number of votes in the commonwealth during the general election. Under this plan, which is similar to Colorado and Oklahoma's law, faithless electors who vote against the candidates they vowed to support, would: Face a misdemeanor punishable by fine. Have their vote invalidated. Be replaced. “Faithless electors disregard the will of the people and ultimately tarnish the integrity of our democracy,” Kenyatta Read more

 

Today’s House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing Postponed to October 9

(Sep 23, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced that the House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on legal aid for tenants facing evictions that was scheduled for 9 a.m. today has been moved to Friday, Oct. 9 due to the House being called into session on short notice. Requested by state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila, Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., and Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, the hearing will still be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Room G-50 Irvis Office Building in Harrisburg on Oct. 9. The media and public are urged to watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . Read more

 

Kenyatta announces $215.6K in grants to combat homelessness

(Sep 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 14 – As the threat of a housing crisis stemming from the pandemic looms, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila, today announced that state grants totaling $215,600 have been awarded to two local organizations in his 181 st District to combat homelessness. Kenyatta, who is a member of the newly established Democratic Housing Working Group, said the grants will help Drueding Rental Assistance and Prevention Program ($115,600) provide rental and financial assistance to young parent-headed households, and Serenity Court- Medical Respite for Homeless ($100,000) to expand capacity of its current recovery facility which accommodates medically fragile people experiencing homelessness who are recovering from major illnesses, surgery, or COVID-19. “I’ve been tirelessly working to address the ongoing issue of homelessness through eliminating poverty, prior to the pandemic. Now, I am actively trying to keep more people from losing their homes in the wake of this economic crisis caused by the pandemic,” Kenyatta said. “Combatting homelessness—no matter the cause-- takes a concerted effort among elected officials and advocacy organizations. I am thrilled to see these grants help carry our efforts of ensuring residents can have a place to call home.” Kenyatta said the grants were distributed by The Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services, which received a grant award of nearly $1.5 million Read more

 

House Democrats fight to keep renters, homeowners Safe at Home

(Aug 31, 2020)

The House Democratic Housing Working Group announced a package of bills to protect people across Pennsylvania as the state’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosures expires Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on House Republican Policy hearing on law enforcement; calls for further legislative action

(Aug 27, 2020)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of local and state elected officials and advocates, issued the following statement in response to a Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee hearing on law enforcement interactions with the community:“We appreciate the House Republican Policy Committee shining a light on how law enforcement interacts with communities around the state. This is a necessary discussion that is long overdue and it’s encouraging to hear presenters today acknowledge that police reform is necessary. Read more

 

Kenyatta condemns hate targeting transgendered Pennsylvanians

(Jul 23, 2020)

HARRISBURGH, July 23 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta condemned the Bloomsburg Fair mocking state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine and pointed out that the transphobic remarks relay to ongoing violence against trans people. “Dr. Levine is an exemplary public servant as she continues to lead our commonwealth through these uncertain times in a dignified manner. Those pivoting to transphobic slandering to undermine her leadership, which has proven to save lives, reveal a deep seeded and ugly hatred against the trans community. “These so-called jokes at the expense of trans identities invalidates the humanity of trans people and greenlights depraving violence against them. That violence has been often been directed at trans women, and even more often, specifically Black transwomen. Transphobia coupled with misogynoir has resulted in the brutal slaughtering of six Black transwomen nationwide in the span of a few months -- one of which happened right here in our commonwealth in my hometown of Philadelphia. “These latest murders are why we must actively condemn transphobia in every form, including ‘jokes’ at fairs. We must also hold perpetrators of hatred accountable to convey the message that Pennsylvania will not tolerate hatred!” Kenyatta, D-Phila., is the first openly gay man of color in Pennsylvania history serve in the General Assembly. He has been a staunch advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and Read more

 

House members to introduce resolution honoring Congressman John Lewis

(Jul 23, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 23 – This week, state Reps. Stephen Kinsey, Jordan Harris, and Malcolm Kenyatta, all D-Phila., announced they will be introducing a resolution honoring Congressman John Lewis, who died on July 17. “Congressman Lewis was an integral part of the Civil Rights movement and a leading voice in the advancement of economic and social justice. His life was devoted to activism and advocacy for equal justice in America, and his actions have inspired so many today,” Kinsey said. “The next generation of leaders will continue to follow his legacy and help us achieve the equality that Congressman Lewis pictured.” “Congressman John Lewis was truly a giant of the Civil Rights movement and, beyond that, a moral compass in the United States House of Representatives,” Harris said. “Few have been able to have such a profound effect on the centuries-long struggle for equality and dignity for our Black and brown communities, but Congressman Lewis was a beacon of hope and righteousness that shined through very dark clouds in our nation’s history. It’s an honor to be fraternity brothers with Congressman Lewis in Phi Beta Sigma, and we will ensure his legacy will not be forgotten and, instead, will continue to energize and mobilize generation after generation that will carry on the mantle of this fight.” "The life and service of John Lewis was immensely influential in my own Read more

 

Lawmakers: Time to close Amazon sales tax loophole

(Jul 20, 2020)

Proposed change would level the playing field between local businesses and online retailer Read more

 

Rep. Kenyatta celebrates $50 million in hazard pay grant funding for Pa. frontline workers

(Jul 17, 2020)

HARRISBURGH, July 17 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta said his fight to guarantee Pennsylvanians working on the frontlines during the fatal COVID-19 pandemic are afforded increased wages has finally been accomplished with Gov. Tom Wolf recently announcing the availability of $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations. Kenyatta, D-Phila., called the program a sincere expression of appreciation for the sacrifices of frontline employees, and an overall win for workers’ rights. “I am proud of Governor Wolf’s support in our demands to prioritize Pennsylvania frontline workers in any mitigation efforts during this crisis,” Kenyatta said. “It is their labor that has sustained countless communities across our commonwealth throughout the pandemic. Providing this funding for hazard pay transcends the hollow ‘thank you,’ and explicitly demonstrates our appreciation for their service by guaranteeing that they are properly compensated.” From the start of this crisis, Kenyatta boasts a solid track record of championing protections for the rights and safety of Pennsylvania’s essential workers. In May, the lawmaker stood in solidarity with Temple health care workers on the picket line in his district. Last month, in a video that has since gone viral , Kenyatta challenged booing Republicans in the House chamber about Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on Vice President Pence’s visit with the Fraternal Order of Police

(Jul 09, 2020)

In response to Vice President Mike Pence visiting with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, the Police Reform Working Group, made up of state and county elected officials and advocates, released the following statement:“As members of the Police Reform Working Group, we believe that the path to achieving community safety and racial justice in Pennsylvania must be two-fold. First, we must improve our current system of policing through accountability, oversight, and tangible policy changes that will diminish instances of police brutality against all citizens, but especially against the Black community. Second, we must work with communities to transform and re-envision policing itself through bold systemic changes that center around those most impacted by police violence and structural racism. Read more

 

Kenyatta blasts 2021-22 budget as a failure to Pennsylvanians in crisis
Nov 23, 2020

Kenyatta calls for statewide mask requirement in new bill as COVID-19 cases surge
Nov 19, 2020

Philadelphia lawmakers again select Dawkins to lead their House delegation in 2021-22 legislative session
Nov 13, 2020

Cephas, Kenyatta and Innamorato hold hearing to discuss plan to help low-income tenants facing eviction amid COVID-19
Oct 09, 2020

10/9/20 – Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction – Virtual
Oct 09, 2020

HOUSE DEMOCRATIC POLICY COMMITTEE HEARING Topic: Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction
Oct 08, 2020

HOUSE DEMOCRATIC POLICY COMMITTEE HEARING Topic: Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction
Oct 08, 2020

HOUSE DEMOCRATIC POLICY COMMITTEE HEARING Topic: Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction
Oct 08, 2020

State lawmakers representing Philadelphia welcome lawsuit against commonwealth, legislature for restricting gun-safety measures
Oct 07, 2020

House Democratic Policy Committee to hold virtual hearing Friday on legal aid for tenants facing eviction
Oct 06, 2020

Boyle, Kenyatta to introduce legislation to ensure democracy isn't compromised in the November election
Sep 28, 2020

Today’s House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing Postponed to October 9
Sep 23, 2020

Kenyatta announces $215.6K in grants to combat homelessness
Sep 14, 2020

House Democrats fight to keep renters, homeowners Safe at Home
Aug 31, 2020

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on House Republican Policy hearing on law enforcement; calls for further legislative action
Aug 27, 2020

Kenyatta condemns hate targeting transgendered Pennsylvanians
Jul 23, 2020

House members to introduce resolution honoring Congressman John Lewis
Jul 23, 2020

Lawmakers: Time to close Amazon sales tax loophole
Jul 20, 2020

Rep. Kenyatta celebrates $50 million in hazard pay grant funding for Pa. frontline workers
Jul 17, 2020

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on Vice President Pence’s visit with the Fraternal Order of Police
Jul 09, 2020