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Kenyatta announces $215.6K in grants to combat homelessness

Rep. Kenyatta pens letter to Gov. Wolf urging relief for essential workers in Pa.

(Apr 08, 2020)

The Honorable Tom Wolf Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office of the Governor 508 Main Capitol Building Harrisburg, PA 17120 Dear Governor Wolf: I stand with the citizens of this Commonwealth in gratitude for the leadership you have demonstrated in providing assistance to workers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic disaster emergency. Your swift action has allayed the fears of many by providing for non-essential businesses and the workers they employ left without income, sacrificing their livelihoods for the safety of all Pennsylvanians. Yet, while non-essential businesses are shuttered, our essential workers continue to guarantee our citizens have food, medicine, gas and other essentials vital at this difficult time. I feel strongly that we need to provide for these workers, toiling daily at great risk to their own safety to keep our grocery stores stocked, our cars running, and our pharmacies staffed. Recently, Minnesota and Vermont became the first states to protect and provide for workers deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz classified “food distribution workers” (which includes grocery store employees) as “emergency personnel.” Vermont’s Department of Public Safety Commissioner added grocery store workers to the department’s list of “essential persons.” These classifications grant Read more

 

Kenyatta: Trio of bills will have disastrous consequences as pandemic reaches its peak

(Apr 08, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 8 – Today, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., expressed disapproval of bills (H.B. 2400, H.B. 2376, and H.B. 1874) introduced by House Republicans that would reopen industries that are classified as non-life saving in Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts: “It’s absolutely ludicrous to even contemplate going against everything state, national and global medical experts are urging residents to do to reduce the spread of this fatal virus,” Kenyatta said. “Opening businesses that are not essential during a time when this pandemic is soon poised to reach its peak will have disastrous consequences. For one, our health care systems will be overloaded with the inevitable uptick of new cases, compounded by the existing cases it’s already struggling to quell. Additionally, these bills lack foresight into offering provisions like paid sick leave and hazard pay for these employees who will be most at-risk for exposure. However, I expect nothing more from the same members of our legislature who denied many of these employees fair pay by voting against increasing the minimum wage, but are now conveniently coding them as essential for cheap profit. “We’re battling a very dangerous, yet invisible threat that is an unprecedented occurrence in our lifetime right now, which incites feelings of confusion and fear among so many Pennsylvanians who are looking to us as legislators for the Read more

 

Rep. Kenyatta pens letter to Gov. Wolf urging relief for essential workers in Pa.

(Apr 08, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 8 – In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today penned a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, expressing his gratitude for the governor’s swift pandemic mitigation responses, and requested immediate relief and assistance to Pennsylvanians employed in essential industries. In his letter, which was endorsed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union and currently has over 47 signatures -- including leadership and three delegation chairs -- Kenyatta pointed out that Pennsylvanians working at jobs deemed essential are still lacking essential benefits, while they put themselves at risk to ensure many other Pennsylvanians are provided food, medicine, gas and other necessities. “Despite tactics to undermine leadership by the governor and his administration, Pennsylvanians commend his actions in keeping us all safe during this trying time,” Kenyatta said. “Those actions should also include active recognition that many of our neighbors on the frontlines working essential jobs continue to do so without proper provisions like hazard pay and expanded sick leave, among other crucial benefits. These heroes cannot be forgotten, and they deserve assurance and security.” A link to the letter can be found on Kenyatta’s website . Read more

 

Kenyatta, Lee say repossessions must end until COVID-19 pandemic ends

(Apr 01, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 1– Today, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., issued the following statement about car repossessions during the state of emergency declared by Gov. Tom Wolf: “In these uncertain times, people should not have to worry about losing a vehicle. They may be dealing with unemployment, shuttling kids to daycare or showing up to an essential job and desperately need their car for transportation. Governor Wolf declared a state of emergency, and it’s time to start taking strong actions to protect Pennsylvanians where it really matters. “Public transportation across the state is operating on reduced schedules and that makes it harder for people to get groceries and medicine. If we want to keep people safe and help flatten the curve, we need to make sure people keep their own vehicles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Reliable transportation can be a matter of life and death in situations like these.” Kenyatta said he plans to introduce legislation, along with Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, that would prohibit repossessions for the duration of the governor’s state of emergency. Read more

 

Kenyatta, Shusterman demand protections for gig economy workers in final federal COVID-19 recovery bill

(Mar 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – As a historic $2 trillion COVID-19 financial response legislation package struck a deal in Congress early Wednesday morning, state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Melissa Shusterman today introduced a resolution urging federal lawmakers to ensure unemployment compensation for the nation’s 57 million independent contractors and “gig” economy workers (or app based independent contractors) is included in the final financial aid legislation aimed at helping workers during the coronavirus crisis. “These employees comprise over a third of the country’s working population and remain among the most critically under-protected workers, with many not qualifying for unemployment benefits. During this pandemic, they were left with the terrible ultimatum of continuing to work to make ends meet or do their part in reducing spreading the virus by staying home. Many have chosen the latter, resulting in loss of income at alarming rates and the prospect of recouping those losses is uncertain,” Kenyatta, D-Phila., said. “We’re demanding that all independent contractors are protected in any final package.” Shusterman, D-Chester, concurred with Kenyatta’s assertion saying, “It is important that we help this sector of our work population navigate this crisis with immediate relief and action.” Kenyatta said that a copy of the resolution would also be sent to President Donald Trump and Vice Read more

 

COVID-19 Resources and Information

(Mar 21, 2020)

** Below is a list of informational links for resources in and around Philadelphia related to COVID-19. This will be updated as more/new information becomes available ** The latest info on COVID-19 cases and other data statewide from the Pennsylvania Department of Health : https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx The latest information on COVID-19 cases and other data in Philadelphia from the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health : https://www.phila.gov/services/mental-physical-health/environmental-health-hazards/covid-19/ The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has activated a Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline . It’s available 24/7. If you have questions about symptoms and risk factors, what to do if you think you may have been exposed, testing resources, or recommendations for social distancing, you can contact the helpline at 1-800-722-7112. More info: https://www.phila.gov/2020-03-14-greater-philadelphia-coronavirus-helpline-opened-by-health/?fbclid=IwAR2HZUc0yYdy66IMO4nrx8g4Z8vKMHE9qWUXmmLDe3OZFIjVhiwGDu0ZFIo List of essential Philadelphia services and how to access them: https://www.phila.gov/2020-03-18-essential-city-services-remain-open-here-is-how-to-access-them/?mc_cid=7f7be1d618&mc_eid=eda5e48c86 . Information about how SEPTA is operating: http://www.septa.org/service/rail/midday-schedule.html Information about how Amtrak is Read more

 

Kenyatta to introduce legislation halting student loan repayments in response to COVID-19

(Mar 13, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 13 – With Pennsylvanians impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak , state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., is currently drafting legislation that would defer student loan repayments to PHEAA for up to 60 days. “ With all the workplace closures happening in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, many commonwealth residents are grappling to pay their necessary bills because of the sudden loss of income,” Kenyatta said. “Borrowers, especially, are unable to make payments on their student loans.” Kenyatta, who represents the 181 st Legislative District, said Pennsylvania bears the second highest average debt per student at $35,759 per student. A total of $53.7 billion collectively looms over the state’s borrowers. “We’re in the midst of an incredibly stressful time and the legislation I’m drafting aims to provide some financial relief during this pandemic,” he said. Read more

 

Kenyatta weighs in on closures, cancellations in 181st district due to COVID-19

(Mar 12, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 12 – Following Mastery Clymer Elementary School announcing its closure for precautionary measures after a student displayed flu-like symptoms and Temple University becoming the latest higher education institution in the region to move all classes online for the remainder of the semester, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., said he supports these measures and will continue to closely monitor updates from within his 181 st Legislative District. “These are aggressive but necessary moves to protect the health and human safety,” Kenyatta said. “I’ve been closely monitoring the latest updates surrounding COVID-19 and having ongoing discussions with Temple University, including the hospital, on efforts to prevent exposure. Fortunately, there hasn’t been a reported case on campus and I fully support Temple’s and Clymer’s decisions to keep its faculty, staff, students and the at-large community safe.” Kenyatta also announced the cancellation of the upcoming Women’s Resource Fair scheduled for Thursday, March 19 at Lutheran Settlement House, co-hosted by state Rep. Mary Isaacson. “Representative Isaacson and I were thrilled to co-host this event to celebrate women and encourage solidarity through this resource fair, but the state Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control have strongly cautioned against going into heavily populated contained spaces,” Kenyatta Read more

 

Sanchez, Kenyatta discuss legislation about reporting lost or stolen firearms

(Mar 10, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 10 – State Reps. Ben Sanchez, D-Montgomery, and Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., on Monday co-hosted a news conference at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Kenyatta’s 181 st Legislative District to urge the General Assembly to vote on legislation about reporting lost or stolen firearms. “ We’re standing in the epicenter of the gun violence epidemic. It’s right here in North Philly – my community – where countless lives have been taken by guns, particularly guns that have been lost or stolen only to resurface in the hands of dangerous people,” Kenyatta said. “Today, we’re demanding our state legislature to stop ignoring this critical piece of legislation and to stop putting special interests and petty partisanship over what truly matters – lives.” Sanchez reintroduced H.B. 1288 in April – it was first introduced as H.B. 1515 by former state Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, during the 2013-14 legislative session – to require any owner or other person lawfully in possession of a firearm who suffers the loss or theft of a weapon to report it to law enforcement within 72 hours of the discovery. A failure to do so would result in a summary offense. Bearing the same language, the bill was reintroduced as H.B. 832 during the 2014-15 legislative session and again in the 2016-17 session. To date, the bill has been introduced five times. “This Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds over $14K in state grants to help preserve local historical landmarks

(Mar 03, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 4 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta today announced $14,963 in state grants are headed to the 181 st Legislative District to help support the preservation of two local historical landmarks. Historic Fair Hill, a 300-year-old Quaker burial ground and nature and history education center, and Wagner Free Institute of Science, a natural science history museum founded in 1855, received a $4,000 and a $10,953 state grant, respectively. “Historic Fair Hill and the Wagner Free Institute of Science have both served as longtime community education centers that have fostered and inspired Philadelphians’ hunger for knowledge for centuries,” Kenyatta said. “These sites are also tourist destinations that direct traffic into many of the local businesses here in North Philly. It’s critical that we preserve these organizations and help them continue their invaluable and timeless purpose.” The funding was awarded through the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Society's Cultural and Historical Support Grant Program, which provides general operating support to Pennsylvania museums and official county historic societies. Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds Tech Freire Charter School for winning school safety grant

(Mar 02, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 2 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta today congratulated Tech Freire Charter School, which resides in his 181st Legislative District , for winning a $7,000 state grant to measure its current physical safety and behavioral health programs to determine if adjustments should be made. He also lauded a safety grant awarded in the same round to Temple University. “Children are among our must vulnerable citizens and it is our civic and moral duty to provide safe spaces for them in school and beyond,” Kenyatta said. “I congratulate the educators and administrators of Tech Freire for recognizing the need to assess the physical and mental safety of their students and for making a strong case for the state dollars that will help in the effort. I am committed to making sure all possible state funding that is meant to ensure the presence of behavioral health counseling services, security equipment and safety plans in schools is sent to the people I serve.” Kenyatta is a sponsor of legislation that would require the Department of Education to investigate and report on the number of mental health professionals in schools in order to make recommendations on how to increase the number of school mental health professionals to meet nationally accepted ratios. The bill (H.B. 1622), known as Philip’s Law, is named in honor of a an 11-year-old student from his legislative district who died by suicide after struggling to seek and get Read more

 

Kenyatta Winter 2020 Newsletter

(Feb 26, 2020)

My Winter 2020 is now available! Read more

 

Kenyatta co-hosts bipartisan public hearing on combatting mental health issues among youth

(Feb 13, 2020)

WASHINGTON CROSSING, Feb. 13 – Today, longtime mental health advocate state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., co-hosted a public hearing with Rep. Wendi Thomas, R- Bucks, at the Washington Crossing United Methodist Church to discuss solutions for youth struggling with mental health. “I am thrilled to have been a part of this discussion that transcends partisanship because as public servants, we are all obligated to ensure our residents are physically, emotionally and mentally well,” Kenyatta said. “Mental health has always been a pressing and a coincidingly stigmatized issue in our society; I have been a longtime advocate for breaking those stigmas and promoting comprehensive solutions to ensure the well-being of our children.” Thomas concurred with her Democratic House colleague’s praises of the bipartisan cohesion and pointed out that mental health also doesn’t discriminate. “Mental health is an issue that does not discriminate. It affects all ages, races, genders and classes. Chances are that each of us knows an individual who has struggled with mental health issues, and we all hope that those close to us would be able to get the necessary assistance in times of desperation. Unfortunately, as many as 60% of students do not receive the treatment they need due to stigma and lack of access to services,” said Thomas, adding, “It is so encouraging to see, not only so many legislators attend our Read more

 

Philadelphia Delegation lauds Wolf’s 2020-21 state budget proposal

(Feb 04, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – The House Democratic Philadelphia Delegation today lauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2020-21 budget proposal for including many of the priorities they identified as important to improving the quality of life for Philadelphians and for people across Pennsylvania, according to Delegation Chairman Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila. Wolf outlined his proposal before a joint session of the General Assembly this morning. Led by Dawkins, members of the Philadelphia Delegation met with the governor earlier in the year to stress their budget priorities, including state funding to rid Philadelphia schools of toxins and fix crumbling infrastructure; funding to reduce waiting lists and provide more support for seniors, people living in poverty and those with disabilities; raising the minimum wage to a living wage; creating good jobs with an education plan to provide the skills to fill them; and addressing poverty and gun violence as a public health crisis. “The Philadelphia Delegation is grateful for Governor Wolf’s vision for the state in this, his sixth budget plan,” Dawkins said. “His proposals are people-focused and seek to provide more opportunities for everyone, not just the privileged few. We will be a loud voice in making sure they are included this year.” Dawkins said the governor’s budget proposal includes $1.1 billion to ensure students, teachers and staff can learn and work in classrooms that aren’t Read more

 

1/29/20 – Hunger Free Campus – Philadelphia

(Jan 31, 2020)

Materials from a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing hosted by State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta. Read more

 

Kenyatta, Policy Committee discuss hunger free campus legislation

(Jan 29, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 29 – Today, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss legislation, H.B. 2005, he introduced with Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, that would combat widespread food insecurities among college and university students across Pennsylvania. “For students, it’s difficult to deal with hunger-induced headaches and hunger pangs while also trying to focus on their studies. It’s a silent struggle that up to 30% of all students endure and a reason why many drop out,” Kenyatta said, adding that he too was a hungry college student. “As public servants, it’s our duty to ensure that residents in our commonwealth have access to healthy foods. Futures are at stake here.” Kenyatta said his legislation aims to create a grant program that would help colleges and universities eliminate campus hunger. Testifiers during the hearing included Cathy Buhrig, director of Bureau of Policy for the Office of Income Maintenance, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services; Aaron Rey Ebreo, director of student basic needs, Temple Student Government; Sara Goldrick-Rab, founder, Hope Center for College, Community and Justice professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology, Temple University; Pam Frontino, associate director of Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs, West Chester University; and Allison Mootz, vice president and dean of Student Affairs, Read more

 

Dawkins and Philadelphia Delegation applaud Gov. Wolf’s budget allocation to address lead, asbestos issues in schools

(Jan 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 29 – Members of the House Democratic Philadelphia Delegation, led by Rep. Jason Dawkins, today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to include funding to address lead issues in public schools, including those in Philadelphia, in the budget. “Our children deserve to learn, and our teachers deserve to teach, in schools that don’t make them sick,” said Dawkins, chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation. “This is something that we can all agree on. But for far too long, our children, teachers and anyone else who has entered school buildings in Philadelphia have taken their own lives into their hands because often lead and asbestos were lurking inside. “My delegation colleagues and I are overjoyed at the news that Governor Wolf will be making investments in lead and asbestos remediation projects in our schools. Finally, we can take the steps to make our school buildings safe places to learn and to teach,” Dawkins said. “After so many of us have fought for so long to bring attention to this crisis, we are so grateful that Governor Wolf is making this a priority.” Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., secretary of the Philadelphia Delegation, agreed that it’s great news Wolf plans to prioritize the funding to allow schools to get rid of toxins. “We won’t rest until this money is a reality,” Fiedler added. “Every single Pennsylvania student Read more

 

Kenyatta to host Policy hearing on hunger free campus legislation Wednesday in Philadelphia

(Jan 27, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 27 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss combatting widespread food insecurity among college and university students across Pennsylvania. The hearing will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad St., 19123. Members of the public and media are invited to attend. Kenyatta, who personally struggled with hunger as a college student, requested the hearing to also talk about legislation, H.B. 2055, that he introduced with Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, that would create a grant program to help colleges and universities eliminate campus hunger. He will be joined by fellow state legislators, including HDPC Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and O’Mara. The current hearing agenda is: 10 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks. 10:10 a.m. Cathy Buhrig, director, Bureau of Policy for the Office of Income Maintenance, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. 10:40 a.m. Panel One: • Aaron Rey Ebreo, director of student basic needs, Temple Student Government. • Sara Goldrick-Rab, founder, Hope Center for College, Community and Justice and professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology, Temple University. 11:20 a.m. Panel Two: • Pam Frontino, associate director of Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs, West Chester University. • Allison Mootz, vice Read more

 

Kenyatta presents $60K state grant for two Dobbins High gyms

(Jan 17, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., presented a $60,000 state grant to the Dobbins High School alumni group to help fund renovations of two of gyms that currently has more-than-80-year-old bleachers, backboards, wall pads and time clock. “Dobbins High has a long historical legacy that involves educating and fostering the talents of some of our country’s greatest athletes,” Kenyatta said. “Think of the inspiration this incites among current student athletes. I’m proud that this grant will continue that legacy, but with two brand new gyms, and leave a lasting impression for more aspiring athletes to start their own legacies here.” Kenyatta was joined in the gym filled with Dobbins High students, faculty and staff, including Principal Toni Damon, and Dobbins High School alumni for a pep rally led by the school’s cheerleaders and athletes. The freshman legislator then presented the $60,000 state grant. More than 600 students currently attend the school, whose gym was home court for college basketball star Hank Gathers, former NBA player Gregory “Bo” Kimble and three-time Olympian Dawn Staley, who coached the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team to a national championship. Dobbins High School was built in 1937 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. In November, officials cut the ribbon on a two-year, $39 million renovation of the school that Read more

 

Kenyatta discusses suicide prevention report

(Jan 15, 2020)

Pa. state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta talks about the preliminary report released by the Suicide Prevention Task Force on Jan. 14. He is a member of the task force that has been touring the state to gather information and develop Pennsylvania’s suicide prevention plan. Read more

 

Rep. Kenyatta pens letter to Gov. Wolf urging relief for essential workers in Pa.
Apr 08, 2020

Kenyatta: Trio of bills will have disastrous consequences as pandemic reaches its peak
Apr 08, 2020

Rep. Kenyatta pens letter to Gov. Wolf urging relief for essential workers in Pa.
Apr 08, 2020

Kenyatta, Lee say repossessions must end until COVID-19 pandemic ends
Apr 01, 2020

Kenyatta, Shusterman demand protections for gig economy workers in final federal COVID-19 recovery bill
Mar 25, 2020

COVID-19 Resources and Information
Mar 21, 2020

Kenyatta to introduce legislation halting student loan repayments in response to COVID-19
Mar 13, 2020

Kenyatta weighs in on closures, cancellations in 181st district due to COVID-19
Mar 12, 2020

Sanchez, Kenyatta discuss legislation about reporting lost or stolen firearms
Mar 10, 2020

Kenyatta applauds over $14K in state grants to help preserve local historical landmarks
Mar 03, 2020

Kenyatta applauds Tech Freire Charter School for winning school safety grant
Mar 02, 2020

Kenyatta Winter 2020 Newsletter
Feb 26, 2020

Kenyatta co-hosts bipartisan public hearing on combatting mental health issues among youth
Feb 13, 2020

Philadelphia Delegation lauds Wolf’s 2020-21 state budget proposal
Feb 04, 2020

1/29/20 – Hunger Free Campus – Philadelphia
Jan 31, 2020

Kenyatta, Policy Committee discuss hunger free campus legislation
Jan 29, 2020

Dawkins and Philadelphia Delegation applaud Gov. Wolf’s budget allocation to address lead, asbestos issues in schools
Jan 29, 2020

Kenyatta to host Policy hearing on hunger free campus legislation Wednesday in Philadelphia
Jan 27, 2020

Kenyatta presents $60K state grant for two Dobbins High gyms
Jan 17, 2020

Kenyatta discusses suicide prevention report
Jan 15, 2020