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

 

Kenyatta blasts Pa. Supreme Court for abandoning state’s most vulnerable residents in GA ruling

(Dec 21, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 20 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta called Wednesday’s ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to deny cash assistance to the commonwealth’s most needy citizens a travesty of justice. “General Assistance should never have been eliminated in the first place,” Kenyatta said. “And now our state’s highest court has taken the cowardly road instead of standing up for the most vulnerable among us. To say that I am angry by this ruling and the way people living in poverty and in distress are treated in Pennsylvania is an understatement. This is a travesty of justice and appalling indifference toward humanity.” Specifically, the PA Supreme Court ruled that the lower Commonwealth Court had merit to decide that the groups challenging the law that eliminated the program did not prove they were likely to win their case in the underlying lawsuit, and therefore had no obligation to restore the monthly relief to some 11,000 Pennsylvanians. According to Kenyatta, GA provided roughly $200 a month to help people in need afford life’s necessities – including soap, toothpaste, meals and a ride to work, assistance that is later reimbursed to states by the federal government. The program was eliminated during 2019-20 state budget negotiations. “General Assistance is a critical lifeline for our poorest and most vulnerable citizens, snatched away in a so-called compromise for other Read more

 

Kenyatta, Lewis’ bill to establish cybersecurity oversight board unanimously passes House committee

(Dec 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 17 –State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., and Andrew Lewis, R- Dauphin, today announced that legislation they authored to install a first-of-its kind cybersecurity oversight board in Pennsylvania was unanimously approved by the House Commerce Committee. Kenyatta, who is currently serving in his first term, said the bill, H.B. 2009 , would establish a Cybersecurity Coordination Board to protect data by conducting cybersecurity audits and improving security and privacy standards. The board would also collaborate with businesses and academic institutions to assist in providing effective cybersecurity safety awareness and education. “As elected officials, it is our duty to ensure the safety and well-being of all Pennsylvanians and it’s imperative that cybersecurity be included among the institutions we should be safeguarding because too many Pennsylvanians have been drastically impacted by cyber-attacks,” Kenyatta said. “I am proud of the bipartisan support our legislation has received and thankful that protecting Pennsylvanians from cyber threats is something that we can all stand behind.” “Cyber criminals are relentless in their passion for disrupting the flow of information whenever they see an opening, especially when it comes to prominent parties such as government entities,” Lewis said. “We must be equally as passionate in our efforts to fend off these attempts to create chaos Read more

 

Kenyatta defends North Philadelphia community that Temple University student’s video called ‘ghetto’

(Dec 12, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 12 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today forcefully denounced a video of a Temple University student who expressed disparaging comments against the surrounding North Philly community, according to recent news reports. “I am a proud product of this North Philly community and I remain proud to be Temple Made, and because I come from both of those worlds, I know firsthand that those comments in that video couldn’t be farther from the truth and are deeply disrespectful,” Kenyatta said, who represents the 181 st legislative district where Temple University’s main campus is located. “This vibrant community is comprised of some of our city’s most hardworking people who persevere and thrive despite the many obstacles they face. “This community and its residents are my family and my neighbors; they nurtured me and instilled in me invaluable life skills that I have carried with me throughout my life. I am honored to continue to call this community my home and it has been an utmost privilege to pay forward everything this community has provided me by representing them in Harrisburg and ensuring their voices are uplifted as we fight together to dismantle the systemic issues that stymies this community from reaching its full potential. “With that said, I know this student’s views do not align with most Temple students and I applaud the university for swiftly condemning this Read more

 

Kenyatta condemns latest proposed cuts to SNAP benefits, calls on state lawmakers to support resolution

(Dec 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 5 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., said he condemns the Trump administration’s work requirements for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program that stands to eliminate benefits for 688,000 adults. “The Trump administration is conjuring the old, classist tactic that shames people who have fallen on hard times,” Kenyatta said. “This notion that people relying on SNAP are casually siphoning these benefits is absurd. “The nearly 700,000 people who will be impacted most are already employed, but work minimum wage jobs where securing steady shiftscan be difficult. For those who are unemployed, many reside in areas with high rates of unemployment due to the dearth of jobs. We also can’t ignore the economic impact these rollbacks will cause to our agriculture industry because of the removal of cash flow provided by SNAP benefits.” Kenyatta called on his lawmaker colleagues to join him supporting a House resolution he co-introduced with state Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., that would condemn similar proposals by the Trump administration to cut SNAP benefits back in August. “The Trump administration is once again punching down and should instead be focusing on ensuring employers are providing jobs that pay fair wages, not relegating the working class into the working poor,” he said. “We as lawmakers must do all we can to protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvania Read more

 

Kenyatta addresses closing of Pratt Early Childhood Center due to toxic conditions

(Nov 21, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 21 – Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila, issued this statement following the closing of Pratt Early Childhood Center due to asbestos and the School District of Philadelphia’s calls for Harrisburg to help fund its recently unveiled environmental safety plan for toxic hazard remediation in all its schools: “The calls from the parents, teachers, students and the School District of Philadelphia are being taken very seriously,” Kenyatta said. “No parent should have to fear sending their child to school and no child should ever be at risk for exposure to toxic materials while learning in an environment that is presumably safe. The health and safety our students and staff are my top priority and I’ve been working tirelessly to secure more funding to remove toxic hazards in schools in our community and across our city. “Just hours prior to learning about the abrupt closure of Pratt elementary school, I met with Governor Tom Wolf to discuss allocating more funds for our schools, in addition to the $4.3 million the governor provided in July.” To date, Kenyatta said, the governor has invested a total of $11.9 million for lead paint alleviation in schools across the city over two years, with $7.6 million provided last year. Since June 2018, through a combination of state funding and $11 million provided by the Philadelphia School District, 32 elementary schools have undergone lead paint stabilization by the Read more

 

Kenyatta announces $1.9 million in tax dollars for district

(Nov 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today announced just over $1.9 million in tax credits are being invested in his district for four community services organizations. The state Neighborhood Assistance Program awarded funding for the following: $11,000 to the Philadelphia Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha for gentrification prevention by utilizing its Financial Opportunity Center to offer income support, financial education and other housing counselling programs to Lower North Philadelphia residents faced with increasing gentrification in the area. To date, APM has leveraged over $200 million of private and public investments for its community plan for economic management and to eliminate community blight. $37,500 to Playworks Philadelphia to provide over 2,299 children with every school day during the 2019-20 school year with up to 30-45 minutes of healthy play and physical activity while also teaching social emotional skills; host up nearly 30 students in their youth leadership program; and train 60 teachers and school staff to integrate social emotional learning skills into healthy play and physical activity exercises during the school day. $56,250 to Project HOME-Philadelphia to address high level of health disparities among residents of Lower North Central Philadelphia residents. The organization plans on expanding its nursing capacity to three of its supportive housing Read more

 

Kenyatta secures a $76,000 state grant to help new Philabundance Community Kitchen

(Nov 12, 2019)

“Philabundance plays an integral role in eliminating food insecurities and lifting communities out of poverty,” Kenyatta said. Read more

 

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

Kenyatta blasts Pa. Supreme Court for abandoning state’s most vulnerable residents in GA ruling
Dec 21, 2019

Kenyatta, Lewis’ bill to establish cybersecurity oversight board unanimously passes House committee
Dec 17, 2019

Kenyatta defends North Philadelphia community that Temple University student’s video called ‘ghetto’
Dec 12, 2019

Kenyatta condemns latest proposed cuts to SNAP benefits, calls on state lawmakers to support resolution
Dec 05, 2019

Kenyatta addresses closing of Pratt Early Childhood Center due to toxic conditions
Nov 21, 2019

Kenyatta announces $1.9 million in tax dollars for district
Nov 19, 2019

Kenyatta secures a $76,000 state grant to help new Philabundance Community Kitchen
Nov 12, 2019