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Kinsey: Fresh Food Financing Initiative grants awarded

Kinsey: Fresh Food Financing Initiative grants awarded

(Sep 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey announced today that Fresh Food Financing Initiative grants have been approved for over 100 projects that improve access to food in low-income communities across the commonwealth. “Especially during a pandemic, it’s vital that people have access to fresh, healthy food,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “These grants will help community markets continue to serve people throughout these difficult times.” The FFFI was funded at $10 million through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and opened in July to for-profit, nonprofit, or cooperative entities including grocery stores, corner stores, convenience stores, neighborhood markets, bodegas, food hubs, mobile markets, farmers markets, on-farm markets, urban farms, and food aggregation centers with a direct connection to direct-to-consumer retail outlets. In 2019, Kinsey introduced H.B. 1814 along with Rep. Morgan Cephas and Rep. Danilo Burgos, both D-Phila., to reintroduce the program, which ran from 2004-2010. It would provide grants and low-interest loans for the construction, rehabilitation, or expansion of grocery stores, farmers markets, and other healthy food retail establishments in low- to moderate-income areas in need and other underserved communities. 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

 

Kinsey announces $130,514 in grants to help local schools during COVID-19 pandemic

(Aug 26, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 26 – Ahead of the upcoming school year, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey announced today $130,514 in grant funding will help local schools improve educational services for students during the coronavirus pandemic. Theodore Middle School - $59,870 Imhotep Institute Charter High School - $70,644 "During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the safety and well-being of our communities, our children and students especially, is a top priority," Kinsey said. "This funding will help schools in our district adapt to new challenges created by this public health crisis and ensure quality learning is continued while prioritizing the health and well-being of students, teachers and our community." According to Kinsey, these state resources are part of Governor's Emergency Education Relief Funds aimed at assisting schools and other educational agencies that are designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, passed by Congress, authorizes governors to determine the appropriate educational use of GEER Funds. Read more

 

Kinsey, Webster and PLBC members amplify call to remove Montco Commissioner Joe Gale

(Aug 13, 2020)

JEFFERSONVILLE, Aug. 13 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus; and Joe Webster, D-Montgomery, along with PLBC members state Reps. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, and Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today participated in a “Free from Hate” news conference led by PA Women Rise at the West Norriton Municipal Center. The group’s “Free from Hate” platform was centered around increased demands for the ousting of Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph Gale for his comments earlier this summer referring to people involved in the Black Lives Matter movement as terrorists. To further amplify their demands, the state legislators unveiled Webster’s H.R. 920 , which would impeach Gale and which Webster introduced in response to the offensive statement. “In our quest to free our communities of hate, we must condemn actors like Commissioner Gale who used his official capacity to perpetuate hate by vilifying residents’ calls for equality and justice,” Kinsey said. “Instead of being an active agent of change in upholding those calls, Gale chose to side with the powers of oppression. His actions demonstrate his complacency with injustice, making him unfit to serve the public, and for that, Gale must be removed immediately.” Concurring with Kinsey, Webster acknowledged the solidarity among lawmakers and community members, and also Read more

 

Historically Black Colleges in Pa. awarded $3M to resume operations safely

(Aug 04, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 4 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today said they are encouraged by the recent award of $3 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania. Kinsey leads the PLBC as its chairman. According to the lawmakers, Lincoln University was awarded $2.25 million and Cheyney University was awarded $750,000 to aid school administrators in creating safe and healthy learning environments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “The students at Lincoln and Cheyney universities are shining examples of leadership in an otherwise difficult world,” said state Rep. Jim Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee and PLBC member. “This funding will help administrators to continue the excellent education and opportunities they normally provide, while doing so safely,” In late spring, Kinsey and the PLBC encouraged state and federal officials to not only recognize racial and ethnic groups in coronavirus data but also prioritize funding for Black and brown communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. “While there have been longstanding racial and economic disparities in education, the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the danger to communities of color,” Kinsey said. “We in the PLBC were very discouraged by the disproportionate number of coronavirus cases and deaths affecting people of Read more

 

Schweyer holds joint PA Legislative Black Caucus/House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on police reform

(Jul 28, 2020)

Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh requested the House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on police reform to discuss police reforms that can apply to smaller cities like Allentown in addition to those being considered for larger metropolitan regions. Schweyer was joined by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, and chairman of the PA Legislative Black Caucus, state legislators from across the state and several local community leaders. Read more

 

Kinsey, PLBC denounce racism and bigotry in all forms

(Jul 27, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, July 27 -- State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today called for unity in working to eliminate all forms of racism and prejudice in Pennsylvania and beyond. “At a time when our fellow Americans – of all races, nationalities and religions – are marching together and demonstrating for equal treatment and the end of systemic racism against Black communities and people of color, the PLBC stands firm in its position that racism and bigotry should not be tolerated in any form, including anti-Semitism,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “Our society includes people of all races and religions, so we must work together to understand one another’s history and struggles and stand together against those who spew their hate and engage in harassment. Unintentional racism and bigotry due to ignorance of one another is part of the problem. I and the PLBC are committed to working together to ensure equality and an end to hate and prejudice in all its ugly forms.” Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee/PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold second hearing on Police Reform Tuesday in Capitol

(Jul 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 24 –State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus will hold a second hearing on police reform. Requested by state Rep. Pete Schweyer, D-Lehigh, HDPC Chair Sturla and PLBC Chair Kinsey said this hearing will focus on the Allentown region. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 28 in Room G-50 Irvis Office Building in Harrisburg. The media and public are urged to watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . Testifiers will participate remotely while members participate in-person and remotely. Testifiers will include: Chief Glenn Grantiz, Jr., Allentown Police Department Justan Parker, founder, Black Lives Matter to the Lehigh Valley Maegen Lierena, executive director, Make The Road Pennsylvania Nasheera Brown, student, Louise E. Dieruff High School Adrian Shanker, founder and executve director, Bradbury-Sullivan LBGT Community Center Following the hearing, testimonies and full hearing video will be posted at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . 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

 

House Democratic Policy Committee-PA Legislative Black Caucus start series of joint hearings on Police Reform Tuesday in Capitol

(Jul 20, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 20 –State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus will start a series of hearings to build on the success of recent police reform laws. HDPC Chair Sturla and PLBC Chair Kinsey said each hearing will focus on a region of the state to collect input on additional reform ideas from local stakeholders via virtual testimony. The first hearing will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21 in Room G-50 Irvis Office Building in Harrisburg. The media and public are urged to watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . Focusing on the Philadelphia region, testifiers will include: Danielle Outlaw , commissioner, Philadelphia Police Department Marcel Pratt , Philadelphia City solicitor Keir Bradford-Grey , chief public defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia Katherine Gilmore Richardson , Philadelphia City councilwoman at-large Zion Brooks , member, Philadelphia Student Union Rev. Mark Tyler , community activist, POWER Kevin Harden, Jr , attorney Alphonse Gerhardstein , board member, National Police Accountability Project The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission have also been invited to testify. Following the hearing, Read more

 

PLBC condemns S.B. 1166

(Jul 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 15 -- Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus condemned the House majority’s decision yesterday to push forward a proposed amendment to the state constitution while blocking discussion on further amendments. A total of 63 amendments had been filed by representatives from both parties. “It is inconceivable that a bill of this size would be pushed through without the proper time to debate and discuss other amendments,” said Kinsey, chairman of the PLBC. “To amend the state constitution without a public hearing or discussion is unacceptable.” “Now is the time to break down barriers and make resources accessible during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, not create more challenges that ultimately put Pennsylvania lives at risk,” said Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “This legislation is just the latest attempt by the majority party to reopen the commonwealth irresponsibly and tie the hands of those who have the power to effectively protect our most vulnerable neighbors from the coronavirus and any future health crises.” “An amendment to the state constitution needs ample time to be properly considered before it gets rushed though in this way,” said Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila. “As legislators, we can’t do our due diligence and go over every bill thoughtfully when we’re precluded from Read more

 

PLBC condemns Montgomery County commissioner’s comments on Black Lives Matter

(Jul 14, 2020)

Montgomery County, July 14 - Today, state Reps. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and Joe Webster, D-Montgomery, condemned Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph Gale for calling those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement terrorists. “It is reprehensible that an elected official would call peaceful protestors terrorists and promote violence in our communities,” Kinsey said. “This completely shatters the trust that Montgomery County residents will have with this office, and that is a great disservice to everyone.” "On June 1, Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph C. Gale issued a press statement under the Seal of the County of Montgomery in which he, without coordination with his fellow commissioners, without proper authority, and without evidence, declared that the Black Lives Matter movement are 'terrorists' seeking to 'justify the lawless destruction of our cities and surrounding communities,'" Webster said. "We have not forgotten that Gale peddles in racist conspiracy theories. We have not forgotten this egregious misuse of his official authority. And, because we are the constituents of Montgomery County he had sworn to serve, we continue our call for him to resign or be impeached." Webster introduced H.R. 920 calling for Gale’s impeachment. 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

 

PLBC commends unanimous affirmative vote for police reform legislation

(Jun 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – Today, members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus expressed tremendous gratitude to the House for their unanimous support of H.B. 1841 and H.B. 1910, which would improve police training and accountability. Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, introduced H.B. 1841, which would require employers to disclose employment information to a law enforcement agency that is conducting a background investigation of an applicant, and to permit a court to compel the release of such employment information if the employer fails to comply. The bill would also free the applicant’s previous employers from civil liability for sharing employment information in good faith with a police department looking to hire a new officer. It also includes an amendment introduced by state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., to require law enforcement agencies to keep detailed personnel records that include all substantiated criminal, civil and ethics complaints, as well as the reason and circumstances surrounding the separation of each officer. Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, introduced H.B. 1910, which would require police officers to receive training to recognize the signs of child abuse and childhood trauma. It includes an amendment containing Rep. Jason Dawkins’ own legislation that would require officers to undergo PTSD training after incidents involving deadly force. It would also allow commanding officers to request Read more

 

PLBC mourns Dominique Fells

(Jun 12, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, June 12 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today mourned the death of Dominque Fells, a Black trans woman who was murdered in Philadelphia this week, and called for greater emphasis on addressing the growing crisis of violence against Black transgender people. “The transgender community has faced unspeakable violence for too long. Their stories have been silenced and overlooked,” said state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila. and PLBC chairman. “We will continue to say Dominique’s name, as well as the names of so many other transgender people who were killed for simply being themselves. When we say Black Lives Matter, we mean Black trans lives too.” "What was done to Dominique Fells is horrific, and those responsible must be held accountable," state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. and PLBC vice chairwoman, said. "Dominique was a beautiful Black woman. Her life mattered. "The brutalizing of Black people must stop," Bullock continued. "Black trans women are Black women. They are our sisters. And yet we see them killed and assaulted at an even higher rate than other groups of people. They deserve the dignity and security that every woman, every person deserves." The lawmakers said they want to open a dialogue with the community, advocates, law enforcement and others to address the crisis and to identify solutions Read more

 

Kinsey, Dawkins to introduce bipartisan legislation outlawing use of chokeholds by law enforcement

(Jun 11, 2020)

In light of the death of George Floyd, another unarmed African American killed by a police officer – in this case, by one who applied unwarranted pressure to the victim’s airway for over eight minutes – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman state Rep. Stephen Kinsey and Philadelphia House Delegation Chairman state Rep. Jason Dawkins are introducing legislation to ban the use of chokeholds or any maneuver that could lead to asphyxia. Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group looks forward to working with Mayor Kenney

(Jun 09, 2020)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of elected officials and advocates working to bring accountability and transparency reforms to law enforcement, released the following statement in response to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s commitment to police reform: “To bring about true and meaningful law enforcement reform, we must work together with leaders at all levels of government so the voices of those we represent can be heard and forward-thinking change achieved. We’ve already had several conversations with Mayor Kenney’s administration and those discussions have been promising. We appreciate the mayor’s willingness to listen and believe that his announcement today is the first step in what will be a long, but productive, journey to reform. Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group releases statement on progress toward reform

(Jun 04, 2020)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of elected officials and advocates working to bring accountability and transparency reforms to law enforcement, released the following statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s adoption today of their request for a state-level deputy inspector general aimed at improving law enforcement conduct, as well as Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s, along with the Fraternal Order of Police’s, support of a confidential database to track complaints against police officers: Read more

 

Philadelphia elected officials call for state, local reform of community-police relationships

(Jun 02, 2020)

In the midst of civil unrest across Pennsylvania ignited by the murder of George Floyd, elected officials from Philadelphia introduced a series of much-needed reforms aimed at improving community/police relationships. Read more

 

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus calls for peaceful protests and justice in George Floyd case

(May 31, 2020)

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus (PLBC), Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., Chairman of the PLBC, issued the following statement on the ongoing protests in Philadelphia: “George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Antwon Rose. Eric Garner. Michael Brown, Jr. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. The list of black and brown mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and children who have needlessly lost their lives at the hands of police officers is not a new trend, but in America, it is a consistent trend with roots as old as our nation. Read more

 

Kinsey: Fresh Food Financing Initiative grants awarded
Sep 17, 2020

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

Kinsey announces $130,514 in grants to help local schools during COVID-19 pandemic
Aug 26, 2020

Kinsey, Webster and PLBC members amplify call to remove Montco Commissioner Joe Gale
Aug 13, 2020

Historically Black Colleges in Pa. awarded $3M to resume operations safely
Aug 04, 2020

Schweyer holds joint PA Legislative Black Caucus/House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on police reform
Jul 28, 2020

Kinsey, PLBC denounce racism and bigotry in all forms
Jul 27, 2020

House Democratic Policy Committee/PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold second hearing on Police Reform Tuesday in Capitol
Jul 24, 2020

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

House Democratic Policy Committee-PA Legislative Black Caucus start series of joint hearings on Police Reform Tuesday in Capitol
Jul 20, 2020

PLBC condemns S.B. 1166
Jul 15, 2020

PLBC condemns Montgomery County commissioner’s comments on Black Lives Matter
Jul 14, 2020

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

PLBC commends unanimous affirmative vote for police reform legislation
Jun 24, 2020

PLBC mourns Dominique Fells
Jun 12, 2020

Kinsey, Dawkins to introduce bipartisan legislation outlawing use of chokeholds by law enforcement
Jun 11, 2020

Police Reform Working Group looks forward to working with Mayor Kenney
Jun 09, 2020

Police Reform Working Group releases statement on progress toward reform
Jun 04, 2020

Philadelphia elected officials call for state, local reform of community-police relationships
Jun 02, 2020

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus calls for peaceful protests and justice in George Floyd case
May 31, 2020