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PLBC installs officers for 2021-22 session

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PLBC responds to DHS equity report

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 25 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus this week commended the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on its first Equity Report, according to PLBC chairwoman, state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “The report hits many points that we on the PLBC fight for every day,” Bullock said. “As Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller pointed out, this cannot be a momentary, singular conversation because we watched George Floyd be murdered before our eyes without cause. This needs to be addressed every day, for every person of color, in both the workplace and our living communities.” “Every year I ask questions about racial equity at our appropriations hearings,” Bullock said. “I want to know, encourage and even urge our departments to provide diversity training, include employees of color in all aspects of managerial levels and decision-making, and ensure a healthy work environment for all at the highest levels of government. Our government agencies should, at the very least, ensure that they are representative of the people of our commonwealth for whom they serve.” The report provides information on efforts that DHS is undertaking on diversity, equity and inclusion so they may be a partner in correcting systemic racism within their own offices. While the report covers many areas within the department and where it will provide this training, it is a starting point for efforts moving forward. Read more

PLBC Members Seek Equitable Budget from Gov. Wolf

(1 day ago)

Members of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus, including Chairwoman Rep. Donna Bullock and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Budget Equity Rep. Napoleon Nelson sent a letter to Governor Wolf outlining what they hope to see in his 2021-22 budget proposal for the Black and underprivileged communities in the commonwealth. Read more

Bullock, Nelson, PLBC send letter regarding budget equity to Gov. Wolf

(Jan 22, 2021)

“The Pennsylvania state budget is a valuable measure of our commonwealth’s priorities and can be our best tool for racial and structural equity. Unfortunately, the budget sometimes adversely, even if unintentionally,” impacts Pennsylvania’s Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities, according to the letter. Read more

Reps. Kenyatta and Krajewski, PLBC condemn H.B. 38

(Jan 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 21 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Rick Krajewski, co-chairs of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus’ Subcommittee on Voting and Democracy, today condemned Republican state Rep. Russ Diamond’s dangerous proposal that would amend the state constitution to divide the state’s highest courts into over 30 districts across the state. Kenyatta and Krajewski, both D-Phila., also slammed claims made by Diamond, R-Lebanon, to bolster his proposal that these changes would allow for more Black judges in the appellate court system. “So much blood has been spilled on American streets in the fight to safeguard our democracy. It’s a fight that continues today, but state Representative Russ Diamond’s proposal spits in the faces of these slain foot soldiers for justice, making their pursuits count for naught, and stands to undo their legacy by usurping power from the people and placing it in the palm of the one-party-controlled General Assembly to gerrymander judicial districts,” Kenyatta said. “Additionally, Representative Diamond padding support for his dangerous bill with feigned concern for diversifying our courts system is an absolute disgrace. “This bill doesn’t allow for more Black justices—that’s just a ruse. It would instead minimize Black voting power in Pennsylvania’s largest and predominately Black cities to elect only three justices statewide. This bill further Read more

PLBC chairwoman Bullock announces subcommittee on voting and democracy

(Jan 14, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairwoman Donna Bullock, D-Phila., this week appointed state Reps. Malcom Kenyatta and Rick Krajewski, both D-Phila., as co-chairmen of the PLBC subcommittee on voting and democracy. The committee will focus on voting rights, gerrymandering, and judicial gerrymandering. “During this very turbulent time in our country and even in our own state,” Bullock said, “we need to focus on fair, free and transparent elections. We just finished what was called one of the fairest and most efficient elections in our history yet there is rhetoric floating around our state legislature to discredit that. Let’s be clear, these recent events are modern day voter suppression efforts, and a violent attack on the votes of Black and other people of color. The establishment of this subcommittee to focus on voting and democracy is an important one and I believe that Representatives Kenyatta and Krajewski have the fortitude to keep these issues at the forefront and lead this important discussion as we move into the new legislative session.” Kenyatta also serves on of the State Government Committee and introduced legislation that would modernize the voting process by allowing more time to vote in person and with mail ballots. He was also one of the 538 Pennsylvania electors and delivered the motion to declare President-elect Joe Biden’s Read more

State lawmakers call for end to family deportations from Berks ICE facility

(Dec 02, 2020)

Legislators ask for release of families, children in face of COVID pandemic, unsanitary conditions Read more

Kinsey congratulates Bullock for being elected to chair Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus

(Nov 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 13 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Stephen Kinsey congratulated his successor state Rep. Donna Bullock for being elected to head the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus for the 2021-22 legislative session. Bullock, who currently serves as vice chair of the PLBC and will be the third woman to chair the caucus in its 47-year history, was elected by returning and new members of the 27-member bicameral caucus during caucus-wide leadership elections on Tuesday. PLBC members also elected Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, as vice chair, while Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, will retain her role as secretary, and Rep.-Elect Manny Guzman, D-Berks, will serve as treasurer. “Representative Bullock has been an outstanding vice chair of the PLBC, and I’m thrilled to see manifestations of her dedication in ensuring communities of color are uplifted and recognized in the legislative fabric of our commonwealth,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “I also want to congratulate other members for being elected to serve in their respective leadership roles. Each of these members has been championing equality and justice as activists and now as lawmakers. It’s solid track records like these that continue to propel the mission of this esteemed caucus forward.” In the current legislative session, Kinsey and the PLBC unveiled a platform that focused on investing in schools and educational opportunity, reforming a criminal Read more

Kinsey, PLBC congratulate McClinton on historic leap for women in Pa. legislature

(Nov 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 13 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., is congratulating state Rep. Joanna McClinton for winning the role of House Democratic Leader for the 2021-22 legislative session. McClinton was elected to lead the Democrats in the next term during the caucus’ leadership elections held on Thursday. She becomes the first woman and woman of color to be elected floor leader in the Pennsylvania House. “Representative McClinton has been breaking barriers for women and women of color throughout her life,” Kinsey said. “She was the first African-American woman to be elected to serve the 191 st Legislative District in Philadelphia County when she won her special election in 2015. From that time on she has worked hard and with purpose to win the respect of her peers and to help move the Democratic agenda of people first to the forefront of public policy. “I not only congratulate my good friend for this well-deserved recognition of her talents and ability to bring people together on behalf of the people we serve, but I also congratulate the Pennsylvania House institution as a whole for ushering in a new era of leadership where women and girls, and especially women and girls of color, can rise to the top and assume roles once reserved for men only. “I look forward to working with Leader-elect McClinton and the entire House Democratic Leadership team in helping to enact an Read more

The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus congratulates Biden and Harris on historic win

(Nov 09, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 9 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, along with PLBC members, issued this statement congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris: “I am thrilled to soon call Joe Biden and Kamala Harris president and vice president. Their presence in the White House will restore intelligence and dignity to these esteemed offices, and a sense of pride in the American people. It is refreshing to see concrete, well-crafted strategies to move our nation forward, and I look forward to seeing manifestations of this progress,” Kinsey said on behalf of the PLBC. “Breaking through the monotony of 231 years and 48 white men vice presidents, our nation elected its first woman and woman of color vice president, making this victory nothing short of historic. I am especially in awe that a HBCU graduate and a fellow member of a Divine 9 will soon serve as America’s vice president. Reveling in this moment means so much to me as a father of Black daughters, with Vice president- elect Harris shattering a glass ceiling, ultimately becoming a beacon of inspiration for every girl of color who can now walk through this world with the confidence in knowing that their big dreams can also become reality. “We can’t celebrate this victory in, as President-elect Biden said, ‘the battle for the soul of this nation,’ without first acknowledging the warriors of this Read more

PLBC, Philadelphia House Delegation, and Police Reform Working Group members demand justice after Black man is killed by police

(Oct 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 27 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with its members and members of the Pennsylvania Police Reform Working Group and the Philadelphia House Delegation, are demanding justice for West Philadelphia resident Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man, who was killed by police on Monday afternoon in the Cobbs Creek section of the city. Members of these respective legislative bodies also called on the legislature to expeditiously pass the multiple pieces of police reform legislation languishing without action, some of which address procedures on non-lethal de-escalation methods and would instill policies for safer police interactions with residents experiencing mental health crises. “A mother watched her son, suffering from mental illness, be met with a barrage of bullets before her eyes, and a neighborhood saw the same. A mother and father lost their son, and children have lost their father--generations of one family and an entire community are now forced to bear that trauma for the rest of their lives,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “Indeed, it’s trauma that we are all forced to bear as we have yet to receive justice for the countless other Black lives killed with impunity at the hands of police. Furthermore, during a time when seeking mental health resources is strongly encouraged, this tragedy reveals that living with mental illness while Black, however, and crying for help is Read more