Latest News

Kinsey announces $5K state grant for Philadelphia’s only surviving Underground Railroad stop

(Dec 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 5 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., today announced a $5,000 state grant has been awarded to the Johnson House Historic Site that will go towards the continued preservation of historical records. “The Johnson House Historic Site is the oldest home in Germantown and also the only Underground Railroad stop still standing in Philadelphia,” said Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “This home has served as a think-tank for agents of social justice and those seeking freedom. This grant will enable JHHS to showcase and preserve the contributions of these revolutionaries for generations to come.” The Johnson House Historic Site will use the grant to organize and preserve its archives and special collections- comprised of historic materials that have been collected over the course of decades- and make them available for research and educational purposes. The grant is funded by the Historical and Archival Records Care Grant Awards, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. They are intended to improve the preservation and accessibility of historically significant records maintained by local governments, historical societies and academic institutions. Projects include initiatives such as digitization; arranging, describing and rehousing collections into appropriate formats, containers, and environments; and disaster planning. The grants are administered on a Read more

12/2/19 – Affordable Housing – Reading

(Dec 05, 2019)

Materials from a joint House Democratic Policy Committee-Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus public hearing hosted by State Rep. Tom Caltagirone. Read more

Joint HDPC-PLBC hearing examines how to fight blight, decrease homelessness

(Dec 02, 2019)

State Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks, today hosted a joint House Democratic Policy Committee and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus public hearing on affordable housing. Read more

Over 1,000 people served at pre-Thanksgiving event

(Nov 27, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 27 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., said more than 1,000 constituents were served during a pre-Thanksgiving event that provided a free meal and opportunities to learn about state services. The event was co-hosted by Reps. Isabella Fitzgerald, Chris Rabb, Rosita C. Youngblood, and Sens. Sharif Street and Art Haywood. There was also an appearance by Congressman Dwight Evans. “We had a wonderful turnout for the Feeding 1,000 for Thanksgiving event. It was a great opportunity to connect with our constituents here in northwest Philadelphia and provide them with a full course meal along with dessert,” Kinsey said. “Not only did we welcome people to Treasures Banquet Hall for a sit-down meal and entertainment, but we also delivered meals to those who were unable to attend in person as well as provided meals to homeless people in Center City. “This is the eighth year that this event was held and judging by the feedback, I will continue to host events such as Feeding 1,000, which the community loves. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who attended, hosted and helped make this event possible.” Read more

PLBC lauds accreditation for Cheyney University

(Nov 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 26 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released the following statements after the announcement of Cheyney University receiving accreditation: “The retention of Cheyney University’s accreditation is not only welcoming news for the university, but also for African American students here in the commonwealth and across the country. The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus has historically worked with Cheyney University over the years and is committed to doing what we can to foster the education process and success of all people across the commonwealth. With this accreditation, Cheyney University will remain a viable educational resource to students now and for years to come. I’m proud of the work our legislative leaders have done to support the efforts of Cheyney University and thank the leadership of Cheyney’s President Aaron Walton along with Governor Tom Wolf, Senate Appropriation Chairman Vincent Hughes, House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, House Democratic Education Chairman Jim Roebuck,” said Rep. Stephen Kinsey, PLBC Chairman. “As a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, the PLBC and I were very involved in investigating and helping to form solutions to right the ship at Cheyney and I’m proud that that same passion has been continued by current PLBC Chairman Stephen Kinsey and his leadership team. Collectively, we’ve been working with leaders in state Read more

Caltagirone to host joint HDPC-PLBC hearing on affordable housing Monday in Reading

(Nov 26, 2019)

State Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks, announced he will host a joint House Democratic Policy Committee and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus public hearing on affordable housing on Monday, Dec. 2 in Reading. Read more

Fitzgerald introduces legislation to protect gun owners, promote public safety

(Nov 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 25 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she has introduced a series of bills designated to protect law-abiding gun owners, children and residents in the commonwealth. “It’s unfortunate that anyone could potentially become a victim to gun violence here in Pennsylvania. Whether accidental or intentional, one life lost is one too many. We must put commonsense legislation in place to prevent senseless killings from occurring in the future,” Fitzgerald said. “My three bills would preserve the rights of Pennsylvanians who are carrying guns legally, safeguard our children from being killed accidentally and enforce a ‘cooling-off’ period for a person who may have experienced an unpleasant incident in their life and who looks to potentially commit an act of violence.” The bills introduced by Fitzgerald are: H.B. 2076 – Would require driver’s licenses and photo identification cards to indicate a person possesses a concealed carry permit. H.B. 2077 – Would require all firearms be safely stored whenever they are not in use. H.B. 2078 – Would establish a 72-hour waiting period for purchases of semi-automatic assault rifles. Fitzgerald is a member of the PA SAFE Caucus , which is made up of 70 members of the PA House and Senate who believe in reducing all types of violence in society through Read more

McClinton applauds passage of legislation outlawing sexual extortion

(Nov 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 21 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation she co-sponsored, which would outlaw sexual extortion in Pennsylvania and empower law enforcement and victim services organizations to help victims of this serious sex crime who previously fell between the cracks. “Finally, victims of this horrific crime will have an avenue to seek justice and perpetrators of sexual extortion – which the Department of Justice has said is the most significantly growing threat to children – can be held accountable,” McClinton said. “I am elated to see this legislation receive bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and I look forward to seeing Governor Wolf sign it into law.” McClinton introduced H.B. 1402 with Rep. Tedd C. Nesbit, R-Mercer/Butler. The House passed it unanimously in June. The Senate unanimously passed the bill on Wednesday after making small improvements to the legislation. Today, the House unanimously passed the bill on concurrence, and it’s headed to Wolf’s desk for his signature. McClinton said previously that by specifically adding sexual extortion as a crime, we can protect individuals from people in power who demand sexual acts, images or videos from victims, usually for something of value to the victim. “Now, would-be perpetrators will not be able to lord intimate photos or other Read more

Bullock commemorates Youth Experiencing Homelessness Week, Red Shirt Day

(Nov 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – Today, state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., hosted a news conference alongside state Sen. Larry Farnese to recognize Educating Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Week in Pennsylvania, as well as Red Shirt Day, which raises awareness about homelessness across the state. “Homelessness has a profound impact on children’s success in school and later in life,” Bullock said. “It’s incredibly important to raise awareness of this issue so that teachers, administrators and other educators can offer support when it’s needed most.” “The number of youths experiencing homelessness increased by 22% this year. While we don’t know what factors are driving this, we know that these students need to be supported, that they have a right to an education and as much stability as we can possibly provide,” Farnese added. “That’s why we are here today and why Red Shirt Day is so important -- to assure these kids that they are not alone.” During the 2017-18 school year, more than 36,000 students were identified as experiencing homelessness or having inadequate housing. Bullock and Farnese were joined by advocates against homelessness, including Nikki Johnson-Huston; Thomas Jackson, a policy and research analyst with People Emergency Center; Ameera Sullivan, guidance counselor at Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia; and Sonia Pitzi, Region 3 coordinator 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