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PLBC Members Seek Equitable Budget from Gov. Wolf

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus responds to DHS equity report

(Feb 16, 2021)

The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus recently commended the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on its first Equity Report, according to PLBC chairwoman, State Rep. Donna Bullock (D-195th Dist.). Read more

 

Bullock, chair of PLBC, responds to Gov. Wolf’s budget address, looks for budget equity

(Feb 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said she is optimistic about Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2021-22 budget address and looks forward to working with the administration and members of the General Assembly on an equitable and inclusive final budget plan for Pennsylvanians. “While we know that compromise will have to come from across the aisle,” Bullock said, “the governor shapes what our talks will look like and we are hopeful that the outline he gave us in the form of his budget address will be a guiding point for both sides as we navigate equal and meaningful help for all Pennsylvanians, especially in this time of COVID. “As we said in the letter we sent to him two weeks ago from the PLBC, the budget sometimes impacts Pennsylvania’s Black, indigenous and people of color communities adversely, albeit maybe unintentionally. That’s why it is so important to have serious dialogue about addressing those inequities with the governor’s office and our colleagues at the beginning of budget talks. I know I will be seeking answers while sitting in on budget hearings throughout the coming weeks.” Bullock is a member of the House Appropriations Committee as well as the committees on Consumer Affairs, Professional Licensure and Urban Affairs. Read more

 

PLBC responds to DHS equity report

(Jan 25, 2021)

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

(Jan 25, 2021)

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

 

PLBC installs officers for 2021-22 session

(Jan 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 7 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus this week installed officers to serve in the 2021-22 legislative session, announced Chairwoman Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “We came together to install our officers and acknowledge the importance of our voices in Harrisburg and across the commonwealth in what has turned into a very concerning time for Pennsylvania and this country,” Bullock said. “The events of Wednesday in Washington and Tuesday in our own Senate chamber in Pennsylvania further highlighted the need for our leadership at a time like this in our history.” The following members were installed as officers: Chairwoman Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. Vice Chairwoman Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny Secretary Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York Treasurer Rep. Manny Guzman, D-Berks Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Carolyn Nichols administered the oath to each officer. In addition to officers, the following members were appointed by Bullock to lead subcommittees: Subcommittee on Health Equity and Justice – Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila. Subcommittee on Education – Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila./Delaware Subcommittee on Budget Equity – Rep. Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery Subcommittee on Women and Girls of Color – Rep. Darisha Parker, D-Phila. Subcommittee on Gun Violence and Public Safety – Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila. Founded in 1973 by then-Majority Leader K. Leroy Irvis, Read more

 

PLBC commends Gov. Wolf for pandemic-related small business grants

(Dec 31, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 30 – State Rep. and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairwoman Donna Bullock, D-Phila., and members of the Black Caucus sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf praising him for reallocating funds in hopes of its use for small business pandemic relief grants but also asking for continued vigilance for a fair and equitable allocation. Last week Wolf initiated a transfer of $145 million in funds from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund to the General Fund so that they may be reallocated for pandemic-related small business grants. The General Assembly would have to vote on the reallocation when lawmakers return in January. “My colleagues and I applaud this move by the governor,” Bullock said. “As we head into the new year, this funding could provide small businesses across the commonwealth with funds they need to fight this virus and support their communities. Small businesses are the lifeblood of neighborhoods and nowhere is that more evident than in communities of color. Those businesses were behind the eight ball before the pandemic even occurred so this relief will be very needed for those business owners. We need to do everything we can to ensure their success as we all navigate COVID.” The letter states the PLBC believes state resources must be directed in an equitable, impactful, and accessible manner, especially targeting areas of significant need, and is creating the subcommittee on budget equity to 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

 

Stephen Kinsey: How video gambling companies profit off communities of color

(Oct 23, 2020)

We need to stand against these types of policies that prey on communities or color and force on us additional social issues that negatively impact our economic opportunities. Read more

 

Stephen Kinsey: How video gambling companies profit off communities of color

(Oct 23, 2020)

We need to stand against these types of policies that prey on communities or color and force on us additional social issues that negatively impact our economic opportunities. Read more

 

Wheatley introduces “Return Your Rights” legislation

(Oct 16, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced a measure designed to end the cycle of branding nonviolent offenders, who have paid their debt to society, for their past mistakes. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, says H.B. 2942 would ensure their full rights as citizens are restored, provided they have served their time and paid all fines, fees and restitution. His bill would allow offenders to vote while in prison and once they are released. In addition, Wheatley’s measure would provide for the expungement of nonviolent felonies under the state’s The Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act and allow nonviolent offenders who have completed their sentence and paid any fines or related costs to obtain a firearm license. “When nonviolent offenders serve their time and have paid their debt to society, sadly it’s not uncommon for them to be subsequently denied basic rights and privileges that many of us take for granted,” said Wheatley. “While we’ve made some strides in recent years to implement meaningful criminal justice reforms, including the passage of clean slate legislation in 2018, we can and must do more. They deserve a second chance.” More information on the bill can be found at the following link: https://legis-pahofr.msappproxy.net/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=30908 Read more

 

How video gambling companies profit off communities of color

(Oct 09, 2020)

As community activists and public officials call for a change in how resources are provided to communities of color throughout the Commonwealth, some members of the state legislature are still looking into policies that exploit low-income and minority neighborhoods. The most recent example is the fast-tracking of legislation that would create thousands of mini casinos and slots parlors on every street corner in cities across the state. This is simply a proliferation of gambling that historically targets poor and largely minority communities. My colleagues and I on both sides of the political aisle are working hard to address policies that rethink how we fund and operate policing in our communities and how we can better reinvest public tax dollars back into programs that lift up minority neighborhoods. This includes investments in public education, economic development and health care. But, as the General Assembly finally begins to address the systemic issues and inequities that plague communities of color, some in the legislature are pushing for expanded gambling that will have major consequences in our neighborhoods. Even as the eyes of the world have been opened to the injustices and inequities facing people of color, a coalition of out-of-sate video gambling companies are looking to expand their predatory practices and bring tens of thousands of video gambling devices into bars, restaurants and grocery stores. These machines Read more

 

State lawmakers representing Philadelphia welcome lawsuit against commonwealth, legislature for restricting gun-safety measures

(Oct 07, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 7 – State House lawmakers representing the House Philadelphia Delegation and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today pledged their full weight behind major legal action being taken against the commonwealth for preventing local governments from enacting their own gun-safety laws. The lawsuit filed by the city and private law firms on behalf of Pennsylvanians who have been impacted by gun violence was announced at a news conference in Philadelphia today. Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins and PLBC Chairman Stephen Kinsey said it was long past time for the many people who have been impacted by gun violence to receive true acknowledgement and justice for their pain. They said the delegations they lead have worked for years to enact sensible gun-safety measures in the state but have been hampered by a Republican majority legislature determined to give no one in the state the ability to reduce gun violence and save lives. “Philadelphia and municipalities across the state took action tragedy after tragedy on behalf of the residents they serve when the state would not, only to be met with callous laws specifically designed to prevent them from doing so,” Dawkins said. “I am equally tired of the hallow promises to help reduce gun violence being made by the Republican majority following each tragedy. They hold the power to move the commonsense gun safety legislation we put forward. Yet, they continue to deny Read more

 

The Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns grand jury decision in slaying of Breonna Taylor, continues fight for police reform

(Sep 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 – Days after a Kentucky grand jury’s failure to indict one of the three police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor on charges related to her killing, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with PLBC members, said the decision is a grim reminder of how Black lives — more specifically Black women’s lives — are devalued. However, in the spirit of the esteemed PLBC’s core mission of dismantling systemic racism across the commonwealth, the caucus of legislators collectively vowed to use this pain to fuel their ongoing fight for racial justice and meaningful police reform. Kinsey, D-Phila., a father of four Black daughters, expressed that he is especially saddened. He also dissipated the attempts to vilify her memory by reflecting on Breonna’s life and her dedication to public service as a first responder on the frontlines of this pandemic. “I am a father of four Black daughters and my heart is breaking for Breonna and her family as she reflects my own girls. I see their brilliance, their strengths, and their vulnerabilities. It pains me to know that Black girls and women are denied protection and the privilege of being viewed as whole,” the chairman said. “I want to buck that narrative: Breonna was a caring young woman who had a bright future. She effortlessly juggled enjoying life and a Read more

 

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus responds to DHS equity report
Feb 16, 2021

Bullock, chair of PLBC, responds to Gov. Wolf’s budget address, looks for budget equity
Feb 05, 2021

PLBC responds to DHS equity report
Jan 25, 2021

PLBC Members Seek Equitable Budget from Gov. Wolf
Jan 25, 2021

Bullock, Nelson, PLBC send letter regarding budget equity to Gov. Wolf
Jan 22, 2021

Reps. Kenyatta and Krajewski, PLBC condemn H.B. 38
Jan 21, 2021

PLBC chairwoman Bullock announces subcommittee on voting and democracy
Jan 14, 2021

PLBC installs officers for 2021-22 session
Jan 07, 2021

PLBC commends Gov. Wolf for pandemic-related small business grants
Dec 31, 2020

State lawmakers call for end to family deportations from Berks ICE facility
Dec 02, 2020

Kinsey congratulates Bullock for being elected to chair Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus
Nov 13, 2020

Kinsey, PLBC congratulate McClinton on historic leap for women in Pa. legislature
Nov 13, 2020

The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus congratulates Biden and Harris on historic win
Nov 09, 2020

PLBC, Philadelphia House Delegation, and Police Reform Working Group members demand justice after Black man is killed by police
Oct 27, 2020

Stephen Kinsey: How video gambling companies profit off communities of color
Oct 23, 2020

Stephen Kinsey: How video gambling companies profit off communities of color
Oct 23, 2020

Wheatley introduces “Return Your Rights” legislation
Oct 16, 2020

How video gambling companies profit off communities of color
Oct 09, 2020

State lawmakers representing Philadelphia welcome lawsuit against commonwealth, legislature for restricting gun-safety measures
Oct 07, 2020

The Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns grand jury decision in slaying of Breonna Taylor, continues fight for police reform
Sep 28, 2020