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

(20 hours ago)

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

House Democratic Policy Committee-PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold third hearing on Police Reform Wednesday in Capitol

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 3 – 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 its third hearing on police reform. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6 in Room G-50 Irvis Office Building in the Capitol Complex. The media and public are invited to watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . Requested by state Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, HDPC Chair Sturla and PLBC Chair Kinsey said this hearing will focus on the York region. Testifiers and members will participate in person and remotely. Testifiers will include: Police Commissioner Osborne (Moe) Robinson , City of York Police Department. Police Chief Timothy Damon , York Area Regional Police Department and president of York County Chief of Police Association. Bishop Carl Scott , Bible Tabernacle Christian Center and former president of Black Ministers Association of York County. Pastor Dr. Ramona Kinard , Wheatfield Church of the Living God and BMAYC vice president. Senior Pastor Bill Kerney , Covenant Family Ministries and BMAYC president. Rev. Aaron Anderson , CEO of Logos Academy and BMAYC member. Following the hearing, testimonies and full hearing video will be posted at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . ### Read more

7/28/20 – Police Reform – Harrisburg

(Jul 28, 2020)

Materials from a public hearing held jointly with the House Democratic Policy Committee in the Capitol and co-chaired by State Rep. Pete Schweyer. 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

7/21/20 - Police Reform - Harrisburg

(Jul 21, 2020)

Materials from a public hearing held jointly with the House Democratic Policy Committee. Read more

Wheatley: Legislation would address systemic racism, address poorer health conditions, economic outcomes among people of color in Pa.

(Jul 21, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, July 21 – Calling it a dire public health crisis, state Rep. Jake Wheatley has announced his intent to introduce a bill to address racial inequities among Black, Brown and Indigenous communities in Pennsylvania. “Study after study continues to show definitive links between higher rates of chronic health conditions, like high blood pressure and diabetes, among our Black, Latino and Native American residents,” said Wheatley, D-Allegheny. “Racism is truly a public health problem, leading to higher levels of stress and significantly reduced access to medical and social services, among other impacts, resulting in increased levels of disease, disability, and death. As we continue to demand changes to address systemic racism in Pennsylvania and across the nation, we must also respond to this public health crisis – because lives are truly at stake.” Wheatley’s legislation would create a racial equity task force within the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. This task force would oversee the review of policies and provide recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly on efforts focused on reducing the disparities between people of color and white residents statewide. More information on the bill can be found at the following link: 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

Kenyatta ensures Black communities hard hit by pandemic are at the forefront of COVID-19 mitigation efforts

(Jul 09, 2020)

HARRISBURGH, July 9 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., said his efforts to ensure the Black community is represented in Pennsylvania’s efforts to continue to understand COVID-19 came to fruition on Tuesday as the House passed legislation to begin the epidemiological study of the deadly virus. Adopted as an amendment to a bill (H.B. 2450) that would establish an independent COVID-19 State Epidemiology Advisory Council tasked with making policy recommendations under the direction of epidemiologists appointed by deans of select accredited state universities, Kenyatta’s legislation would require that the council’s policy recommendations and final report also be focused on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on specific racial and ethnic groups, particularly Black and brown communities. “This is a win and significant step toward effectively mitigating the pandemic here in Pennsylvania, especially in our Black and brown communities,” Kenyatta said. “We know that race and ethnicity are playing a key role in the spread of this deadly disease and that Black and brown communities are disproportionately affected. “In seeking solutions, it is crucial for this council of epidemiologist to be deliberate in the approach to understanding how this virus spreads, with a keen focus on critical demographics. I am proud my legislation received overwhelming bipartisan support, an acknowledgement that we Read more