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Rabb seeks to replace Columbus Day observance with Election Day holiday

Rabb to host Policy Committee hearing on voting and elections Tuesday in Philadelphia

(1 hour ago)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 21 – Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on voting and elections next week. The hearing will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 at United Lutheran Seminary, The Brossman Center, 7301 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, 19119. Rabb requested the hearing to discuss the changes to Pennsylvania’s voting laws with Act 77 of 2019 – the most comprehensive changes to the state’s election laws in more than 80 years – and how those changes will affect voters starting this year. He will be joined by fellow legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 4:10 p.m. Panel One: Rachel Boss , Community Impact Manager in Bureau of Campaign Finance and Civic Engagement, Pa. Department of State Omar Sabir , City Commissioner, City of Philadelphia 4:50 p.m. Panel Two: Patrick Christmas , Policy Director, Committee of Seventy Marc Stier , Director, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center 5:30 p.m. Panel Three: Sara Mullen , Associate Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania Kendra Cochran , Statewide Voter Engagement Coordinator, POWER Interfaith 6:10 p.m. Closing Remarks This hearing is among a series being held across the state on House Read more

 

Winter 2020 Newsletter

(Feb 18, 2020)

Read my Winter 2020 Newsletter now! Read more

 

Rabb to host Thankful Thursday event with PA AG’s office focused on protecting against scams and fraud

(Feb 03, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., will host a Thankful Thursday event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Thursday at the Wadsworth Library, 1500 Wadsworth Ave., 19150. The event will focus on how people can protect themselves and their loved ones against scams and fraud and allow Rabb to discuss legislation he recently introduced to compensate Pennsylvanians exonerated for wrongful convictions. An expert from the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office will be in attendance to talk avoiding scams and being the victim of fraud. Rabb will discuss legislation he recently introduced which would compensate Pennsylvanians who are exonerated for wrongful convictions. Pennsylvania is one of only 15 states without a law to compensate the innocent for years lost after a wrongful conviction. Wrongful convictions often leave those people who are exonerated in the difficult position of reentering society after a period of incarceration without any services or money. Wrongful convictions have resulted in lawsuits that have cost Pennsylvanians millions of dollars. Rabb’s legislation would allow people who can demonstrate proof of their innocence to be eligible for a sum of money per each year they were incarcerated, as well as social services that would help them rejoin their communities. Rabb hosts regular Thankful Thursday events around the 200 th Legislative District to Read more

 

Rabb announces $3,100 state grant awarded to Hill-Freedman World Academy to provide quality meals for students

(Jan 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced today that a $3,193 state grant has been awarded to Hill-Freedman World Academy to be used to provide quality meals for students. “Our schools feed our children’s minds, but increasingly, our schools also feed our children’s appetites for nutritious food, which is a vital service since we know that children who are hungry cannot concentrate in the classroom,” Rabb said. “This grant money will allow Hill-Freedman World Academy to purchase equipment that will provide nourishment to its students so that they can maximize their potential in the classroom.” Rabb said the grant awarded to Hill-Freedman World Academy is part of more than $925,000 in competitive grants awarded to 72 elementary, middle and high schools across the state to buy new food service equipment for their cafeterias. Hill-Freedman World Academy will use the grant to purchase a new reach-in refrigerator. Funding for the grants is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Grants are awarded to schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and have 50% or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Schools often use the grants to purchase new refrigerators, freezers, stoves and dishwashers to ensure safe food handling. ### Read more

 

Why I voted YES on S.B. 906

(Jan 15, 2020)

While I am strongly for de-institutionalization, the plan for the closures of Polk and White Haven did not provide for an adequate transition for the individuals and the staff who have provided direct care to the individuals for countless years. Simply closing the facility does not, in and of itself, solve the problems faced by the continued institutionalization of individuals. While it is an immediate remedy, consumers should have a plan to identify if they are eligible for medical assistance and could thus be waiver recipients, providing for a smoother, less traumatic transition. Employment opportunities in the community-based provider agencies should be offered and suggested to the direct care staff who have provided daily, around-the-clock care to the individuals in these facilities, so there can be a measure of continuity. I am a proponent of everyday lives and believe everyone should be provided care in the most natural setting in our communities. How we provide that care needs to be planned with each individual team and the transition should be accountable to the needs of each individual. Read more

 

Rabb announces $7,500 grant awarded to Philly Goat Project to introduce middle schoolers to livestock management, land stewardship

(Jan 06, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Chris Rabb announced today that the Philly Goat Project has been awarded a $7,500 state grant to introduce middle schoolers to livestock management and land stewardship through experiential learning opportunities. “Being able to give our youth new and different experiences to broaden their horizons is invaluable,” Rabb said. “This grant will allow for more of our youth – the young men and women who will be tomorrow’s leaders – to have new experiences that will enrich their culture, and it could launch their interest in a field that they wouldn’t have otherwise discovered. I’m excited to see what the Philly Goat Project does with this grant funding and the ways it will benefit the young people in our community.” The $7,500 grant announced today is made possible through the Ag and Youth Grant Program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The program provides direct and matching grants to help fund eligible projects, programs and equipment purchases conducted or made by organizations composed mainly of youth and organized to promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship. The grant awarded to the Philly Goat Project is a direct grant. The grant program’s aim is to address the looming 75,000 workforce deficit the industry is expected to face in the next decade. Read more

 

Rabb, Howard introduce legislation that would ban carrying a firearm while intoxicated

(Jan 03, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Kristine C. Howard, D-Chester, today introduced legislation that would make Pennsylvania the latest state to prohibit licensed gunowners from carrying a concealed firearm while intoxicated. “Alcohol intoxication clouds judgement and dulls a person’s ability to discern the consequences of their actions,” Rabb said. “Similar to the hazards an intoxicated driver poses to themselves and the public, a firearm in the hands of even the most diligent handler who is intoxicated can also be dangerous and potentially fatal.” Under the bill, individuals carrying a firearm with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater would be penalized with a summary offense, a $100 fine and suspension of their concealed carry permit for up to three years. The bill would also impose a third-degree misdemeanor, a $500 fine, and a license suspension for a minimum of three years, with the possibility of permanent permit revocation. Rabb said alcohol has been the constant variable in many violent crimes cases and pointed to a 2015 study that found a positive association between alcohol misuse, risk behaviors involving firearms and firearm violence, both self-inflicted and against another person. According to the study, deaths among men caused by alcohol-related violence firearm violence were equal to those from motor-vehicle crashes also involving alcohol. The legislation poises 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

 

Rabb announces $850,000 grant for Chestnut Hill College

(Nov 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 12 – Following approval by the Commonwealth Financial Authority, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced Chestnut Hill College has been awarded a $850,000 Multimodal Transportation Fund Program state grant to improve access to its Sugarloaf Hill campus. “Safety should always be a top priority in and around our college campuses for students and community members. This funding will help further achieve safety measures already in place at Chestnut Hill College and its Sugarloaf Hill campus,” Rabb said. “This grant will improve the relationship between the college and the community by funding the work that will alleviate some of the traffic congestion that’s often problematic for motorists in the vicinity.” The college will use the grant to construct a new entryway at Germantown Avenue across from East Hillcrest Avenue, a bus bay and shelter at that entryway and a new path along Germantown Avenue that will also connect to nearby trails and the Chestnut Hill campus. “We are honored and humbled by the generosity of DCED, and the steadfast support of our legislators, Senator Haywood and Representative Rabb, and their steadfast commitment to improving the Level of Service and Traffic Stress along Germantown Avenue,” said Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D., president, Chestnut Hill College. The Multimodal Transportation Fund provides grants to encourage economic development Read more

 

Rabb seeks to replace Columbus Day observance with Election Day holiday

(Oct 15, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 14 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced that he is introducing a package of legislation to remove Columbus Day as a holiday and replace it with Election Day. “Christopher Columbus is one of only two people the United States honors by name with a holiday, as if he’s an American hero and pioneering explorer,” Rabb said. “We should turn away from his legacy of genocide and embrace Election Day as a holiday to allow more Americans to participate in our democracy.” The package includes bills that would remove statutory reference to Columbus Day and repeal the act that currently provides for the observance of October 12 as Columbus Day each year. It would also include legislation requiring the governor to issue an annual proclamation designating general election days as legal holidays, stipulating that public employers, private employers and public-school entities must provide enough time for employees to exercise their right to vote. State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, is the lead co-sponsor on Rabb’s bill package. Rabb co-sponsored Daley’s H.B. 670, which would recognize both primary and general election days as state holidays in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Rabb to host Third Annual Grown Folks Fall Festival Oct. 5

(Sep 26, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 26 – State Rep. Chris Rabb will host his Third Annual Grown Folks Fall Festival Oct. 5. While the festival will have entertainment, activities and information for the whole family, enhancing the mind, body and soul of seniors is the core mission of the festival. “My primary goals are to educate members of the community about the services available to them and then help them access those services,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “Our senior population is often eligible for many services they aren’t aware of, which would greatly enhance their quality of life. I want to ensure our seniors can get the help and services they need, and this festival provides a great opportunity to network with them.” The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine, on Saturday, Oct. 5 at St. Raymond’s School, 1350 E. Vernon Road, Philadelphia, 19150. The festival will feature musical entertainment, vendors, activities for children, food and more. Rabb and his staff will be on-hand to answer questions about state government programs. ### Read more

 

Rabb responds to cannabis listening tour report: ‘We asked Pennsylvanians what they want, and they want legalization. It’s time we listen.’

(Sep 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, on Wednesday responded to a report released by Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman detailing a statewide cannabis listening tour, which showed that most Pennsylvanians who voiced their opinion support cannabis legalization. “I applauded Governor Wolf and Lieutenant Governor Fetterman back in January when they set out to discuss cannabis legalization with people across the state, and get their input,” Rabb said. “We asked Pennsylvanians what they want, and they want legalization. It’s time we listen. It’s time to legalize cannabis in Pennsylvania.” The listening tour Fetterman conducted across the state included stops in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. The report released Wednesday examines both the volumes of correspondence received through an online form hosted on the governor’s website as well as comments made at the listening tour stops and received by the lieutenant governor’s office in various formats. It also includes a county-by-county breakdown of support and opposition, including the most common arguments received for and against legalization during the tour, and it highlights positive and negative results of legalization among individual states where cannabis has been legalized. Rabb echoed the sentiment he offered when he commended the idea for the listening tour back in January. “While gathering public input on legalization Read more

 

Rabb hosts paper shred, electronics recycling event

(Sep 24, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 24 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., hosted a paper shredding and electronics recycling event on Saturday, Sept. 21, to give constituents an environmentally friendly avenue by which to discard unwanted personal documents and old electronics, like i-Pods and computer monitors. “So many of us have so much stuff,” said Rabb. “When we want to dispose of unwanted electronics and personal documentation, we know there’s a place where it should go, but we don’t necessarily know where that is. For that very reason, I was overjoyed to host this shredding and electronics recycling event, so that these personal documents and unwanted electronics could be securely and responsibly recycled.” Rabb said tons of paper documents were shredded during the event, which lasted several hours on Saturday. Sen. Art Haywood and Councilwoman Cindy Bass partnered with Rabb to host the event. ### Read more

 

Rabb, PennEnvironment speak about PA’s ‘F’ grade on plan to spend $118 million Volkswagen settlement, urge shift to green energy investments

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today stood with PennEnvironment to urge Pennsylvania to improve its current F grade on a plan to spend a $118 million settlement it received from Volkswagen following an emissions scandal. “Right now, Pennsylvania is wasting an opportunity to lead the charge toward renewable energy,” Rabb said. “Volkswagen did no favors for our environment when it misled customers and installed software intended to cheat emissions tests in more than 500,000 cars it sold to consumers in the United States. Now, Pennsylvania is adding insult to injury by failing to responsibly invest settlement money paid out by Volkswagen – money that could be invested in electric vehicles.” Rabb and PennEnvironment discussed various ways that Pennsylvania could redeem itself by choosing green investment options. “While it’s disappointing that Pennsylvania’s first thought wasn’t to invest this settlement money in options that will be both environmentally and economically responsible, there is still time for Pennsylvania to properly steward this money,” Rabb said. “I offer every encouragement I can muster that Pennsylvania see the error of its ways and choose to invest the settlement money in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and electric transit. These worthwhile, environmentally responsible options will be an investment in our Read more

 

Rabb announces $75,000 grant for Woodmere Art Museum outdoor recreation area, which will include sculpture garden, walking paths

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced that the Woodmere Art Museum has been awarded a $75,000 state grant to help fund the construction of an outdoor recreational space. “This grant is not only a vehicle by which Woodmere Art Museum can put its plan to build this outdoor recreational space into motion, but it’s also a gesture of the tremendous value of art and environmental stewardship,” Rabb said. “Visitors to Woodmere Art Museum will be able to enjoy another green space in our city while also feeding their appetite for arts and culture.” The $75,000 grant was awarded Monday by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania's economic growth. The CFA is unique among state agencies in that project approval requires five affirmative votes, four of which must come from the legislative appointees who compose the board, along with the secretaries of the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Office of the Budget and the Department of Banking and Securities. The CFA provides funding for a multitude of projects that help businesses succeed, including those focused on development, water quality, energy infrastructure and more. The grant awarded to Woodmere Art Museum focuses on greenways, trails and recreation. The total cost of the Woodmere Art Museum outdoor Read more

 

Rabb introduces state-based slavery reparations bill on 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans arriving to North America

(Aug 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 30 – State Rep. Christopher Rabb, D-Phila., introduced legislation that would establish a reparations plan to combat systemic racism impacting Pennsylvanians of African descent on the 400 th anniversary of enslaved Africans arriving to Virginia in 1619. “For many other disenfranchised groups, the United States government has provided reparations and our commonwealth must follow suit,” Rabb said. “I am proud to introduce this bill for our commonwealth to atone for its role in this heinous institution that has resulted in generations of systemic racism bolstered by public policy and culture practice statewide.” Rabb said that slavery in Pennsylvania has been documented as early as 1639, with Philadelphia becoming the region’s largest port for importing enslaved Africans. “Many of the colonists who settled Pennsylvania tolerated slavery, including William Penn who owned 12 enslaved people. These people were responsible for building his colonial estate, Pennsbury Manor. Additionally, despite the Gradual Emancipation Act, passed in 1780, no enslaved person was ever emancipated, with many living and dying in bondage,” Rabb said. “Pennsylvania has always been a willing enabler of the subjugation of an entire race of people and this subjugation has been maintained statewide through institutional racism.” The bill outlines a state-based reparations plan that would have four parts: A formal Read more

 

Rabb receives national recognition for his environmental leadership

(Aug 07, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced that he was presented with the annual Rising Environmental Leader Award by the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators at the sixth annual National Forum in Nashville, TN, this week. Each year, the NCEL recognizes state lawmakers for their outstanding accomplishments on environmental issues. The Rising Environmental Leader Award goes to members of the caucus who demonstrate strong leadership on environmental issues early in their legislative careers. Following his election in 2016, Rabb immediately became an active and engaged participant in NCEL. He continues to lead efforts to establish a carbon price and transition to 100% renewable energy in Pennsylvania. He also has introduced legislation as part of the Zero Waste PA package to reduce plastic and other pollutants in the state. He works to combine environmental and social justice issues. “What good is it to humanity that we have a greener planet if only some benefit from inequitable environmental stewardship,” Rabb said. “This is why my advocacy in this space is so deeply rooted in social justice.” Following his recognition for efforts on environmental issues, Rabb also joined the NCEL Board of Directors. NCEL’s board has 14 members and is comprised of a majority of sitting legislators. NCEL Executive Director Jeff Mauk highlighted how leaders such as Rabb are how the caucus continues to strengthen Read more

 

Rabb says firing of officers involved in racist conduct is the ‘right thing to do’

(Jul 18, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, July 18 – State Rep. Chris Rabb said the move by the Philadelphia Police Department to fire more than a dozen police officers who made racist or offensive Facebook posts is the right thing to do. “We rely on police officers to protect us, all of us, and to serve as an example of appropriate behavior in our community,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “Unethical, racist, inappropriate behavior or comments by police officers, like that exhibited by these officers from the Philadelphia Police Department, undermines the public’s trust in an institution that is supposed to serve us all. “Sending the message that such behavior will not be tolerated in any police department is the right thing to do,” Rabb said. “But it’s not enough if those police officers are able to find employment in another community that’s unsuspecting of their past behavior.” Rabb said his legislation, H.B. 1666 , would ensure that officers like those being fired by the Philadelphia Police Department cannot just move on to another department without leadership and the community being aware of their past behavior. Rabb said H.B. 1666 would not stop a department from hiring a police officer who separated from their last job after a pattern of allegations, complaints or charges for inappropriate behavior. But, it would ensure that the hiring departments are fully informed about whom they are hiring. “This legislation would empower Read more

 

Legislators ‘serve up’ support for minimum wage hike in Pa.

(Jul 12, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, July 12 – State Reps. Joanna McClinton, Stephen Kinsey, Chris Rabb, Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato joined advocates and restaurant workers in support of increasing the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. The group marched from the Pennsylvania Convention Center to El Fuego restaurant, where the legislators served food and drink to customers and addressed how a minimum wage hike would improve the lives of thousands of workers in the commonwealth. McClinton said, “Every state surrounding Pennsylvania has increased its minimum wage and yet it remains stagnant here in the commonwealth. It is antiquated and, at this point, disgraceful. Too many Pennsylvanians must continue to work for what amounts to nothing in today’s economy, still struggling well below the poverty line to pay bills and provide for their families. An increased and fair wage would give these people more purchasing power and the ability to afford necessities, contributing more to our overall economy.” Kinsey said, "Our communities of color shouldn't have to choose between paying the bills and putting food on the table. I was proud to join Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and other advocates in fighting to raise the minimum wage across the commonwealth so hardworking Pennsylvanians can afford to support their families and live their lives." Rabb has legislation that would raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania to $12 an hour , then increase it each year Read more

 

Wolf signs farm bill package with Rabb plan to encourage farming of hemp and other high-priority crops

(Jul 01, 2019)

State Rep. Chris Rabb is applauding Gov. Tom Wolf for signing the PA Farm Bill today, which includes his efforts to create a grant program that encourages farming of hemp, as well as other high-priority crops. “I’m proud to be part of such a historic day for the commonwealth,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “My contribution to the PA Farm Bill focuses on specialty crops, including hemp, hops, honey and hardwood, that need more attention in terms of specialty research cultivation and commercialization in both rural and urban areas.” Receiving bipartisan support, Rabb’s plan acts as a complement to the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which awards grants for projects aimed at expanding markets for small producers and sets aside 10% of grant funds for successful applicants from rural and urban communities that have at least 20% poverty for at least 30 years. “Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s most important industry, and we as a legislature must continue finding ways to build bridges and address critical agriculture issues that impact all Pennsylvanians,” Rabb explained. Once enacted, the Pennsylvania Farm Bill package will invest an additional $19 million into Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry to grow opportunities and resources, remove barriers to entry, and cultivate future generations of leaders within agriculture. For more information about the PA Farm Bill and Read more

 

Rabb to host Policy Committee hearing on voting and elections Tuesday in Philadelphia
1 hour ago

Winter 2020 Newsletter
Feb 18, 2020

Rabb to host Thankful Thursday event with PA AG’s office focused on protecting against scams and fraud
Feb 03, 2020

Rabb announces $3,100 state grant awarded to Hill-Freedman World Academy to provide quality meals for students
Jan 30, 2020

Why I voted YES on S.B. 906
Jan 15, 2020

Rabb announces $7,500 grant awarded to Philly Goat Project to introduce middle schoolers to livestock management, land stewardship
Jan 06, 2020

Rabb, Howard introduce legislation that would ban carrying a firearm while intoxicated
Jan 03, 2020

Over 1,000 people served at pre-Thanksgiving event
Nov 27, 2019

Rabb announces $850,000 grant for Chestnut Hill College
Nov 12, 2019

Rabb seeks to replace Columbus Day observance with Election Day holiday
Oct 15, 2019

Rabb to host Third Annual Grown Folks Fall Festival Oct. 5
Sep 26, 2019

Rabb responds to cannabis listening tour report: ‘We asked Pennsylvanians what they want, and they want legalization. It’s time we listen.’
Sep 26, 2019

Rabb hosts paper shred, electronics recycling event
Sep 24, 2019

Rabb, PennEnvironment speak about PA’s ‘F’ grade on plan to spend $118 million Volkswagen settlement, urge shift to green energy investments
Sep 17, 2019

Rabb announces $75,000 grant for Woodmere Art Museum outdoor recreation area, which will include sculpture garden, walking paths
Sep 17, 2019

Rabb introduces state-based slavery reparations bill on 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans arriving to North America
Aug 30, 2019

Rabb receives national recognition for his environmental leadership
Aug 07, 2019

Rabb says firing of officers involved in racist conduct is the ‘right thing to do’
Jul 18, 2019

Legislators ‘serve up’ support for minimum wage hike in Pa.
Jul 12, 2019

Wolf signs farm bill package with Rabb plan to encourage farming of hemp and other high-priority crops
Jul 01, 2019