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Sims to host forum Monday on how to get involved with 'amazing' public schools in Center City

(Jan 26, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., will host an education forum at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30 at the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, 901 S. Broad St. Sims invites the public to join him, elementary school principals, policy experts, academics, and community leaders for a discussion about education and engagement in Philadelphia. "Together we’ll explore how entire communities can use their unique assets to support local public schools and move our vision for Philadelphia schools forward. Dr. William Hite, the Philadelphia School District superintendent, will kick off the forum and help us welcome panelists, parents and attendees," Sims said. "A panel of principals from five neighborhood elementary schools will join us and each will share their school's accomplishments as well as opportunities for growth. It's a great way for parents, community members and those who are new to the area to learn more about how to get involved with the amazing public schools in Center City." The principals are: April Brown, Waring Elementary; Zack Duberstein, Vare-Washington Elementary; Lisa Kaplan, Jackson Elementary; Dan Lazar, Greenfield Elementary; and Lauren Overton, Meredith Elementary. Sims said a second "all-star" panel will focus on sharing best practices for engaging entire communities in supporting local public schools through fundraising, program development, community partnerships and Read more


Sims Fighting to Outlaw Conversion Therapy

(Jan 20, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims explains the need for his legislation that would ban the controversial practice of "conversion therapy" that purports to "cure" a person of homosexuality. Sims held a press conference at Philadelphia City Hall with Mayor Jim Kenney, as well as other House colleagues and medical professionals to speak out against the practice and highlight the legislation that would outlaw conversion therapy in Pennsylvania. Read more


Sims, Harris, Kenney call for statewide protection from anti-LGBT 'conversion therapy' for Pa. minors

(Jan 19, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 19 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., Mayor Jim Kenney and other elected officials today called for passage of statewide legislation to protect minors from anti-LGBT "conversion therapy." Sims and state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, D-Phila./Delaware, are the lead sponsors of the legislation in the House and Senate. "In a time of extreme divisiveness, elected officials should seize every opportunity to find areas of common ground. Together, the legislature disagrees on many issues, including those considered LGBT-specific. Today we have a chance to heed the advice of dozens of professional medical associations, and ban a practice that inflicts innocent children with pain and fear. To those still peddling this barbarism as medicine, you cannot fix what is not broken and we will not rest until you are driven from this Commonwealth," said Sims, the state's first out LGBT legislator. State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said, "As adults, we have a duty to protect children, ALL children! We should not endorse or promote, through our silence or our advocacy, any practice that has been proven to be destructive to the developing spirit of a child. This legislation would give our kids the protection that young people already have in California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Oregon, Vermont and next door in New Jersey." The elected officials were joined by Read more


Sims, colleagues tour site of $1.5 million state investment in Mazzoni Center

(Jan 17, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., and fellow legislators today toured the site of the state's largest investment in an LGBT project. Pennsylvania is providing $1.5 million toward consolidation and expansion of the Mazzoni Center, which provides health services to LGBT people. Those touring the site with Sims included state Sens. Larry Farnese and Anthony Hardy Williams and state Rep. Maria Donatucci, all D-Phila., and City Councilman Bill Greenlee. "I’m very pleased to see the Commonwealth extending support to this important project, which will have a substantial impact on the health and well-being of the many people Mazzoni Center serves, which includes some of the most vulnerable individuals in Philadelphia," Sims said. "In addition to what it will do in terms of bricks and mortar and the provision of essential services, this award represents an important affirmation of the values of fairness and inclusion, and the idea that all Pennsylvanians deserve equal access to quality health care. This was a joint effort to secure this funding with my colleagues and Governor Tom Wolf's administration." The project will include internal demolition; the building of an additional 10,000 square feet; expansion and upgrading the mechanical, plumbing, electrical, paint and data capabilities; and furnishing of 1328-1338 Bainbridge St. The project will increase by more than 30 percent the Mazzoni Center’s capacity to Read more


Sims sets priorities for third term in Pa. House

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., is continuing his push for commonsense priorities as he begins his third term representing Philadelphia's 182nd Legislative District. Members of the legislature were sworn in today. Sims said, "In addition to seeking to restore more of the school funding that was cut during the Corbett years, I will continue working with allies from both parties in the coming months to introduce legislation on other important issues," such as: LGBT equality, including equal protections in the workplace and a ban on harmful "conversion therapy" for minors; sustainable development and manufacturing; increased accessibility and convenience in voting and ending partisan gerrymandering; fair compensation for people harmed by a local government's action or inaction – like Philadelphians who only got 19 cents on the dollar for electrical and water damage done to their homes by a 4-foot-wide water main break in 2012; and proactive women's health initiatives. "I'm honored and grateful for the opportunity to continue representing the people of the 182nd District and to serve as their voice in Harrisburg," Sims said. "Pennsylvania has taken important steps forward in Governor Tom Wolf's first two years, and I look forward to working with the Wolf administration to achieve more positive change in 2017 and 2018." Sims, a policy attorney and civil rights Read more


Sims announces $5.5 million in state grants for 3 local projects

(Nov 23, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 23 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today announced the approval of $5.5 million in state grants for three projects in the 182nd Legislative District. "I advocated for these projects and thank Governor Tom Wolf for releasing these funds for important work that will benefit the people I represent, in part by creating and retaining jobs in our communities," Sims said. The grants are: $3 million to convert the site of an obsolete, blighted building at 34 S. 11th St. into a Class A modern warehouse office building with about 161,000 square feet on floors 2 through 8. It will also include about 25,000 square feet of retail space, of which 16,000 have been leased to MOM’s Organic Market. This is part of the East Market project in Center City. $1.5 million for consolidation and expansion of the Mazzoni Center, which provides health services to LGBT people. The project will include internal demolition; the building of an additional 10,000 square feet; expansion and upgrading the mechanical, plumbing, electrical, paint and data capabilities; and furnishing of 1328-1338 Bainbridge St. The project will increase by more than 30 percent the Mazzoni Center’s capacity to meet the growing health care needs of the LGBT population it serves. $1 million to renovate the Performance Garage into a state-of-the-art center for dance and wellness in the Spring Garden/Avenue of the Arts North district. Sims represents the 182nd Read more


Sims: Anti-immigration bill would hurt Pennsylvanians

(Oct 17, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., forcefully opposed an anti-immigration bill (H.B. 1885) in the House today in part because it would lead to increased crime and punish Philadelphia taxpayers. "There are so many unanswered questions about this 'sanctuary cities' bill. Even the prime sponsor of the bill, Republican Representative Martina White of Philadelphia, couldn't answer several questions about it clearly," Sims said. "We don't know what would be 'reasonable cause' for a police officer to stop or detain someone, or how someone has to look or sound for an officer to ask for their papers or let them go, or whether it would apply to victims of crime. "What we do know is Philadelphia and other cities would be stuck with massive legal bills because of this vague legislation, just as Arizona's infamous 'papers please' law cost millions of dollars and six years in court before that state finally dropped it. Wrongful detention has also led to lawsuits throughout Pennsylvania and is a major reason why local governments across the state no longer hold people on federal immigration detainers. "What we also know is this bill would increase crime by reducing cooperation with the police by victims and witnesses. That's the wrong way to go." Video of Sims' remarks in the House chamber can be found on his website, www.pahouse.com/Sims . ### Read more


Sims hires new staffers to serve 182nd District

(Sep 21, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 21 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., has hired three new staffers for his Center City office to fill vacancies and make sure the people of the 182nd Legislative District are well-served. "I'm proud that my staff and I have been able to increase dramatically the number of constituents served compared to nearly four years ago when I first took office. I know my new team members will help in continuing our excellent record of service to the people of the 182nd District," Sims said. The 182nd District includes part or all of: Rittenhouse, Fitler Square, Logan Square, Midtown/Gayborhood, Washington Square West, Bella Vista, Hawthorne, Fairmount, Queen Village, East Passyunk, Spring Garden and Market East. Sims' Philadelphia office is at 21 S. 12th St., Suite 182, and can be reached at 215-246-1501. He has a website at www.pahouse.com/Sims and also offers updates at www.facebook.com/RepBrianSims and www.twitter.com/RepSims . In addition to the new hires, Tim Keller has been promoted to chief of staff in Sims' Philadelphia office. Keller has served on Sims’ staff since the legislator took office and is a proud Temple University alumnus and Philadelphia native. He was involved with the recent passage of the Medical Cannabis Act and previously worked on the House Education Committee staff. The new staffers are: Abby Rambo, community relations director, who previously served as executive director at the South of Read more


Sims announces $200,000 state grant to develop local park

(Jul 01, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, July 1 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today announced the approval of a $200,000 state grant to develop a local park. Sims made multiple requests for the Commonwealth Financing Authority to approve the grant for developing park land in front of Park Towne Place Museum District Residences, 2200 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, into an active recreational space, walking trails and reflective gardens featuring public art. The city's Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with Aimco (Apartment Investment and Management Co.) and the Association for Public Art on the project. In addition to the park redevelopment, Aimco is currently engaged in a $200 million renovation of its four apartment home towers which contain close to 1,000 units and are home to more than 2,200 residents. The first tower is complete, and the ribbon was recently cut to celebrate the completion of the Park Towne's commercial and recreation improvements. Sims said the public-private partnership to improve the park area is consistent with the master plan for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway- More Park, Less Way, by providing a welcoming open green-space along the parkway which will benefit residents, visitors and neighboring cultural institutions. The overall development will also create and retain jobs within the region, he said. Sims represents the 182nd Legislative District, which includes part or all of: Rittenhouse, Fitler Square, Logan Square, Midtown/Gayborhood, Read more


Frankel, Sims hail bipartisan Pa. Senate action on nondiscrimination bill

(Jun 22, 2016)

State Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Brian Sims, D-Phila., praised today's bipartisan, historic state Senate committee vote that sent a nondiscrimination bill to the full Senate. Read more


Frankel, Sims ready House petition in hopes of freeing nondiscrimination bill

(Jun 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 9 – State Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Brian Sims, D-Phila., are planning to pry a bipartisan nondiscrimination bill out of a committee whose chairman has refused even to hold a hearing on it. Frankel is lead House sponsor of the proposed Pennsylvania Fairness Act (H.B. 1510/S.B. 974). The legislation would update Pennsylvania’s current nondiscrimination law – originally written in 1955 – to ensure that all residents regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, disability and now – sexual orientation, gender identity and expression – can participate in and contribute to the state’s economy. Frankel and Sims have filed a discharge petition, which allows a simple majority of the House to free a bill from a committee where it has been stalled. They can call for the vote as soon as Wednesday. Frankel said: "Poll after poll over the years has shown consistent support of 70 percent or more in Pennsylvania for this commonsense, nondiscrimination legislation. Most Pennsylvanians don’t want their gay or transgender family members, friends, co-workers or neighbors to get fired or denied a home, a hotel room or a restaurant table just because of who they are. They know that's wrong. "Most Pennsylvanians know being gay or transgender has nothing to do with someone's ability to fix a car or a computer, for example. And thanks to the coverage of anti-LGBT bills Read more


Sims, city officials announce nearly $1 million for Markward at Schuylkill River Park

(Apr 14, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, April 14 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., and city officials today announced nearly $1 million in investments at Markward at Schuylkill River Park, with state funding as the largest single source. Sims said the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will provide $388,000 from the Recreation and Conservation Fund. Sims said, "Today illustrates the best of what Philadelphia communities can do when we work together. I’m proud to be presenting this check today to help fund this important project and make this necessary investment in our neighborhoods. Philadelphia is home to some of the best parks in the nation and these funds will go a long way in ensuring that exceptional tradition continues." Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has secured $300,000 for the project, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell announced the department will invest an additional $300,000. The parks department said the Markward at Schuylkill River Park rehabilitation and development project includes demolition and site improvements to the heavily used Center City park. To continue to meet the needs of the community and to bring the park into compliance with current standards, including disability access, safety and the Universal Construction Code, the park is being upgraded. The project will upgrade a park which has not undergone any renovations since the mid-1980s. A design team worked with the community to Read more


Sims job fair April 8 will have more than 25 employers

(Mar 31, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, March 31 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., will host his fourth annual job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 8 at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. "For three years, this event has connected hundreds of people with potential employers, and I'm sure this year's job fair will do the same," Sims said. "More than 25 employers will be on hand, including the City of Philadelphia fire and police departments, SEPTA, the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission -- and some major private-sector employers as well. "Bring your resume and remember to dress to impress!" RSVPs aren't required but are appreciated. Residents can email RepSims@pahouse.net or call 215-246-1501. Sims represents the 182nd Legislative District, which includes part or all of: Rittenhouse, Fitler Square, Logan Square, Midtown/Gayborhood, Washington Square West, Bella Vista, Hawthorne, Fairmount, Queen Village, East Passyunk, Spring Garden and Market East. ### Read more


Sims Supports Medical Marijuana

(Mar 17, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims outlines his support for allowing medical marijuana to be prescribed in Pennsylvania to alleviate suffering and improve quality of life for the sick. Read more


Sims hails bipartisan support for redistricting reform

(Mar 16, 2016)

State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., a strong advocate for redistricting reform, hailed today's bipartisan show of support at the Capitol for changing how state legislative and congressional district lines are drawn in Pennsylvania. "As President Obama said in his latest State of the Union address, politicians shouldn't pick their voters – voters should be picking their politicians," Sims said. Read more


Sims votes for Pa. medical marijuana bill

(Mar 16, 2016)

State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today voted for the medical marijuana bill (S.B. 3) that passed the House. "I am proud to support this bill. It may not be perfect, but it represents real progress for so many Pennsylvanians in dire need of this medication. I hope the Senate will soon send it to Governor Wolf so he can sign it into law," Sims said. Read more


Sims Honors Deputy Police Commissioner

(Mar 15, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims honors the 29 years of service by Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel and his retirement from the Philadelphia Police Force. Read more


Legislators unveil 3-state redistricting reform: 'Win-win partnership'

(Feb 22, 2016)

Legislators from three states unveiled their innovative plan for congressional redistricting reform today in Baltimore. Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia have been cited as examples of partisan gerrymandering that lets politicians pick their voters. Read more


Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more


PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more