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Krajewski announces birth certificate application changes for minors with DOH

PA House adopts Paul Robeson Day resolution

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives adopted a resolution ( H.R. 331 ) today sponsored by state Rep. Rick Krajewski and state Rep. Chris Rabb that declares April 9, 2024, as “Paul Robeson Day” in Pennsylvania. The resolution recognizes Robeson, one of Pennsylvania’s most extraordinary artists and champions of social justice, by recognizing his birthday, April 9, as “Paul Robeson Day,” said Krajewski. “At a time when the threat of fascism feels realer than ever, when workers, Black and Brown people, immigrants, LGBTQ+ folk and marginalized communities across the world are suffering from systemic oppression, we could all learn from the values of humility, compassion, empathy and solidarity espoused by Paul Robeson,” Krajewski said. Krajewski was joined on Tuesday by leaders from the Paul Robeson House and Museum in West Philadelphia who traveled to Harrisburg to celebrate Robeson’s 126th birthday. “We are so excited to see this resolution adopted, and to see it happen around his birthday celebration,” said Janice Sykes-Ross, executive director of the Paul Robeson House & Museum. “As Paul Robeson said, ‘Artists are the gatekeepers of truth.’ They continue to change the world. This is an example of one of those truths.” Read more

 

House Democrats Introduce Eviction Record Sealing Legislation

(Mar 25, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, and Elizabeth Fiedler, Rick Krajewski and Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman Jordan Harris, all D-Phila., today introduced H.B. 1769 that would seal some records in certain cases such as no-fault evictions. “Millions of renters across the commonwealth are struggling to find housing because one mistake or emergency had led to an eviction on their records,” Smith-Wade-El said. “After these no-fault evictions, households often struggle -- sometimes for months -- to find housing, which can result in devastating consequences, including the breakup of families, the loss of employment, and even ending up homeless. This legislation would help give Pennsylvania renters a fair chance at finding housing by establishing procedures for limited access to eviction records. Our Fair Housing Access legislation is a commonsense step that would make it easier for working-class Pennsylvanians to access housing.” According to the legislators, as soon as an eviction is filed, it becomes a permanent mark on someone’s background, making harder to find housing. The record remains even if the case was withdrawn, the tenant endured domestic violence, or the court found in favor of the tenant. Smith-Wade-El said that evictions disrupt workforce development for large swaths of communities and strain existing social support systems throughout the state. These records can put vulnerable Read more

 

Paul Robeson Day resolution unanimously approved by PA House tourism committee

(Mar 25, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – A resolution ( H.R. 331 ) sponsored by state Rep. Rick Krajewski that would declare April 9, 2024, as “Paul Robeson Day” in Pennsylvania was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania House Tourism and Economic and Recreational Development Committee today. The resolution would recognize one of the Commonwealth’s most extraordinary artists and champions of social justice by recognizing his birthday, April 9, as Paul Robeson Day, said Krajewski. “A radical in the best sense of the word, Robeson was one of the most inspiring musicians, actors, athletes, lawyers and fierce fighters for mass liberation of the 20th century,” Krajewski said. “As a Black socialist, Robeson is a long-time personal hero of mine. I can think of no one more deserving of recognition from our state House.” Robeson graduated high school as valedictorian, won a scholarship to Rutgers University, where he also graduated as valedictorian, earned a JD from Columbia Law School, played in the National Football League and performed in critically acclaimed theatrical productions simultaneously. He went on to become a globally renowned singer and activist, founding the American Crusade Against Lynching and receiving the NAACP’s Spingarn medal for his activism in the early Civil Rights movement. Robeson spent his last decade living in West Philadelphia at the now Read more

 

Eviction reform for Philadelphia passes PA House

(Mar 20, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – Legislation ( H.B. 287 ) sponsored by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., that would overhaul Philadelphia’s eviction process passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today and now heads to the Senate for consideration. This legislation was introduced by Krajewski in partnership with Reps. Morgan Cephas, Tarik Khan and Roni Green following a series of shootings last year that occurred during evictions carried out by Philadelphia’s landlord-tenant officers. It would change Philadelphia’s eviction system by creating an oversight board, involving behavioral health professionals, and banning “surprise evictions” in which tenants are not given notice of the date and time of evictions. Krajewski said H.B. 287 would reform the unaccountable behavior of the LTO, the only private entity performing evictions in Pennsylvania, and provide a model for publicly accountable evictions that can be replicated statewide. “Philadelphia’s violent, for-profit eviction system is an outlier statewide and desperately needs to be reformed. By ending surprise evictions, creating oversight and accountability for eviction agents and ensuring tenants have access to basic support, we can help prevent the shootings we saw last summer from ever occurring again.” Krajewski said. “I call on my Senate colleagues to pass this commonsense and urgently needed Read more

 

PA House Children & Youth Committee unanimously approves Krajewski legislation protecting rights of children of incarcerated parents

(Mar 19, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – A bill ( H.B. 285 ) introduced by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., that would protect the rights of children of incarcerated parents was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania House Children & Youth Committee today. Under current law, most child welfare agencies seek termination of parental rights after 15 months of placement in foster care. Many children whose parents are incarcerated lose their right to see, speak with or know their parents and families – even after their parents return home from incarceration. Krajewski’s legislation would ensure that parental incarceration is not the sole basis on which a court’s decision for involuntary termination of parental rights is made. This would add to existing exclusions such as environmental factors and medical care if found to be beyond the control of the parent. “I understand firsthand how difficult the experience of having a parent who is incarcerated can be for a family, especially a child,” Krajewski said. “The uncertainty of when you will see them again, the emotional impact on loved ones, the financial setbacks to a family and the damage done through the unnecessary severance of a child’s connection to their parent are all hardships no one should face, yet so many in our Commonwealth suffer through. “Incarceration has a traumatic impact on a family, for Read more

 

2023-2024 Grant and Resource Directory

(Mar 07, 2024)

Check out the 2023-2024 PA Grant & Resource Directory! Read more

 

Krajewski: PA will benefit from Legal, Adult-Use Cannabis

(Feb 06, 2024)

PA House Health Subcommittee on Health Care Chair state Rep. Rick Krajewski leads a hearing on legalization of adult-use cannabis. Krajewski says legalization and regulation would not only help correct years of racial injustices resulting from the failed War on Drugs, it would benefit all Pennsylvanians in the form of revenue and investments in social equity workforce development, education and housing. Read more

 

Shapiro signs Krajewski kinship care legislation H.B. 1058 into law

(Jan 24, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 24 – Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro today signed into law Act 48 , introduced as H.B. 1058 by Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., which makes child custody proceedings more inclusive of potential kinship care providers by requiring courts to solicit and consider the opinions of those who engaged with family finding and kinship care programs. “Countless relatives and caregivers provide full-time nurturing and protection for children who cannot safely remain in the care of their biological parents,” said Kari King, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. “It has been an honor to work with Rep. Krajewski on policy that prioritizes kinship placements, which will allow more children and youth to be raised by and connected to their family.” “Community Legal Services commends Rep. Krajewski and Gov. Shapiro for this new legislation that champions kinship care for Pennsylvania children. Giving families a voice in child welfare proceedings means that more relatives will have a chance to step forward to care for children who might otherwise be placed in foster care,” said Kathleen Creamer, managing attorney for the Family Advocacy Unit at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. “Every child deserves to be with their own family whenever possible, and this legislation will help make Pennsylvania a national leader in supporting kinship placement.” Read more

 

State Rep. Rick Krajewski welcomes funding for community project

(Dec 22, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 22 – State Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., today announced that $500,000 in Statewide Local Share Account Program grant funding was awarded to the Resources for Human Development, a human services nonprofit in the 188th district. The funding will go toward the Resources for Human Development’s “The Nest” project, which will convert the organization’s former headquarters on Woodland Avenue into temporary housing for up to eight pregnant women and their families who are experiencing homelessness. Residents will have access to medical and prenatal care as well as case managers to help them transition into safe, permanent housing. “I am proud of the $500,000 in state grant funding that will be coming to our district and grateful that it will go towards housing and emergency services for pregnant women and their families. Housing is a human right, and too often our constituents that most desperately need a safe and healthy home are left behind,” Krajewski said. “The renovation at the Resources for Human Development’s former headquarters is a great step forward in ensuring no one in West and Southwest Philadelphia is too poor to live.” LSA grant funding is funded by gaming revenue and administered through the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which was established in 2004 to administer Pennsylvania's economic stimulus packages. For more information, visit the Read more

 

Krajewski applauds over $60,000 in arts recovery grants for district

(Dec 19, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 19 – State Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., applauded the more than $60,000 in Pennsylvania Arts and Culture Recovery Program grants awarded today to nonprofit organizations throughout his legislative district. “It’s fantastic to see the more than $60,000 in grant funding awarded to organizations in West and Southwest Philly. Arts and artists inspire, empower and heal. They’re a central part of any thriving neighborhood and important leaders bringing about community change,” Krajewski said. “Working with community partners to bring state funding for the arts back to our district is truly a privilege. I look forward to the many great things the Arts in Schools Collaborative, Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Bowerbird Inc. and Intercultural Journeys Inc. have in store for us.” The nonprofits receiving grant funding include: Arts in Schools Collaborative, which received $19,406 to help offset lost revenue and assist with operating costs. Bearded Ladies Cabaret, which received $22,939 to help with operating and marketing expenses and to offset lost revenue. Bowerbird Inc., which received $10,000 to help offset lost revenue. Intercultural Journeys Inc., which received $10,000 to assist with operating costs. Funds distributed through the PA Arts and Culture Recovery Program provide grants to Read more

 

Krajewski kinship bill unanimously passes PA Senate

(Dec 11, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 11 – Legislation ( H.B. 1058 ) introduced by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., passed the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously today and will now head to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk to be signed into law. “My bill would ensure that kinship care providers – like grandparents, and family friends – are fully considered during child custody proceedings,” Krajewski said. “It’s a commonsense reform that will have a major positive impact on vulnerable youth, preventing community displacement and trauma.” H.B. 1058 would make child custody proceedings more inclusive of potential kinship care providers by requiring courts to solicit and consider the opinions of those who engaged with family finding and kinship care programs. While living with kin minimizes childhood trauma and increases well-being , fewer than 42% of children receiving care in the state are placed in a kinship home. “As advocates of kinship care for youth in Pennsylvania, we believe this bill would strengthen support systems for young people in the child welfare system,” said Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia in a joint letter of support for the bill. “No child should be unnecessarily placed in a county youth agency,” Krajewski said. “I appreciate Senate lawmakers coming together to Read more

 

Krajewski elected Chair of Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing

(Dec 07, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., was elected chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing during the commission’s quarterly meeting today. “I’m truly honored that my colleagues on the commission have put their faith in me,” Krajewski said. “I look forward to serving as chair of the commission and I’m excited to figure out how I can be helpful in continuing to foster the relationship between the legislature and the commission.” Krajewski is taking over as chair of the commission from Judge Tamara R. Bernstein, who started on the commission in 2017 and was elected as chair in 2022. “Judge Berstein was always generous with her time when I was a new member, answering any questions I had and explaining to me the best ways to navigate sometimes difficult situations. I’m grateful for all of her support along the way,” he said. The Commission on Sentencing is responsible for creating and maintaining sentencing guidelines, leading new research and consulting the legislature on policy. Krajewski has been a member of the commission since 2020 and was elected vice chair in 2022. “As a longtime advocate for criminal justice reform, and even more so, as someone with family that has been directly involved in the system, these issues are deeply personal and important to me,” said Krajewski. Read more

 

PA State Legislators Call for Congressional Support for Ceasefire and Release of Hostages

(Nov 22, 2023)

Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly called for congressional support for a ceasefire, for the release of all hostages, and for humanitarian aid to residents throughout the region impacted by the ongoing violence. Writing to members of Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation, the state legislators expressed the following: We, the undersigned state elected representatives from across Pennsylvania, believe that all of us, no matter our religion, ethnicity, or nationality, deserve a life of safety and freedom for ourselves and our families. We are united with our constituents in grieving the violence against thousands of Israelis and Palestinians over the last few weeks. As of November 18th, according to the AP, over 1,200 Israelis and over 11,470 Palestinians, two-thirds of whom are women and children, have been killed, and about 2,700 Palestinians are reported missing. Approximately 240 Israelis are being held hostage by Hamas, including 32 children. Every life is sacred; one life lost is too many. Violence against more civilians, including children, will not make the Israeli and Palestinian people safer or bring loved ones home. Violence abroad has also brought us increased incidences of Islamophobic and anti-Semitic hate crimes here at home. We know violence only begets more violence and human suffering. The U.S. federal government has the diplomatic power to intervene and curb this violence, and, as members of Congress, you are in a unique Read more

 

House Democrats Introduce Eviction Record Sealing Legislation

(Nov 13, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov.13 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, Elizabeth Fiedler, Rich Krajewski and Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman Jordan Harris, all D-Phila., held a news conference today to highlight their legislation, House Bill 1769, that would seal some records in certain cases such as no-fault evictions. “We all deserve a safe, warm place to call home, but for millions of renters across the commonwealth, one mistake or emergency can lead to an eviction,” Smith-Wade-El said. “After evictions, households can struggle for months to find housing, which can break up families, risk employment, and lead to homelessness. This legislation would help give Pennsylvania’s renters a fair chance at finding housing by establishing procedures for limited access to eviction records. This legislation is a commonsense step that would make it easier for working-class Pennsylvanians to access housing.” According to the legislators, as soon as an eviction is filed, it becomes a permanent mark on someone’s background, making harder to find housing. The record remains even if the case was withdrawn, the tenant endured domestic violence, or the court found in favor of the tenant. Evictions disrupt workforce development for large swaths of communities and strain existing social support systems throughout the state. These records can put vulnerable people in difficult and dangerous situations, putting survivors of domestic violence Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation helps move eviction reform bill following City Hall public hearing

(Nov 02, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 2 – This week, legislation ( H.B. 287 ) introduced by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., to make commonsense eviction reforms in Philadlephia was approved by the House Housing and Community Development Committee on a 14-11 vote. Six Philadelphia House Delegation members, including Krajewski and delegation Chairwoman state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila. sit on the committee. All six voted to approve the legislation. The bill would require eviction in Philadelphia to (1) be carried out by a public entity, (2) receive oversight from a review board, and (3) involve accompanying behavioral health professionals. Krajewski’s introduction of H.B. 287 comes after three shootings during evictions carried out by Philadelphia’s Landlord-Tenant Officer this summer. Following those incidents, in August, the Philadelphia House Delegation co-hosted a public hearing on the issue at Philadelphia City Hall with the state House Housing and Community Development Committee. “Evictions are the worst day in someone’s life, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’re carried out safely and with compassion,” Krajewski said. “Philadelphia's violent, for-profit eviction system is an outlier statewide and desperately needs to be replaced. No one should fear for their life because they can’t make rent.” Cephas celebrated advancement of the bill, she said Read more

 

Legislation ending for-profit evictions in Philadelphia reported out of House Housing & Community Development Committee

(Oct 31, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – Legislation ( H.B. 287 ) introduced by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., that would overhaul Philadelphia’s eviction process was approved by the House Housing and Community Development Committee today and now heads to the House chamber for consideration. This legislation was introduced by Krajewski in partnership with Reps. Morgan Cephas, Tarik Khan and Roni Green following a series of shootings that occurred during evictions carried out by Philadelphia’s landlord-tenant officers. It would change Philadelphia’s eviction system by requiring that evictions be carried out by a public entity, receive oversight from a review board and involve accompanying behavioral health professionals. “Evictions are the worst day in someone’s life, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’re carried out safely and with compassion. Philadelphia's violent, for-profit eviction system is an outlier statewide and desperately needs to be replaced,” Krajewski said. Krajewski said H.B. 287 would halt the unaccountable for-profit behavior of the LTO, the only private entity performing evictions in Pennsylvania, and provide a model for publicly accountable evictions that can be replicated statewide. The bill is supported by the Philadelphia City Council, the mayor of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office Read more

 

Bills to improve voting access for incarcerated individuals draw support from lawmakers, advocates

(Oct 19, 2023)

“This process will include dissemination of registration forms, ballot applications and ballots, civic education for voters to learn how to cast their vote, and designated staff to handle the collection and return of ballots. We will also be collecting data from each facility to oversee the effectiveness of their procedures,” Krajewski said. Read more

 

Krajewski, voting rights organizations rally for the voting rights of incarcerated individuals

(Oct 18, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., joined The PENNfranchise Project, All Voting is Local, Human Rights Coalition, Healing Communities PA, NAACP Philadelphia Branch, Abolitionist Law Center, Black Voters Matter, The Philadelphia Sun, West End Power and fellow advocates to participate in a rally in support of voting rights for the incarcerated Wednesday on the Capitol steps. “The ability to vote is not a privilege nor something to be taken away at the state’s discretion; it is a civil right and one of the load-bearing pillars of freedom, equality and democracy,” Krajewski said. “The injustice inflicted every time it’s not treated as such should be apparent to all. Yet, often incarcerated individuals in our state are barred and denied this very right. Expanding voting access not only strengthens our democracy but recognizes the humanity of people involved in our criminal legal system and helps them stay on a path of rehabilitation.” Krajewski has introduced legislation this session that would permit all incarcerated individuals in correctional institutes to be eligible to vote by absentee ballot and require the PA Department of State to create a uniform policy for civic education in correctional institutions and to provide correctional institutions with information pertaining to voter registration, absentee ballots and eligibility requirements, as well as all Read more

 

Krajewski: Investment Is Key to Growing Diverse Businesses, Communities

(Sep 07, 2023)

Pa. state Rep. Rick Krajewski thanks Governor Josh Shapiro for signing an executive order that will help small, diverse businesses compete for state funding. Krajewski points to the 52nd Street Corridor in West Philly as an example of the difference investment in Black and brown businesses can make in growing a local economy, reviving historically diverse communities and supporting historically disadvantaged businesses. Read more

 

Housing advocates say Philly’s for-profit eviction system lacks dignity and compassion

(Aug 31, 2023)

“A tenant facing eviction deserves to know when their eviction will occur. They deserve for it to occur without the threat of physical violence. And they deserve transitional services to help them process and recover from their loss of housing,” said state Rep. Rick Krajewski (D-Philadelphia). Read more

 

PA House adopts Paul Robeson Day resolution
1 day ago

House Democrats Introduce Eviction Record Sealing Legislation
Mar 25, 2024

Paul Robeson Day resolution unanimously approved by PA House tourism committee
Mar 25, 2024

Eviction reform for Philadelphia passes PA House
Mar 20, 2024

PA House Children & Youth Committee unanimously approves Krajewski legislation protecting rights of children of incarcerated parents
Mar 19, 2024

2023-2024 Grant and Resource Directory
Mar 07, 2024

Krajewski: PA will benefit from Legal, Adult-Use Cannabis
Feb 06, 2024

Shapiro signs Krajewski kinship care legislation H.B. 1058 into law
Jan 24, 2024

State Rep. Rick Krajewski welcomes funding for community project
Dec 22, 2023

Krajewski applauds over $60,000 in arts recovery grants for district
Dec 19, 2023

Krajewski kinship bill unanimously passes PA Senate
Dec 11, 2023

Krajewski elected Chair of Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing
Dec 07, 2023

PA State Legislators Call for Congressional Support for Ceasefire and Release of Hostages
Nov 22, 2023

House Democrats Introduce Eviction Record Sealing Legislation
Nov 13, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation helps move eviction reform bill following City Hall public hearing
Nov 02, 2023

Legislation ending for-profit evictions in Philadelphia reported out of House Housing & Community Development Committee
Oct 31, 2023

Bills to improve voting access for incarcerated individuals draw support from lawmakers, advocates
Oct 19, 2023

Krajewski, voting rights organizations rally for the voting rights of incarcerated individuals
Oct 18, 2023

Krajewski: Investment Is Key to Growing Diverse Businesses, Communities
Sep 07, 2023

Housing advocates say Philly’s for-profit eviction system lacks dignity and compassion
Aug 31, 2023