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The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus congratulates Biden and Harris on historic win

8/5/20 – Police Reform – Harrisburg

(Aug 05, 2020)

Materials from a public hearing held jointly with the House Democratic Policy Committee in the Capitol and co-chaired by State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans. Read more

 

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

(Aug 03, 2020)

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

 

PLBC condemns S.B. 1166

(Jul 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 15 -- Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus condemned the House majority’s decision yesterday to push forward a proposed amendment to the state constitution while blocking discussion on further amendments. A total of 63 amendments had been filed by representatives from both parties. “It is inconceivable that a bill of this size would be pushed through without the proper time to debate and discuss other amendments,” said Kinsey, chairman of the PLBC. “To amend the state constitution without a public hearing or discussion is unacceptable.” “Now is the time to break down barriers and make resources accessible during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, not create more challenges that ultimately put Pennsylvania lives at risk,” said Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “This legislation is just the latest attempt by the majority party to reopen the commonwealth irresponsibly and tie the hands of those who have the power to effectively protect our most vulnerable neighbors from the coronavirus and any future health crises.” “An amendment to the state constitution needs ample time to be properly considered before it gets rushed though in this way,” said Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila. “As legislators, we can’t do our due diligence and go over every bill thoughtfully when we’re precluded from Read more

 

PLBC condemns Montgomery County commissioner’s comments on Black Lives Matter

(Jul 14, 2020)

Montgomery County, July 14 - Today, state Reps. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and Joe Webster, D-Montgomery, condemned Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph Gale for calling those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement terrorists. “It is reprehensible that an elected official would call peaceful protestors terrorists and promote violence in our communities,” Kinsey said. “This completely shatters the trust that Montgomery County residents will have with this office, and that is a great disservice to everyone.” "On June 1, Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph C. Gale issued a press statement under the Seal of the County of Montgomery in which he, without coordination with his fellow commissioners, without proper authority, and without evidence, declared that the Black Lives Matter movement are 'terrorists' seeking to 'justify the lawless destruction of our cities and surrounding communities,'" Webster said. "We have not forgotten that Gale peddles in racist conspiracy theories. We have not forgotten this egregious misuse of his official authority. And, because we are the constituents of Montgomery County he had sworn to serve, we continue our call for him to resign or be impeached." Webster introduced H.R. 920 calling for Gale’s impeachment. 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

 

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

 

Rabb lauds passage of his measure to stop sexual assaults in police custody

(Jul 07, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today said he is honored that legislation he introduced 18 months ago to stop sexual assaults in police custody is on its way to becoming law. Rabb said his measure (H.B. 1807) to close a dangerous loophole that has allowed police who sexually assault a person in custody to use sexual consent as a defense was amended into legislation (H.B. 256) relating to corrections institutions. “This is another victory for Pennsylvanians who took to the streets across our commonwealth demanding real police accountability,” Rabb said. “While we have a long way to go in order to change the system and right the wrongs of the past and present, we must commit ourselves to destroying its toolbox, tool by treacherous tool.” Rabb’s H.B. 1807 was among nearly 20 Democratic bills that were presented to House Republican leadership on June 8 when a handful of Black legislators commandeered the Speaker’s rostrum demanding immediate legislative action on police violence and police accountability. After bipartisan negotiation, House Republican leadership agreed to support four Democratic bills, which have now been passed unanimously in both chambers of the General Assembly, including Rabb’s legislation (amended into H.B. 1841) to create a game-changing statewide law enforcement misconduct database. “Police officers are supposed to use their authoritative power to protect the public, Read more

 

PLBC congratulates PA recipients of the 2020 HBCU Competitiveness Scholarship

(Jun 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – Today, members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released the following statement to congratulate students from historically Black colleges and universities in the region who were named 2020 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars by the White House. “These students are shining examples of the skill and leadership coming from HBCUs across the country, and especially in Pennsylvania at Cheyney University and Lincoln University,” PLBC Chairman Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., said. “This recognition from the White House helps put a national spotlight on HBCUs at a time when Black excellence is being celebrated louder than ever. Every student who was named a 2020 HBCU Competitive Scholar should be proud today.” The winners are Jalen Scott-Davis and Tanysha Young from Lincoln University, and Kevin Mwangi and Kiyana Roberts of Cheyney University. The scholarship is awarded as part of the White House’s Initiative on Historically Black Colleges. Read more

 

PLBC commends unanimous affirmative vote for police reform legislation

(Jun 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – Today, members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus expressed tremendous gratitude to the House for their unanimous support of H.B. 1841 and H.B. 1910, which would improve police training and accountability. Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, introduced H.B. 1841, which would require employers to disclose employment information to a law enforcement agency that is conducting a background investigation of an applicant, and to permit a court to compel the release of such employment information if the employer fails to comply. The bill would also free the applicant’s previous employers from civil liability for sharing employment information in good faith with a police department looking to hire a new officer. It also includes an amendment introduced by state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., to require law enforcement agencies to keep detailed personnel records that include all substantiated criminal, civil and ethics complaints, as well as the reason and circumstances surrounding the separation of each officer. Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, introduced H.B. 1910, which would require police officers to receive training to recognize the signs of child abuse and childhood trauma. It includes an amendment containing Rep. Jason Dawkins’ own legislation that would require officers to undergo PTSD training after incidents involving deadly force. It would also allow commanding officers to request Read more

 

PLBC mourns Dominique Fells

(Jun 12, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, June 12 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today mourned the death of Dominque Fells, a Black trans woman who was murdered in Philadelphia this week, and called for greater emphasis on addressing the growing crisis of violence against Black transgender people. “The transgender community has faced unspeakable violence for too long. Their stories have been silenced and overlooked,” said state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila. and PLBC chairman. “We will continue to say Dominique’s name, as well as the names of so many other transgender people who were killed for simply being themselves. When we say Black Lives Matter, we mean Black trans lives too.” "What was done to Dominique Fells is horrific, and those responsible must be held accountable," state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. and PLBC vice chairwoman, said. "Dominique was a beautiful Black woman. Her life mattered. "The brutalizing of Black people must stop," Bullock continued. "Black trans women are Black women. They are our sisters. And yet we see them killed and assaulted at an even higher rate than other groups of people. They deserve the dignity and security that every woman, every person deserves." The lawmakers said they want to open a dialogue with the community, advocates, law enforcement and others to address the crisis and to identify solutions Read more

 

PLBC members protest police brutality

(Jun 08, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – Today, members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus were joined by some of their Democratic colleagues to protest police brutality. “George Floyd’s death sparked powerful and emotional protests across the country,” Kinsey said. “People are wondering whether they can trust their government to protect them, and we must show them we can. We have the power to change an unjust system that has held Black and white Pennsylvanians to different standards.” Following the protest, Speaker Turzai said he would welcome a special session to review police reform bills, like Kinsey’s bill which would outlaw the use of the standard chokehold and define positional asphyxia as any action that inhibits breath or the flow of blood to the brain due to physical position. The protest was planned by House members on the Police Reform Working Group, which also includes the chief defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, as well as several attorneys. Last week, the group put forward several proposals to address law enforcement misconduct and police-community relations. Members of the group include: Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Stephen Kinsey House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris House Democratic Chairwoman Joanna McClinton House Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. State Rep. Read more

 

Lawmakers call on Republican leadership to take up police-community legislation

(Jun 04, 2020)

Pittsburgh-area lawmakers, PLBC members, urged House leadership to address numerous law enforcement reform bills that have been languishing in House committees and to add session days if necessary Read more

 

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus calls for peaceful protests and justice in George Floyd case

(May 31, 2020)

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus (PLBC), Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., Chairman of the PLBC, issued the following statement on the ongoing protests in Philadelphia: “George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Antwon Rose. Eric Garner. Michael Brown, Jr. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. The list of black and brown mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and children who have needlessly lost their lives at the hands of police officers is not a new trend, but in America, it is a consistent trend with roots as old as our nation. Read more

 

8/5/20 – Police Reform – Harrisburg
Aug 05, 2020

House Democratic Policy Committee-PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold third hearing on Police Reform Wednesday in Capitol
Aug 03, 2020

7/28/20 – Police Reform – Harrisburg
Jul 28, 2020

Schweyer holds joint PA Legislative Black Caucus/House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on police reform
Jul 28, 2020

Kinsey, PLBC denounce racism and bigotry in all forms
Jul 27, 2020

House Democratic Policy Committee/PA Legislative Black Caucus to hold second hearing on Police Reform Tuesday in Capitol
Jul 24, 2020

7/21/20 - Police Reform - Harrisburg
Jul 21, 2020

Wheatley: Legislation would address systemic racism, address poorer health conditions, economic outcomes among people of color in Pa.
Jul 21, 2020

House Democratic Policy Committee-PA Legislative Black Caucus start series of joint hearings on Police Reform Tuesday in Capitol
Jul 20, 2020

PLBC condemns S.B. 1166
Jul 15, 2020

PLBC condemns Montgomery County commissioner’s comments on Black Lives Matter
Jul 14, 2020

Kenyatta ensures Black communities hard hit by pandemic are at the forefront of COVID-19 mitigation efforts
Jul 09, 2020

Kenyatta ensures Black communities hard hit by pandemic are at the forefront of COVID-19 mitigation efforts
Jul 09, 2020

Rabb lauds passage of his measure to stop sexual assaults in police custody
Jul 07, 2020

PLBC congratulates PA recipients of the 2020 HBCU Competitiveness Scholarship
Jun 29, 2020

PLBC commends unanimous affirmative vote for police reform legislation
Jun 24, 2020

PLBC mourns Dominique Fells
Jun 12, 2020

PLBC members protest police brutality
Jun 08, 2020

Lawmakers call on Republican leadership to take up police-community legislation
Jun 04, 2020

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus calls for peaceful protests and justice in George Floyd case
May 31, 2020