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Sappey resolution designating September as ‘International Underground Railroad Month’ adopted in House

(Sep 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Christina Sappey’s resolution designating September 2020 as “International Underground Railroad Month” in Pennsylvania was adopted today in the state House of Representatives. “Pennsylvania’s history shows it was pivotal in the freedom of slaves via the Underground Railroad,” said Sappey, D-Chester. “The more research that was done, the more we uncovered safehouses, escape routes and hiding places across the entire state. Ordinary citizens and some former slaves known as ‘stationmasters’ would risk their own freedom to help their loved ones escape. It’s time to recognize the importance of the Underground Railroad. This designation honors this state, its people, and all of those who have fought and continue to fight for true freedom of all peoples.” “This moment in time is a chance to reflect on all of those who fought tirelessly for their right to vote and true freedom,” said Dr. James Trotman, founding director of the Frederick Douglass Institute at West Chester University. “I tend to think of Douglass himself, and the North Star, his first newspaper, in another challenging time. After he attended the 1848 Women’s Rights Conference in Seneca Falls, New York, he changed the newspaper’s masthead to reflect the impact of the conference on him and our common struggle. The masthead read, ‘Right is of no sex; truth is of Read more

Sappey holding virtual panel on law enforcement, community and healing

(Sep 08, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Christina Sappey, D-Chester, invites residents of the 158th Legislative District to her next presentation in a series of virtual panel discussions on race: “Institutionalized Disadvantage: Law Enforcement, The Community and Healing.” The discussion will stream live at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at www.RepSappey.com . Panelists include state Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan, Chief Gerald Simpson of the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department, and Rev. Annalie Korengel, pastor of Unionville Presbyterian and the police chaplain for Kennett Township, Kennet Square, and Southern Chester County Regional Police Departments. Those interested in participating should RSVP by emailing Sappey’s office at RepSappey@pahouse.net or signing up online at https://www.pahouse.com/Sappey/RSVP/?id=1277 . “Throughout this series of discussions, we have explored the origins of systemic racism in the American institutions of education, housing, health care and justice,” Sappey said. “This upcoming panel will focus on law enforcement changes, community healing and the path forward. I look forward to this event and hope that as many people as possible can join to help chart a new course together.” Questions and comments for panelists may be emailed to RepSappey@pahouse.net before or during the Read more

House Democratic Policy Committee to hold briefing about “The Vanishing Trial” Thursday in Capitol

(Sep 04, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 4 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public briefing on “The Vanishing Trial” film and the implications of Pennsylvania’s harsh sentencing laws on plea bargaining and trials. The briefing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 in Room G-50 Irvis Office Building in Harrisburg. The media and public are urged to watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . Requested by state Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, the briefing will feature a showing of “The Vanishing Trial” and testimony from policy experts. Presenters will speak remotely while committee members will participate in person and remotely. Speakers will include: K. Celeste Trusty , Pennsylvania state policy director, FAMM. Marirosa Lamas , former superintendent, SCI-Chester. Chester Hollman , legal assistant, Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project. Nyssa Taylor , criminal justice policy counsel, ACLU-PA. Following the briefing, testimonies and full briefing video will be posted at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more

Comitta and McCarter introduce legislation to reduce carbon pollution from PA electric power sector at least 90% by 2040

(Sep 03, 2020)

“Because the federal government has abdicated its responsibility on climate change, it's up to the rest of us to take the lead in enacting equitable policies to mitigate the growing impacts of climate change,” McCarter said. Read more

Upper Darby, William Penn schools receive vital allotment of COVID-19 money

(Aug 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 25 – Delaware County House Democrats announced today $345,455 to improve Upper Darby and William Penn schools as they fight COVID-19. The schools were selected for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. “I am as elated as I am relieved, that these three schools that serve students and working families in the 164th House District who need the most help, will get that help now,” said state Rep. Margo Davidson . “As we face a global pandemic that has claimed over 170,000 lives and worldwide economic collapse that has claimed literally millions of jobs, we cannot forget our students, our children and youth, who are also being adversely affected by this crisis. As students return to school, whether in school buildings or remote learning from home, they deserve a safe school year that includes adequate resources for learning. At this critical time, we cannot allow disparities to be further widened. These funds will assist in our continual quest to provide a high-quality education to every child regardless of ZIP code.” “We are facing an unprecedented crisis for not only in-classroom learning during a global pandemic, but for our entire community’s public health. These schools are taking critical, life-saving action to help stem the community spread of COVID-19 and they deserve support and resources, like this funding, to see their challenges through,” said Read more

Briggs: Pandemic, election demonstrate need for media literacy curriculum

(Aug 21, 2020)

KING OF PRUSSIA, Aug. 18 – The global pandemic and upcoming presidential election demonstrate the critical importance of teaching media literacy, starting at a young age, said state Rep. Tim Briggs, who has been advocating for the establishment of media literacy curriculum in Pennsylvania schools. “As we are all bombarded with information on a daily basis, particularly through social media, it can sometimes be difficult to discern fact from fiction – and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical to ensure we are consuming accurate information from reliable sources,” said Briggs, D-Montgomery. “I’ve reintroduced legislation to establish a media literacy curriculum in our schools because we need to prepare our youngest citizens with the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate information and sources. The health of our democracy – and right now, the health of our citizens – depends on it.” House Bill 992, assigned to the House Education Committee since March 2019, would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to develop an age-appropriate media literacy curriculum for kindergarten through grade 12 that would be made available to school districts throughout Pennsylvania. The curriculum may include, but would not be limited to: developing critical thinking skills; understanding how media messages shape culture and society; identifying targeted marketing strategies; naming Read more

Addressing gun violence must be a priority. So, we’re addressing it.

(Aug 21, 2020)

A myriad of bipartisan bills designed to reduce gun violence and keep our communities safer – none of which come anywhere close to wholesale rejection of the 2nd Amendment, as fear mongers might have you believe – continue to languish in committee, not even deemed important enough to discuss, let alone receive votes. Read more

Legislation by Reps. Ciresi, Davis would provide financial relief to local bars, restaurants

(Aug 20, 2020)

H.B. 2791 would utilize federal CARES Act funding, focus on smaller, community businesses rather than chains and national conglomerates, and place a cap on assistance to help as many businesses as possible. Read more

Ciresi calls for additional hazard pay for first responders, frontline workers

(Aug 19, 2020)

“While the recent hazard pay grants provided important support to many of our frontline heroes, we need to do more,” Ciresi said. “Unfortunately, due to program guidelines and funding limitations, many of those putting themselves in harm’s way were left out, including firefighters and EMS. We have a responsibility to them – as fellow Pennsylvanians – to honor their long-term sacrifices and risks with financial assistance.” Read more

McCarter legislation aims to reduce financial burden on public school districts, taxpayers

(Aug 18, 2020)

“As our public schools plan to reopen in safe and orderly manners, we need to ensure that cost for cyber charter school tuition does not become overwhelming in the process,” McCarter continued. “Cyber charters do not face the same financial needs that public school districts face to commence in-person learning in an era of the novel coronavirus.” Read more