Two Urban Agriculture Grants Approved
This week, two urban agriculture grants were approved for projects in the 1st Senatorial District. These grants total over $50,000. Projects were approved for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and VietLead. A total of 28 projects statewide were awarded $500,000 in grants.
Huddle Up Philly
On Tuesday, October 1, 2019, I had the chance to stop by the Cosmopolitan Club and join State Representative Mary Isaacson to speak with members of Huddle Up Philly. We discussed issues that are important to our community in Harrisburg and in our city. Thank you for having me!
2019-2020 Senior Community Center Grants
On behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) is proud to announce a new grant funding opportunity for Pennsylvania’s Senior Community Centers (SCCs) of $2 million to be awarded for the 2019-20 fiscal year.
The grants are intended to provide funding to enhance Pennsylvania’s SCCs by increasing participation and programming, attract a new generation of older adults, and enable SCCs to provide a safe and healthy environment for participants.
The grant application period opens on October 1, 2019.
All required application materials must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 15, 2019.
An informational webinar regarding grant application submission instructions will be held at 10:00 a.m. on October 10, 2019.
You can join the webinar by phone by calling 1-855-797-9485, or use the following hyperlink and login information on the day of the webinar:
SCC Grant Program FY19/20 – Technical Assistance & Application Instructions Webinar
Meeting Number: 649 241 801
Visit aging.pa.gov to access application submission instructions and required documents.
For questions, please contact the Senior Community Center Grants Program Administrator by email SCCgrants@pa.gov or calling (717) 772‑2551.
For more information and details, please also feel free to contact my office at 215-952-3121.
Spring Garden Community Reunion and Festival
I had a great time over the weekend at the Spring Garden Community Reunion and Festival! Lots of great music, food, and fun activities for the neighborhood!
Open House on Addiction
On Thursday, September 26, 2019, we saw a community come together. Our Open House on Addiction proved that there is HOPE. Thank you to everyone who came out in support of friends and loved ones who are fighting addiction. A special thank you to Jimmy Paylor and Tina Curtain for sharing their stories with us this month and offering help to those who need it.
Thank you as well to the Mummers Museum for allowing us to host this important event, and to all the vendors and advocates that came out to provide free services and information for those who are seeking help.
For more resources and to view my web series “There is Hope” with interviews of people who have struggled with addiction in the past, please visit my website.
SB 473 –Passes PA Senate; Amendment Protects Medical Marijuana Patients
On September 24, 2019, the Senate approved my amendment to SB 473. SB 473 raises the legal age for smoking in Pennsylvania to 21 and classifies all vaping products, even if they are not used with nicotine to the definition of “tobacco product”. My amendment specifically exempts vaping products used to administer medical marijuana from the definition of “tobacco product”.
If this issue was not addressed by my amendment, medical marijuana patients between the ages of 18-20 years old would be forced to smoke or otherwise ingest their medical marijuana, which may not be approved for them, or designate a caretaker to purchase their vaping product, which puts the caretaker at risk of being prosecuted for providing “tobacco products” to a minor.
This exemption is supported by the PA Department of Health and after all the General Assembly has done to make medical marijuana available as a medicine to our constituents I was pleased that my Senate colleagues unanimously voted yes to adopt the amendment to protect medical marijuana patients.
The Senate passed the amended SB 473 on September 25. It was sent to the PA House for consideration.
For the full article, please visit my website.
Working for Better Gun Laws
On September 25, 2019 I joined CeaseFirePA, elected officials, and advocates to call on the Pennsylvania Legislature to pass commonsense, responsible gun legislation. It’s time we overcome special interest pressure, protect our citizens, and ensure that our children grow up in safe and secure neighborhoods and homes.
The Senate Judiciary Committee where I serve as the Democratic Chair, held two days of hearings on firearms September 24th and 25th. The hearings on the 24th focused on mental health and the current process for dealing with individuals who show signs of propensity to violence. The 25th, the committee heard about existing proposals to curb gun violence.
I have and will continue to advocate for legislation that:
- Creates a red flag or ERPO law which will allow the courts to temporarily remove guns from someone considered a threat to themselves or others.
- Institute universal background checks to finally close the loophole which allows so many to skirt the law.
- Require the reporting of lost and stolen firearms.
- Ban dangerous military assault style weapons like AR-15’s.
- Crack down on straw purchasing.
Queen Village Garden BBQ
I had a great time at the Queen Village Garden BBQ! Lots of fun with community members and State Representative Mary Isaacson. Thank you for inviting me!
September 21, 2019 was the International Day of Peace. I joined members of Peace Day Philly in bolstering public awareness and activism for worldwide peace. We cannot fully commemorate the ideals of peace if we turn a blind eye on those living with food insecurity, displaced from their homes, and desperately seeking clean water.
This year’s emphasis on climate change is so important, especially when one considers how it can impact efforts to build meaningful collaborative efforts between all the countries in the world. We must be emboldened by what we can do when we pool our efforts, resources, and indelible faith toward consensus and the kind of peace that will serve generations to come.
Thank you to everyone who came to make our world a better place!
Remarks Regarding Senator Daylin Leach
On September 19, 2019 I released the following statement after the updated and expanded report regarding Senator Daylin Leach’s conduct.
“The updated and expanded report we received regarding Senator Leach’s conduct has done nothing to change my opinion that he needs to resign. Workers should never have to accept a hostile workplace, harassment, intimidation, or bullying from anyone, much less an elected official, and it is a standard I am not willing to accept as a member of the Pennsylvania Senate.”
“I believe that victims deserve to be heard, believed and their claims should be investigated thoroughly. They should not be subject to lawsuits, intimidation, or bullying.
“While Members of the General Assembly have the right to defend themselves against accusations that they believe to be false, we should never allow the exercise of that right to impact and prohibit other members from doing the job they were elected to do. When that occurs, as it has here for far too long, it is time to leave.
“Senator Leach should resign immediately.”
For the full press release, click here.
Farnese Announces $250,000 for Regional Recreation Projects
I am happy to announce $250,000 in funding for 1st Senatorial District recreation projects. The projects funded through the DCED Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program include:
- The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation will receive $175,00 for the Beach Street Trail Acquisition project.
- The East Passyunk Community Center Advisory Council will receive $16,711 to replace a multipurpose accordion wall in their facility.
- Friends of Schuylkill River Park will receive $9,324 to go towards their Schuylkill River Park Master Plan.
- Spring Garden Community Development Corporation will receive $48,965 for their design of recreational assets.
For the article, click here.
Clay Fest 2019
I had a great time on Saturday, September 17, 2019 visiting Clay Fest 2019 in South Kensington! It’s incredible to see the Clay Studio bringing the community together to participate in fun activities including group sculpting, artist demonstrations, music, and food. Thank you to the Clay Studio for hosting me at the festival!
Give Kids Sight Day!
Give Kids Sight Day is a chance for your child(ren) to receive FREE vision care! On Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 8:30am to1:00pm at Jefferson Alumni Hall, 1020 Locust Streets in Philadelphia, children 17 and under who have not had or not passed an eye screening in the past year will receive a FREE Eye Exam and FREE Eyeglasses if needed. No insurance? No problem! This is a totally FREE event. There will also be language interpreters available to help families navigate the day. There are no appointments - you should arrive early for a few fun filled hours! All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian (sorry, no exceptions). For more information, visit www.pccy.org/sightday.
Deadline to Register to Vote – October 7, 2019
The deadline to register to vote for the November 5, 2019, General Election, is October 7, 2019. You can register to vote right online at, register.votespa.com.
You can also visit pasenate.com/vote for more information and resources on voting in Pennsylvania!
Town Hall Meeting
Please join State Representative Mary Isaacson and I on Monday, October 14, 2019 at 7:30pm for a Community Town Hall Meeting at the Callowhill Neighborhood Association. It will be held at Azavea located at 9900 Spring Garden Street on the 5th Floor. All are welcome to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!
LGBTQIA+ Resource Fair
I will be hosting an LGBTQIA+ Resource Fair on October 23rd from 6-8pm at the William Way Community Center located at 1315 Spruce Street. The fair will offer information about programs, services, and local organizations available to help the LGBTQIA+ community. All are welcome to attend. For more information and questions, feel free to contact my office at 215-952-3121 or visit my website.
Multimodal Transportation Fund – Applications Now Accepted
PennDOT is now accepting applications for projects under the Multimodal Transportation Fund through November 8, 2019. The fund is designed to enhance Pennsylvania roadways, bridges, transit facilities, park and ride facilities, sidewalk, crosswalk safety improvements, bicycle lanes and route designations. For more information and the link to the application, click here.
PA Farmers Market Nutrition Program
Enjoying fresh, Pennsylvania produce is easier than you think. If you have checks for Pennsylvania’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program or have received PA Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks during a recent WIC visit, download the FMNP Market Locator app to find your closest participating market.
Download on the App Store »
Get it on GooglePlay»
Property Tax/Rent Rebates
Applications for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are now available for eligible Pennsylvanians to begin claiming rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2018. The deadline to apply for a rebate is June 30, 2019.
For more information and details, please contact my district office at 215-952-3121 or click here.
Ghost Ship on the Delaware River Waterfront – October 4 through November 3
A 90-foot “ghost ship” will arrive in Philadelphia as a part of the Waterfront Arts Program starting October 4th. The light- and water-based installation explores the impact that migration and forced migration via the Delaware River had on Philadelphia.
For more information, click here.
SugarHouse Casino – Hiring Happy Hour on October 17th from 4PM-7PM
Philadelphia VIP – Free Clinic for Small Businesses on October 23rd from 5PM-7PM
Queen Village Neighbors Association Updates
Apply for a QVNA Community Grant!
QVNA's Community Grant Program provides funding to help improve the quality of life of Queen Village residents. We accept applications for a wide variety of projects and programs.
For more information, click here.
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