Rally for More Funding for Our Schools
A day after the Philadelphia School District shut down another toxic school, hundreds of parents, teachers, students and activists gathered in Harrisburg to demand change. Fighting for state funding to repair our toxic schools is my top budget priority. I will continue to fight for this funding so our students and teachers can focus on learning. Our students and teachers should not wonder if the hallways they walk in today will lead them to the hallways of a hospital in the future.
I'm proud of this group, Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler and Senator Vincent Hughes for their leadership on this issue.
And a shout-out to Andi Perez and Ernie Bennett of SEIU for their advocacy.
Appointed to Senate Transportation Committee
As this year comes to a close, there has been lots to celebrate for Philadelphians who want to bike or walk in our city. Last Thursday, I joined cycling enthusiasts for the installation of Fix-It stations along the river trail.
A few days later, I was appointed to the Senate Transportation Committee by Senate leadership. We need to rethink how we allocate transportation dollars to end our addiction to asphalt. I’m ready to fight for cyclists, pedestrians and public transportation passengers toward a cleaner, healthier future.
For the full press release, click here.
New Fix-It Stations Along the Schuylkill River Trail
In Philly, bikes are far more than just recreation. Riders by the thousands are commuting throughout the city, reducing pollution and traffic congestion. I am always happy when I can help support our bike riders in Philadelphia. Having 7 new Fix-It Stations along the Schuylkill River Trail will allow riders to have a place to repair their bikes in a timely manner so they can continue to enjoy their bike ride and get to where they are going.
Thank you Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, REI, and Schuylkill Banks for lending support to this project. Also thank you State Representative Donna Bullock and State Representative Brian Sims for continuing to support our communities! Always great to work with you!
$1.5 Million for Old City Traffic Improvements
The Wolf Administration announced more than $13 million in traffic improvements with $1.5 million of that coming to my Senate district for bike and pedestrian safety projects in Old City. This wouldn't have happened without a tremendous team of advocates in this city that have made them pay attention in Harrisburg. Thank you. Let's look forward to more progress in 2020.
For the full press release, click here.
SLAPP Judiciary Hearing
Bullying by litigation? I have a plan for that. Thanks to Rep. Tim Briggs and Rep. Rob Kauffman for holding a hearing in House Judiciary Committee on bipartisan effort by Rep. Russ Diamond and I to SLAPP down these bullies.
For a video with my remarks, please visit my website.
Reform our Juvenile Justice System
Last week, Gov. Wolf announced the creation of a Juvenile Justice Task Force to examine the current system and issue a report a year from now outlining a path for improvement. I am honored to be a part of this task force and look forward to delivering for our young people and their parents.
For a video with my remarks, please visit my website.
3rd Police District’s Annual Christmas Party
On December 11, I had the pleasure to attend the 3rd Police District's Annual Christmas Party! Tons of fun and food for the kids and families. A big thanks to Captain Hartzell and Community Relations Officer Ace Delgado for bringing the community together for the holidays! There was even a magic show!
Holiday Scams Event
Anthony Luker, of the PA Attorney General's Office, recently helped me with Holiday Scams seminar at South Philadelphia Older Adult Center. This session delivered useful information regarding scams that are ongoing through the holiday season and helped prepare our senior community members on what to look for.
If anyone has any questions or could not make it to our event, feel free to reach out to my office at 215-952-312, and we can get you some additional information!
For a video recap of the event, click here.
Palmer Cemetery Tree Lighting Ceremony
On December 7, I was in Fishtown for the Palmer Cemetery Tree Lighting Ceremony. I love the holidays!
Fairmount Civic Association Meeting
I attended the Fairmont Civic Association meeting on December 6. We had a great discussion on topics that are important to the community, such as our deteriorating public schools, my parking protected bike lane legislation, financial literacy in our schools, and the investments I have continued to support with PA grant funding. Just this year, my office has helped secure a $30,000 grant for 29th street Pedestrian Bridge, $1,000,000 RACP grant for Eastern State Penitentiary, and a $200,000 LSA grant for Fairmont CDC.
I will always fight for the issues that are important to my constituents and I am honored that you have sent me to Harrisburg to fight for you! If you have any questions, please reach out to my office. We can always provide additional information on any topics we discussed or anything you need at the state level.
I’m proud to be your State Senator and I look forward to going back to Fairmount Civic and visiting other RCO’s in the New Year!
East Passyunk Tree Lighting Ceremony
This time of year is always filled with great holiday fun in our communities! On December 6, I had the pleasure to attend the Tree Lighting Ceremony in East Passyunk. Parents, children, friends, and neighbors show up every year to celebrate the holiday season. I’m happy to be a part of it!
Saint Edmond Senior Center Dedication
On December 5, I had the pleasure of joining state Rep. Jordan Harris, staff from state Sen. Anthony William’s office, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s office, the PCA, and seniors and neighbors from the community for the blessing and dedication of the Saint Edmond Senior Center.
This newly renovated space will provide local seniors a place to access community services and take part in community events! I am so glad that I could be a part of it, and I am grateful to Catholic Housing and Community Services for investing in this great space for South Philly residents.
ACA Enrollment Event
Our ACA Enrollment Event on December 5 was a success! Folks were able to sign up for affordable health care with specialists who were on site. The PA Senate Dems held these events across the Commonwealth to make sure our constituents have access to quality affordable health care coverage, and I am thankful to be apart of it.
For a short video from the event, click here.
Spring Garden Civic Association Holiday Party
December 3 was the Spring Garden Civic Association Holiday Party. It was great to see so many friends and neighbors from the community come out and enjoy food, music, and holiday fun!
Annual Turkey Donation
I stopped by Lutheran Settlement House on November 25 for my annual turkey donation. I am so happy to be able to provide constituents with a meal during the holiday season. I also had the pleasure of meeting David, the new Executive Director of Lutheran Settlement House.
Call for Immediate Funding to Fix Our Toxic Schools
On November 22, I stood with Fund Our Facilities members, PFT Local 3, and Sen. Vince Hughes for a call for immediate funding to fix our toxic schools. Enough is enough. The health and safety of our children and teachers are at stake, as buildings crumble around them. We need action NOW! Fund our schools!
Statute of Limitations Reform Bills
On November 21, we had the opportunity to truly help survivors and victims in Pennsylvania. We passed Statute of Limitations reform bills but fell short on important amendments offered by my colleagues. In PA, when the NRA wants a bill, they get it. The constitutionality argument is an excuse and a tactic used too often in this building. It is up to the courts to determine whether a bill is constitutional. It is our job to protect those that need us the most and although we made some strides, we missed an opportunity to truly help those in need. I am thankful to the Judiciary Chair Senator Lisa Baker, Senator Katie Muth, Senator Tim Kearney, Senator Maria Collett, my PA Senate Democratic colleagues, Jennifer Storm, and all the survivors, victims and advocates that have continued to fight for justice. We will keep fighting.
For the video on my floor remarks, please visit my website.
LGBTQIA+ Housing & Legal Resource Fair & Discussion
State Representative Mary Isaacson and I will be hosting an LGBTQIA+ Housing and Legal Resource Fair and Discussion on Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 6-8PM at the Orinoka Civic House located at 2771-2777 Ruth Street. The fair will consist of a panel of community leaders who will discuss housing issues and legal resources, and will offer resources about programs, services, resources and local organizations that are available to help the LGBTQIA+ community.
For more information or questions, please contact my office at 215-952-3121 or visit my website.
Local Share Account Program – Now Open
The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) announced the application period for the Local Share Account (LSA) Philadelphia Program from 12/1/19-1/31/20. The LSA intended use is for economic development, neighborhood revitalization, community improvement, and public interest projects in the City of Philadelphia. Eligible applicants include the following entities located within the City of Philadelphia: CDC’s, EDO’s and redevelopment authorities, BID’s/NID’s, not-for-profit organizations with a 501(c) designation, the City of Philadelphia, and the School District of Philadelphia.
Important things for you to note:
- The program can only fund hard costs.
- This is a DCED-administered program (not CFA).
- There is a $100 application fee required for this DCED program.
- Grant request/awards must be between $10,000-$500,000.
- Projects cannot start prior to approval. We are not accepting requests to consider otherwise.
- There is currently $2 Million available.
You can find the new guidelines on the LSA program webpage.
Grants for Farmers and Small Businesses to Save Money and Reduce Pollution
Grant funding for energy efficiency and pollution prevention projects for small business owners and farmers are still available from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) through the Small Business Advantage Grant program.
Pennsylvania farmers and other small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible for the grants. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption, or pollution related expenses.
Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds for equipment or materials, up to $7,000, when adopting energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Applications are considered on a first come, first served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2019-20 funds are exhausted, or April 12, 2020, whichever occurs first.
The complete grant application package, which includes step-by-step instructions for completing the online application as well as all related forms, is available by visiting the DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office site.
To contact the Small Business Ombudsman’s Office, call 717-772-5160 or email email@example.com.
For more information and details, please also feel free to contact my office at 215-952-3121.
LIHEAP – NOW OPEN
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now open through April 10, 2020. LIHEAP helps low-income families pay for their heating bills. You do not need to be on public assistance, and you do not have to have unpaid heating bills. To see if you qualify or for more information, feel free to contact my office at 215-952-3121, or visit the PA Department of Human Services website for more information.
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.
New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia
Rivers Casino will host its New Year’s Eve Firework on the Waterfront on December 31, 2019. Two shows will be featured on the Delaware River, one taking place at 6 p.m. and the second at midnight. Many of Philadelphia night clubs will be open late, many restaurants have great dining deals for the night, and you can even catch a show.
For more information and details of what is happening in Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve, click here.
Philadelphia’s annual Mummers Parade will take place on January 1, 2020 starting at City Hall at 9 a.m. The parade will proceed south on Broad Street towards Washington Avenue and will conclude around 6 p.m. The Fancy Brigades will continue to the Pennsylvania Convention Center where two performances will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. The parade route is free to watch, but to get into the Convention Center, tickets are required.
For more information and details, click here.
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