State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-W. Phila.), chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, announced the PLBC will host A Taste of Pennsylvania reception at the annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C.
The PLBC will host the reception from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Sep. 20 in Suite 420, Lafayette Tower on the Washington campus of Drexel University, 801 17th St. NW.
The annual conference provides for legislators and other people to gather from across the nation to discuss state and federal government issues, as well as general health, education, technology, public safety and environmental concerns.
A panel discussion will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to discuss key Pennsylvania issues such as education, health care, transportation funding and Marcellus Shale drilling.
The PLBC will also recognize Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-Phila.) for his outstanding leadership and advocacy for minorities.
The West Powelton Steppers will perform during the event as well.
Brown’s office will be taking guests to the reception and the day will include visits to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Smithsonian’s African American History Museum.
“This is a wonderful time to present the best of Pennsylvania to our fellow legislators and congressional delegations,” Brown said. “I am thrilled to be able to include visits to the MLK memorial and the museum during this special day.”
The PLBC was organized during the 1973-74 legislative session by K. Leroy Irvis to bring legislators from minority-based districts together as a unified voice on issues and concerns that affect the majority of their constituents.
WATERS ORIENTS PRISON-DADS PROGRAM
State Rep. Ronald G. Waters (D-W. Phila.) recently held orientation for mothers and children who will participate in the Fathers And Children Together Program that is offered through Graterford Prison.
“FACT is a program that unites inmates from SCI Graterford with their children to engage in structured, weekly activity,” Waters said.
“The program is unique because, not only does it provide fathers and children with much-needed bonding time, it also helps to foster responsible relationship engagement amongst inmates,” he added.
“Since many of the fathers are learning for the first time what it is like to engage their child in a structured environment, they are benefiting just as much as the children who, everyone would agree, benefit immensely from spending time with their fathers.”
The orientation included several workshops that were created to prepare mothers and children for the seven-week program. They were conducted by Michael Little from the Philadelphia Dept. of Behavior Health; therapist Regina Russell and counselor Cassandra Bolding.
In addition to the workshops, the children were treated to arts and crafts from the Mural Arts organization and were given bags filled with back-to-school essentials. Waters also provided a free lunch for everyone in attendance.
“The early returns on this program have been nothing short of amazing,” Waters said.
“All of the children, mothers and fathers who previously participated in the program were thrilled with the experience. I look forward to watching this new group of children grow as they have this opportunity to engage with their fathers, and I know the fathers cannot wait to see their young ones excel in this structured environment,” he added.
In addition to Waters, the new FACT participants were greeted at the orientation by a number of people, including: Samuel Staten, Jr. from Local 332, Dr. Jean Wright from the Philadelphia Dept. of Behavioral Health, Penny McDonald from Waters’ Constituent Service Office, Dr. Thomas Reid from NU-Stop, Robyn Buseman from the Mural Arts Dept. and external U-CAN members Tyrone “Cakes” Sims and Wesley Wilson Bey.
BLONDELL PUSHES SCHOOL TAX COLLECTION INQUEST
Councilwoman at Large Blondell Reynolds Brown is pushing for a hearing to investigate the efficiency of collections of the School Income Tax.
The School Income Tax is imposed by the School District of Philadelphia and applies to various classes of unearned income not subject to the Philadelphia Business Income and Receipts Tax or City Wage Tax. The School Income Tax applies to the following types of income: Dividends, Interest Income, S Corp Distributions, Partnership Distributions, Estates and Trusts income, Short Term Capital Gains (held six months or less) and Rental Income.
“The School Income Tax is difficult to collect because it applies to unearned income, often relying on self-reporting by the taxpayer,” said the Councilwoman. “If current practices are not working, we must develop a more-efficient plan moving forward.
“Finally, parents need to know that we are not resting on our laurels just because schools opened on time; we continue to search for every dollar.”
CLAY TO PROVIDE SCHOOL ESSENTIALS
State Rep. James Clay (D-Kensington) announced his office is providing many public-school students in his district with school materials at a series of planned school visits.
“There are many things parents may be concerned about when sending their child back to school, but no parent should have to worry about their child having the required materials to start the year,” Clay said. “My office collaborated with a number of the public schools in our district to put together personalized back-to-school packages for students, and I will be going into each classroom to personally deliver the materials.”
Clay said the list of schools he will visit includes Harding Warren G MS, Marshall John School, Stearne Allen MS and Ziegler ES.
“I see this as a great opportunity to meet the children of the 179th Dist., and to bless them with some materials to get the school year started on the right foot,” Clay said.