State Rep. Cherelle L. Parker (D-Northwest) is hosting a post-secondary-education information fair on Oct. 26 for Philadelphians interested in pursuing higher education in a traditional institution, a vocational training program or an apprenticeship program.
The 2013 College, Vocational, & Labor Information Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church’s Family Life Center, 2800 W. Cheltenham Avenue. More than 50 accredited colleges, universities, labor union apprenticeship programs and vocational schools will be on hand for the event, as well as agencies and organizations that can assist students with educational funding opportunities.
Experts in the career fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, will also be on hand to discuss opportunities for students. Graduating seniors also will have the opportunity to learn how to win a free laptop or tablet.
“We are inviting all high school students, not just juniors and seniors, because I believe it is never too early to start planning for your future,” said Parker. “We are inviting young adults and those transitioning careers who may be interested in returning to college or in the programs offered by the city’s dozen or so unions.”
At least 14 colleges and five labor unions or job-training programs will participate.
For more information, contact Parker’s office at (215) 242-7300.
WASHINGTON URGES DONATING WIRELESS PHONES TO VERIZON
State Sen. LeAnna Washington (D-Northwest) has again partnered with Verizon HopeLine to collect wireless phones to help victims of domestic violence with an emergency line in times of need.
Throughout the year, Verizon HopeLine collects, repurposes, and distributes old cell phones to give victims of domestic violence a way to connect with their loved ones after they escape a violent situation.
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Washington’s district offices will serve as collection points to drop off old phones. Additionally, an additional collection point will be found at the annual Run/Walk to End Domestic Violence on Oct. 26 on W. River Drive.
“In our plugged-in world, most of us get a new cell phone every two years – or sooner – creating a lot of waste and a lot of phones that sit around unused,” Washington said.
“But for many victims of domestic violence, the phones that are recycled and donated through the Verizon HopeLine program are the lifeline they need to rebuild their independence, their lives, and their families.”
Donations will be accepted at both of Washington’s district offices throughout the month of October. The Wadsworth district office is located at 1555-A Wadsworth Avenue (215-242-0472).
BOYLE AND TAYLOR ANNOUNCE SCRAP-METAL LEGISLATION
State Reps. Kevin Boyle (D-Northeast) and John Taylor (R-Kensington) announced they plan to introduce legislation to implement a statewide scrap-metal transaction database.
The bill would amend the Scrap Material Theft Prevention Act by creating a database and requiring scrap processors to register with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.
“Because the economy is still struggling and metal prices are high, scrap metal theft is a serious, ongoing problem that defies easy detection and apprehension of thieves,” Boyle said. “We owe consumers and law enforcement the best tools available to provide a simple, yet powerful solution that prevents theft.”
“Existing law gives law enforcement the power to physically inspect sales records at scrap processing plants,” Taylor said. “However, current efforts are proving to be disjointed and inefficient, requiring significant time, commitment and follow-up by officers.”
NEILSON RAISES DYSLEXIA AWARENESS
State Rep. Ed Neilson (D-Northeast) is raising awareness of dyslexia by sponsoring a resolution and hosting a rally at the Capitol with the Pennsylvania Dyslexia Legislative Coalition.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted HR 430, a resolution authored by Neilson that designates the month of October 2013 as “Dyslexia Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.
“Dyslexia is a serious but manageable issue affecting about 15% of our population,” Neilson said. “I sponsored this resolution to bring attention to the issue, so that we can continue working together to find solution.”
SABATINA PUSHES HOME-INVASION BILL
State Rep. John Sabatina (D-Northeast) is urging the State House to take quick action on his bill to toughen the penalties for home invasion after the bill was moved out of the House Judiciary Committee.
“Home invasion is a crime which continues to plague our state and my legislation is aimed at curbing this epidemic of violence in our area,” Sabatina said. “This is an appalling crime which robs individuals not only of their possessions, but also of their sense of security in their own home. People who would commit this act need to understand the harsh consequences that await them.”
Sabatina’s bill, HB 1296, would classify home invasion as a first-degree felony with a minimum penalty of five years at a maximum security facility, or 10 years for a second offense or if the victim is older than 62.
YOUNGBLOOD BILL PROTECTS NEWBORN
The State House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill sponsored by State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood (D-Northwest) that would strengthen the state’s Safe Haven law and help protect dangerous abandonment of unwanted newborns.
Youngblood said the legislation, HB 1090, would allow police stations to serve as safe havens in Pennsylvania, adding an additional outlet for parents to place their newly born babies into protected custody. Currently, only hospitals are approved under state law to serve as safe havens.
“This is a commonsense proposal that protects our most vulnerable children – those whose parents are unable, or unwilling, to care for them,” Youngblood said. “Most law-enforcement agencies are already providing safe haven for infants, but it is important to ensure that parents who are trying to do the moral thing under very difficult circumstances are protected by state law.
“Sometimes common sense proposals that have little controversy can fall through the cracks, especially with higher ticket issues on the agenda like funding for transportation, Medicaid expansion and finding additional revenue for Philadelphia’s schools,” she said. “So I am extremely proud that we were able to pass this important bill and recognize the need to further protect unwanted newborns.”
COUNCIL MOVES TO BAN A.P.M. CELL-PHONE MACHINES
Councilwoman at Large Blondell Reynolds Brown has introduced a bill to ban the use of automated purchasing machines.
Co-sponsored by 4th Dist. Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., chair of the City Council Committee on Public Safety, the bill bans machines which dispense instant cash in exchange for cell phones, mp3 players and/or electronic tablets. After an electronic evaluation of the device, the consumer receives cash on the spot based on the market value of the phone and its current working condition. Newer, more-expensive devices yield higher cash payouts to the consumer.
The bill bans the machines from operating within the City of Philadelphia and provides for the seizure and forfeiture of such machines. There is currently one such machine in operation at the Franklin Mills Mall.
In March 2013, Lookout, a global mobile security firm, reported Philadelphia has the highest lost/stolen cell-phone rate in the nation.
REP. BROWN, D.A. WILLIAMS HOST SAFETY SUMMIT
State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-W. Phila.) will co-host a safety summit for women and children with Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 at the School of the Future, 4021 Parkside Avenue.
The free summit will feature three separate workshop sessions focusing on a variety of topics including Internet safety for women and children, self-defense, escaping abusive relationships, human trafficking, preventing child sexual abuse and child support issues.
“I look for this gathering to open up lines of communication throughout the community,” Brown said. “Thank you to District Attorney Seth Williams for helping to develop this starting point for the critical discussions on how to prevent future abuse, as well as support those who are and will become victims.”
The event is free, but pre-registration is required. For more information, or to register for the event, contact Brown’s constituent service office at (215) 879-6615.
SEN. WILLIAMS GIVES KINSHIP CARE EN ESPANOL
As the Latino community grows in the United States and locally, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (D-W. Phila.) is responding by expanding his “Helping Hands Kinship Care” initiative to Hispanic residents of the 8th Senatorial Dist. and beyond.
This latest free workshop will be presented in Spanish at Concilio, 705 N. Franklin Street, running from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Oct. 26. Handouts will be in Spanish and English.
“This popular event has helped dozens of English-speaking grandparents and relatives in my district who have struggled to care for children who are part of their family but are not ‘their own’,” Williams said. “Yet, their Spanish-speaking counterparts struggle with the same issues and, often, they must cope with language barriers on top of that. It’s my hope that we can lift some of those burdens, on behalf of the children and those who care for them.”
A free continental breakfast will start the day. Free child care will also be provided by volunteers from Temple’s Intergenerational Center, some of whom speak Spanish.
Concilio Executive Director Joanna Otera-Cruz will welcome participants and introduce Williams at 9:30 a.m. State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-S. Phila.) is also scheduled to participate.
Among the day’s highlights is a panel to discuss important topics – how to deal with a child’s separation anxiety; depression, bad behavior or any family drama created by a new situation; and understanding the legal rights and responsibilities of a kinship caregiver.
In parts of Philadelphia, 1 in 5 children aged 17 and younger are raised by a grandparent.
Nationwide, more than 7 million children live with grandparents. That’s 30 percent higher than 20 years ago and the number is still rising, according to the U.S. Census. Pennsylvania has the third-largest elderly population in the nation and it will continue to climb, experts predict.
About 1 in 5 of the grandparents who serve as a primary caregiver lives in poverty. The Urban Institute says 1 in 6 children nationwide who are being raised by a kinship caregiver is Latino. Language barriers present an added obstacle for those most in need of help.
Attendees needing child care during the workshop can pre-register for it at Concilio by calling (215) 627-3100.
1323 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Tel: 215-755-2000 Fax: 215-689-4099
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