August in PA-05: What You Might Have Missed

For our team, much of the month of August was dedicated to helping Americans and Afghan allies get to safety. It was a privilege to meet with some incoming evacuees at Philadelphia International Airport and to see the systems put in place to welcome individuals and families arriving in the United States.

Here is what else you might have missed:

Important Votes

There is nothing more sacred in our democracy than the freedom to vote, and we must do everything in our power to protect that freedom. My House colleagues and I passed H.R. 4 earlier this month, and now we need the Senate to act with similar urgency so the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act can become law.

The Build Back Better agenda is simple — it tackles the biggest challenges facing working families, investing in what Americans need — from physical infrastructure to education and child care. The American people deserve to wake up and feel real hope, knowing that the government has their backs. This month, the House voted to take up both the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better Act, which is currently being drafted. Congress is poised to deliver real, tangible improvements in the lives of working families for the first time in decades.

Committee Activity

Visits Around PA-05

I had a great time harvesting produce from the Matthew XXV Garden with Monsignor Diamond and Catholic Relief Services. The items we harvested were donated to local food banks to help residents in need.

To honor the 56th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, I joined community members at the Vigil to Protect Voting Rights in Media. In 2021, the assault on voting rights continues, inspired by corrupt and cynical efforts to hold onto power. We must stand together to protect and reinforce our democratic system against these new threats.

The Delaware River is a center of commerce and recreation in PA-05. This month, I spent some time on the Delaware learning about how we can further improve water quality and make the river more accessible for area residents.

I had the chance to tour DCCC’s Advanced Technology Center, where students can get hands-on training for a variety of careers. This facility helped DCCC become one of just 27 DOT Maritime Administration Centers of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education.

This commercial corridor in South Philly is thriving thanks to the talented immigrant entrepreneurs who call our district home. I’m grateful to SEAMAAC, the Philadelphia Cambodian American Business Association, and all the business owners on 7th Street for showing me around.

Beginning this year, the U.S. House of Representatives allowed members of Congress to recommend specific projects in their communities for direct funding through federal appropriations. All 10 of the projects our team submitted were included in the House Appropriations Committee’s Fiscal Year 2022 funding bill. I visited two of the project sites this month: Darby Free Library and the future home of Upper Darby’s new community center.

The Darby Free Library, established in 1743, is the oldest library providing continuous service in the country. This historic gem needs urgent structural repairs, plus other upgrades to make the building accessible for patrons with disabilities.

Federal funding would help add a green roof to the new community center Upper Darby is developing. The project would transform a completely paved property into much-needed green space, which can serve as an educational tool, event space, and climate resiliency project.

It was great to join Philabundance and SEAMAAC at Francis Scott Key School in South Philly. Together, we distributed more than 100 Pass the Love meal kits to local families in need. Pass the Love is a campaign from former First Lady Michelle Obama and Partnership for a Healthier America, which has a goal of distributing 1 million meals to families in need across the country.

On International Overdose Awareness Day, I joined elected officials and community members from across Delaware County to honor the many lives lost to overdose and substance use disorder. Overdoses are preventable. We must expand prevention efforts and access to treatment.

It’s always exciting to pay a visit to one of PA-05's many great employers. Hanson Aggregates is one of the largest producers of crushed stone, sand, and gravel in the United States. The location I toured in Glen Mills supplies construction projects across the country.

Community-based clinics have played an incredibly important role in getting people vaccinated against COVID-19. I joined William Penn School District for its “Vacc to School” event at Penn Wood Middle School, where they had more than 170 people pre-register to get the vaccine.

The Delta variant is very real, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Now is the time to get vaccinated.

Mary Gay Scanlon currently serves a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.

Mary Gay Scanlon currently serves a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.