Legislative Recap: What You Might Have Missed

Congresswoman Scanlon listens to speakers at protest organized by community members and the Media NAACP.

The violence, trauma, and heartbreak that the country has witnessed and, belatedly, recognized in the two weeks since George Floyd was killed demands justice, and we — as human beings — must demand change.

In the past seven days, I have attended peaceful protests with constituents across the district, from Philadelphia City Hall to Lower Merion, Havertown and beyond. I’ve spoken to business owners who suffered looting in Upper Darby, worked with community leaders in Southwest Philadelphia devastated by damage to essential local businesses, and worked with law enforcement officers who understand that their duty is to protect everyone in the community.

The very public death of George Floyd has exposed the deadly bias of our country’s structural racism to anyone who cannot turn a blind eye to the truth. The question now becomes how we respond to that truth. I have been heartened by the overwhelmingly peaceful and thoughtful response of people across our community, their willingness to engage with and listen to each other, and their desire to make a lasting difference.

Congress is working feverishly to respond, and we will be announcing more legislative and oversight actions in the coming days. But we know that long standing, structural issues have allowed the deaths of our fellow Americans, Ahmaud, Breonna, George, and the pain of their families and our communities. So we must actively listen to each other and do the hard work to confront and change our society — we must demand justice.

Here’s how I’ve been fighting for justice for our country, and our community:

Spent the weekend listening to and supporting our young leaders

This weekend, I was proud to support high school students who organized peaceful protests in Haverford and Lower Merion. The leadership my young constituents are showing right now is powerful and unwavering — Our pathway to creating a better, more equitable, and just world begins with them, and we need them now more than ever.

Read about our community coming together here: https://www.delcotimes.com/news/haverford-marchers-demand-change-in-stand-against-racism/article_730913dc-a90d-11ea-ae89-d73c53f69eb8.html

Joined the NAACP Media Branch for peaceful protest and to discuss how to change policing practices

On Saturday, over 1000 people converged on Delaware County Courthouse for prayerful reflection and a call to action for justice across America. It was a privilege to gather in solidarity with the NAACP Media Branch and faith and community leaders to listen, learn, and demand action.

The system has taken more than it can give back but we have the duty and the obligation to change the system. To hold our law enforcement accountable. To fight for equity in healthcare, housing, education and economic opportunity. To dismantle systems of hate.

As we work to change the system and hold law enforcement accountable, I am committed to continuing to learn from you, fight alongside you and for you, and do my part to see justice through.

On Sunday, the Media PA NAACP convened state, local and federal officials to discuss how we can work together to transform policing and hold law enforcement accountable. Listen to our conversation here: https://www.facebook.com/2317303261926393/posts/2817314055258642/

Lead a letter demanding answers on ICE & CBP involvement in policing ongoing protests

The right to assemble and protest the actions of the government is foundational to our democracy. Intimidating protesters by deploying immigration enforcement officers is absolutely unacceptable

I was proud to join Senator Harris and Congressman Vargas in leading over 75 of our Congressional colleagues in seeking accountability for the presence of ICE and CBP at the protests demanding justice around the country.

Read more here: https://medium.com/@repmgs/harris-scanlon-vargas-demand-answers-on-ice-cbp-involvement-in-policing-ongoing-protests-5a4fedd7cf73

Joined elected leaders in our community in solidarity to address the pain we see across our community and across our country.

This pain is a result of the injustice and inaction that people have had to endure for far too long. I say this for myself and to other white allies, it is incumbent upon us to listen to the voices of black leaders and members of our community. We need to hear them and do everything we can to dismantle systemic racism in our country.

Listen to my conversation with community leaders here: https://www.facebook.com/2317303261926393/posts/2810789232577791/

Joined my colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee in calling for an investigation by the DOJ into the police killings of black Americans

We must conduct oversight and pursue legislation to address the crisis of racial profiling, excessive force by law enforcement and lost trust between our police departments and the communities they serve. Enough is enough.

Read more here: https://medium.com/housejudiciary/house-judiciary-committee-democrats-demand-doj-open-investigations-in-response-to-recent-murders-ccb99e3c1c66

Announced Penn Wood Student Madelyn Kieh as 2020 Art Competition Winner

COVID-19 has forced many schools to close and transition to virtual learning, leading to many offices having to make tough decisions about whether or not to continue the 2020 Congressional Art Competition. I’m proud that we were able to develop a plan that was inclusive of all students, and the community, in an effort to continue this year’s Congressional Art Competition virtually.

Madelyn’s piece, “This is Me,” will be sent to Washington D.C to hang in the Capitol for one year.

Finalists’ artwork, along with outstanding works of art submitted by talented students across the region, can be found on the #StayHomeMakeArtPA5 Instagram page here: https://instagram.com/stayhomemakeartpa5?igshid=1v3ybyyoxvyj1

Read more here: https://medium.com/@repmgs/scanlon-announces-penn-wood-student-madelyn-kieh-as-2020-art-competition-winner-77cb217db61e

Cosponsored Resolution Condemning Police Brutality

We must condemn police brutality and work to dismantle these practices. I have cosponsored this resolution and am grateful to my colleagues Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Rep. Ilhan Omar for leading this charge in the House. We must come together to demand justice and push for the accountability of our law enforcement and adoption of unbiased policing practices.

Read more here: https://pressley.house.gov/media/press-releases/following-george-floyd-murder-reps-pressley-omar-bass-lee-introduce-house

Joined House Judiciary Colleagues for a Hearing on Protecting our Right to Vote During COVID-19.

Even under normal circumstances without a pandemic raging on, our voting systems are often inaccessible for individuals with disabilities. I introduced the Disability Voting Rights Act, which passed as part of H.R. 1, to require state and federal officials to invest in mail-in voting and practices to make polling locations more accessible.

I had the opportunity to ask Michelle Bishop, Disability Advocacy Specialist for Voting Rights at the National Disability Rights Network, about concrete steps we should be taking to ensure that voting during this pandemic is accessible, and that individuals with disabilities are not prevented from participating in the vote.

Listen to the hearing here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=5smxgTCuinU

Announced actions to hold AG Barr accountable

AG Barr has undermined the integrity of the US Department of Justice by repeatedly serving the personal political interests of the President rather than those of the American people. He has compounded his failure of duty by defying Congressional subpoenas and constitutional oversight. I’m joining the House Judiciary Committee in challenging Barrs actions and moving to hold him accountable.

Read more here: https://medium.com/housejudiciary/house-judiciary-chairman-announces-actions-to-hold-ag-barr-accountable-33ff75cbef69

Upcoming: House Judiciary is hosting a hearing on police brutality on June 10. Read more about our upcoming hearing here: https://thehill.com/homenews/house/501042-house-judiciary-committee-to-hold-hearing-on-police-brutality-next-week?fbclid=IwAR0h6ZwGQIoJJ2ZUGPBVN8ATw6CvRDAIwuHiv-N0Ne22dk_qfjBvcX4yA7o

I also want to share a running list of legislative action I am working on as we fight to dismantle systems of hate, hold law enforcement officers accountable, and push for the adoption — and use — of unbiased policing practices. This work is ongoing and we will continue to update this list as we introduce more legislation: https://link.medium.com/HJZ1kkgs96

Thank you for everything you are doing to keep our community safe and healthy. As always, if you have any questions please call our office at 610–626–2020, or visit us online at https://scanlon.house.gov/.

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

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Mary Gay Scanlon

Mary Gay Scanlon

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

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