Weekly Recap: What You Might Have Missed
It’s been a busy past few weeks in the district and in DC. Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate took the first legislative steps to reform our policing and justice systems. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act will address the reforms needed to hold police accountable, fight systemic racism, and save lives.
Two weeks ago, I joined my colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing on policing practices and law enforcement accountability. We heard incredibly moving testimony from the brother of George Floyd, and other people working to reform our policing practices at the local, state and federal level. Last Wednesday, House Judiciary met again to markup and pass the Justice in Policing Act.
Here’s how I’ve been fighting for you:
Joined House Democrats, led by the Congressional Black Caucus, in introducing the Justice in Policing Act
The Justice in Policing Act is a long overdue, bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, and build trust between law enforcement and our communities.
The Justice in Policing Act will:
- Ban chokeholds;
- End the use of no-knock warrants; and
- Demilitarize local police forces.
- Make it easier to prosecute and hold police accountable for use of excessive force.
- Establish a police misconduct database.
We have seen too many lives taken and communities devastated by police brutality and racial profiling. Action is long overdue. We must fight for real reform in our country’s police departments.
Introduced a Resolution with Rep. Adam Schiff Denouncing Police Violence Against Members of the Press
A free press is the lifeblood of democracy and the media’s role in covering recent protests calling for racial justice has been critical to holding the government, at all levels, accountable.
Assaults on members of the press or attempts to limit their ability to report on government actions are unacceptable in a free society. Additionally, the press must be exempt from curfew restrictions so that journalists can report freely and our resolution addresses both of these issues.
Led Push for HUD to Extend Deadline for Critical Housing Program
HUD’s Housing Counselor Program provides critical support to low-income and middle-income Americans navigate the housing market, obtain a mortgage, and avoid foreclosure and eviction, services which are more important than ever now. This week, I took action to support this program which has suffered setbacks due to COVID-19.
Joined my colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing on police brutality and racial profiling
It is long past time to examine the crisis of racial profiling, police brutality and lost trust between police departments and the communities they serve.
We heard heartbreaking testimony from Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, who testified about his brother’s murder, and the need for immediate policing reform
We must confront the harsh truths about racism in our country. Change must come at the local, state, and federal levels. Just as cities and states are reckoning with ways to protect communities and hold law enforcement accountable, Congress must do the same.
Watch my remarks here: https://twitter.com/RepMGS/status/1270821905218633735?s=20
Watch the hearing here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?472839-1/hearing-racial-profiling-police-brutality
Joined my colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee for the Markup of H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020
Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Weak legislative proposals are not enough. Pledges to study the problem are not enough. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is meaningful change that we so desperately need.
I hope to work with the Senate and our Republican colleagues to enact meaningful, balanced legislation to hold bad officers accountable and help save lives.
Watch my remarks here: https://twitter.com/repmgs/status/1273428640513110017?s=21
Watch the hearing here: https://twitter.com/housejudiciary/status/1273259888479698945?s=21
Joined Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) for a teen town hall on race and racism
It was great to join elected officials from across our region to hear the thoughts of young people across our community on how we move forward together.
Watch our discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/2317303261926393/posts/2821664308156950/
Hosted a Coffee with Your Congresswoman joined by Rep Malcolm Kenetta
It was great to discuss our continued fight for justice and equality with Rep. Kenyatta as we celebrate Pride Month!
Rep. Kenyatta had a powerful message for us all: “America isn’t living up to what she can be…they are demanding that we live in a society where we actually have liberty & justice for all.”
Listen to our conversation here: https://www.facebook.com/RepMGS/videos/583546628967758/
Volunteered at Delco Department of Health and Human Services drive-thru food drive
Families who were already food insecure have been hit incredibly hard by this pandemic. In Pennsylvania, 1.5 Million people are hungry — Nearly half of them are children.
Those numbers are even more alarming in Philadelphia and Delaware County with 12.3% of our Delco population food insecure and 20.1% of our Philadelphia population food insecure. I’m so pleased that our office has been able to partner with other elected officials and agencies to support the Delco Department of Health and Human Services’s commitment to feeding our community.
Demanded Answers From ICE on COVID-19 Response at Berks Family Detention Center
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate communities across the country, we know that individuals at congregant facilities are most at risk for infection. I joined Rep. Madeleine Dean on a letter to to Mr. Matthew T. Albence, Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, inquiring about the pandemic response at the ICE family detention facility at Berks Family Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania.
Oversight of detention facilities, like Berks, has always been important, especially during this public health crisis. We must continue to hold this Administration accountable, and ensure that immigrants in our country are treated with dignity and fairness.
Read more here: https://link.medium.com/t0saExkDq7
Visited local farmers market as it reopens with social distancing measures
Farmers markets are part of the solution as we work to address food insecurity in our region and the disruption of food supply chains during the pandemic. Farm markets expand access to nutritious food throughout the community while supporting local businesses. I’m proud to be an ambassador for our community farm markets and the work they do to improve access to sustainable locally-produced food.
Joined the Delaware County Black Caucus in condemning police officer’s threatening comments
In order for us to move forward, we need to build trust between members of law enforcement and the communities they serve. Recently, a Delco FOP official and Media police officer made a series of divisive and threatening social media posts that undermined public confidence in fair policing.
I joined the DCBC & elected officials in condemning his words & the use of his position to amplify them. We need leaders who will change the system to work for everyone, not those who are emboldened to abuse it.
Read more here: https://www.facebook.com/282673039235392/posts/700567027445989/
I also want to share a running list of legislative action I am working on as we fight to increase access to equal justice, 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
The lovely weather and easing of some coronavirus restrictions have provided a much-needed relief in recent days. As PA05 moves from yellow to green, please remain vigilant by maintaining social distancing, hand washing, and wear a mask in public and places where social distancing is not possible. The COVID19 health challenge is a marathon, not a sprint, but our region is doing a remarkable job in rising to this challenge and flattening the curve!
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/.