District 19 News: State Rep. Abney
Hello, Northsiders! I’m eager to share with you some of the important work I’ve been doing in Harrisburg and here at home.
I took the oath of office for the second time last month as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for its 207th legislative session. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and resume my commitment to being your eyes and ears in Harrisburg! I’d also like to welcome my three new Allegheny County colleagues to the House: state Reps. La’Tasha Mayes, Mandy Steele and Arvind Venkat.
Speaking of a new session, my House Democratic peer, state Rep. Benjamin Sanchez of Montgomery County, and I will soon introduce a bill that has tremendous potential to save many lives and reduce the level and brutality of gun violence ravaging our commonwealth I will also propose a bill to promote fair and equal treatment for all individuals cycling through the criminal justice system in the state. Please look out for further details.
The City of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County Chief Executive Officer received nearly $5 million in state grants to help in the fight against the community gun violence epidemic. A little more than $2.4 million will be used to implement the county’s Rapid Employment and Development Initiative, while $2.5 million will go toward expansion of the city’s Safe Passages program. Additional state grants in this capacity include $809,000 to the Foundation of HOPE and more than $410,500 for YouthPlaces to broaden their Behavioral Health Department. These funds are crucial toward staying proactive and vigilant against these horrible crimes.
Bidwell Training Center Inc. and the Community College of Allegheny County were awarded more than $60,000 in state grants to enhance campus security at these institutions of higher learning with an emphasis on preventing acts of sexual violence.
The grants were part of Pennsylvania’s “It’s On Us” campaign that Gov. Tom Wolf launched statewide more than six years ago and follows in the footsteps of President Obama’s national initiative. It is imperative for students to be able to learn and grow in a safe environment during this passage into the next phase of their lives.
Allegheny Landing Park was also the recipient of a nearly $500,000 state grant made possible by the commonwealth’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The funds will be utilized for multiple rehabilitation measures that include renovations to its plaza, historic railings and pedestrian walkways; installation of lawn, meadow and rain gardens; Americans with Disabilities Act access; and landscaping. Once completed, neighbors will be able to enjoy this scenic spot for years to come!
Finally, I want to thank everyone who attended the open house at my new district office location right here on the Northside. I enjoyed speaking and catching up with all of you, as well as hearing your thoughts about the new space. Don’t forget that my staff and I are available to help and assist with the most important state government-related questions and concerns facing each of you. Especially during these cold months, that includes applying for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. All in all, it’s great to be on the Northside!
Stay warm, everyone, and see you next month!