Political Roundup: State Rep. to host criminal record expungement clinic

State Rep. Jason Dawkins (D-179) will hold a clinic on criminal record expungement and sealing on Tuesday, July 25, from 3 until 5 p.m. at St. Mark’s Church, 4442 Frankford Ave.

Individuals convicted of a second- or third-degree misdemeanor who served their sentence at least 10 years ago are eligible for criminal record expungement. An individual may request the opportunity to request an order for limited access of their criminal history before a judge.

“A sealed record can change a person’s quality of life and well-being almost instantly,” Dawkins said in a release. “It means more opportunities for employment, education and other benefits that in different circumstances would never become available. This is another effort to give people with criminal records a second chance and deter recidivism.”

For more information, residents are encouraged to call Dawkins’s office at (215) 744-7901.

CAMP Philly aims to send low-income youth to overnight camp

Mayor Jim Kenney along with Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell and other city officials announced Wednesday details for a new partnership aimed at helping low-income children attend overnight camp in the Pocono Mountains.

CAMP Philly is a new public-private partnership between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA’s Camp Speers.

Through the partnership, 200 children age 9-11 will be able to spend six days and five nights at an overnight summer camp in the Poconos. Two camp sessions span from Aug. 13-18 and from Aug. 20-25.

Families were required to submit an application and $30 to their recreation leader by June 30 to be eligible for the $900 Camp Philly Scholarship. Officials also announced Friday which families were awarded.

Local legislators tour charity’s energy upgrades

Philadelphia legislators toured the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House’s energy innovation project on Wednesday.

The charity’s energy innovation project retrofitted the building with energy-efficiency upgrades that cut costs, allowing the Ronald McDonald House to invest more in the families they serve. Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance and the Delaware Valley Green Building Council joined the Ronald McDonald House to host state and local officials at the upgraded facility.

Elected officials included state Reps. Donna Bullock (D-195) and Jason Dawkins (D-179), members of Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration and staff members from the offices of Councilwomen Blondell Reynolds Brown and Maria Quiñones Sánchez and Councilman Derek Green.

According to a release about the tour, the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House has reallocated money saved through efficiency upgrades to two other Ronald McDonald Houses, Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Ronald McDonald Camp. Each initiative provides support for families of seriously ill children.

State Rep. Davidson hosts event as part of seniors series

State Rep. Margo Davidson (D-164) hosted a senior services event on Thursday at Watkins Center to provide seniors with resources, refreshments, on-site state services and free notary services.

The event also allowed attendees to take photos for the new SEPTA senior ID cards.

“This is a great opportunity for seniors, their family members and caregivers to learn more about programs and services available to them in our community,” Davidson said in a release about the event.

The event comes as part of Davidson’s Senior Celebration events series, in which the state representative will host senior events across her 164th District including in Yeadon, Upper Darby and Lansdowne.

For additional information, residents are encouraged to call Maureen McGrory at (610) 259-7016 or via email at mmcgrory@pahouse.net.

State Police awarded federal grant for body cameras

The Pennsylvania State Police were awarded a $52,000 federal grant to help fund a pilot body-worn camera program for officers, Gov. Tom Wolf announced last Friday. The grant will fund about 30 cameras.

Wolf spotlighted Philadelphia in a release about the pilot program, saying, “In Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Police have begun to use them, as well as several smaller municipal police departments. I’m pleased that the Pennsylvania State Police is set to begin a pilot program because we know that body-worn cameras strengthen police accountability, prevent confrontational situations and improve evidence documentation.”

The grant came the same day Wolf signed into a law a bill removing limits on the use of body cameras by law enforcement in the state.

“The [Pennsylvania State Police] department is committed to effective use of technology that will benefit not only troopers, but also the people we serve,” said State Police Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker.

Gov. Wolf creates Rare Disease Advisory Council

Govenor Tom Wolf signed a bill to establish a Rare Disease Advisory Council in Pennsylvania on July 7 to help support the 1.2 million people in the state suffering from a rare illness.

“Far too often, individuals with rare and unique diseases can feel lost because services are not tailored to their specific needs,” Wolf said. “We need to make sure that when a person is sick, no matter what their disease or how rare it is, that that patient has the best care available and that they can reach a high quality of life as they battle their health issues.”

The advisory council will consist of the secretaries (or an individual they designate) for Health, Human Services and Education, the Insurance Commissioner and private citizens including health practitioners, insurers, researchers, parents of children with rare diseases and other experts. The council will meet three times a year.

Senators face off for annual D.C. softball game

Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) squared off Wednesday night for their annual softball game in Washington, D.C.

The senators were joined by staff and interns for the game, known as the Keystone Cup. Toomey’s team was Hit It Toomey, while Casey’s team was Scrantonicity.

The senators have played the annual softball game since 2011.

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