November 20, 1991 |
When Kevin A. Ford goes about his daily routine, walking from place to place in Philadelphia, he can't afford not to look over his shoulder. That's because four times over the last few years he has been the victim of gay-bashing. "You have to be real careful," Ford said yesterday, recalling how three weeks ago he raced through a city neighborhood where he had been shopping, trying to escape from a group of young men who were shouting, "We hate faggots. " Many other gay men and lesbians across Pennsylvania have similar stories, and scores of them converged on the Capitol yesterday to detail their concerns about personal safety in their first organized, statewide Lobby Day. They also came to tell their representatives and senators that they want greater protection under the law through hate-crimes legislation.
April 21, 2004
IADAMANTLY protest your endorsement in the 182nd District Democratic primary. Babette Josephs has served Philadelphia honorably and unwaveringly in the state legislature, and she alone deserves the 182nd District endorsement. You say of Babette, "She's been in office for two decades and it shows. " Right conclusion, but for the wrong reasons. Babette's 20 years does show, but not in the ways you imply. It shows in supporting neighborhood charter schools, stopping zoning changes that would have permitted ugly billboards across Philadelphia, improving emergency-room accessibility, to name just a few ways.
May 30, 2006
I'M AMONG the thousands of voters absolutely outraged about the legislative pay raise. I'm glad that legislators were shamed into repealing it. And while I truly regret that my representative was among those who voted for it, I was not prepared to throw Babette out with the bathwater. I voted to return Babette Josephs to the legislature, and here are my reasons. Josephs represents the progressive Democratic ideals that many of our elected officials have in recent years tried to distance themselves from.
March 30, 2000
State senators in Pennsylvania have staggered six-year terms, so not all the seats are at stake this year. But every seat in the state House of Representatives is up every two years. In Philadelphia's primary election on Tuesday, most candidates for the lower house of the Legislature are unopposed for their party nominations. There is only one Republican contest - and that's no contest, since Kenneth J. Madden dropped out in favor of Timothy Collins in the 175th District. But several Democratic nominations are contested.
May 2, 1995 |
Moving quickly and without public hearings, the state House approved three Republican-sponsored bills yesterday that would greatly increase the power of landlords over tenants. The bills now await Senate consideration. The House voted, 149-50, on a measure sponsored by Chris R. Wogan (R., Phila.) that would shorten the time tenants would have to vacate premises and would speed the process by which a landlord can remove a tenant. Wogan said his legislation was intended to "restore some balance" to the landlord-tenant laws.
May 12, 1992 |
In retrospect, it is unfortunate that the law that provides harsher punishment for hate crimes did not just define the crime, but took the trouble to list and classify the targets. The law in Pennsylvania now recognizes "hate crimes" as those committed against a person by virtue of his or her race, religion, color or national origin. I say this is unfortunate because, given today's passion and fashion for victimhood, this is not nearly enough categories! Rep. Babette Josephs, for example, has entered the state House chamber claiming she's got some even better victims.
March 14, 1986
It's no wonder there are many legislators and others in Harrisburg who think Philadelphia is the gang that can't shoot straight. Sometimes that is a painfully accurate assessment. The convention center bill, creating a state authority to oversee construction and operation of a new world-class facility in Philadelphia, was passed by the Senate 39-9 on Monday and appeared to be headed for approval in the House the next day. Then three Philadelphia Democrats - David P. Richardson Jr., Ruth B. Harper and Gordon J. Linton - stood on the House floor and shot themselves in the foot.
April 20, 1995 |
Temple University's Apollo arena moved closer to construction yesterday as the state House passed a bill to rescue the project from political squabbling in Philadelphia. The measure exempts Temple from local zoning rules. It's designed to let Temple bypass with Philadelphia City Council, with whom it is feuding. The bill passed easily yesterday, 126-75, with bipartisan Philadelphia support. It is expected to pass the Senate and be sent soon to Gov. Ridge. The governor hasn't yet taken a position, but city officials say the measure violates the city's Home Rule Charter.
August 10, 2011
I GUESS REFORM depends on where one's from and whom one represents. Cutting the size of the Legislature got batted around at a 2 1/2-hour House State Government Committee hearing yesterday. Couple of things struck me. Philly folks are cool to the idea; so are some rural folks. Partisan stereotypes prevail: the Republican committee chairman likes the issue; the committee's ranking Democrat not so much. After testimony from academics, lawmakers and rural interests, committee chairman Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, said he's "stronger" in favor of a reduction bill than he was before the hearing.
October 9, 1986 |
In closed-door negotiations this week, Mayor Goode succeeded in placing limits on a state bill designed to give taxpayers a break in gentrified areas of Philadelphia. Negotiators for the mayor persuaded city legislators to limit the number of people who would qualify by making the proposed property-tax break available only to those whose property had increased in value by 35 percent in one year or 50 percent in three years. Goode's negotiators said that without the limits, the bill would cost the city too much money.