State Rep. Jason Dawkins (D-179) and state Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-2) on Wednesday announced a $1 million grant from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

The grant is awarded to the Globe Dye Works to continue its revitalization efforts and foster a versatile workspace for artists, artisans and fabricators. The RACP grant is supporting the final phase of Globe Dye’s restoration, which includes the expansion of special events space and the remodeling of office and manufacturing spaces according to a press release from the Democratic Communications Office.

“This grant is exactly what the community needs,” Dawkins said in a press release. “It allows Globe Dye Works to create a community hub for residents and business owners alike. We are always excited to invest in projects that put small businesses and the community first. In addition, this economic power will allow community members to have the seat at the table they deserve. Especially when it comes to issues pertaining to development.”

Council leader addresses blaze that killed firefighter

City Council President Darrell Clarke offers condolences for Lt. Matthew LeTourneau, a firefighter who was killed during a row house blaze on Saturday morning. A resident also died inside the home where the firefighters were responding in North Philadelphia.

Local residents said the fire victim was a man in his mid-50s and was a talented basketball player, according to NBC10.

“I join people across our region in mourning Philadelphia Fire Lieutenant Matt LeTourneau. The two-alarm fire Lieutenant LeTourneau was fighting also claimed the life of a civilian, who has yet to be officially identified. I will be praying for these souls, their loved ones, and for the recovery of the two firefighters who were injured today,” Clarke said in the statement.

“We rightly hold firefighters in high esteem because they do what most of us never could: Leave our families in the middle of the night, in the coldest of temperatures, to battle dangerous fires in order to save the homes, possessions, and lives of others. They do this work because the fate and wellness of every person in a community matters to the whole,” he added.

“This row house fire could have brought devastation to every other household on that block, but Lieutenant LeTourneau and his fellow first responders were there to protect them. May we always cherish those who shield and serve our communities, as well as the people who populate our blocks, our neighborhoods, and our great city,” Clarke said.

Lawmakers plan economic summit for entrepreneurs

State Reps. Isabella Fitzgerald, Stephen Kinsey, Chris Rabb along with state Sen. Art Haywood will host a summit designed to help current and future business owners in Philadelphia.

The Northwest Economic Empowerment Business Summit will happen on Jan. 20 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Masjidullah, the Center for Human Excellence,according to a press release.

Those who attend can participate in workshops and hear from expert panelists with information to help people start a business or to help their current business prosper.

“Business owners are the backbone of every community. They create jobs, help boost the local economy and help neighbors thrive, so it is important owners have the knowledge and tools to keep their business going,” Fitzgerald said in the press release. “This event will not only benefit current business owners and people who are interested in starting one, it could assist previous business owners who may have a new year’s resolution to get back to the game and try again.”

There will be door prizes and a continental breakfast and lunch will be served. U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans will be the keynote speaker.

Brady challenger raises $579,000 for campaign effort

Nina Ahmad, a candidate in Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District, is challenging Congressman Bob Brady coming into the election year.

Ahmad raised more than $579,000 and finished the first month of her campaign with as much as $564,000 in the bank. The amount is more than any opponent to Brady has ever raised during any period of time.

Along with a loan to her campaign, Ahmad raised more than $115,000 from donors in less than a month since announcing her intention to run.

“We’ve already put together the strongest campaign this Congressional District has seen in the two decades Bob Brady has been in Congress, and we’re not going to stop until PA-1 finally elects a bold progressive voice to the U.S. House,” said Ahmad in a press release.

“We can send a message that right now is the time to end the sexism and sexual harassment that undermines women economically,” added Ahmad.

Ahmad would be the first woman of color ever elected to Congress from Pennsylvania.

State grants to combat sexual violence at campuses

Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Monday the It’s On Us PA program is accepting grant applications to combat sexual violence at colleges and universities.

The Department of Education will award grants up to $30,000. Applications must be submitted by the end of Jan. 31.

The campaign is a national initiative used to raise awareness about sexual assault. It teaches participants that assault includes non-consensual sex and advising them on how to identify dangerous situations.

The ultimate goal is urging people to create an environment of support for victims and survivors.

Last year nearly $1 million in grant money was awarded to 36 post-secondary institutions across the state, including independent and public 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities, according to the press release.

“Since Pennsylvania joined the national ‘It’s On Us’ campaign two years ago, more brave men and women have come forward with allegations of harassment and assault, and we must do all we can to prevent these attacks,” said Wolf in a press release.

“The #MeToo movement is another reminder of the seriousness of sexual assault in our society and these grants will help colleges and universities to partner with us to make campuses safer,” he said.

Programs or activities eligible for funding include campus-wide training for students, faculty and staff along with institutional campaigns to raise awareness and understanding of the reporting process and resources available to and rights of survivors of sexual violence.

There will also be programs that enhance awareness of available resources and students’ rights or seek to increase mechanisms for anonymous reporting and efforts to improve capacity to collect federal- or state-required data.

Grant applications are available at the state Department of Education’s website.

Wolf announces disability service expansion

Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Monday that the Department of Human Services launched a Community Living Waiver.

The waiver, which took effect Jan. 1, will make services available to approximately 1,000 more individuals with an intellectual disability or autism in the state.

The Community Living Waiver helps individuals to live more independently in their homes and participate more fully in their communities through services that support independent living, employment in a competitive job, and full engagement in community activities.

“Since I took office I have been committed to expanding access to care, getting people off of waiting lists for care and increasing home and community care,” Wolf said in the press release. “These waivers are a means to reduce the waiting list and provide people with high-quality care in their communities without a lot of bureaucratic red tape to make that happen.”

The waiver services are available to individuals who have an intellectual disability or autism and have been determined eligible through application to the local county assistance office for people with ID and autism.

“The goal of the waiver is to provide eligible Pennsylvanians with a disability and their families access to high-quality services,” said acting DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “People with disabilities want to have a good life, to live and work in their communities, like everyone else.”

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