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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro defends immigrant Dreamers in letter to Trump

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 12:34 PM

Josh Shapiro
  • Josh Shapiro
Since President Donald Trump took office, immigration enforcement has dramatically changed, especially the work of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. In January, Trump changed President Barack Obama’s priorities on immigration enforcement (which targeted serious criminals and repeat offenders), so that immigrants can now be detained merely for being arrested for committing a criminal offense (like disorderly conduct), even if they are not charged or sentenced.

As a result, detainment of immigrants is up nationally and undocumented immigrants across the country, including those in Pittsburgh, are terrified that their families will be separated. A recent New Yorker article even highlights one longtime ICE officer who struggles to cope with the escalated enforcement. Additionally, illegal border crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017 are down significantly compared to the same time period as last year (although this could be part of a eight-year decline). ICE also tweeted out in March, “DACA is not a protected legal status, but active DACA recipients are typically a lower level of enforcement priority.” (DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an Obama executive action that protects undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and provides them access to work permits.)

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Protesters and North Hills constituents rally outside of Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai’s office, ask for a solution to balance the state budget

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 2:08 PM

North Hills constituents speaking out against state Rep. Mike Turzai at a July 25 rally - CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • CP photo by Ryan Deto
  • North Hills constituents speaking out against state Rep. Mike Turzai at a July 25 rally
On July 22, Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Marshall) convened a rare weekend session with the Republican caucus of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Turzai tried to sell his proposal to fill this year’s $2 billion budget deficit, which he suggested the state do by borrowing $1.5 billion, and cutting subsidies to recycling, farmland-preservation and highway-beautification programs. But the 121 members of the Republican caucus, which holds a 39-seat majority over state House Democrats, rejected the idea.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Allegheny County Council candidate Anita Prizio thinks county’s new lead-testing rule should go farther

Posted By on Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 3:10 PM

  • Photo courtesy of Prizio campaign
  • Anita Prizio
On July 5, Allegheny County Council passed an ordinance mandating that toddlers be given blood tests to check for lead poisoning. The county’s health director, Karen Hacker, said in a May Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article that universal childhood lead testing is necessary in Allegheny County because of lead-paint issues in its aging homes and elevated lead levels in the water supply. (It should be noted that Pittsburgh announced testing results on July 18 that comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, but many consider those standards outdated.)

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Progressive, Independent Mik Pappas kicks off campaign for Allegheny County District Judge

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 12:23 PM

Mik Pappas at his July 13 campaign event in East Liberty - CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • CP photo by Ryan Deto
  • Mik Pappas at his July 13 campaign event in East Liberty
A February article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette portrayed Allegheny County’s Magisterial District Judges as lighthearted peacekeepers that mainly solve neighborhood disputes. Mik Pappas, a civil-rights lawyer running for judge in the county’s 31 magisterial district, feels this assessment was undervaluing a judge's importance.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Democrats have a rural problem in Southwestern Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional district

Posted By on Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 2:52 PM

  • CP photo by Ryan Deto
On July 12, a group of left-leaning protesters rallied outside of U.S. Congressman Keith Rothfus’ (R-Sewickley) office in Ross Township. They were some 15 members strong, and they hooted and hollered for an hour, expressing displeasure with their representative for failing to hold a town hall and his support of the Republicans’ attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“We are here to keep the momentum going and show how [Rothfus] is not representing us,” said Michelle Raab of PA 12 Progressives, the group that organized the protest.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

After Sen. Toomey's invitation-only town hall, anger over the GOP's health-care legislation continues in Pittsburgh

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 4:48 PM

Pittsburghers gathered in Market Square - CP PHOTO BY HALEY FREDERICK
  • CP photo by Haley Frederick
  • Pittsburghers gathered in Market Square
The U.S. Senate will reconvene on July 10 after a weeklong Fourth of July recess that began on July 3. Many legislators use this time away from Washington, D.C., to meet with their constituents, but according to the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and nearly every member of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation have not planned any town halls or public forums during this time.

Toomey is a part of the group of 13 Republican senators who have been crafting legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Earlier today, local activists gathered in Market Square to share their objections to health-care repeal bills.

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