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Hello Friends,

We are living through a period of time that will undoubtedly be featured in future history books. While our country continues to struggle with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, another grievous and unresolved issue in our nation has once again bubbled to the top.

This weekend, in addition to widespread demonstrations and unrest throughout the country, several hundred people marched along Penn Street in Reading, West Reading and Wyomissing in a peaceful demonstration to protest systemic racism – especially in the way black men and women are treated by law enforcement. This protest was in tribute to George Floyd, an African American man who died after being restrained by police officers. The incident was unspeakably cruel and horrifying to watch. The white police officer who held his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck has rightfully been arrested and charged with murder, but even that small step for justice is too little and too late for Mr. Floyd.

After the march, more than 100 people joined a Zoom call hosted by Dear Reading, a local podcast hosted by young African American leaders that focuses on the city. I joined the call and for more than an hour listened to the experiences of my constituents. Some of them were people I have known professionally for years and whom I call friends, but never knew some of the prejudices they had faced. The call was particularly poignant because it featured stories from a variety of generations – it showed me that this issue continues to be a problem. Racism is still prevalent in Berks County, and not just in terms of equal treatment under the law but also in education, housing, healthcare, access to economic development resources and a host of other issues.

But Sunday’s call was the start of something new. I feel we may be approaching a time where our collective community can listen, truly listen, to the experiences of our African American and black members. Their grievances are not new, but perhaps now we will truly listen and finally take action. I hope this is the start of a meaningful dialogue that will lead us toward opportunities to address the reforms needed to right inequities in our community.

I plan to do whatever I can to support this momentum and I hope you will, too. Progress can only come when people of all races acknowledge the reality of racism and its true cost to our community. We are in this together because we must be.

Being Social

Twitter/Facebook Facebook Twitter It’s a privilege to be your state senator, so it is important to me to be in touch with you.

I really like face-to-face meetings but understand that in this busy world, sometimes that isn’t possible. Feel free to call my office to ask questions or make suggestions. Also, you may connect with me through my pages on Facebook and Twitter. Please follow me for regular updates and comments about what’s happening in the district and in Harrisburg.

Offices to Serve You

All offices are temporarily closed to visitors due to COVID-19.

  District Office
210 George Street
Suite 201
Reading, PA 19605
Phone: (610) 929-2151
Fax: (610) 929-2576
Harrisburg Office
457 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203011
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3011
Phone: (717) 787-8925
Fax: (717) 772-0578