Jim Kenney for Mayor!

I’m proud that Philadelphia is one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the nation, but we know that didn’t just happen over night. A large part of it was due to the advocacy, hard work, and dedication of one city council member: Jim Kenney.

In the 1990s, way before equality was a buzzword, Jim introduced legislation to provide benefits to life partners of city workers. In 2013, he fought to pass a ground-breaking LGBT Equality Bill. And just last year, Jim worked to pass the strongest hate crime legislation in the country.

Jim has always stood for Philadelphia’s LGBT community, and now it’s our turn to stand with him. I’m throwing my full support behind him today—will you join me?

Jim isn’t just the best candidate to make equality a way of life in Philadelphia, he has the passion and the experience to make our schools better, strengthen our neighborhoods, and fight economic inequality.

He is the leader Philadelphia needs.

The election is on May 19th and we don’t have a day to waste. Add your name today, and let me know you’re backing Jim Kenney for mayor.

I know, as mayor, Jim won’t just talk about equality, he will make sure it is a way of life in Philadelphia – so let’s get to work!

-Brian

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Kenney receives LGBT endorsement

By Claudia Vargas

Former City Councilman James F. Kenney received an endorsement for mayor from Philadelphia’s LGBT leaders.

At a Friday morning news conference, state Rep. Brian Sims said Kenney has been a “tireless advocate” for the LGBT community for more than 20 years and wants him to be Philadelphia’s next mayor.

“More than anything it’s been having a guy that is so traditionally Philadelphian standing up for the LGBT community,” Sims said following the endorsement announcement at the William Way Community Center. “It’s brought us support, it’s brought us allies in a way that we weren’t seeing before.”

Kenney was also endorsed at the event by other local LGBT leaders, including Mike Marsico, Kathy Padilla, Sharron Cooks, and Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou.
Continue reading: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/heardinthehall/Kenney-receives-LGBT-endorsement-.html#0TrX5yuicwIfXKrK.99

NEWSWORKS: After marriage equality in Pa., there’s still much to be accomplished

Commentary by Andrea Anastasi

Last year, Pennsylvania made significant progress toward LGBT equality when a federal court overturned the State’s ban against same-sex marriage allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in the commonwealth. Notwithstanding this critical step forward, Pennsylvania still has a long way to go to protect LGBT individuals within its borders.

A ‘weak’ grade on LGBT non-discrimination

The current situation in Pennsylvania is not only regrettable, but also disconcerting. As the Center for American Progress Action Fund notes, Pennsylvania is very “weak” at protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination. At present, Pennsylvania is the only Northeastern state where it is legal to discriminate against LGBT people in areas of employment, public accommodations, and housing. No state law protects LGBT Pennsylvanians from violence against them based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity. However, neighbors New Jersey The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination) and Delaware (employment, public accommodation, and housing) both offer extensive protections for their LGBT citizens.

Continue reading: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/essayworks/78876-after-marriage-equality-in-pa-theres-still-much-to-be-accomplished

WEEKLY PRESS: Education big concern at Representative Sims 182nd District Town Hall

By Nicole Contosta

Center City residents braved the blustery wind for Representative Brian Sims’ first Town Hall Meeting Thursday, February 12th.

“This is an opportunity to ask me about issues that matter to you so I can better represent you in Harrisburg,” Sims told the audience gathered at Community College’s Bonnell Auditorium. “This may be the start of a conversation. Maybe we can meet and talk about this further,” Sims said, adding, “There’s an advantage to serving this district. I don’t have to go out and pay experts. I have a district chocked full of them.”

Those in attendance proved Representative Sims right by asking pointed questions. This proved particularly true when it came to public education and its funding deficit.

Referencing the disconnect between Philadelphia and the rest of the state, one resident asked Sims if he knew of other commonwealth’s that dealt with similar situations more effectively when it comes to education funding.

“Illinois,” Sims said, explaining, “It has one major first class city, kind of like Philadelphia.” At the same time, “Chicago operates differently with the state government than Philadelphia,” Sims continued, explaining that after the Democratic primaries, “Chicago Democrats pump their money back into the state to make sure that their interests are not taken over by the rural legislature the way it is in Pennsylvania and a lot of other states.”

However, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does not have a good relationship with the city’s teachers unions, Sims said, noting, there isn’t one successful model or solution.

Continue reading: http://weeklypress.com/education-big-concern-at-representative-sims-nd-district-town-hall-p5076-1.htm

GPHILLY: Sims Heading to Africa to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

By Josh Middleton

On December 26th, State Representative Brian Sims will hop a plane to Africa, where he’ll climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the Military Assistance Project (MAP), an initiative that provides legal and housing services to Philadelphia veterans.

During a phone chat last week, Sims told me he signed up for the adventure because it hit close to home. “My parents are both retired army lieutenant colonels. For years, during my time with the Bar Association, and even with Equality Pennsylvania, if there was a veterans component, or an opportunity to work with veterans I tended to take it,” he says. So when MAP approached him about this project last spring, it was a no-brainer.

Read more: http://www.phillymag.com/g-philly/2014/12/24/brian-sims-mount-kilimanjaro/

Happy holidays!

Christmas and the New Year is finally upon us and I’m enjoying my final hours of 2014 in my favorite city. This is one of my favorite times of the year to reflect on the months and seasons that lead us all here and I hope you find a few moments to do the same.

It goes without saying that this year has seen some really incredibly gains and some very notable losses for far too many people. I’m hoping to use both to inspire and challenge me in the year ahead.

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I also remember that the holidays can be tough for some friends and neighbors so please make sure to keep them in your thoughts, prayers, and your actions.

I’m so grateful for the communities I come from, the messages we carry, and the job I get to do! I want to say thank you, Merry Christmas, and have a wonderful holiday season.

-Brian

NEWSWORKS: Bucks Co. trio held for trial in Center City attack on gay couple

By Brian Hickey

Editor’s note: Testimony in this case includes offensive and profane language. NewsWorks is including it in the story as context necessary to understand the alleged crimes.

Zachary Hesse and Andrew Haught walked along Chancellor Street en route to grab a slice of pizza one Thursday night in September when somebody in a group of passersby allegedly asked a question that sparked a life-altering confrontation.

“Is that your fucking boyfriend?” was the question, Hesse told a court hearing on Tuesday. He testified that he answered the question in the affirmative and got this response: “Oh, so you’re a dirty fucking faggot?”

With that, tempers rose.

Continue reading: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/nw-philadelphia/76351-bucks-co-trio-held-for-trial-in-alleged-center-city-attack-on-gay-couple

Thank you

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all of the support we received this election. It is an honor to have been reelected to a second term serving the 182nd district. Thank you to all of my family, friends, and supporters – without you all, I would not have gotten to where I am today.

Though Republicans had a better week than we did, I am more motivated than ever to get to work to advance LGBT civil rights, to ensure that hardworking middle-class Americans earn fair, family-sustaining wages, and to defend a woman’s right to reproductive freedom.

I look forward to working with Governor Wolf and getting back to building a more Progressive Pennsylvania.

-Brian

Today is finally the day!

It’s Election Day.

After all the phone calls, the door-knocks, the townhall meetings, the debates, the discussions, and the time spent, it finally comes down to this day and your vote!

Click here to find your polling location!

I am honored to serve as the Representative from Center City Philadelphia’s 182nd District and today I once again ask for your vote to send me back to Harrisburg so I can continue working for you. Whether it’s for civil rights, education funding, protecting the environment, or protecting my neighbor, I promise to fight as smart and as hard as I know how for what is right for Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

We cannot suffer through four more years of Governor Corbett, and Pennsylvania needs strong Progressive leaders, and those leaders are Tom Wolf and Mike Stack as our next Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

But that’s not all. I also need the best colleagues in Harrisburg working with me. If you have the ability and the opportunity, will you send me back to Harrisburg with Leanne Krueger-Braneky (161st), Vince Rongione (163rd), Marian Moskowitz (157th), Lisa Zucco (12th), and Hope Smith (176th) in the State House and Ruth Damsker (12th) and John Kane (26th) in the State Senate?

With the help of these candidates I believe that Harrisburg can become a place where our elected officials go to support the Commonwealth and its citizens once again.

Thank you for you support!

-Brian