- 1 Background
- 2 Defense spending cuts letter
- 3 Support for the Council on American Islamic Relations
- 4 Israel/J Street
- 5 CAIR connection
- 6 Meyerson connection
- 7 CPC
- 8 CBC
- 9 Opposing travel ban
- 10 Letter on US-Mexico security Co-operation
- 11 Meeting with Kim Jong-hoon
- 12 On Trump and Russia
- 13 Medicare For All Congressional Caucus founders
- 14 DSA pressure
- 15 References
Dwight Evans won Pennsylvania Congressional District 2 in 2016.
Congressman Evans grew up in North Philadelphia and today lives just minutes from his alma mater, Germantown High School. He is a graduate of the Community College of Philadelphia and LaSalle University. One of his first jobs out of college was as a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia, shortly thereafter he became a job developer for the Urban League of Philadelphia.
In 1980, at the age of 26, Congressman Evans was first elected State Representative from the 203rd Legislative District. Far from being a “go-along-get-along” legislator, over the course of 36 years in the Pennsylvania Legislature, he earned a reputation as a pragmatic leader who knows how to put public policy above politics.
Congressman Evans made history in 1990 by becoming the first African-American Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, a position he held for two decades. In that role, he was instrumental in helping Philadelphia and communities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania receive funding for economic development, job training, education, infrastructure and the arts.
A champion for teachers and innovation in education, Congressman Evans helped start the West Oak Lane Charter School, a unionized school, which has helped teach thousands of kids from grades K-8.
One of Congressman Evans proudest achievements has been his work to combat hunger and increase access to quality foods in underserved communities. During his time in the PA State Legislature, the Congressman created the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, which links public and private funds to expand and build grocery stores in food deserts across our state. Through the initiative the Congressman brought nearly 100 grocery stores to underserved areas across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that previously had very limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and created more than 5,000 jobs.
The Fresh Food Financing Initiative was widely recognized as one of the top public policy initiatives in the country. The Obama administration championed Congressman Evans’ approach and used the Pennsylvania initiative as a model for the nation, replicating it in several other states across the country, including California, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Illinois.
In 2013, Congressman Evans released his political biography titled, "Making Ideas Matter: My Life as a Policy Entrepreneur,” written with Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Ecenbarger, and published by the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government.
Over the course of his career in public service, Congressman Evans has lectured around the country on his signature public policy initiatives. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including an honorary doctorate from Lincoln University.
Defense spending cuts letter
May 19, 2020.
Dear Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Thornberry:
We write to request a reduction in defense spending during the coronavirus pandemic. As you draft this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), we encourage you to authorize a level of spending below last year’s authorized level. Congress must remain focused on responding to the coronavirus pandemic and distributing needed aid domestically. In order to do so, appropriators must have access to increased levels of non-defense spending which could be constrained by any increase to defense spending.
Co-signatories included Dwight Evans .
Support for the Council on American Islamic Relations
On August 8, 2017, J Street Philadelphia Executive Committee member David Dormont talked with Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) about the congressman’s recent trip to Israel. Rep. Evans was part of a J Street-sponsored delegation of 25 leaders and activists, including seven members of Congress, who spent ten days in Israel. The delegation met with a diverse collection of Israeli and Palestinian leaders, public officials, rabbis, and others in an attempt to better understand the facts on the ground and the complex and nuanced history of Israel and the status of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Q: Congressman Evans, you recently returned from a trip to Israel. Why did you think it was important to visit Israel?
A: I was sworn into Congress on November 14, 2016, after a special election, and the first resolution I was asked to vote on was a congressional resolution condemning the United Nations for its treatment of Israel. Although the telephone calls from my constituents were overwhelmingly against the resolution, as a new member of Congress, I felt that I did not possess a full understanding of the complexities of the issues involving Israel. So I voted present. I then set off to gain a greater understanding of the issues.
During my first six months in office, I met with various constituent groups concerned about Israel, including J Street, AIPAC, ZOA and a group of Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Rabbis organized by J Street. After hearing from my constituents, I thought it was important for me to also gain the perspective of the people directly involved in the conflict. In 1983, I had visited Israel with the American Jewish Congress, but I had not been back since. So I decided it would be beneficial to hear first-hand the views of Israelis and Palestinians on the ground.
Q: Why did you decide to go with a delegation led by J Street?
A: First, the timing of the J Street trip was good. Second and more importantly, I have listened to and been impressed by what J Street has had to say about the issues. J Street does a very good job teaching about and explaining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The J Street mission to Israel was basically a graduate course on the subject. The mission provided detailed information and a knowledge-based experience. I learned about the history of Israel and its founding, from the Balfour Declaration during World War I to Israeli Independence in 1948, and how decisions about key issues were made.
The J Street mission presented the conflict as it really is; laying out the truth and not pulling any punches. During our trip we met with people of diverse political perspectives. We met with West Bank Settlers, with Prime Minister Netanyahu, with three different opposition groups in Israel’s Knesset, and with members of the Palestinian Authority. We met with former IDF officers at the Institute of National Security Studies in Tel Aviv who stressed that peace was good for Israel’s defense and security. We met with former Israeli soldiers and patriots who support a peace settlement. Finally, we met with both the current US ambassador to Israel and the immediate past ambassador under President Obama. The challenges facing Israelis and Palestinian are extremely complex and all of this is superimposed onto 3,000 years of historical perspective, which serves as a back drop to the conflict. Upon returning to the United States, I believe that no solution can be imposed on the parties. The solution must come from the bottom up.
Q: Can you give us your general impressions from the trip?
A: As a citizen, I believe diplomacy is the only way to achieve a realistic solution, which must be a two-state solution. I believe most of the people there want a two-state solution. But there is disconnect between the Israeli government and its people, with the government moving toward one state. But even the Israeli government is a coalition government with differing views. When I came back to the United States, I reread John Kerry’s December 2016 speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Secretary Kerry did a good job of explaining the challenges facing Americans and the US government as we work for peace. We also cannot forget the importance of Israel as a democracy or the lessons of the Holocaust. But while we must not forget the past, we need to look for a future of peace.
Q: What stands out most from your trip?
A: In the 1960s and 1970s, there was fighting and violence in Philadelphia. At the time, African-American women stood up and took action to help end that violence. As in Philadelphia, I believe women are key factors to solving the problems associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I believe both Israeli and Palestinian women want to change things. I spoke to one Israeli woman with two children who said that she has no other country to which she can move. Israel is her home and because of that she aggressively wants a two-state solution. After my trip to Israel, I also visited Jordan. The Jordanians I spoke with desire peace as well. Water is critically important in the Middle East. I was happy to hear that Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan are working cooperatively to solve their water problems. Everyone is yearning for peace. But the solution to the conflict will come from the bottom up with women taking a lead in the peace process.
Q: Has your trip to Israel changed your thoughts about peace in the Middle East or helped to evolve your thoughts?
A In order to achieve peace, there is a need for strong leadership on both sides. America cannot impose a solution, but strong American leadership is needed. There are tremendous opportunities for the Trump administration to guide the region towards peace, if they decide to actually work towards peace and help bring about a solution.
CAIR April 14, 2015 ·
- CAIR-PA: Interfaith group speaks out against Pamela Geller's hate ads on SEPTA buses
State Rep. Dwight Evans, D-203, of West Oak Lane, chairman of the SEPTA board, was among the speakers.
“I want to send a clear message to this city, state and county that the Muslim community should not in any way be attacked or discriminated against,” Evans said.
He said that the SEPTA board is outraged that this has happened. The state lawmaker added that its members along with those gathered at the news conference find the advertisements against the Muslim community “unacceptable behavior.”
Other speakers included Imam Muhammad Abdul-Aleem of Masjidullah, CAIR Chairperson Iftekhar Hussain, policy director for A. Hardy Williams Omar Woodward and Rabbi Nancy Krimer of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote.
Dwight Evans has a close relationship with John Meyerson.
Feb. 3, 2016
Feb. 3, 2016, Tonyelle Cook-Artis, 50th Ward powerhouse who is running for 200th Legislative Dist., packed first funder at Alma Mater in Mt. Airy with strong support. From left, Councilman Allan Domb, David Hyman, Ward Leader Pete Lyde, State Reps. Dwight Evans and Stephen Kinsey, Numa St. Louis, former Councilwoman Marian Tasco, Ken Weinstein, Cook-Artis, Councilman Derek Green, Ward Leader Isabella Fitzgerald, UFCW Local 1776 reps John Meyerson and Adam Gold, William Ewing, Esq., Dan Muroff, Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, Ward Leader Rondal Cousar and Mustafa Rashed.
"My next Congressman"
John Meyerson, Dwight Evans April 2016 2017.
March 1 2017 hundreds of concerned citizens, including many healthcare professionals, came out to a rally in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday to defend the gains we’ve made in providing healthcare benefits to millions of previously uninsured Americans through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Local 5106 was represented by Sue Clements, RN and Bindu Josephs, Ultrasound Tech.
The organizers from the Women’s March Movement started the rally with the chant, “This is what democracy looks like!” The speakers included City Council Member Helen Gym, State Representative Dwight Evans, and U.S. Senator Bob Casey. The U.S. Senator got big cheers by declaring that Republicans do not have a plan but rather a scheme to take health care away from millions. “We’ve got a plan. Let’s fight them,” he urged the crowd..
John Meyerson, Dwight Evans February 2017.
In 2017 Dwight Evans was a new member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
In 2017 Dwight Evans was a new member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Opposing travel ban
Amid a crowd of more than 100 protesters in Terminal A at PHL, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf made an announcement around January 28, 2017 : “I am here to say you are welcome here.” Less than an hour later, word filtered through that a federal judge’s ruling temporarily stayed part of an order from President Donald Trump banning citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
He wasn’t the only prominent politician to make an appearance. Senator Bob Casey left an engagement wearing a tux and tails to show solidarity for Syrian families at PHL who had been denied entry and forced to return to the Middle East and three people from Qatar who were being detained. Mayor Jim Kenney, Congressmen Robert Brady and Dwight Evans, City Councilwoman Helen Gym and state Rep. Brian Sims were also there.
Letter on US-Mexico security Co-operation
- Urgent alert from our friends at CISPES- Los Angeles Chapter : "The US plans to expand cooperation between Mexico and the United States to unfairly and inhumanely target Central American migrants and asylum seekers at the upcoming "Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America".
- We asked Representative Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach to author a letter to Secretary Tillerson calling for to put the human rights of Central Americans and all migrants and refugees front and center, and he's circulating a letter now. To have the biggest impact possible we need as many Members of Congress as possible to sign this letter!
- Call or email your representative today and ask them to join Mr. Lowenthal as a co-signer.
Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) led 37 Members of Congress, including top Democrats from the Armed Forces, Judiciary and Appropriations committees, in sending a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to raise red flags about “suggestions that the United States deepen security collaboration with Mexico along its southern border [with Guatemala] due to evidence that Mexico’s Southern Border Program has led to wide-spread human rights violations and abuses against migrants and asylum-seekers.”
Signers: Don Beyer (D-VA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Mike Capuano (D-MA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), John Conyers (D-MI), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-Washington, DC), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA) , Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), James McGovern (D-MA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Maxine Waters (D-CA), John Yarmuth (D-KY).
Meeting with Kim Jong-hoon
Kim Jong-hoon, a member of South Korea’s National Assembly and co-chair of the progressive Minjung Party, led a delegation to Washington on March 20-21 2018 to appeal to U.S. lawmakers about supporting efforts for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
- The U.S. Congress and Senate should not just watch Trump’s maneuvers from the sidelines but play an active role to make sure the talks succeed in achieving genuine and lasting peace, he wrote in The Hill. The Minjung Party was borne out of the candlelight revolution that unseated former President Park Geun-hye and is composed of workers, farmers and the urban poor.
In a meeting with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Kim urged the senator to take the lead in building support for a successful summit:
- No matter the motive for President Trump’s decision to meet with Kim Jong Un, dialogue is better than war. Military tension on the Korean peninsula had reached a feverish pitch last year, and real fear of impending war was shared by all Koreans, whether in the north or south. Leaders in Washington and the American people need to call on Trump to negotiate in good faith.
Senator Sanders expressed support for “peace talks between North Korea and the United States,” and the two lawmakers agreed to work together to facilitate dialogue between lawmakers of South Korea and the United States for a peaceful resolution of the U.S.-North Korea conflict.
Representative Kim also met with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who also expressed support for the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit. “Dialogue is the best path to peace,” she said and discussed the false missile alert that had caused terror among residents of Hawaii earlier this year. The two lawmakers agreed that the people of Korea and Hawaii share a stake in resolving the current crisis peacefully. Congresswoman Gabbard said she will introduce a House resolution in support of the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit.
Representative Kim also met with Congressman Jim McGovern and Congressman Dwight Evans, who both agreed to support the peace process in Korea.
Representative Kim also met with Reverend Jesse Jackson. The two leaders released a joint statement in support of the upcoming peace talks, and Reverend Jackson agreed to travel to South Korea in the near future to meet with members of the National Assembly and civil society organizations to discuss joint efforts for peace.
Representative Kim also met with peace activists in Washington and New York. He thanked them for their solidarity for peace in Korea. For the grandmothers fighting against the U.S. THAAD system in the village of Soseongri, he said, “Let us work together and redouble our efforts to establish a lasting peace system on the Korean Peninsula.”
On Trump and Russia
Congressman Evans statement on President Trump's meeting with Russia's President, Vladimir Putin.
July 16, 2018 Press Release:
- Today, President Trump held a summit with Vladimir Putin, whose country was deeply entrenched in our 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Despite their obvious attack on our sacred election process, Mr. Trump called our country’s previous relationship with Russia “foolishness and stupidity.”
- The only “foolishness and stupidity,” I see is that our President has more loyalty to Russia than the United States of America!
- After special counsel Robert Mueller issued a staggering 12 indictments on 12 Russian intelligence officers last week, President Trump should have canceled the summit and any talks with Putin.
- Instead, Trump shook Putin’s hand and praised him while criticizing America.
- President Trump embarrassed the U.S. on the global stage.
Medicare For All Congressional Caucus founders
In August 2018 Medicare For All Congressional Caucus founding members included Representative Dwight Evans.
Philly DSA is following Austin DSA’s lead and encouraging people to call Rep. Dwight Evans and tell him to support Medicare for All. Evans is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and garnering his support is crucial. Give him a call at (215) 276-0340 (his Philly office) or (202) 225-4001 (his DC office).
- Letters of Support for CAIR accessed January 26 2020
- Pr 892 p by The Public Record - issuuhttps://jeffersonal.issuu.com/phillyrecord/docs/pr-892-p/2]
- [ https://billypenn.com/2017/01/28/pa-governor-philly-mayor-u-s-senator-join-protests-at-philly-international-airport/]
- CISPES June 15, 2017 Trump Administration's Agenda at Conference in Miami Provokes Controversy and Opposition
- in Korea, South Korean Progressives to Washington: Support Peace Talks and Halt the War Exercises Mar 27, 2018
- 4, 2019ALL IN - JUNE: THE WEEKEND OF ACTION IS COMING by DSA M4A