council restores funding to vital city programs

Council Check Pic


City Council voted unanimously to restore more than $7.1 million in
funding toward domestic violence shelters, children with special needs,
parks and recreation centers, and neighborhood improvement programs.
The funding restorations for the Fiscal Year 2013 budget are made possible
by a higher-than-anticipated year-end fund balance for Fiscal Year 2012.

“I am pleased City Council approved much-needed funding for worthy programs
that keep our streets and parks safe and protect vulnerable Philadelphians
such as abuse victims and those born with disabilities,” said Council
President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District). “My colleagues fought
passionately for these causes during the toughest budget debate I’ve ever

Bill No. 120818 tabs $3 million for 100 additional shelter beds for victims
of domestic abuse.

“We are absolutely thrilled to hear of City Council’s leadership and
commitment to expanding critical shelter services for victims of domestic
violence,” said Cheryl Brubaker of Women Against Abuse, which operates the
only emergency shelter for domestic violence victims in Philadelphia.

“We had to turn away 8,465 people last year who were in need of emergency
shelter. The City can now ensure many more women and children who are in
danger will be able to obtain immediate safety.”

“The need in Philadelphia is still far too great,” Councilman At-Large
William Greenlee and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) said in a
joint statement. Both pushed to restore the funding. “We continue to
explore ways to protect these victims.”

City Council also restored more than $2.6 million to the Department of
Parks and Recreation, which will help support additional maintenance and
facility workers as well as seasonal staff.

“Parks and recreation centers are places for Philadelphians to play, learn
and grow,” said Councilwoman Cindy Bass (8th District), Councilwoman Maria
Quiñones-Sánchez (7th District), and Councilman Mark Squilla (1st
District). “We’ve seen how shrinking funding has impacted the safety and
cleanliness of these public spaces. We thank our Council colleagues for
valuing these gems of the City as much as we do.”

Councilwoman Bass chairs the Committee on Parks, Recreation & Cultural
Affairs. Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez and Councilman Squilla also
advocated for the funding restoration.

Anti-blight programs and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern
Pennsylvania received a total of $1.1 million in restored funding.

“I’ve met dozens of great Philadelphians who do their part to keep our
streets and sidewalks clean, but citizens can’t do this alone,” said
Councilman Bobby Henon (6th District). “The City has a responsibility to
clear significant debris and keep vacant lots safe. I’m pleased my Council
colleagues agree.”

“Big Brothers Big Sisters has transformed countless lives in our City,”
said Councilwoman At-Large Blondell Reynolds Brown and Councilman At-Large
W. Wilson Goode, Jr. ”Our youth are our most precious asset. We are pleased
to make an additional investment in their futures.”

The transfer ordinance also restores funding for the Mural Arts Program and
for children with special needs.

“The lively and creative works of the Mural Arts Program have made our City
a destination for art lovers,” said Councilman At-Large James Kenney. “More
importantly, they help build communities. This uniquely Philadelphian
institution deserves our support.”

“Through fighting for kids I found my voice,” said Councilman At-Large
Dennis O’Brien. “This funding will help those born with disabilities get
the specialized attention they need to thrive.”

Councilman At-Large Bill Green, Councilman Brian O’Neill (10th District)
and Councilwoman Marian Tasco (9th District) were not present for the 14-0

In total, Council approved appropriations totaling $37.1 million, including
$30 million requested by the Nutter Administration. Council’s requested
appropriations are as follows:

BigBelly Trash Compactors                                                      | $63,000
Big Brothers/Sisters (Finance Dept.)                                     | $500,000
CLIP (MDO)                                                                                 | $600,000
Domestic Violence Shelter Beds                                               | $3,000,000
Mural Arts Program                                                                    | $200,000
Parks & Recreation                                                                      | $2,675,000
Special Needs Children (DHS/SDP)                                       | $100,000
Total:                                                                                                 $7,138,000


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