PHILADELPHIA, PA – City Council introduced a budget ordinance today that includes $500,000 to be spent on relocation services for Philadelphia residents who have been threatened by criminal activity in their neighborhoods.
The $500,000 appropriation, contained in a midyear FY2021-22 budget ordinance introduced in City Council today by Appropriations Chair, Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez (7th District), comes at the request of Councilmember David Oh (At Large), who has recently advocated on this issue.
Councilmember Oh has spoken during Council Meetings about the urgency of the city taking steps to protect and relocate where necessary Philadelphia residents who feel threatened by criminals and criminal activity in their immediate neighborhoods. In October, Oh introduced a resolution with Quiñones Sánchez, recently passed in Council, calling on the city to post a reward for information leading to the apprehension of individuals who attempted to firebomb the home of a Kensington resident who worked to rid her neighborhood of drug dealers. The incident remains unsolved.
Councilmember Oh met recently with mothers who are the targets of violence because they or their children cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation of murders and the prosecution of accused killers. Oh visited the home of one mother and found a bullet hole in the metal lamppost outside her home. That mother has been waiting to be relocated for over a year. Councilmember Oh – with the support of Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez — urged Council to provide funds for the immediate relocation and protection of these families and other victims like them.
We must protect our mothers and children from being victims of retaliation,” Councilmember Oh said. “I’m grateful that Council and the Kenney administration acted quickly to secure $500,000 for the Managing Director’s Office public safety unit to relocate this mother and her two children. This action will save lives, protect other families and encourage cooperation with law enforcement to help reduce this senseless cycle of violence in our city.”
“It is urgent that we establish a mechanism to have a trusted system of relocation in place to protect families that are cooperating with our public safety officials,” said Quiñones Sánchez. “We’re grateful to Councilmember Oh for his advocacy, and we appreciate the Kenney administration and Council President Darrell L. Clarke for their support for this midyear appropriation.”