In Council News, Rue Landau by Khara Garcia

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Ordinance will combat unfair business practices and protect consumers 

(Philadelphia, PA) — Today, Councilmember at-Large Rue Landau is once again championing the cause of consumer interest by introducing a comprehensive Consumer Protection Ordinance in the City Council. This important piece of legislation, sent for introduction by Mayor Cherelle Parker’s administration, will ensure that more working people across Philadelphia are shielded from unfair and deceptive business practices. 

Philadelphia currently depends on the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, which allows enforcement through either the Attorney General or the District Attorney. The absence of a specialized local mechanism within the Mayor’s chain of command exposes Philadelphians to the adverse effects of fraudulent activities. 

The Consumer Protection Ordinance empowers the Law Department to investigate potential violations, working alongside an agency designated by the mayor. If violations are found, the Law Department can take swift action in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, seeking remedies such as injunctive relief, civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation, and compensatory damages and restitution for affected consumers. 

This ordinance specifically targets practices such as misleading financing plans and false advertising of product conditions. By addressing these issues at the local level, the ordinance aims to provide tangible relief to those who need it the most. 

Councilmember Rue Landau highlighted the significance of the ordinance in protecting the financial well-being of working families, stating, “Our aim is ultimately to ensure that no one falls victim to predatory practices, and that every Philadelphian has confidence and security in the City’s commitment to protecting them from scams and fraud. I deeply value the Mayor prioritizing this ordinance in her first 100 days, and I’m proud to introduce it and stand up for working Philadelphians.”  

Mayor Cherelle Parker echoed this sentiment. “This ordinance reaffirms my administration’s strong commitment to fostering a fairer and equitable business environment in Philadelphia, where consumers are respected and protected from exploitation and misleading promises and claims. I want to commend Councilmember Landau’s commitment to consumer protection this early in her first term, and I look forward to finding ways to work with her and her team moving forward on consumer protection issues. In addition to the protections available under state law, there are steps the City of Philadelphia can take to better safeguard consumers from fraudulent claims and tactics. This legislation is a step in the right direction.” 

“The Consumer Protection Ordinance will allow the City to take legal action against bad actors whose deceptive business practices cause financial harm to consumers in Philadelphia,” said Acting City Solicitor Renee Garcia. “I am grateful to Councilmember Landau for introducing this legislation and to Mayor Parker for pushing the ordinance forward. The Law Department will continue to work with City Council and the Parker Administration on innovative legal solutions to protect our residents and promote a secure, equitable, and vibrant economy.” 

While the ordinance does not provide a private right of action, it ensures that the City is empowered to act on behalf of the public, acting as a guardian for working families when necessary. Importantly, the legislation aligns with the existing state consumer protection law, reinforcing practices already deemed illegal at the state level. 

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About Councilmember Rue Landau 

About Philadelphia City Council 

About Mayor Cherelle Parker 

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