Philadelphia, Oct. 12, 2017 – City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) and Councilwoman Reynolds Brown (At-Large) on Thursday proposed an ordinance authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to regulate and prohibit offensive materials from City-owned or City-occupied facilities.
If enacted, the ordinance would grant the City authority over symbols, materials, objects, or speech that is discriminatory, hateful, inciteful, or threatening in nature, particularly against persons or groups on the basis of skin color, national origin, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
“As the third-largest and most public-facing employer in Philadelphia, we have a responsibility to set a gold standard for inclusive, welcoming, and respectful workplaces,” Council President Clarke said. “No employee, and certainly no citizen, should be made to feel offended or fearful because of what a public employee says, wears, or does. We have the right as an employer to set guidelines for conduct, and we have an obligation to earn the trust of the people we serve – particularly those belonging to groups targeted for discrimination.”
“As a long-time advocate for representation and inclusion of women and minorities in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, I know that workplace climate plays a significant role in organizational diversity,” Councilwoman Reynolds Brown said. “We are not brought into this world with hate in our hearts; that is something learned along the way. This is a teaching moment as we all have a responsibility to protect one another. My heart hurts for all people who are targeted because of who they are. No one has a right to diminish someone else’s shine. I look forward to a productive discussion with my Council colleagues, with other departments and offices of City government, and with the public as this bill moves forward.”
Read the ordinance: 101217 CPC Ordinance – Symbols on Public Property