In Council News, Featured, Quetcy Lozada, Uncategorized by Khara Garcia

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May 9, 2024 (Philadelphia, PA) — Councilmember Quetcy Lozada, District 7, gave the following statement today following efforts to address the opioid crisis in Kensington which included Council’s unanimous passing of her resolution requesting a performance audit on all allocations and funding distributed by the City to the Kensington area (Resolution 240397) and the conclusion of an encampment resolution set forth by the Parker administration.

“I continue to welcome this Council’s and the Parker administration’s attention to Kensington. Our city is bringing much-needed relief, resources, and support to this community. As we do this, we as leaders and all residents of our city must remember that previous efforts to improve the neighborhood have been made.

From my conversations with the administration and Rock Ministries, the encampment resolution and continued outreach on the 3100 block of Kensington Avenue successfully connected 312 individuals to meaningful services and resources which include detox, wound care, and housing. I am thankful to the Mayor, Rock Ministries, providers, and police for changing the lives of these individuals during the encampment resolution. I was also told that these numbers are going up.

Encampment resolutions have been conducted in the past and people move to new locations. It is important that we all take note of where these individuals are moving and encampments are being set up so that outreach can continue and more people can be brought into treatment.

Just because the most visible area of the open-air drug market was cleared does not mean the crisis is over. Work will continue to be done. I expect more encampment resolutions, more outreach, and more investment.

Simply dumping money into the community without strategic planning and oversight is irresponsible of government. Nearly $70 million was invested into Kensington by the previous administration in the 2023 fiscal year and the neighborhood is in disrepair.

When the City gives $70 Million to a neighborhood you would expect to see noticeable change. Crime and overdose rates continued to rise, while neighborhood health, general cleanliness, and overall quality of life declined.

The people of Kensington deserve better and every taxpayer deserves better too.

It is our responsibility as leaders to make sure that our City’s limited resources are driving programs and policies that are making a positive impact and being used as effectively as possible.

We need to work together to reduce the drug market’s influence on our communities and save vulnerable individuals suffering on our streets. Residents can participate in this process. You can report drug trafficking by calling the police. You can request an outreach team from the Office of Homeless Services to visit encampments and offer individuals lifesaving and life changing services by calling 215-232-1984.

Today my colleagues in Council and I called for an audit of past funding into Kensington which will allow us to see how the allocations were spent, what policies were effective, and identify areas to improve on in order to bring much needed relief to the neighborhood. The report from the Controller’s office will empower leadership in our new administration with the information that they need to make sure mistakes from the past are not repeated and it will allow us to make better-informed targeted investments in the future.

I want to thank my colleagues in the Special Committee on Kensington, members Jones, Ahmad, Squilla, Driscoll, and Harrity, for co-introducing this resolution with me, and all of my colleagues in Council’s support in passing it. I am grateful for our ability to work together as a council to bring much needed oversight on how our city has addressed the crisis that exists here today and develop a better plan to stabilize and strengthen the community that is suffering.”

Press Contact:
Matt Rego, [email protected], 215-847-3663

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