STATEMENT FROM MINORITY LEADER KENDRA BROOKS ON THE SUPREME COURT DECISION IN JOHNSON VS GRANTS PASS

In Kendra Brooks, Uncategorized by Kendra Brooks

In response to the recent Supreme Court decision in Johnson vs. Grants Pass, Minority Leader Kendra Brooks (At-Large) released the following statement:

“On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to allow local governments to target and criminalize people who are sleeping outside, even when there is no adequate shelter available.

“As a local elected official representing thousands of families facing housing insecurity, I oppose this decision as cruel and destructive. In Philadelphia, many of the people living on the streets are actually working people. They’re security guards, hospital staff, supermarket cashiers. These folks are just trying to get by, but low wages and a housing crisis are forcing them to sleep outside.

“Along with my fellow members of Local Progress, I work every day in local government to keep people in their homes and increase access to safe, affordable housing – not punish people who have lost their homes. From the War on Drugs to the School-to-prison Pipeline, we have seen time and time again that criminalizing and punishing people who are struggling does not solve our problems. These policies fill our jails, traumatize our communities, and fly in the face of basic human dignity and compassion.

“The best and most effective way to address homelessness is housing – not handcuffs. Instead of locking people up for being homeless, we need to address our housing crisis head-on, with bold solutions that address the root causes of homelessness: solutions like social housing and housing first. In the coming weeks, I will introduce a resolution affirming Philadelphia City Council’s commitment to housing as a human right and declaring our opposition to policies that criminalize homelessness.

“Right-wing members of the Supreme Court have allowed attacks on homeless people, but we will not stand for that type of cruelty here in Philadelphia. When the Supreme Court allowed attacks on reproductive rights with the Dobbs decision two years ago, we responded with legislation to protect those rights, and we made Philadelphia the safest city in the country for patients and providers of reproductive healthcare. This Johnson vs. Grants Pass decision is no different. When right wing extremists infringe on our basic freedoms at the national level, we will respond locally – by protecting those freedoms in our city, standing up for our communities, and forging ahead with real solutions that improve people’s lives.”

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