COUNCILMEMBER THOMAS CALLS FOR HEARINGS ON ISSUES AROUND “PAPER TAGS” ON CARS
Following on the heels of his successful Driving Equality law, Councilmember Isaiah Thomas (At Large) introduced a resolution in Council this week to hold hearings on a growing issue across the city – so-called “paper tags” – temporary license plates that have created a range of public safety problems in identifying and citing motorists trying to avoid tolls, speeding tickets or to disguise their involvement in other, more serious criminal activity.
Thomas’ resolution, which passed Council on Thursday, authorizes the Committee on Streets and Services to hold hearings examining the rise of paper tags to thwart criminal and safety measures that allow for the safe use of our city streets by all residents. “The hearing will lay out the false narratives and risks and attempt to bring forward a range of potential solutions to this local and national issue,” the resolution states.
The Councilmember’s resolution spells out the scope of the problem:
“The use of Illegal temporary tags, often called paper tags, has recently dramatically increased; locally, statewide and nationally. This rise in illegal paper tags has created a range of safety issues in identifying and citing and/or prosecuting those trying to avoid tolls, speeding tickets and to disguise their involvement in more serious criminal activity.”
“This rise in illegal paper tags has created a series of false narratives that have made messaging and managing this growing problem. Reporting from local news outlets has made clear the number of different agencies and actors involved in this issue.”
“The use of illegal temporary tags has made it harder for law enforcement to investigate crime and bring illegal and criminal activity to accountability. A broader view of the problem, that centers those whose lives have been impacted by the behaviors that these illegal temporary tags have given space to must be created in order to address this growing problem. Council will hear from experts,advocates, victims and stakeholders to surface as many solutions and questions that need answers.”
The hearing will be scheduled and held at a later date.
PHILADELPHIA ENERGY CAMPAIGN REACHES $380M IN CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT AND 3,300 LOCAL JOBS GENERATED
The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) this week joined city leadership and the Philadelphia Green Capital Corp. to announce the 2022 results of PEA’s Energy Campaign work: PEA spurred $89.6 Million in clean energy investments and created 771 local jobs.
This progress keeps PEA on track to meet the goals of the Philadelphia Energy Campaign: investing $1 billion in energy efficiency and clean energy projects to create 10,000 jobs over 10 years.Launched in 2016 in partnership with City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) and led by PEA, the Campaign has deployed more than $380 Million in projects and created 3,275 jobs from work in five sectors: municipal, schools, affordable housing, small business, and commercial and industrial.
In prior years, investment was driven by large construction projects at the School District of Philadelphia, the city and other projects. In 2022, three quarters of the investment and job creation was driven by PEA-led programs including Solarize Philly, Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing, Water Sewer Line Protection Program,and Built to Last. Also included in the 2022 total are municipal and School District of Philadelphia energy savings projects. The results are a key indicator of strong clean energy market-building in Philadelphia with investment and job creation impacting every city neighborhood.
“When I said we would create 10,000 jobs in clean energy by 2026, there was some skepticism about whether we could achieve that,” said Council President Clarke. “I am proud to see PEA’s progress towards that goal and the focus on neighborhoods and equity they’ve infused into their programs.”
“PEA’s programs are accelerating the growth of Philadelphia’s clean energy economy alongside real leadership from the School District and City government,” said Emily Schapira, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Energy Authority. “Our model of putting equity first and pairing projects and programs with workforce development opportunities has become nationally recognized. We are on track to meet our 2026 goal and beyond.”
PEA runs two workforce development programs that serve as pipelines for Solarize Philly and Built to Last: Bright Solar Futures, which trains high school and adult participants for careers in the solar industry, and Green Retrofit Immersive Training (GRIT), which trains participants for careers in green residential construction. Participants in each program are paid to earn industry credentials and participate on-the-job training before getting connected with clean energy jobs. PEA was part of a grant application, led by Philadelphia Works, for a $22.8 Million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for 3-year coordinated workforce development efforts that includes significant scaling of PEA programs.
“The Energy Campaign demonstrates that when we lead with the goal of a robust, equitable clean energy economy,impressive results follow,” said Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At-Large). “As Chair of City Council’s Committee on the Environment, I am delighted that Philadelphia is investing in clean energy solutions that are good for the environment and the economy.”
SEEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA…
DON’T FORGET! @PhilaParkandRec is hosting a job fair THIS Saturday, April 22 from 11am-1pm. Rain date is Saturday, May 6th. Check out the available seasonal and permanent full-time openings below or scan the QR code for more info. pic.twitter.com/onxiv0HSt8
— Councilmember Sharon Vaughn (@CMSharonVaughn) April 19, 2023
IN OTHER NEWS
Public Comments Run Strongly Against a Downtown Arena for the Sixers Basketball Team. There was not an ordinance or resolution on Council’s agenda this week regarding the Sixers’ plans for a downtown basketball arena near Chinatown, but a different resolution regarding the Asian American community allowed the public to testify during Council’s public comment portion of the weekly meeting. These individuals overwhelmingly stated that they oppose a basketball arena downtown, particularly so close to Chinatown.The Kenney administration recently announced plans for a detailed study to analyze the Sixers’ plans.
Council Votes to Appoint Councilmember Mike Driscoll to the Philadelphia Gas Commission. Per the resolution, Councilmember Driscoll’s term on the Commission runs through January 1, 2024. The Gas Commission is the supervisory agency that monitors the work and performance of the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works.
OTHER SIGHTS AND SOUNDS FROM THE COUNCIL WEEK
Committee on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs 4-13-2023
Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention 4-17-2023
FY2024 Budget Hearings – Commerce, Aviation and Mural Arts 4-18-2023
FY2024 Budget Hearings – Fire Department 4-18-2023
FY2024 Budget Hearings – Public Testimony – Tax Bills 4 -18-2023
FY2024 Budget Hearings – Office of Children and Families, Parks and Recreation, DHS 4-19-2023
FY2024 Budget Hearings – Office of Sustainability, PEA and Free Library 4-19-2023
Stated Meeting of Philadelphia City Council 4-20-2023
The next Stated Meeting of City Council is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 10 a.m. in Philadelphia City Hall, Room 400 and will air on Xfinity Ch. 64, Fios Channel 40 and stream at www.PHLCouncil.com/watch.
Featured Photo: Jared Piper/PHLCouncil