In Anthony Phillips, Brian O'Neill, Cindy Bass, Council News, Curtis Jones, Jr., Featured, Gun Violence Prevention, James Harrity, Jamie Gauthier, Kenyatta Johnson, Michael Driscoll, Quetcy Lozada by Khara Garcia

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Philadelphia City Council unanimously approved several bills this week that would restrict business hours in Kensington, “tag flipping” devices and a ban on so-called skill games in Philadelphia.

Bill #240013-A, sponsored by Councilmember Quetcy Lozada (7th District) would restrict hours of activity between 11 PM and 6 AM for all businesses in the Kensington neighborhood with the exception of restaurants with liquor licenses.

Lozada says the Ordinance is an emergency measure which aims to reduce crime, prevent trash from piling up, and calm afterhours activity. It was drafted following input from residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in response to the opioid crisis.

The hours restriction will impact the area bounded by East Lehigh Ave, Kensington Ave, D St, East Tioga Street and Frankford Ave. This bounded area will include all businesses located on both sides of the boundary blocks. However, any food establishment with a restaurant liquor license will not be subject to the restriction in the targeted area; current law allows them to operate until 2 AM.

Councilmember Lozada’s office estimates that approximately 90 businesses are in the footprint where this bill will take effect. Of those 90 businesses, less than 20 currently run past 11 PM.  The legislation calls for a fine of $500 for each offense for each day the violation continues. The emergency measure is set to expire January 1, 2028.


Bill #240089-A would ban “tag flipping” devices which is a tool that allows a driver to change a license plate on a car with the push of a button, using a fake, stolen, or expired license plate to avoid tolls and tickets with the flip of a switch.

The legislation, sponsored by Councilmember Mike Driscoll (6th District), imposes a $2,000 fine for people who violate the ordinance.

“Tag-flipping devices belong in a James Bond movie, not on our city’s streets,” Driscoll said. “Their recent proliferation is a symptom of lawlessness that’s pervaded our city and detracted from the quality of life of Philadelphians.”


Council also approved Bill #240010-A, sponsored by Councilmember Curtis Jones (4th District) that would amending Chapter 9-5900 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled “Prohibition on Certain Gambling Machines and Skills Games,” to add additional prohibitions and provide for remedies.

The bill bans businesses from having so-called “skill games,” or digital gaming machines, unless they also have a casino or liquor license and an area for at least 30 patrons to eat or drink. These machines have popped up in gas stations and convenience stores in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Police and community advocates supported the regulation, while game manufacturers and business owners pushed back against what they say is an unfair  prohibition.

During the Council session, lawmakers also approved  the following bills and resolutions:

  • Resolution #240194: Resolution urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to allocate full funding for Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposed Office of Gun Violence Prevention and the anti-violence initiatives that the Office would coordinate to address the epidemic of gun violence across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (sponsor: Council President Kenyatta Johnson, 2nd District)


  • Resolution #240195: Resolution also naming the 5400 block of Woodland Avenue as “Dr. Minnie Moore Johnson Way” to honor her life and legacy of community service to Philadelphia. (sponsor: Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, 3rd District)
  • Resolution #240196 (Gauthier) and #240200 (sponsor: Councilmember Cindy Bass, 8th District): Resolution authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to execute and deliver to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority deeds conveying fee simple title to properties in their Council Districts and  further authorizing the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to transfer to the Philadelphia Land Bank fee simple title to such properties.
  • Bills #240008, #240009, #240011 – An Ordinance establishing parking regulations in a variety of streets in the Fourth Council District (sponsor: Jones).

Bills #240008, 240009, #240010-A, #240011, #240013-A and #240089-A will be sent to Mayor Cherelle Parker for her approval signature or a veto.



For an update on all bills and resolutions introduced and being considered by City Council, go to the City Council’s Legislative Information Center. The site provides quick and easy public access to information concerning Philadelphia City Council bills and resolutions. Once you locate a bill or resolution, you will be able to review its legislative history and to view or download a full text copy.

All bills introduced at the March 21 City Council session must be assigned to a committee that will hold a hearing on the legislation. If the legislation gets voted out of committee, it will go to the floor of City Council where it will eventually receive a vote of passage or non-passage. A bill needs at least nine votes to pass in Council. Any bill approved by Council will then be sent to Mayor Parker for her approval signature or a veto.


Mayor Cherelle Parker has formally submitted her proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget. Now, Council will hold a series of public hearings on the proposed operating and capital budget. The budget hearings are held before the Committee of the Whole, which is made up of all seventeen Councilmembers and chaired by Council President Johnson.

The first budget hearing is scheduled to be held at Philadelphia City Council Chambers (Room 400, Fourth Floor) on Tuesday, March 26 starting at 10 a.m.

That day will feature testimony on the Mayor’s Five-Year Financial Plan, Capital Program, and the Mayor’s Office. The budget hearings are currently scheduled to end on May 1.

Budget Hearing Schedule (Update 3)-01

To view Mayor Parker’s budget address, Operating and Capital Budgets, and Proposed FY25-30 Five Year Plan, visit City Council’s FY’25 Budget page.

The FY’25 Budget Hearing Schedule is subject to change so check Council’s Budget page often for updates.

The public can testify in person at City Council chambers on Wednesday, March 27 to give feedback on the proposed tax bills.

Speakers interested in making public testimony should call 215-686-3407 or email [email protected] by 3 p.m. on March 26 and submit the following information:

  • Full name
  • Callback telephone number
  • Identify the bill number or resolution number or numbers that will be addressed

The public can also come to the hearing and sign up to testify on site.

Under state law, the City of Philadelphia must pass a balanced budget. The City cannot plan to spend more money than is estimated will be collected in tax revenue. Philadelphia’s fiscal year runs from July 1st through June 30th.



Philadelphia City Council President Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) and Councilmembers Anthony Phillips (9th District), Brian O’Neill (10th District) and Mike Driscoll (6th District) hosted a second Peace Not Guns Healing Town hall meeting this week at Northeast High School (NEHS) in Northeast Philadelphia.

The purpose of the Healing Town Hall meetings is meant to foster unity and resilience in response to the recent uptick in violent crimes affecting our youth.

Several hundred people attended the event at NEHS including students, youth organizations, parents, activists, and advocates to voice their concerns and offer solutions.

Featured panelists included Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel; Adam Geer, Philadelphia Chief Public Safety Director; Yolanda Hughes, director of trauma response and emergency preparedness, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS); Jermaine Dawson, Ed.D., School District of Philadelphia’s Deputy Superintendent of Academic Services; and Chantay Love, Co-Founder and President, Every Murder Is Real (EMIR).


Elected officials in attendance included Philadelphia At-Large City Councilmembers Jim Harrity and Nicolas O’Rourke; PA State Senators Jimmy Dillon and Vincent Hughes; PA State Representatives Anthony Bellmon and Jared G. Solomon; and Philadelphia City Commissioners Chairperson Omar Sabir.

Philadelphia Police have arrested five suspects in the shooting that injured eight NEHS students at a SEPTA bus stop on March 6 at Rising Sun and Cottman Avenues, an intersection known as “Five Points.” The eight students are recovering from their injuries.

Councilmembers Phillips, Driscoll and O’Neill each represent parts of the Five Points intersection and students who live in their Council districts attend NEHS, which is in O’Neill’s district.


Various community organizations were also present to offer grief counseling and trauma support resources on-site.

Council President Johnson is committed to working with his Council colleagues to spread a citywide message of “Peace Not Guns” during his term as Council President.

The Healing Town Hall at Northeast High School was the second of 10 Peace Not Guns events that will take place in every City Council district over the next few years.

Philadelphia City Council will not have a Stated Meeting on Thursday, March 28 (Good Friday and Easter holidays). All City offices will also be closed on Friday, March 29 for Good Friday.

The next Meeting of City Council is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 4, 2024, at 10 a.m. The meeting will take place in person in Council’s Chambers on the 4th floor of Council. It will also air on Xfinity Ch. 64, Fios Channel 40, and stream at www.PHLCouncil.com/watch.



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