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WEEKLY REPORT – PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL APPROVES BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS DURING THE MAY 9 MEETING

In Cindy Bass, Council News, Featured, Jamie Gauthier, Jeffery Young Jr., Kenyatta Johnson, Mark Squilla, Michael Driscoll, Quetcy Lozada by Khara Garcia

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Philadelphia City Council members approved resolutions and bills during this week’s regularly stated meeting. Council only has five Stated Meetings left until summer recess starts in mid-June.

Among the legislation approved were:

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The four bills/ordinances approved by Council will now go to Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker for either her signature or veto.


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COUNCILMEMBERS RESPONDS TO KENSINGTON ENCAMPMENT CLEAROUT THIS WEEK

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker’s Administration completed a month-long encampment resolution process in Kensington on the 3000-3100 blocks of Kensington Avenue earlier this week.

During a speech on the Council floor this week, Councilmember Lozada said she welcomes the attention of Council and the Parker administration concerning Kensington. Lozada’s 7th District covers most of Kensington, including the 3000-3100 blocks of Kensington Avenue.

“Our city is bringing much-needed relief, resources, and support to this community,” Lozada said in a written statement. “…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…connected 312 individuals to meaningful services and resources which include detox, wound care, and housing. I am thankful to the Mayor, Rock Ministries, service providers, and law enforcement for changing the lives of these individuals during the encampment resolution.”

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Council this week also approved her Resolution #240397 requesting a performance audit be conducted by the City Controller’s office on all past allocations and funding distributed by the City of Philadelphia to the Kensington area.

“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 to develop a better plan to stabilize and strengthen the Kensington community…” Lozada said.


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COUNCIL 2025 BUDGET HEARINGS WERE COMPLETED THIS WEEK

After six weeks of hearing testimony from various City Departments, Council’s Committee of the Whole held its final budget hearing on Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker’s proposed Fiscal Year 2025 (FY ‘25) Budget on May 6 with departmental call back testimony from the Register of Wills, Office of Homeless Services, Managing Director’s Office, and the Police Department.

The next steps in the process will now include negotiations that will take place between Council and the Parker Administration to create a final FY ’25 Operating and Capital Budgets.

Council’s final Stated Meeting before the annual summer recess begins is June 13. The final FY ’25 budget must be approved by June 30. Fiscal Year ‘25 starts on July 1.

Fore more information on Mayor Parker’s budget address, Operating and Capital Budgets, proposed FY ‘25-30 Five Year Plan, visit City Council’s FY’25 Budget Center.

Please reach out to your District or At-Large member to give them your thoughts on FY ’25 budget. The public can also go on our Council website and give us your thoughts in writing.


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COUNCIL’S VARIOUS COMMITTEES ARE HARD AT WORK COMPLETING LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS BEFORE SUMMER RECESS

Council’s Committee on the Environment, chaired by Councilmember Gauthier, held a hearing this week on Resolution #240347 examining the progress made since introduction of the Philadelphia Urban Agriculture Plan, to convene agencies, and stakeholders needed to make further progress, and to create an implementation strategy to expeditiously meet the goals of the Plan.

The Philadelphia Urban Agriculture Plan (2023), “Growing From the Root,” is the City’s first ever urban agriculture plan, detailing a bold vision for Philadelphia’s future food system and touching on land, production, preparation, consumption, food waste reduction, and the people holding this system together.

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In Philadelphia, almost one-quarter of the population lives in poverty. Urban gardens and farms have the potential to play a key role in addressing the widespread food insecurity that results from this poverty by providing fresh, low-cost, local, and easily accessible produce to families throughout Philadelphia.

Our city is home to approximately 450 active agricultural spaces. This equals nearly 130 acres of land including individual gardens, community gardens, school gardens, orchards, community farms, and market farms.

The day-long hearing featured a cross-section of people including Park and Recreation Commissioner Susan Slawson and officials from the Philadelphia Health Department, Reinvestment Fund, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Mill Creek Urban Farm, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia Orchard Project, Urban Creators, University of Pennsylvania, Neighborhood Garden Trusts, the Public Interest Law Center, Sankofa Community Farms at Bartram’s Garden, Drexel University and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.


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SATURDAYS WITH CITY COUNCIL TO AIR ON SATURDAY, MAY 11 ON WURD RADIO

This week’s episode features Councilmember and Minority Leader Kendra Brooks (At-Large) discussing issues impacting Philadelphia. Tune in on Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Listen to the show on 900 AM/96.1 FM in Philadelphia or online.


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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

City Council wants to wish all of the mothers a Happy Mother’s Day this weekend. The national recognition of Mother’s Day culminated a campaign begun by the late Anna Jarvis in Philadelphia in 1907 and carried to the U.S. Congress by the late department store magnate John Wanamaker.

In 1908, a number of cities held their first Mother’s Day celebrations, including Philadelphia, where Wanamaker intended to host guests at his department store’s huge 5,000-seat auditorium. When 15,000 wanted to attend, Wanamaker moved the celebration across the street to the plaza in front of City Hall. Mother’s Day was given federal recognition in 1914.


The next Meeting of City Council is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 16, 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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