Actions Speak Louder Than Words: No Response From Administration and 15 of 17 Councilmembers to CCRA Prompt Action on Proposed Police Reform
You may recall that on June 8, in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, 14 of the 17 members of City Council sent a letter to Mayor Kenney containing 15 relatively specific recommendations for police department reform, and that the next day, Kenney issued a document titled: "Actions for change: No budget increase, new use-of-force policies, changes to union contract, and more." That document responded affirmatively to each of the 15 recommendations in the June 8 letter, and went much further, with more specifics.The CCRA Board voted to endorse these proposed reforms, and to so advise the Mayor and City Council. In addition, encouraged by Council's and the Mayor's acknowledgments that "police reform cannot wait," that the City must "act decisively," and that we must "seize the moment" and "move quickly because too many lives are being lost," we requested two things: (1) that the Mayor and Councilmembers ask the FOP to renegotiate its contract now, given the centrality of the City's contract with the police union to the implementation of several of the reforms; and (2) that Council convene over its traditional 10-week summer recess in order to hold hearings and enact the legislation necessary to effectuate the proposed reforms. Our June 25 letter, emailed to the Mayor and each Councilmember, concluded with the following: "In keeping with the urgency of the moment, we look forward to a speedy response."
Despite sending a follow-up letter on July 29, the only responses we received were from Councilmembers Mark Squilla and Kendra Brooks, with nothing from the Mayor's office. Furthermore, Council did not convene during its summer recess (from June 18 to September 10) nor, to the best of our knowledge, has the Administration or any Councilmember asked the FOP to renegotiate its contract.
The Zoning Committee Report from the meeting on Tuesday, August 25, is ready. You can find it here.
The next public zoning committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 22, 7pm via Zoom.
The Drexel Building Eyed as Home of the Sports Betting Parlor of the Future
If six local businessmen have their way, the Drexel Building at 15th & Walnut could be the home of both Philadelphia’s largest restaurant and the sports betting parlor of the future. The venue, to be called “Bankroll”, would be a 24,000 square-foot restaurant, casino and entertainment venue. The location was most recently an LA Fitness, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (http://bit.ly/3gMx5e9)
Temporary Streetery Report Form
In anticipation of more outdoor dining venues in the neighborhood (an effort supported by CCRA to help distressed restaurants citywide), L&I has created a from for citizens to notify them about concerns arising from the proposed new venues. You can find the form here. Once you fill out the form, forward it to email@example.com we will forward the form on your behalf. L&I will publish an updated list daily of proposed new outdoor dining venues and the form is intended to be submitted as a response within the next day. Please let us know if you have identified a problem which we can bring to their attention.
STOP!—Safe Travels in Our Philadelphia
STOP is a group that is dealing with the ongoing nuisance of ATVs and dirt bikes across Center City. These vehicles are creating huge safety threats and deeply damaging the quality of life for many Center City residents. This link shows a recent CBS report with comments from TOM AYERS, who originally mustered their efforts.
CCRA's President Maggie Mund joined Chef Yehuda Sichel and Rittenhouse Row's Sal D'Angelo at the ribbon cutting of HUDA, a new restaurant opening TODAY at 18th & Ranstead in our neighborhood. Chef Sichel is familiar with our neighborhood's great restaurant reputation and tradition, having served as Executive Chef and Partner of Abe Fisher on Sansom Street. So be sure to extend him a warm welcome.
Did you know, completing the 2020 Census takes just 10 minutes, and will have an impact on the city for the next 10 years?
If just one person is missed in the 2020 Census count, Philadelphia could face the loss of $21,000 in federal funding over the next ten years. If an undercount happens, the city’s capacity to meet the needs of its residents will be seriously impacted.
Take action to improve your community and complete the Census!
According to the city’s Health Department, close to 90% of people were wearing masks when exiting stores in the last week of August. 79% were masked just walking down the street in the second half of August. This compares with 45% for the month of July. This is in synch with case counts and positivity rate, which have been trending downward. (http://bit.ly/3hPow3v)
Four Seasons, Five Stars (A Philly First)
In a first for Philadelphia, the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center has received a five-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide. A prestigious honor, the five-star rating also applies to the hotel’s spa, which features 700 pounds of healing crystals in its walls in addition to an infinity pool.
In what can be seen as baby-steps back to ‘normal’, indoor dining – at 25% capacity – returned to Philadelphia on Sept. 8, and following close behind is Restaurant Week, which begins Sept. 13 and runs through Sept. 25. Restaurant Week can be said to be running at 67% capacity, as 80 eateries will be participating, down from the typical 120+.