Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

  • Good morning, everyone.

  • (Good morning.)

  • (Good morning.)

  • It's a great day.

    It appears we have established a quorum. I'd ask all guests and visitors to please retire behind the rail and the members to please take their seats so we can get started. We're running a little late today. I apologize for that.

    Thank you. Before we start, I would like to say -- I would ask all guests and visitors to please turn any devices off; i.e., cell phones, other things that create any type of noise. I'd ask you to turn them off or on silent. I want to thank you so much for that cooperation.

    To give our invocation this morning, I would like to recognize the Reverend Lewis Nash, Sr. of Faith Deliverance Church. He is here today as my guest, and I would ask all members and guests to please rise.

  • (Members and guests rise.)

  • And also a very, very good friend of mine.

  • Let us pray.

    Father God, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we invoke your presence as we come once again for a meeting of the minds. We ask that you have ordained these offices to be. Speak to each one of our Councilmembers, and, Lord, we ask you to speak to our President of City Council. Bless their minds that all business that they do today will be in mind of the people, for you have elected them to serve the people, by the people and for the people.

    In Jesus' name.

    Amen.

  • Thank you very much, Reverend, for those inspiring words.

    Council shall be at ease.

  • (Council at ease.)

  • Thank you all very much.

    The next order of business is the approval of the Journal of the meeting of Thursday, May 9, 2013.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the Journal of the meeting of Thursday, May 9th, 2013 be approved.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • Thank you. It has been moved and properly seconded that the Journal of the meeting of Thursday, May 9th, 2013 stand approved.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and the Journal is approved.

    The next order of business is the request for leaves of absence.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Jones.

  • On behalf of the majority, no requests for leaves of absence today.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman O'Neill.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. On behalf of the republicans, there are no requests for leave of absence.

  • Thank you so much, Councilman.

    At this time, I would like to dispense with the regular order of business. I would like to thank all the guests and visitors that have come here today. We welcome you so much. We really appreciate the fact that you have taken time out of your busy day to come down and witness your government in action. We hope you enjoy yourself so much that you come back again. So thank you all very much.

    At this time, the Chair recognizes Councilman Kenney, who will present a resolution honoring Andrea Green and Teresa Maebori. Would Ms. Green and Ms. Maebori join the Councilman at the podium.

    And also joining the Councilman we have Councilwoman Blackwell, Councilwoman, I believe, Bass.

  • And we also have Councilman Oh, Councilwoman Bass.

  • And Councilman O'Brien is supposed to be here.

  • And Councilman O'Brien, when he comes in the room.

    Please proceed, Councilman.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. This is a resolution honoring the inspiring partnership of two Philadelphia educators, Andrea Green and Teresa A. Maebori, who are celebrating the 30th year of "On the Other Side of the Fence," a musical created to break down barriers between students from the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy in West Philadelphia and elementary students from Germantown Friends School.

  • Whereas, Andrea Green is a playwright, composer, lyricist, musical director, professional jazz pianist/vocalist and musical therapist. She is nationally known for her work creating musicals for children and family audiences. A musically-talented but shy teenager who was always in the chorus in the musicals at her huge suburban Philadelphia high school, it was in the intimate setting of a patient's room that Green uncovered her flair for spontaneously composing tunes that both entertained and encouraged; and

    Whereas, the positive response she experienced gratified and motivated Green in return, and launched her toward her life's work in music therapy, which she studied in a masters program at Hahnemann Medical School here in Philadelphia. Ms. Green has written fourteen upbeat Broadway-style musicals for children and families characterized by heartfelt messages on themes of tolerance and understanding. She should be applauded for her creativity in the staging of productions that showcase the joyous capabilities of children with cerebral palsy; and

  • Whereas, Teresa A. Maebori is an insightful and extraordinary Philadelphia educator who deserves gratitude and respect, as she prepares to retire, for her profound commitment to character education and the message of inclusion and tolerance embedded within her classroom and musical "On the Other Side of the Fence" which has proven durable across three generations of Germantown Friends School students and their families; and

  • Whereas, I am happy to be here with my friends from HMS;

    Whereas, "On the Other Side of the Fence" was an immediate success with performers and audiences, and productions -- oh, I read the --

    Whereas, "On the Other Side of the Fence" is a tuneful show set in two barnyards, side by side and with the theme of "taking down the fence" of misunderstanding between the animals in two barnyards. The show was initially conceived as a way to forge an emotional connection between students at a mainstream school - Germantown Friends School - with those at a special services school for children with cerebral palsy, HMS School in West Philadelphia; and

  • Whereas, "On the Other Side of the Fence" was an immediate success with performers and audiences, and productions of the show continue to be staged throughout the USA as a celebration of breaking down barriers of all kinds - not only physical challenges, but also students who are economically and socially distanced. It also launched the model Green would apply in the creation of many more shows, each with original songs, pro-social themes that children understand and their teachers and families appreciate; and

    Whereas, anti-bullying programs are recognized as essential components of character formation in our schools, and musicals have the ability to make more of an impact than lecturing to kids. When children carry the message of tolerance themselves, through song, there's a chance they'll internalize it; now, therefore, be it

  • Resolved, by the Council of the City of Philadelphia, that Council does hereby recognize, honor, and thank Andrea Green and Teresa Maebori in their inspired mission to break down walls, build bridges and create open minds among countless young Philadelphians.

    Further resolved, that an engrossed copy of this resolution be presented to Andrea Green and Teresa A. Maebori as evidence of sincere sentiments of this legislative body.

    Thank you and congratulations.

  • (Applause.)

  • The Chair recognizes Ms. Green and Ms. Maebori for remarks.

  • Thank you very much. My name is Teresa Maebori and I am so pleased to be here today to thank the Council for giving us this resolution and especially to Councilman Kenney.

    This project started over 30 years ago, and it's impacted hundreds of children from Germantown Friends School and hundreds of children from HMS School. Not only that, but it has impacted families and friends and thousands of people who have come to see these productions.

    I was thinking back about what has made this such a lasting production and why did it impact us so profoundly, and what I came away with is that we broke down barriers and the children became friends. And once the audience could see the joy on the children's faces, the smiles and sometimes the tears, you couldn't help but know that something was really happening between these two groups of children, who communicated and connected through the magic of the songs that Andrea wrote, the magic of the metaphors that they acted. And through it all, at the end, their friendship was so strong, they kept asking me when do we go back, when can we go back, when can we see our friends. And I think it's the joy of the music, the movement, and the words, the acting, that made a true impact. It has carried through for years. And, in fact, back here we have one of the participants who was in our first play 30 years ago. She's now a professor at University of Pennsylvania. So we're very happy to have Johanna here with us today.

    I want to say too that what the children discovered was the voice within, the voice that revealed their common humanity, that they all wanted to be discovered for -- they wanted to be known, they wanted to be appreciated, and they wanted to be loved, and I think this project really emphasized that and for years and years. People still come to me and say that was the most important thing that I did when I was in elementary school.

    The lessons that were instilled are long-lasting, but this production could not happen without the tireless efforts of so many people. Many of the teachers that are with us today helped in movement. It was Mary Duffy in art therapy. It was Aiko Phan and many, many other people, parents. And I especially wanted to thank the maintenance people at our school, who built a ramp every year to the stage so that the children could perform. Those are the people that are behind the scenes, but really deserve recognition as well.

    So I want to thank you again for this honor, and may we all remember what these projects do and the music, to break down these barriers of misunderstanding and, in the words of Andrea Green, to break them down so that we know people from the other side of the fence.

    Thank you.

  • (Applause.)

  • Thank you. I'm really moved and honored to be here today. I think it's only natural for me to start with a little bit of a song, because that's where I'm most comfortable, and I have all these wonderful children here today hopefully that will remember some of the words to the beginning of "On the Other Side of the Fence."

    Are you going to help me? Are you ready?

  • (Song sung.)

  • Okay. That's the beginning.

  • (Applause.)

  • In 1982 -- and I was 29 years old then -- I created the musical "On the Other Side of the Fence" to provide the framework for the children from the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Germantown Friends School to come together as partners. Through the metaphor in the music, I attempted to create a vehicle for the children from both schools, from both sides of the fence, to come to see and understand each other as fellow human beings who are different and yet in many ways so much the same.

    The musical is constructed in a specific way to feature every child, but always with the group being supportive throughout the entire piece. The musical has built into it a flexibility to allow for spontaneity, change, surprises, and contributions from the children.

    Over the years, I created a series of musicals, all with the purpose of teaching tolerance. Whether animals were on two sides of the fence, different fabrics on shelves, fish in the sea, Haliens from Halley's Comet, the musical project grew and grew dramatically, with input and interest coming in from every person and every department from both schools. I have worked closely with so many amazing people, teachers, therapists, staffs from both schools who have brought their expertise and talent to this unique program. And many of the core group from HMS are here today, people that have been with this project from the very beginning and who I love very much.

    Chris Coy is not here. Mindy Olimpi, who -- I have to tell you about Mindy. Mindy is right here. Mindy, you have to orchestrate the scheduling, the buses, the support staff. A child needs to be fed. All of the really difficult backstage kind of work, Mindy has been doing this for all these years, just an amazing, amazing person.

    Mary Duffy, choreographer, movement specialist. Aiko Phan, who you might know. She does a yearly art show at the HMS School that you should really come over to the HMS School and see what kind of work she does with the students from HMS.

    Annie Oberfield, thank you for being here today. Charlie Harris, and Diane Gallagher, the principal from the HMS School, who has embraced our efforts to maintain this project year after year.

    Teresa Maebori, who when I first sat down with her in 1982 at the piano and I sang the song "Good Friends," we never knew that, my goodness, we would be here 30 years later with the same project, along with other teachers and staff and principals from Germantown Friends School, Audrey Berman, the lower school principal, Kim Lewis, and Dick Wade, the Head Master of GFS was here. It was wonderful for him to be here today.

    There are children here today from HMS School and Germantown Friends School representing all the children who have participated in the musicals over 30 years.

    Johanna Greeson, thank you so much for being here. She's representing the first production in 1982 of "On the Other Side of the Fence."

    A documentary is now in development called "On the Other Side of the Fence," led by award-winning producer Henry Nevison, who is over there, and MiND-TV of Philadelphia. And this film will look at the musical as a tolerance-teaching vehicle, and it will feature the HMS and GFS children as they experience the musical process while getting to know each other. And the film will also look at how this musical has begun to reach out to thousands of children across the country with similar objectives.

    Our project is really the model. It's the example that hopefully everyone else will be able to utilize so that we can bring more diverse groups together and there can be more understanding and more friendship.

    Thank you so much for this honor and for recognizing the importance of this musical and teaching tolerance project. And I just want to end with a little music, the first verse of "Good Friends," and of course, how appropriate, Germantown Friends School, this is for everyone.

    You guys ready?

  • (Song sung.)

  • (Applause.)

  • (Council at ease.)

  • Thank you. Thank you very much.

    At this time, I would like to recognize Councilman O'Neill, who will present a resolution honoring Ed McBride. Would Mr. McBride and those accompanying him please join the Councilman at the podium.

    And also joining Councilman O'Neill we have Councilwoman Brown and Councilwoman Tasco.

    Please proceed, Councilman.

  • Hold on one second, Councilman.

    Folks, can we ask you to please lower your voices, please. Thank you.

    Please proceed, Councilman.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The resolution that's being presented to Ed McBride from PECO, first of all, is a surprise to him. PECO arranged that and thought up the surprise, and they were very successful, as you can tell. It's the first time I've ever seen Ed in City Council without a tie. And I understand Councilwoman Sanchez had a part in this. Ed thought he was going to a meeting in her office, and apparently she doesn't have a dress code like we have in here.

    So we understand, Ed.

    And the other nice thing is that Ed has been here for 20 years. If any Councilmember and their staffs were dependent on Ed so much, call any time of the day, it didn't matter what it was. And we're very happy, in addition to everyone else, to have his former boss and now his boss but not the first report, Dennis O'Brien, who was promoted also to CEO of Exelon Utilities from the head of PECO, and Ed's replacement in the Philadelphia County job at PECO, Melanie Lassiter, who hit the ground running as a result, I'm sure, of mentoring by Ed and others, because Melanie was very active during Hurricane Sandy. She wasn't on the job very long at that time, and she was terrific. So she had been mentored very, very well.

    But, Ed, I also have a surprise towards the end, because this one is being framed. It's been framed, I should say. This resolution will be for your office. And resolutions have a way of making it into a drawer instead of somewhere else, but the one place I want to make sure it always is is in your home, so your family sees it when people come in. They know how much you meant to us, and those employees at PECO, like Melanie, who are in the counties that you're now supervising are very fortunate that you're still around to help them the way you've been helping us for so many years.

    So this is a resolution honoring and congratulating Edward McBride on the occasion of his promotion to the position of Manager of Local Government Affairs at PECO and for his years of dedicated service to the City Council of Philadelphia.

    Whereas, the Council of the City of Philadelphia is pleased and proud to join with PECO, family, and friends in honoring and congratulating Edward McBride on the great occasion of his promotion to the position of Manager of Local Government Affairs for PECO; and

  • Whereas, Ed McBride's early life was spent in West Philadelphia and at the age of 12 his family moved to the Mayfair section of the City. He is the eldest of five children. He and his wife, Cathy, now reside in Wayne, Pennsylvania. They have been blessed with three adult children and eight grandchildren; and

    Whereas, Ed McBride joined PECO in 1969 as a mechanic's helper and quickly advanced to the position of mechanic first class. Over the years, he held numerous positions throughout the company, including President of the company's Credit Union from 18 -- forgive me; from 1989, correction, including President of the company's Credit Union from 1989 through 1991; and

  • And whereas, in 1992, Mr. McBride joined PECO's Community Affairs department where he was responsible for managing the company's relationship with the City of Philadelphia. Mr. McBride was External Affairs Manager for Philadelphia County before his recent promotion to Manager of Local Government Affairs for the PECO service territory;

    Whereas, Mr. McBride currently serves on the board of Nazareth Hospital, as President and Chairman of the Variety Club of the Delaware Valley, and as Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of IGA Federal Savings Bank and First Penn Bank. He has served as Chairman of the Upper Merion Township Zoning Board, is a founding Board Member of the South Street Headhouse District, Director and Chairman of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and was elected Township Supervisor and Chairman of the Board of Upper Merion Township; now therefore, be it

  • Resolved, by the Council of the City of Philadelphia, that we hereby honor and congratulate Edward McBride on the occasion of his promotion to the position of Manager of Local Government Affairs at PECO and for his years of dedicated service to the City Council of Philadelphia.

    Further resolved, that -- this goes off script a little bit -- that a framed engrossed copy of this resolution be presented to Mr. Edward McBride as evidence of the sincere sentiments of this legislative body. And it's a certification this is a true and correct copy of the original resolution, adopted by the Council of City of Philadelphia on the 9th of May 2013. Signed by the President of City Council, co-sponsored by every member of Council.

  • (Applause.)

  • The Chair recognizes Mr. McBride for remarks.

    MR. McBRIDE: Thank you, Mr. President, the sponsors of the resolution, and all my friends on City Council. Well, it's easy to confirm that, as was said earlier, they really surprised me, because I left the house this morning and I said to my wife, I'm heading for City Council to a meeting, and she never said a word. She never let on that I should have a tie on.

    I want to thank our Senior Executive Vice President, Dennis O'Brien; our President at PECO, Craig Adams; my boss, Liz Murphy, who is behind me; and all of my family and friends that are here today and especially my wife, Cathy, my partner in crime.

    As Brian was reading some of those things, I thought I couldn't do any of those things without the support of my family, and they've always been in my corner.

    Outsiders that aren't intimate with this relationship in City Council of you all and what you do every day, day in, day out and for the City of Philadelphia don't understand that each and every one of you have your heart in the place of the City for the quality of the life, to improve the quality of life, to improve the lot of the citizens you represent. A number of times you get the wrong impression through the media, and as somebody that's been here 20 years and with other Councilmembers before you, I just want to say I was always proud to be a part of what was going on here, whether it be individually or the Council on the whole. It's always been my pleasure to work with you and especially worked a lot with your staffs, and it's always been a source of pride for me.

    And I also would like to comment that at every turn in my life, in my life down here, PECO and Exelon were always in my corner. I didn't have to worry is the company going to back what I say or what I do. They were always in my corner.

    So thank you very much for this. I don't think you're going to get me out of the region. So you're going to be seeing me for a while off and on, which will be my pleasure, but it's also -- let me just close by saying it's been my pleasure to work with everybody in this body, and thank you for this recognition.

  • (Applause.)

  • (Council at ease.)

  • Thank you.

    At this time, the Chair recognizes Councilman Jones.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like to briefly acknowledge some visitors here today. Mathen Bella (ph), who is from Swaziland. She's here with her parents. She is an intern at Team Clean, a company, esteemed company, in the City of Philadelphia. She is also the guest of Donna Allie, who is the President and CEO, and Aqil Sabur, who is the Vice President of Operations. I'd like to welcome them here today.

  • (Applause.)

  • Welcome. Welcome. Thank you for coming today. Thank you so much for being here today.

    The next order of business is communications. Would the Sergeant-of-Arms please deliver the messages from the Mayor to the Chief Clerk.

    Mr. Decker, would you please read those messages.

  • To the President and members of the Council of the City of Philadelphia, I am pleased to advise you that on May 15, 2013, I signed the following bill that was passed by Council at its session on May 2, 2013: Bill No. 130109; and

    I am transmitting for the consideration of your honorable body a resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the Mantua Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 530 North 36th Street; and

    Also a resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the West Parkside Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 5100 through 5122 Merion Avenue; and

    A resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the Grays Ferry Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 2545 Wharton Street; and

    A resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the North Philadelphia Redevelopment Area, identified by house number and street address as 1314 North 28th Street; and

    An ordinance approving a Lease Agreement between Philadelphia Gas Works by Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation, solely in its capacity as operator and manager of the City-owned Philadelphia Gas Works, and Germantown Realty Investment Group for certain premises located at 212 through 214 West Chelten Avenue; and

    An ordinance authorizing RRD Management to construct, own and maintain various right-of-way encroachments at 1300 Lombard Street; and

    An ordinance authorizing the Director of Commerce to enter into a second extension of the Use and Lease Agreements between the City of Philadelphia and each of the airlines servicing Philadelphia International Airport, all under certain terms and conditions.

  • Thank you, Mr. Decker. Those messages will be printed in today's Journal.

    Mr. Decker, do you have any other communications in your possession?

  • I have none, Mr. President.

  • Thank you so much.

    The next order of business is the introduction of bills and resolutions.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Kenney.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have no bills or resolutions today.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. Today I introduce one bill and one non-privileged resolution.

  • An ordinance authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to convey to the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development all or any portion of those parcels of City-owned land at, or generally in the vicinity of, 16 South 34th Street, 18 South 34th Street, 3409 through 13 Ludlow Street and 3415 through 17 Ludlow Street.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate committee.

  • And a non-privileged resolution authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to execute and deliver to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, without consideration, deeds conveying conditional fee simple title to certain City-owned lots or pieces of ground with the buildings and improvements thereon, situate in the Sixth Ward of the City of Philadelphia.

  • That resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. On your behalf, I offer three bills and one resolution.

  • An ordinance amending Title 15 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Parks and Recreation," by adding a new Chapter requiring an Impact Statement, Cost Estimate and Escrow for Repairs, before the issuance of any permit or license to use certain parks or recreation facilities.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate committee.

  • And an ordinance authorizing the revision of lines and grades on a portion of City Plan No. 119 by relocating the easterly curbline of Hutchinson Street, from Girard Avenue to Thompson Street, approximately two feet eastwardly.

  • That bill will also be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance regulating the direction of movement of traffic on Hutchinson Street between Thompson Street and Girard Avenue.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And a non-privileged resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the North Philadelphia Redevelopment Area, identified by house number and street address as 1314 North 28th Street.

  • That resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Henon.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have one bill today.

  • An ordinance amending Section 10-602 of The Philadelphia Code, known as the "Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law," by providing a limited period of time during which certain Drinking Establishments may apply for and obtain a waiver of the provisions of the Section prohibiting smoking in certain places.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Tasco.

  • Mr. President, I offer one bill and one privileged resolution.

  • An ordinance approving a Lease Agreement between Philadelphia Gas Works by Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation, solely in its capacity as operator and manager of the City-owned Philadelphia Gas Works, and Germantown Realty Investment Group for certain premises located at 212 through 214 West Chelten Avenue.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And a privileged resolution recognizing May as Hepatitis Awareness Month in Philadelphia.

  • That resolution will be on today's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Johnson.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have two resolutions and one hardship real estate tax deferral bill introduced by myself and Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez.

  • An ordinance amending Chapter 19-1300 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Real Estate Taxes," by further providing for deferrals for taxpayers experiencing significant increases in their real estate taxes.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate committee.

  • And a privileged resolution honoring, recognizing and commending Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky for her lifelong professional success and her commitment to advocacy training for women throughout the world.

  • That resolution will be on today's Final Passage Calendar.

  • And a non-privileged resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the Grays Ferry Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 2545 Wharton Street.

  • That resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Sanchez.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have no bills or resolutions today.

  • Thank you, Councilwoman.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman Green.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. No bills or resolutions today.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman O'Brien.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to introduce one bill today.

  • An ordinance amending Title 4 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "The Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code," by amending Subcode PM (The Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code), by providing requirements relating to the exterior maintenance of mixed-use buildings, revising definitions, and making technical changes.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Goode.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer no bills or resolutions today.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Brown.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer one resolution.

  • A privileged resolution recognizing the Project on the Status of Girls and Young Women in Philadelphia.

  • That resolution will be on today's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Jones.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. Two bills, one co-sponsored by Sanchez, Henon, and Johnson, and one privileged resolution.

  • An ordinance amending Title 14 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Zoning and Planning," by revising parking requirements for the Main Street/Manayunk and Venice Island Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District to require the submission of a parking plan to the Registered Community Organization in certain circumstances.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate committee.

  • And an ordinance authorizing an amendment of the Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation Agreement to increase the annual payment by the Philadelphia Gas Works to the City, under certain terms and conditions.

  • That bill will also be referred to committee.

  • And a non-privileged resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the West Parkside Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 5100 and 5122 Merion Avenue.

  • That resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman O'Neill.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have no bills or resolutions.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Squilla.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer two bills.

  • An ordinance authorizing J.B. Sweets & Treats doing business as Sweets & Treats to construct, own and maintain an open-air sidewalk cafe at 3138 Richmond Street.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance authorizing RRD Management to construct, own and maintain various right-of-way encroachments at 1300 Lombard Street.

  • That bill will also be referred to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Bass.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have four privileged resolutions and one non-privileged co-sponsored by Councilwoman Tasco.

  • A privileged resolution honoring Canaan Baptist Church on its 105th Anniversary and recognizing its contributions to the community.

  • That resolution will be on this week's Final Passage Calendar.

  • And a privileged resolution recognizing and honoring 8th District resident Chris Rabb for his achievements.

  • That resolution will also be on this week's Final Passage Calendar.

  • And a privileged resolution recognizing the Morris Estate Advisory Council for its efforts at the Morris Estate Recreation Center.

  • That resolution will be on this week's Final Passage Calendar.

  • And a privileged resolution recognizing the creation of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance's Cultural Cabinet.

  • And that resolution will also be on this week's Final Passage Calendar.

  • And a non-privileged resolution urging the Pennsylvania Senate to adopt a Discharge Resolution on Senate Bill 12, which would require Pennsylvania to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

  • And that resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman Oh.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer one privileged resolution.

  • A privileged resolution Commemorating and Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Saint John's Hospice.

  • That resolution will be on this week's Final Passage Calendar.

    This concludes our introductions. The next order of business is reports from committee, and the Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee for a report from the Committee on Rules.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The Committee on Rules reports two bills with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    Mr. Decker, would you please read that report.

  • To the President and members of the Council of the City of Philadelphia, the Committee on Rules, to which was referred Bill No. 130255, entitled "An ordinance amending Title 14 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Zoning and Planning,' by amending sections of the /CTR, Center City Overlay District to apply special controls to an area bounded by the west side of I-95, Race Street, 4th Street, and New Street"; and

    Bill No. 130305, entitled "An ordinance to amend the Philadelphia Zoning Maps by changing the zoning designations of certain areas of land located within an area bounded by Broad Street, Morris Street, 15th Street, and Castle Avenue," respectfully reports it has considered the same and returns the attached bills to Council with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you.

    The Chair again recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the rules of Council be suspended so as to permit first reading this day of Bill No. 130305.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • Thank you. It has been moved and properly seconded that the rules of Council be suspended this day so as to permit the first reading of Bill No. 130305.

    All those in favor say aye.

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and this bill will be placed on our First Reading Calendar for today. Bill No. 130255 will be placed on our First Reading Calendar at our next session of Council.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman Green from a report from the Committee on Finance.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The Committee on Finance reports three bills with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    Mr. Decker, please read the report.

  • The Committee on Finance, to which was referred Bill No. 121037, entitled "An ordinance amending Chapter 19-2600 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Business Income and Receipts Taxes,' by, including but not limited to, modifying certain definitions"; and

    Bill No. 130225, entitled "An ordinance authorizing the Office of City Treasurer, on behalf of the City, to enter into an agreement with Wells Fargo Bank for provision of payroll banking services to the City"; and

    Bill No. 130227, entitled "An ordinance amending Chapter 19-200 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'City Funds - Deposits, Investments, Disbursements,' by amending Section 19-201, entitled 'City Depositories,' by authorizing the City Treasurer to deposit funds in Bank of New York Mellon," respectfully reports it has considered the same and returns the attached bills to Council with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you.

    The Chair again recognizes Councilman Green.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the rules of Council be suspended so as to permit first reading this day of the bills just mentioned.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that the rules of Council be suspended this day so as to permit the reading of Bills No. 121037, 130225, and 130227.

    All those in favor will say aye.

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and those bills will be placed on the First Reading Calendar today.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman Henon for a report from the Committee of Public Property and Public Works.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The Committee of Public Property and Public Works reports three bills out with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, sir.

    Mr. Decker, please read that report.

  • The Committee on Public Property and Public Works, to which was referred Bill No. 130326, entitled "An ordinance authorizing the Commerce Director and the Commissioner of Public Property to acquire on behalf of the City an approximately 8.606 acre property located on 1070 Tinicum Island Road, Tinicum Township, Delaware County"; and

    Bill No. 130327, entitled "An ordinance authorizing the Commerce Director and the Commissioner of Public Property to acquire on behalf of the City an approximately 5.61 acre property located on Tinicum Island Road, Tinicum Township, Delaware County"; and

    Bill No. 130328, entitled "An ordinance authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to acquire certain land along the Schuylkill River between 56th Street (as extended to the Schuylkill River) and 58th Street," respectfully reports it has considered the same and returns the attached bills to Council with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you.

    The Chair again recognizes Councilman Henon for a motion.

  • Thank you, Council President. I move that the rules of Council be suspended as to permit first reading this day of the bills mentioned.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that the rules of Council be suspended so as to permit first reading this day of Bills No. 130326, 130327, and 130328.

    All those in favor say aye.

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and these bills will be placed on our First Reading Calendar today.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilwoman Tasco for a report from the Committee of Public Health and Human Services.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The Committee on Public Health and Human Services reports one bill with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, Councilwoman.

    Mr. Decker, please read that report.

  • The Committee on Public Health and Human Services, to which was referred Bill No. 130057, entitled "An ordinance amending Title 6 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Health Code,' by adding a new Chapter providing for the regulation of tanning facilities; amending Section 6-102, by adding definitions; and making technical changes, all under certain terms and conditions," respectfully reports it has considered the same and returns the attached bill to Council with a favorable recommendation.

  • The Chair again recognizes Councilwoman Tasco for a motion.

  • I move that the rules of Council be suspended so as to permit first reading this day of Bill No. 130057.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that the rules of Council be suspended so as to permit first reading this day of Bill No. 130057.

    All those in favor say aye.

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and that bill will be placed on our First Reading Calendar today.

    The next order of business is consideration of the Calendar. I note that the bills just reported from committee with suspension of the rules have been deemed to have had a first reading. These bills will be placed on our Second Reading and Final Passage Calendar at the next session of Council.

    The Chief Clerk will please read any other bills on the First Reading Calendar.

  • Bill No. 130185, entitled "An ordinance authorizing and directing the use of the Fiscal Year 2013 General Fund positive fund balance to increase an appropriation for the Fire Department for the undisputed $66,000,000 of the Fire Fighters' contract"; and

    Bill No. 130244, entitled "An ordinance authorizing transfers in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 from the General Fund, certain or all City offices, departments, boards and commissions; the Community Development Fund, the Mayor - Office of Housing and Community Development and the Grants Revenue Fund, the Director of Finance - Provision for Other Grants to the General Fund, certain or all City offices, departments, boards and commissions; the Hotel Room Rental Tax Fund, the Director of Commerce; the Community Development Fund, the City Planning Commission and the Housing Trust Fund, the Mayor - Office of Housing and Community Development"; and

    Bill No. 130245, entitled "An ordinance authorizing transfers in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 from the Grants Revenue Fund, the Director of Finance - Provision for Other Grants to the General Fund, certain or all City offices, departments, boards and commissions"; and

    Bill No. 130246, entitled "An ordinance authorizing transfers in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 from the Grants Revenue Fund, the Director of Finance - Provision for Other Grants to the General Fund, the Managing Director"; and

    Bill No. 130247, entitled "An ordinance authorizing transfers in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 within the General Fund, the Department of Human Services"; and

    Bill No. 130248, entitled "An ordinance authorizing transfers in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 from the Grants Revenue Fund, the Director of Finance - Provision for Other Grants to the General Fund, the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania"; and

    Bill No. 130184, entitled "An ordinance authorizing the Fire Department, on behalf of the City of Philadelphia, as the Sponsoring Agency of Pennsylvania Task Force One, of the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System, to enter into multi-year agreements with Participating Agencies for the purpose of developing resources for emergency preparedness."

  • Thank you. These bills will be placed on our Second and Final Passage Calendar at our next session of Council.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman Jones for the purpose of calling up resolutions and bills on our Final Passage Calendar today.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The following resolutions and bills are being called up for Second Reading and Final Passage Calendars today: Nos. 130391, 130392, 130398, 120823-AA, 120775-AA, and 130014. All other resolutions and bills are being held.

  • Thank you so much, Councilman.

    Before considering these bills and resolutions on the Final Passage, we will have public comment. I will briefly describe our public comment guidelines.

    If you are interested in speaking on a bill or resolution that is on the Final Passage Calendar today, you must sign up to the table to my left.

    When you come forward, you will come forward to the podium in the middle of the Council. There is a device on that podium. When the light on that device turns green, it is your time to speak. When it turns yellow, you have 30 seconds to conclude your remarks, and when it turns red, we ask that you please adhere to the guidelines and conclude your remarks. You will have three minutes to testify.

    Thank you very much for your cooperation.

    Mr. Decker, would you please read the first name.

  • Sharon Dietrich, commenting on 120054.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Good morning, Mr. President. My name is Sharon Dietrich. I'm with Community Legal Services here in Philadelphia. I'm a managing attorney for employment and public benefits and, of course, we represent Philadelphia residents from throughout the City.

    I'm speaking today about Bill 120054, and the main point that I wanted to make is that many Philadelphians would be more able to pay their delinquent real estate taxes if their criminal records were expunged, thereby removing a barrier to employment.

    According to United States Attorney General Holder's Reentry Council, about one in three Americans have criminal records, and the percentage in Philadelphia is probably higher. According to the Society of Human Resources Management, 90 percent of employers in this country do background checking. The result is that for people with criminal records, they have a severe barrier to employment that limits their income.

    Some cases can be expunged, most notably arrests, summary convictions, and maybe more, as the General Assembly considers bills to allow some misdemeanor convictions to be expunged.

    We urge City Council to fund CLS to handle expungement cases, and we believe that an investment of $100,000 would generate a $6 million annual savings in tax revenue, with a return of $60 for $1 expended in that purpose, as well as to improve the lives of Philadelphia residents.

    I will be conducting a Council briefing tomorrow sponsored by Councilman Jones on expungements in the Caucus Room at 11:30, and I invite all members of Council to attend.

    Thank you very much.

  • Clarc King, commenting on 120118.

  • (Witness approached the podium.)

  • Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, members of the Council. I'd like to preface my statements by saying thank you to Councilman Kenney for his statements on too-big-to-fail management of City assets, Wells Fargo contract with the payroll services, and his subsequent comments on the sale or the proposed sale of Philadelphia Gas Works.

    I am here to protest the sale of Philadelphia Gas Works. It would be an unfortunate decision to sell since it is a great science driver economic platform that can bring the hydrogen economy to Philadelphia.

    These unfortunate sales of public assets throughout the United States is the result of usury and speculation in the finance of government. Right now we have a LIBOR scandal and we have a debt swap interest scandal investigation going on, and I ask that the City of Philadelphia investigate its finance contracts.

    We have a national scourge going on throughout the nation where states, cities, counties, towns or whatever are subject to IMS conditionalities. We are closing down schools and selling off assets in order to pay debt services.

    I would like to once again propose that the City Council consider the Philadelphia public bank as a way to protect the City's assets, to protect the government itself and, most of all, the population; to consider a transaction tax at the Philadelphia Stock Exchange on commodities, stocks, currency options and derivatives.

    I would like to inform the City Council that an international call exists imploring, demanding the stabilization of the United States through the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall standard in U.S. banking. This statement should inform Philadelphia political decisions for now on.

    Thanks so much. I appreciate your patience.

  • Thank you again for your testimony.

  • (Witnesses approached podium.)

  • Good morning. Good morning to the President and members of City Council. My name is Clarice Bailey. Maxine Bailey is my big sister, and she is here. We are co-founders of the Girls Justice League. I serve as the Chair of the Coalition on the Project that is Working to Understand the Status of Girls and Young Women in Philadelphia.

    In November of 2012, a group of 25 women from around the City sat down and answered -- tried to answer the question, really wanted to grapple with the question of, What do we need to do to be providing the right services, the right funding, the right policies, practice for girls and young women in our city. As a result of that initial conversation, these women formed a coalition, and that coalition has taken up the effort to really understand through quantitative, administrative data as well as the voices of girls what the needs are, what the concerns are of girls in our city from the ages of 12 to 24. And so that is the resolution that we are just absolutely smitten and honored that Councilwoman Brown is introducing to you.

    I'd like to share my time with two of the coalition members, first Jennifer Leith from Women's Way.

  • Thank you, Clarice.

    Representing a grant maker that is focused on women and girls in the Philadelphia region, I can say that funders often struggle with making decisions without quality or consistent data or knowing where their dollars are most needed. This project will provide a roadmap on where public and private dollars could be allocated in new ways to address the needs of girls and young women. An exciting and key part of the rationale for this project is to launch conversations on how those dollars are used, a novel approach, so that funding decisions are not made in a vacuum.

    Research in the philanthropic community indicates that developing a funding focus that incorporates gender analysis is most effective in creating positive social change. We need to figure out the trajectory of young women in our city so that the philanthropic community can respond and support programs and services that ensure an upward trajectory for all girls and young women in Philadelphia. That is what this project and coalition seeks to do.

    It's my pleasure to introduce Gwen Bailey.

  • Good afternoon. I'm Gwen Bailey, Executive Director of Youth Service, Incorporated and also representing the National Crittenton Foundation.

    A powerful element of this coalition is the inclusion of girls' voices in decisions that impact their lives. This is a different approach, one that is not adult centered. Girls of all backgrounds and communities continue to emphasize that their voices be heard and that they be included as full partners where discussions about them are taking place.

    We know that girls who enter the child welfare and juvenile justice systems are more likely to report that their lives have been impacted by interpersonal violence, abuse, and trauma. We must begin to look at how policy, practice, and funding improves or impedes our ability to serve girls.

    Girls' and young women's concerns and issues are often not seen through a gender lens and, therefore, solutions are not necessarily targeted toward the right problems or needs. Services, while they may be gender specific, are certainly not gender responsive. Services must take into account needs identified by girls.

    The Coalition on the Status of Young Girls and Women is an opportunity for girls' voices to be heard.

    Thank you for supporting this resolution.

  • Thank you so much for your testimony.

  • We're really appreciative of this opportunity, and know that we represent and are here on behalf of 230,000 girls and young women in Philadelphia. And so we intend to bring their voices to the City.

    So thank you so much.

  • Thank you so much for your testimony today.

    Mr. Decker, any other names on the witness list?

  • There are no other speakers, Mr. President.

  • There being no one else testifying today, we will now consider our Calendar, the Second Reading and Final Passage. Thank you.

    Mr. Decker, please read the title of 130391.

  • A resolution calling on the City Council of Philadelphia to support Pennsylvania House Bill 391, introduced by the Honorable Michael P. McGeehan, State Representative, 173rd Legislative District, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which allows for the citizens of the City of Philadelphia to pay real estate taxes in installments.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. Resolution 130391 is adopted.

    Mr. Decker, 130392.

  • A resolution authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to execute and deliver to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, without consideration, deeds conveying conditional fee simple title to certain City-owned lots or pieces of ground with the buildings and improvements thereon, situate in the Twenty-Eighth and Thirty-Second Wards of the City of Philadelphia.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilmember Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. Resolution 130392 is adopted.

    Mr. Decker, please read the title of 130398.

  • A resolution authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to execute and deliver to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, without consideration, deeds conveying conditional fee simple title to certain City-owned lots or pieces of ground with the buildings and improvements thereon, situate in the Seventh and Thirty-Seventh Wards of the City of Philadelphia.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Sanchez.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and that resolution is adopted.

    Mr. Decker, 120823-AA.

  • An ordinance amending Chapter 19-500 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Taxes and Rents - General," by changing the allocation of delinquent payments.

  • This bill having been read on two separate days, the question is shall the bill pass finally.

    Mr. Decker, please call the roll.

  • Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Councilman Greenlee.

  • Councilman Johnson.

  • Councilman O'Brien.

  • Councilman O'Neill.

  • Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez.

  • Councilwoman Reynolds Brown.

  • Councilman Squilla.

  • Councilwoman Tasco.

  • Council President Clarke.

  • Aye.

    The ayes are 17; the nays are zero. A majority of members present voting in the affirmative, the bill passes.

    Mr. Decker, please read the title of 120775-AA.

  • An ordinance amending Title 19 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Finance, Taxes and Collections," to provide for a private right of action to enforce certain tax laws, including penalties for nonpayment.

  • This bill having been read on two separate days, the question is shall the bill pass finally.

    Mr. Decker, please call the roll.

  • Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Councilman Greenlee.

  • Councilman Johnson.

  • Councilman O'Brien.

  • Councilman O'Neill.

  • Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez.

  • Councilwoman Reynolds Brown.

  • Councilman Squilla.

  • Councilwoman Tasco.

  • Council President Clarke.

  • Aye.

    The ayes are 17; the nays are zero. A majority of all members present voting in the affirmative, the bill passes.

    Mr. Decker, please read the title of, I believe we have, 130014.

  • An ordinance amending Title 4 of The Philadelphia Code by amending Subcode "F" ("The Philadelphia Fire Code"), by modifying a subsection providing for the types of premises identification required on new and existing buildings.

  • This bill having been read on two separate days, the question is shall the bill pass finally.

    Mr. Decker, please call the roll.

  • Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Councilman Greenlee.

  • Councilman Johnson.

  • Councilman O'Brien.

  • Councilman O'Neill.

  • Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez.

  • Councilwoman Reynolds Brown.

  • Councilman Squilla.

  • Councilwoman Tasco.

  • Council President Clarke.

  • Aye.

    The ayes are 17; the nays are zero. A majority of members present voting in the affirmative, the bill passes.

    Mr. Decker, do you have any additional resolutions?

  • A resolution recognizing May as Hepatitis Aware Month in Philadelphia, introduced by Councilwoman Tasco.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Tasco.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. That resolution is adopted.

  • And a resolution honoring, recognizing and commending Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky for her lifelong professional success and her commitment to advocacy training for women throughout the world, introduced by Councilman Johnson.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Johnson.

  • Council President, I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. That resolution is adopted.

  • And a resolution recognizing the Project on the Status of Girls and Young Women in Philadelphia, introduced by Councilwoman Reynolds Brown.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Brown.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. That resolution is adopted.

  • And a resolution honoring Canaan Baptist Church on its 105th Anniversary and recognizing its contributions to the community, introduced by Councilwoman Bass.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Bass.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. That resolution is adopted.

  • And a resolution recognizing and honoring 8th District resident Chris Rabb for his achievements, introduced by Councilwoman Bass.

  • The Chair again recognizes Councilwoman Bass.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and that resolution is adopted.

  • And a resolution recognizing the Morris Estate Advisory Council for its efforts at the Morris Estate Recreation Center, introduced by Councilwoman Bass.

  • The Chair again recognizes Councilwoman Bass.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • That resolution is also adopted.

  • And a resolution recognizing the creation of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance's Cultural Cabinet, introduced by Councilwoman Bass.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Bass.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and that resolution is also adopted.

  • And a resolution Commemorating and Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Saint John's Hospice, introduced by Councilman Oh.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Oh.

  • Thank you very much, Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and that resolution is adopted.

  • There are no other resolutions on the Final Passage Calendar, Mr. President.

  • Thank you very much.

    This concludes our Calendar for today. Are there any speeches on the part of the minority?

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Oh.

  • Thank you very much, Council President. I just wanted to alert everyone that I have passed out flyers to each of the Councilmembers that we have a distinguished delegation of six Councilmembers coming from our sister city Incheon, South Korea along with six administrators visiting us. They're going through New York, Washington, but made a special trip to visit us here in Philadelphia on the occasion of our 30th Anniversary as a sister city.

    So please join Council President Clarke and myself and other members of City Council in the Caucus Room at 2:15 to greet our guests. They certainly have been very much a partner with us as we try to develop international opportunities and investments to benefit people here in Philadelphia. So that will be at 2:15 to 3:15 in the Caucus Room. And this is being hosted by IVC and our Sister Cities program.

    Thank you very much.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Kenney.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. In keeping with the resolution we just passed with Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown about young girls and women, I would like to make an announcement that we will be conducting a lacrosse clinic June 8th, which is Saturday, in South Philadelphia from 10:00 a.m. to noon. You can sign up for the clinic by logging on to phillygirlsinmotion.org. And this is a continuing series of bringing lacrosse, women's lacrosse, to the inner city.

    As you know, in the suburbs lacrosse is a major sport in most of our elementary schools and high schools giving young women the opportunity to attend college under Title IX. In the inner city, however, and in many parts of all of our city, lacrosse is pretty much an unknown sport.

    We are hosting the 2013 Men's NCAA Lacrosse Finals this coming Memorial Day weekend. So I -- and also the clinic will be conducted by the Big Six universities' women's lacrosse teams and their coaches. So not only will the young ladies be exposed to a sport and learn the rules, you don't need to bring equipment. We will provide sticks, head gear, teeth protection, mouth guards. And the women conducting the clinic will all be Division 1 players from our Big City Six, along with their fabulous coaches. So in addition to learning the sport, they'll have exposure to young, strong women athletes who are serving in our community.

    It's wonderful. We did it indoors during the winter. We had about 150 young ladies who were being exposed to the sport. June 8th on a Saturday we're moving outside to the two fields down at the Edward O'Malley Athletic Association at 144 Moore Street in South Philly. It's free. Come on down, have a good time in South Philly for two hours of learning lacrosse and meeting young women athletes.

    So thank you, Mr. President, for allowing me to announce that.

  • Thank you so much.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman O'Brien.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. Councilman Kenney's resolution gave me cause to remember and celebrate my longstanding relationship and friendship with HMS. They were present to demonstrate their advocacy at my very first rally for individuals with disabilities in Harrisburg, and a few weeks ago I had the occasion to visit HMS and engage in a very robust question and answer period. There was one question and answer that I'd like to share with my colleagues today.

    Councilman, do you have any talents other than being a politician, to which I proceeded to sing "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries." And I understand that a review will be forthcoming in a newsletter. However, I'm not optimistic that I'll get more than one star out of five.

    Last week, Mr. President, there were 358 violent crimes that were reported to the Philadelphia Police Department. This number includes five homicides, 81 gun robberies, 53 aggravated assaults with a gun. Since January 1st, we've had 89 families lose a loved one to violence in our city. As I said last week, the good news is that our numbers are trending downward from this time last year, but we must do better.

    A trend does not bring someone back to their family. A trend does not give a victim a feeling of safety, and a trend does not make a community whole. In 2012, Anthony Braga, Criminal Justice Policy and Management Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University, and David Weisburd, the Director of the Center of Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University, published the scholarly work entitled "The Effects of Pulling Levers - Focused Deterrence Strategies on Crime." Braga and Weisburd found their jurisdictions -- that jurisdictions suffering from gun violence over drug markets and repeat offender problems should add focused deterrence strategies to their existing portfolio of prevention and crime strategies and interventions.

    The existing evidence suggests that these new approaches to crime prevention and control generate noteworthy reductions in crime. I believe we should be pulling the levers of focused deterrence strategy here in Philadelphia, because empirical data shows it's effective in reducing violent crime.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. This is a reminder that immediately following Council there is a briefing by AmeriHealth Mercy and their family companies in the Caucus Room where they will be providing a briefing of their Keystone VIP Choice program. All of us know Maria Battle. She's been involved certainly in the planning of this. John Backus, President of Medicare, a specialist in his field, as well as Maya Stewart, Community Relations Program Director, will be making the presentation. They have really prepared a formal lunch for Councilmembers. We hope that you will come. If you can't come, please assign a staffer, because they really worked hard to prepare a wonderful lunch for us.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Councilwoman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Johnson.

  • Thank you, Council President. Just a couple brief statements before we wrap up this day. First and foremost, I want to echo the sentiments of the former Speaker of the House of Pennsylvania, my new colleague, Councilman Denny O'Brien, regarding making sure that we utilize the effective strategy of focused deterrence and really going after gangs and groups of individuals who commit the most heinous and violent crimes through gun violence throughout the City of Philadelphia. And the initiative thus far as a pilot has been introduced in the 17th Police District as well as in Councilman Mark Squilla's 3rd Police District, and we have had several call-out sessions thus far where -- and a call-out session is where you organize those individuals who are on probation and parole who are responsible for doing more than 90 percent of the gun violence and violent crimes, specifically in the South Philadelphia part of my district.

    And so I want to commend my colleague as well as be supportive that as we move forward, we really take a look at the effectiveness of this strategy, which has proven results throughout the country.

    Second, on this Saturday at 25th and Spruce, which is the Schuylkill River Dog Park, I will be hosting my first Doggie Ball. And so if you're a dog lover, a pet lover, I want to encourage you to bring out your pet during that day. The proceeds are going towards PAWS, which is the Philadelphia Animal Welfare program, and it's all in an effort of having a good day and bringing out your pets. I have a Blue Cane Corso, who is kind of sick right now, so I haven't been having a good day. But nevertheless, hopefully she'll be fine by Saturday. And I just wanted to put that out there, starting from 10:00 a.m. ending at 12:00.

    Today, along with the support of my colleague Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, we redefined a hardship deferral bill which will serve as a safety net in extraordinary cases where homeowners cannot afford to pay their increased real estate tax bills as it relates to AVI. And so as we debate the -- as we move forward and we debate AVI and we come up with different relief measures as well as the tax rate, this is a measure that we believe is targeted for those who face losing their homes because they cannot afford to pay for their homes anymore as a result of their tax bills. And this specific bill, the eligibility requirements are narrowly tailored so that it will have no meaningful impact on the overall tax rate.

    To this day, I still remain very concerned about the accuracy of the property assessments put forth by OPA and I still believe that the AVI process is flawed and nevertheless rushed, but in the event that we do move forward, I want to make sure that those who are most vulnerable and those who will be impacted as we move forward with this new system have some level of protection, some level of relief. I want to make sure that to the best of my ability, we don't have an exodus of individuals leaving throughout the 2nd Councilmanic District and actually reversing the progress that we have been making as it relates to housing development and new homeownership throughout the 2nd Councilmanic District. And that's not only new residents, but we're talking about old residents, we're talking about market-rate housing down to those who homes are low income and subsidized as well who will be impacted by us going to AVI.

    And so I just want to state that for the record, and I want to be very consistent on my position as we move forward.

    Thank you, Council President Clarke.

  • Thank you, Councilman. I understand you continued concern.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Bass.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. Earlier today I introduced a resolution along with Councilwoman Tasco regarding the Medicaid expansion resolution, and I just wanted to make a few notes on that.

    With funding crises popping up on a seemingly weekly basis, Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia cannot afford for Governor Corbett and Senate republicans to pass up an opportunity to receive a $4 billion infusion of federal funds. Therefore, the State Senate must cease its delay and call for Senate Bill 12 for a fair up or down vote on the floor, and I commend Senator Vincent Hughes for filing this Discharge Resolution.

    Medicaid expansion will provide health insurance to more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians and, according to a non-partisan independent fiscal office, the expansion would also generate 154 million in savings for the state budget in the first fiscal year. While Philadelphia public schools and members of this body are desperately trying to bridge a drastic budget gap, Governor Corbett and Senate republicans are refusing to participate in a program that, according to an economic impact report released by the Pennsylvania Economy League, would create over 10,000 jobs in Southeast Pennsylvania and generate nearly $2 billion in economic activity. That's money that could be freed up to go to our schools and to our social safety net.

    So to the State Senate, please adopt this resolution and bring up Senate Bill 12 for a vote.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you, Councilwoman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Green.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I want to associate myself with Councilmember Bass' comments, and before I talk on the topic of education, I want to stress that the fact of the matter is that have the funding been maintained from the previous governor through today, the School District would have a balanced budget this year. And so that is the main cause of the crisis we find ourselves in with respect to education in terms of just purely dollars.

    There was an administration in the early 1980s that said its hallmark was giving people bad news before the good, or said another way, telling them the truth. The fact of the matter is -- well, frankly, I'm reminded of a, I guess you'd call it, a parable where -- everybody is familiar with it, where the man is drowning and prays to God for help, and a boat comes by and says, Hop in.

    He says, No. God will save me. And then a rope is thrown from the bridge and the person says, No, no, thank you. God will save me. And he, of course, drowns and goes to heaven and says, What happened? I prayed for you to save me.

    And God says, Yeah. I sent a boat and a person with a rope.

    The School District is a drowning man in terms of its performance and in terms of its monetary funding, and with all the news and press conference today about the $95 million in potential funding, the rope won't reach the drowning man and the boat will run out of gas before it gets to the drowning man. So the School District is living on a prayer. And while I support the Mayor's revenue proposals for schools, they are unlikely to pass the General Assembly and, frankly, miss the point. Even if they do, there is no more help coming from the General Assembly, so there will be a $200 million gap. The City is simply not capable of filling the gap for the current failing system by itself.

    The issue today is far more complicated than throwing money at the School District. The question is, as I asked in my most recent position paper on schools, is whether the District is too big to succeed.

    The District continues to propose marginal and incremental change that condemns tens of thousands of students every year to a system that produces proficiency below 40 percent in most neighborhood schools. No case for transformative change has been made to significantly improve outcomes for the students in our system.

    When they focus on presenting a realistic budget that balances income and expenditures and provides transformative change, we should help. That's the debate we need to have, because what we have now doesn't work and we will be back here every single year if we have the same SRC, the same School District, and the same system that is producing unacceptable results and making only marginal changes.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Jones.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. We've heard a number of opinions today. All of them come from a place of careful consideration and logic and conviction by all members, whether it's an announcement about a cause or announcement about a budget or announcement about an issue that they hold dear to their hearts.

    I want to remind everyone within the sound of my voice that there is no such thing as an off-year election. That's a misnomer. All elections are important. And we are coming up on one Tuesday, May 21st. I encourage everybody, whether you are an R or a D, whether you think you're from a red state or a blue state, to come out and make your particular position known by your vote. All else is air. Everybody has an opinion, but until you come out and participate in the democratic process, that's when your opinion has a voice and it is heard through the ballot box. So whether you're voting for coming out for the judges or the controller or the district attorney, come out and participate, and remember that the proponents of voter ID are still lurking out there. So if we can get ID, let's get them, but if not, don't be dissuaded. They cannot disqualify you this election for not having a photo ID. And come out. Your vote is your voice. Say something.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    And the Chair recognizes Councilman Oh.

  • Thank you very much, Mr. President. I actually speak on behalf of the Council President in inviting everyone to the Veterans Advisory Commission's 2013 Veterans Resource Fair, which will be held on Wednesday, May 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the City Hall Courtyard. And for the second year in a row, under the leadership of the Council President and the Veterans Advisory Commission, there will be a free series of activities, including 25 vendors that will support and help veterans from everything from health screenings to federal assistance from city, state, federal agencies, as well as food and entertainment. So if everyone can come out. We have 80,000 veterans in Philadelphia, with 14,000 expected to return.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    There being no other speeches, at this time I would like to recognize Councilwoman Brown for a motion to adjourn.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move that City Council stand adjourned until Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that the Council stand adjourned until Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 at 10:00.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. Council shall stand adjourned.

    Thank you all very much.

  • (Stated Meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m.)