Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Good morning. My name is DeWayne Drummond, President of the Mantua Civic Association. I would like to first thank City Council for giving us the opportunity to address an issue that can impact the future of our community.

The Mantua Civic Association has worked hard over the last two years, along with the partners and local community organizations, to help begin the transformation of a struggling community into a striving, clean, safe, and exciting place to live. We have worked tirelessly to organize to become better advocates for its residents.

Our bylaws state in Article 2.2 the purpose of the Mantua Civic Association is to advocate for our directors and issues and concerns of residents to improve quality of life for all and to preserve the identity and history of Mantua for the next generation.

Through our volunteer efforts and outreach, we have built a strong organization. Although in its infancy, has the potential to do great things for the residents of Mantua and the City of Philadelphia. We have held monthly meetings where all residents and partners are invited. We hand out and distribute meeting notice, over 3,000, to residents each month. We invite partners and other supporters to keep residents informed, hold special meetings to address critical issues, meet with current RCOs and neighboring RCOs and developers to provide the opportunity for community input.

MCA has worked diligently with integrity and limited resources because we care about our community and its residents. We preserve to serve as a model for community engagement.

Last March, we were approved as an RCO, having fulfilled the requirements that were set forth by PCPC. As a registered community organization, we have engaged builders and developers, notified the entire community, and held open meetings for discussion and consideration. We followed the rules as required. However, now we are faced with a new and confusing set of criterias that challenge our accomplishments of the year. We have been fair, honest, and transparent in our deliberations. This amended bill suggests in construction that residents do not have the right, ability or the capacity to decide what's best for their community and neighborhood. Requiring the submission of the information related to operation of organization, periodic re-registration for RCOs and minimal property notification requirements for builders and appeal process for the RCO is not independent opinion.

In closing, we believe that this bill systemically silences the voices of long-term community residents who have supported the City of Philadelphia and its community. Philadelphia has proven again that it is not resident friendly, City of Brotherly Love, but a city who preys on vulnerability of the residents to further business and development. We ask that you consider the nature and tone of this amendment Bill 130657 and vote no.

Thank you.

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