Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Thank you, Shakira.

I got to tell you, I was worried that there was not going to be a step up and I was going to need a bench.

My name is Erica Makowski and I'm a social worker with Youth Service Incorporated and a Board member for the Girls Justice League. First, I want to thank the City Council for passing the resolution in support of the status report project on girls and young women in the City and a special thank you to Councilwoman Brown for supporting this as well as Katherine Gilmore, her aide, and understanding and acknowledging the importance of this for our girls and young women in the City.

I am so proud and tremendously honored to be a part of this coalition of amazing, amazing women from the City supporting this project. I have actually, opposite of Shakira, have only lived here in the City for two years, and I have seen it and met it through the eyes of a social worker. I have seen the beauty and the uniqueness of this amazing city as well as the need, and for me, the most beautiful, unique, and needed part of this city are the young girls and the young women of it.

I have been blessed to hear the stories, the dreams, the hopes of these girls as well as their goals and expectations they have for themselves, but somehow it seems along the way some of those dreams gave way to a reality that they just weren't expecting nor hoping for and some, as we all know, worse than others. It also feels like somewhere the community support stopped listening and providing a space for those girls' voices, and to be honest, maybe there was no space in the first place.

So this is the reason why these women and myself are standing before you all today. We want to support the girls and young women of this city claim their space. We want the community to support what they say and change what we need to in order for their voices to be heard and their goals to be reached. These are my goals. These are the goals of the Coalition.

So I am excited and grateful to be here in this room at this time, because it feels like the City of Philadelphia is also saying we support our girls and young women claim their space.

Thank you so much.

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