Broad Street Brief: City Council Introduces Flurry of New Bills
January 25, 2024
January 25, 2024
The first meeting of 2024 back at City Hall — also the first with new City Council President Kenyatta Johnson (District 2) at the dais — saw the introduction of several new bills, including proposed regulations on Philadelphia’s for-profit eviction system, a requirement that retailers maintain video surveillance of customer parking areas, and an investigation into spending by the Office of Homeless Services during the previous mayoral administration.
Last week’s snow storm brought the first true test of the City’s emergency response operations during Mayor Cherelle Parker’s administration. The mayor cut short a trip to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. to lead a briefing at the City’s Emergency Operations Center, demonstrating interagency coordination.
State Representative Amen Brown, a two-term Democrat from West Philadelphia and one-time mayoral candidate, faces challenges from progressive Cass Green and community activist Sajda “Purple” Blackwell in the upcoming primary, setting up a rematch in Pennsylvania’s 10th legislative district.
Philadelphia is set to receive approximately $25 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for water infrastructure projects in Port Richmond, Germantown, and East Falls. The funding will address aging infrastructure, with investments in sewer improvements, water treatment plants, and capacity expansion for wastewater facilities to enhance water quality and stormwater management.
Demolition of the existing concrete covering over I-95 between Chestnut and Walnut Streets — part of the $329 million highway cap and park construction project — will close I-95 North near Penn’s Landing the first weekend of February.
A mix of deferred maintenance and major renovation projects — including renovations to the First Bank of the United States, Welcome Park, Carpenters’ Hall, and the West Wing of Independence Hall — aim to prepare Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park for the nation’s semiquincentennial, FIFA World Cup games, and the MLB All-Star Game in 2026.
Schuylkill River Park in Fitler Square achieved recognition in 2022 as a Level I Arboretum, reflecting the park’s commitment to community engagement and investment in green spaces. The Fitler Forum has more about the significance of this designation and what it means for one of the City’s most significant green spaces moving forward.
Germantown native Kai Davis — a Black queer writer, performer, and teaching artist — was named Philadelphia’s new poet laureate, selected from a record number of 16 applicants.
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February 22, 2024
February 22, 2024