Broad Street Brief: City Works to Address Kensington’s Opioid Crisis

April 11, 2024

City Hall

The 100th Mayor’s First 100 Days

In her first 100 days, Mayor Cherelle Parker has tackled issues including boosting public safety, stabilizing Kensington, combating the city’s “Filthadelphia” reputation, creating more affordable housing, and reforming education policy.


Council Approves Bills on City Data Collection, RCO Rules

This week, Philadelphia City Council approved legislation requiring increased data collection on homelessness and drug overdoses and implementing stricter rules for registered community organizations (RCOs) in certain districts. Council also approved a resolution to conduct hearings on the performance of the Land Bank.

Budget Hearings Update

On Tuesday, Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel outlined the Philadelphia Police Department’s $877 million budget request, advocating for additional investments in community outreach, victim support, and technology — including new body-worn cameras, stationary license plate readers, and drones. He also proposed appointing a deputy commissioner for community partnerships to improve communication with crime victims.

The full schedule of FY25 budget hearings and a link to watch them can be found here. The following hearings are coming up next week:

  • Department of Public Health, Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual disAbility Services, Office of Homeless Services (Monday, April 15 at 10 a.m.)
  • Planning & Development, Register of Wills (Monday, April 15 at 1:30 p.m.)
  • Office of Property Assessments, Board of Revision of Taxes (Tuesday, April 16 at 10 a.m.)
  • Defender’s Association, District Attorney, Law Department (Tuesday, April 16 at 1:30 p.m.)
  • City Controller, First Judicial District (Wednesday, April 17 at 10 a.m.)
  • Sheriff, Citizens Police Oversight (Wednesday, April 17 at 1 p.m.)

Mayor Parker Appoints New Prisons Commissioner

Mayor Cherelle Parker appointed Michael Resnick, a former public safety director, to lead Philadelphia’s Department of Prisons. Resnick will be responsible for addressing challenges and improving conditions for both department staff and inmates.

Council President Johnson Unveils Members of New Tax Reform Commission

On Monday, City Council President Kenyatta Johnson announced the members of the latest Philadelphia Tax Reform Commission, who will be tasked with analyzing and making recommendations on tax reforms to promote job growth and tackle poverty.

Restaurants Owners Urge City Council to Streamline “Streetery” Approval Process

During a Committee of Streets & Services hearing on Friday, restaurant owners urged City Council to streamline the permitting processes and lower regulatory hurdles for approving restaurant “streeteries.”

Meet Philadelphia’s New Commerce Director

Alba Martinez — Philadelphia’s first Latina commerce director and one of the highest-ranking LGBTQ city officials in the city’s history — joined Mayor Cherelle Parker’s administration in January with the goal of supporting small neighborhood businesses while also promoting Philadelphia as a destination for business growth.

Around Town

Tackling Illegal Opioid Use, Ensuing Quality-of-Life Issues in Kensington

As Philadelphia Police and outreach workers increase their presence in Kensington, tensions among residents, harm reduction activists, and City officials around how best to address the neighborhood’s illegal opioid crisis remain. Underscoring the urgency of the issue, the Medical Examiner’s Office recently found nitazene analogues, a powerful synthetic opioid, present in several overdose deaths in the past two years. Meanwhile, the successful $32 million transformation of Kensington’s Hope Park serves as a potential blueprint for Mayor Parker’s vision to rejuvenate Kensington by reducing crime rates and enhancing community well-being.

SEPTA’s Unveils New, Improved Drexel Station at 30th Street

SEPTA’s 30th Street Station stop has been renovated and renamed Drexel Station at 30th Street, featuring upgrades to improve accessibility and connections to Amtrak.

Why Allan Domb is Optimistic About Philadelphia’s Future

Former City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Allan Domb writes in the latest edition of Philadelphia Magazine why he is optimistic about the city’s future — including its resilience, renewed focus on public safety, and strength of the eds-and-meds sector — despite the need to address issues like business taxes and education.

TAUP Intends to Address Equity Gaps with Tiered Wage Increase

The Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP), Temple University’s faculty union, is proposing tiered wage increases intended to address equity gaps, particularly affecting women and people of color.


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