Broad Street Brief: The Present and Future of Public Safety in Philadelphia, the World Cup’s Potential Impact on FDR Park
October 13, 2022
October 13, 2022
Public safety has long been a topic of concern for Philadelphia officials and residents alike. With the recent uptick in gun-related and other violent crimes — a recent high-profile example being the tragic death of a high school football player during a scrimmage at Roxborough High School — all eyes are on the city’s current and potential future officials to solve the city’s most pressing issue.
On Monday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner hosted a press conference during which he provided updates on the investigation into the Roxborough High School shooting and the city’s latest crime statistics. Rates of carjackings have sharply increased — with more than 1,000 carjackings reported this year so far — while homicides, which have been historically high, are down 3% compared to this time last year.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer recently interviewed Allan Domb, Derek Green, Cherelle Parker, and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez — the potential and current candidates for next year’s historic mayoral election — about their respective approaches to public safety concerns. Topics range from funding for anti-violence programs, the unique challenges within the Kensington community, and what role the Philadelphia Police Department should play in keeping Philadelphians safe.
The City of Philadelphia is partnering with Google’s urban innovation unit, Sidewalk Labs, to create a mobile app that will allow users to reserve curb space. The goal of the Pebble Driver App, announced by the city on Monday, is to help alleviate traffic congestion and mitigate risks posed to pedestrians and cyclists by implementing Smart Loading Zones throughout Walnut, Chestnut, and Sansom Streets, which users can book in advance for up to $3 an hour.
Last week, the Pennsylvania House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order began public hearings as part of their investigation into Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s alleged inaction on gun violence. Inside Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, witnesses provided live and pre-recorded testimony about their experience with gun violence. Outside, protesters organized by the Working Families Party admonished the investigation as a “circus” and expressed concern about the potential ramifications of the hearings.
Urban green spaces provide a place of refuge and enjoyment for countless city residents, though access to such spaces for many Philadelphians is extremely limited. Now, communities of color in the neighborhood surrounding FDR Park are speaking out in concern about the city’s potential plans to construct training facilities ahead of the 2026 World Cup.
Philadelphia is the last remaining large city in the country that has never elected an openly LGBTQ person to City Council. Now, several LGBTQ City Council contenders are challenging traditional notions of who is considered a viable candidate — and some stand a fair chance of being elected.
The executive order banning firearms from city recreation centers and playgrounds signed last week by Mayor Jim Kenney has been challenged by a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge. The action is in response to a lawsuit filed by the Gun Owners of America, which cited Pennsylvania’s preemption law, which prohibits individual cities and counties from passing gun-control legislation.
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