Bellevue Bulletin 05/31/2019: Plastic Bags, School Districts, and a new law center
Happy Friday and welcome back to your weekly update by Bellevue!
First up on the docket – Mayor Kenney delivered his fourth annual budget address on Thursday, and along with it, Philadelphia is teed up to break $5 billion for the first time in its long history. City Council’s operating budget totaled up to $5,025,266,000 with no property tax increase for the time being. This new plan adds over $30 million to Mayor Kenney’s initial proposed budget, and includes more funding for the school district. The legislation was coupled with a bill to increase tax breaks to some homeowners, and another to decrease the city’s Wage and Net Profits Taxes. City Council has until the end of this month to approve the legislation.
Drexel University recently hosted a survey in the Kensington area neighborhood asking residents and business owners for their opinions on supervised-injection sites – and this time around, there was more support within the neighborhood than citywide surveys had relayed. The researchers from Drexel surveyed 360 residents, permanent and otherwise; a quarter of respondents, they said, were living on the street. Nearly 90% of people surveyed told researchers they supported the idea of opening a supervised-injection site. 63% of the 79 business owners supported the idea as well. Drexel believes that it was important to get the neighborhood of Kensington’s input, as it has been hit the hardest by overdoses and opioid-related homelessness. To learn more about supervised-injection sites, click here.
Philadelphia, along with many other cities across the U.S., has been in a bind since China stopped taking most recycling. And it’s taken a while to work out a contract – Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams and City Council gave approval for the Streets Department to begin signing new contracts for recycling and waste disposal. But, it would mean committing to a five-year contract at $92 a ton, and disposing it at the Covanta incinerator in Chester. While Covanta does provide energy from the incineration, many still argue that waste incineration is a bad step for the environment. The solution to this, according to Cindy Bass, is reducing our overall city waste. Read more here.
In Council, Councilmember Curtis Jones kicked off the stated meeting by leading a presentation recognizing the Philadelphia Muslim Community and acknowledging May 5, 2019 through June 4, 2019 as the holy month of Ramadan. He went on to present a resolution celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Father’s Day Rally Committee and their initiatives that have positively impacted the quality of life of African American communities and men of color in the City of Philadelphia. Councilmember Derek Green put forth a resolution recognizing June 10-15, 2019 as Disability Pride Week in the City of Philadelphia.
That’s all for this week! Follow us @PhillyAdvocates for more.