Bellevue Bulletin 06/07/2019: Budget #4, Drexel Study, and Waste Management
Welcome back to your weekly update with Bellevue!
First up in state news, Pennsylvania is finally making moves to ban plastic bags. Every year, over 380 billion plastic bags and wraps are used in the United States, requiring 12 million barrels of oil to make, but on 5% of these plastics are recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Recently, Cincinnati-based grocery chain, Kroger, vowed to ban all plastic bag use by 2025, and now other regional chains are stepping up the plate. Over the next few weeks and months, officials at Giant Eagle and Shop ’n Save are expected to take positive stances on ridding the use of plastic bags.
In Philadelphia, the local Area School District is shaping up to launch a four-year thorough examination of its current school programs and buildings to look at demographic trends with the intention of planning for the future of the system. According to Philly.com, this is the first such process that the district has undertaken, and it’s expected to result in vast changes – including new schools, replacement buildings, and boundary and grade configuration changes. It could also lead to more school closings. In parts of Center City, South Philly, and Northeast Philly, schools are overcrowding, and in other places, fewer families have chosen public schools and enrollment is at a fraction of school capacity, contributing to wide inconsistencies in academic programs and grade configurations. The District plans to study schools in waves, and each cycle will take a year – the first changes are expected to come about in the fall of 2020.
Jessica Hilburn-Holmes, the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, has a new plan for bringing legal services to Philadelphia’s low-income residents. The Equal Justice Center, which will be located at 8th and Race Street in Chinatown, will put more than a dozen of the city’s civil legal aid groups under one roof. The hope it that in creating a one-stop-shop type of building, it will be easier for people to access the pro-bono help that Philadelphia’s civil legal groups provide, and reduce the number of low-income residents that are forced to represent themselves in court. The $65 million project will take the nine-story building and house more than 300 employees from organizations like Community Legal Services, the Public Interest Law Center, and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, among others.
There was no stated meeting for Council this week.
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