Bellevue Bulletin 06/14/2019: Philly’s Budget Passes!
Happy Friday and welcome back to your weekly update from Bellevue.
First up this week is City Council’s Fiscal Year 2020 Operating and Capital Budgets has been passed, and includes new investments in job creation, road repaving, education, and violence prevention. Mayor Kenney praised council for “a spending plan that represents the priorities of the residents of Philadelphia”. Additional inclusions in the Five Year plan stated $1.2 billion in general fund contributions to the School District of Philadelphia, $30 million over five year in additional investments to support the “Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities”, the anti-violence initiative released in January, and over $200 million over six years for street resurfacing, to reach the goal of resurfacing and paving 131 miles annually by FY23! The full budget is available here.
A little more on the budget: the city’s Office of Homeless Services is being given an extra $800,000 next fiscal year targeted to help low-income families on the brink of homelessness. Despite being less than 1% of the office’s annual budget, it’s still a considerable bump in funding for prevention efforts in the city. Officials have estimated that the new money could save up to 400 more families from sleeping in homeless shelters, as the previous program helped 1,100 families in the fiscal year 2019. The program provides cash assistance to families facing eviction so that they may stay in their homes and helps participants with security deposits on new places or help covering overdue utility bills. To learn more about the program, click here.
As the environment becomes an increasing concern, the City of Philadelphia has recently agreed to pay $8.4 million toward the federal government’s cleanup of the Clearview Landfill, a “Superfund” site that contaminated parts of the Eastwick section of Southwest Philly. The landfill has been an unlicensed dumping site since the early 1950s, attracting commercial, industrial, institutional, and municipal waste. Needless to say, the years of dumping have left behind a dangerous mix of heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and other compounds that are threatening to humans and the environment alike. Residents of Southwest Philly, rejoice! For more about the Clearview Landfill, (which is no longer a threat to public health, by the way!) click here.
Highlights in Council this week included: Councilmember David Oh put forth a resolution urging Philly Votes to maximize language access services available through the City’s new voting machines. Councilmember Oh also had resolutions honoring June 14, 2019 as Flag Day in Philadelphia, and recognizing August 1-7 as World Breastfeeding Week and the month of August as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in the City of Philadelphia. Councilmember Sanchez had a resolution urging Governor Tom Wolf and the PA Legislative body to protect and expand the General Assistance Program to provide a lifeline for people with disabilities throughout the City of Philadelphia. Finally, at the request of Councilmember Derek Green, City Council and its attendees held a standing moment of silence to honor the memory of Philadelphia Sheriff Deputy and LGBTQIA Advocate Dante Austin, who passed away last week.
That’s all for this week! Remember to follow us on Twitter @PhillyAdvocates for more!