Bellevue Bulletin 12/06/2019
By Kristina D’Amico
Welcome back! We hope you had an excellent holiday weekend, just in time for a chilly December here in Philly, and more upcoming holidays!
First up in Philly news: the city is launching a new urban forest plan. Despite continuous efforts to increase the number of trees in the city, we’ve lost the equivalent of 1,000 football fields worth of “leafy shade” in the last ten years. In response to this decline, the city has created a 10-year Urban Forest plan. The effort will start on Thursday, with a citywide “Tree Summit” held at the Discovery Center, where educators, arborists, and community leaders will attend an event organized by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Office of Sustainability. To read the full report and the plan, click here.
Donovan Sterling West, the president of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, cast doubt on a report this year that found less than 3% of all businesses in the region are Black-owned, and believes African-American owned companies are doing better than previously reported. The original report doesn’t take into account, he says, that African-American owned businesses might have no employees or payrolls, which could include caterers, daycare providers, construction workers, subcontractors, and those in the gig economy. So, be sure to keep an eye out for a new reported, slated to come out late in 2020, which will help city officials understand the needs of those business owners and create policy goals toward inclusive growth.
In Philadephia City Council this week, members reached a compromise on the topic of enacting a plastic bag ban at all retail location in the city. The new plan is expected to take effect in July, and is slated to be voted on next week. If the bill passes, Philadelphia would join a growing number of cities and states that have regulated plastic bag use. But the legislation still faces a potential hurdle with a state ban passed this year prohibiting any municipality from regulating plastic use for a period of one year. Although the bill is set to take effect after the state preemption expires, the legislature could extend that law. Some shop owners argue that a better alternative would be a fee on plastic bags, rather than a ban, due to the potential cost hike that obtaining paper bags would mean for businesses.
That’s the biggest news for this week, folks! Be sure to check out our latest podcast with Former Governor Ed Rendell, about the PA Society and why you shouldn’t run on concrete. See you next week!