Bellevue Bulletin 01/24/2020
By Kristina D’Amico
In Harrisburg news, Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, who has been in office since 2001 and speaker since 2015, has announced that he will not seek reelection after his term ends. At a press conference at his district office in McCandless, Mr. Turzai said he won’t run for a 10th term as a state representative, opting instead to seek a job in the private sector. (Via Post-Gazette)
In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney had a message for the Mummers: end the blackface, or end the parade. On Tuesday, Kenney sent letter to the four Mummers divisions to request that they meet with officials to discuss “changes that the city is seeking from Mummers leadership in order to ensure a more orderly parade and mechanisms for accountability when participants violate Mummers’ rules around inappropriate content and bigoted actions.” This comes after the Mummers Parade organizers did not address inappropriate behavior by participants after another blackface controversy at this year’s event. Can Kenney really end the historic parade? Yes. According to the Inquirer, the parade is run by private Mummers organizations but is permitted by the city, and the city could prefer to host and organize their own parade instead.
If you’ve been following the Philadelphia School District’s battle with asbestos (we’re sure you have), there’s new news: The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ filed a 45-page lawsuit Monday in the Court of Common Pleas against the District. The union alleges that the School District of Philadelphia and Superintendent William Hite have repeatedly mishandled problems with asbestos, lead and mold inside school buildings.The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ formal complaint comes after a slew of exposed asbestos discoveries led to the closing of six facilities since the beginning of this school year. (Via Billy Penn) Read here to see the eight things that the PFT’s lawsuit demands from the school district moving forward.
This Thursday marked the first City Council session of the year, and members certainly entered the chamber with plans ready to go. Councilmember Kendra Brooks of the Working Families Party called for hearings on whether Philadelphia should adopt a rent control system. Councilmember Bobby Henon proposed requiring businesses to provide employees with paid leave for family medical emergencies. And Henon joined Councilmember Helen Gym in a proposal to create a permanent Department of Labor to enforce worker-protection rules. Council President Clarke kicked off the year by introducing a resolution calling on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to enact stronger gun laws during the unprecedented gun-lead fatalities in Philadelphia.
That’s all for now, folks! Follow us on Twitter @PhillyAdvocates for more, and be sure to check out our podcast!