Actionable Item, 3 June 2020

Hello all,

Keep it short and simple with a good thing you can do every day.

Did you know that the City of Philadelphia is intending to cut over $45 million from city budgets for social services, public defenders, arts and culture, libraries, and parks and recreation? AND that they’re funneling over $14 million to the city’s police department instead? If you think that seems like an unwise use of the funds, you can visit Philly We Rise’s excellent site , which allows you to send emails to all of Philadelphia’s city councilmembers. If you write your own email, be sure to include mention of the following:

  • The City has cancelled the public hearings for budget allocations in 2020, making it impossible for citizens to weigh in on the proposed budget changes.
  • Allow community leaders and constituents time to meet with elected officials and allow their voices to be heard.
  • The need to open a public testimony period allowing all the city’s residents to speak directly to Philadelphia’s city council.

If you’d like, you can also copy and paste the email here:

Good Afternoon _____________,

As an resident of Philadelphia and member of the city’s diverse community, I am nothing less than appalled by the city’s proposal to increase funding for the police department while decreasing funding for social services, arts and culture, learning, and public spaces. While Philadelphia may have a reputation for being a tough city, that’s no reason to defund so many of the excellent things about our city. While I understand and respect the city’s police officers, the increase in police spending called from on Mayor Kenney’s proposed budget is nothing short of absurd. The police department does not need 14 million dollars; it needs empathy, compassion, and respect for all of our city’s citizens, regardless of the color of their skin or the language they speak.
Proceeding with this proposed budget without allocating additional public comment time is deplorable; at best it is tone deaf and at works it smacks of a deep and engrained corruption between city hall and the police department. It would be in the best interest of all to reschedule the public hearing for the police department’s proposed budget, open a public testimony segment allowing the public to speak directly with the Council, and allow these community leaders time to meet with their constituents and community to discuss these issues.

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