PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Quality of life issues were high on the agenda at Thursday’s Philadelphia City Council meeting. Several members introduced bills to address illegal dumping, abandoned cars and other nuisances.
“What we all know, feel, this issue about quality of life is increasingly problematic,” said Council President Darrell Clarke.
“It’s pretty much up there, along with crime and schools, in terms of why people make decisions to move out of the city of Philadelphia.”
Councilmember David Oh introduced a package of bills to stop large trucks from parking overnight on residential streets in the city, and a bill allowing third parties to help enforce laws against illegal dumping.
“I think we’re at a point where there is a culture in our city, exacerbated by the pandemic, where people just dump in our city,” Oh said.
Oh sees these issues as related to crime.
“When people feel that they don’t matter, their communities don’t matter, and no one is coming to treat them like they matter, we have violence,” Oh added.
Councilmember Jaime Gauthier proposed hearings on the problem of abandoned vehicles. Her proposed resolution said the city got 34,000 complaints about abandoned vehicles last year, and it can take two months to remove them.
She suggests putting more officers in the police department’s Neighborhood Services Unit.
Clarke called for an expansion of the Community Life Improvement Program, a small task force that tackles litter, graffiti, and other quality of life problems.
Clarke said the need for it has grown.
“To not have CLIP only in one part of the city at a time, which is bordering on ridiculous,” said Clarke.
“They’ve been up in Kensington for a long, long time, understanding the challenges up there, but there are other parts of the city that need it.”
Clarke promised to seek more funding, and to grill the Kenney administration on these issues during upcoming budget hearings.