1900 Market St Street | 8th Floor | Philadelphia, PA 19103 | 215.546.6719 | email: centercity@centercityresidents.org   Travis Oliver, Operations Manager

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: No Response From Administration and 15 of 17 Councilmembers to CCRA Prompt Action on Proposed Police Reform

14 Sep 2020 4:01 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

You may recall that on June 8, in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, 14 of the 17 members of City Council sent a letter to Mayor Kenney containing 15 relatively specific recommendations for police department reform, and that the next day, Kenney issued a document titled: "Actions for change: No budget increase, new use-of-force policies, changes to union contract, and more." That document responded affirmatively to each of the 15 recommendations in the June 8 letter, and went much further, with more specifics. The CCRA Board voted to endorse these proposed reforms, and to so advise the Mayor and City Council. In addition, encouraged by Council's and the Mayor's acknowledgments that "police reform cannot wait," that the City must "act decisively," and that we must "seize the moment" and "move quickly because too many lives are being lost," we requested two things: (1) that the Mayor and Councilmembers ask the FOP to renegotiate its contract now, given the centrality of the City's contract with the police union to the implementation of several of the reforms; and (2) that Council convene over its traditional 10-week summer recess in order to hold hearings and enact the legislation necessary to effectuate the proposed reforms. Our June 25 letter, emailed to the Mayor and each Councilmember, concluded with the following: "In keeping with the urgency of the moment, we look forward to a speedy response." 

Despite sending a follow-up letter on July 29, the only responses we received were from Councilmembers Mark Squilla and Kendra Brooks, with nothing from the Mayor's office. Furthermore, Council did not convene during its summer recess (from June 18 to September 10) nor, to the best of our knowledge, has the Administration or any Councilmember asked the FOP to renegotiate its contract.


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