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News Blog

  • 28 Oct 2020 4:06 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    With the ongoing protesting of the death of Walter Wallace, Jr. in West Philly, there has been rioting and looting for the past 2 days.  

    The PA National Guard is being deployed to make sure the looting and rioting ceases.

  • 28 Oct 2020 3:48 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    The Philadelphia Inquirer: Opinion: After Walter Wallace Jr.'s killing, Philly police need transparency and change

    Wednesday, October 28, 2020

    Councilmember Jamie Gauthier

    Walter Wallace Jr. was 27 years old. He was a father, a twin brother, and a son. He was beloved by his friends and neighbors. He was a Black man who struggled with lifelong mental health challenges. And Monday, he was shot and killed by police, steps away from his mother as she begged officers to lower their weapons.

    After the summer we’ve had, with people taking to the streets in cities around the country demanding racial justice, and with all the promises and platitudes from local and national leaders — it’s unfathomable for this to have happened. Our city is reeling.

    Part of the incident was captured on video, which has gone viral and drawn outrage nationwide. All eyes are on Philadelphia right now. So, what are we going to do? How will we respond in a way that reflects the gravity of this situation, creates accountability, and ultimately leads to justice?

    First, I am calling on the Philadelphia Police Department to release the body camera footage of the officers involved. The public deserves a transparent and honest accounting of what happened.

    Second, officers need more intensive training on de-escalation techniques and use of nonlethal weapons. Things didn’t need to play out this way. Resorting to the use of a service weapon should be the absolute last resort for any officer.

    Third, as a city, we must immediately ramp up investments in mental health supports for first responders and the communities they serve. The average police officer is not equipped to respond appropriately to mental health calls — yet we continue to send them to the scenes of these incidents. According to the ACLU, in 25% to 50% of cases where an individual is killed by a police officer, the victim was in the midst of a mental health crisis. Far too often, a mental health episode becomes a death sentence for these individuals. This is the ultimate miscarriage of justice: responding with force in a situation that calls for care and compassion.

    Just a few weeks ago, the city announced the hiring of a clinically trained behavioral health professional, who can help direct 911 calls that involve someone in mental or emotional distress. We need efforts like these to be expanded with expediency.

    Fourth, officers serving Black communities need to be able to recognize the humanity of Black people and acknowledge the history of state violence against them. I cannot for the life of me imagine how the two officers involved in Monday’s incident saw Mr. Wallace. As officers sworn to protect and serve the public, they should have seen him as a human being deserving of compassion. But they treated him in a way that suggests they did not value his life, and that is at the root of too many deaths of Black people at the hands of police.

    These officers aren’t from Cobbs Creek and were likely unfamiliar with the block. To be effective at their jobs, it is critical for police to know the people, places, and the culture of the communities they serve. Current officers should receive more intensive antibias training, and these issues should become considerations of the hiring process for new recruits.

    Incidents like these further do not help Philadelphia in our efforts to quell the gun-violence epidemic. Unnecessary deaths of Black people at the hands of police feed into the tension that already exists in our neighborhoods. They make communities not want to cooperate with the police, and they encourage people to take justice into their own hands. Furthermore, statements like the one issued by FOP president John McNesby are representative of everything that’s wrong with police culture, abhorrent in the claim that lethal force was necessary to keep our community safe. All police, from beat cops all the way up to the commissioner, have to be proactive about changing that culture and denouncing that behavior.

    Finally, this tragedy is a crystal-clear example of why Philadelphians must vote yes on Ballot Measure 3. If approved, this would create a Citizens Police Oversight Commission for our city — which would give us more power and a louder voice in advocating for justice in situations like these.

    We cannot allow Walter Wallace Jr.'s death to be in vain. Our city’s leaders must carry out a speedy investigation, enact accountability measures, and take immediate steps to end police violence once and for all.

     

    ###


  • 28 Oct 2020 3:04 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Philadelphia will be under a curfew from 9 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday, the city announced, confirming an earlier Inquirer report. The announcement comes after two nights of unrest in response to the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man whose family said he was suffering a mental health crisis.

    “Grocery stores, restaurants and pharmacies may, in their discretion, choose to operate only for delivery services later than 9 p.m.," the city said in a statement, "and should implement appropriate measures to secure their facilities and protect onsite and delivery employees.”

  • 27 Oct 2020 3:45 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

     All CVS locations in Philadelphia are closing at 7 p.m. Tuesday. This decision comes one day after 10 stores in Philadelphia were damaged during unrest across the city following the fatal shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.

  • 27 Oct 2020 12:17 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Below in bold are the currently scheduled protests around the city according to the DVIC (Delaware Valley Intelligence Center). There are reports of some stores closing early - Target stores in South Philadelphia, Bridesburg, Cottman Ave are closing now (planned to be boarded up) and Lowe’s Home Improvement stores in South Phila, West Phila & Aramingo are closed/boarded up.

    An update of the below will be sent out around 3 pm, earlier if necessary.

    Events / Protests October 27, 2020*

    4:00 PM

    FOP Contract Must Go!

    City Hall

    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    Rally to Save Our Post Office!

    9925 Bustleton Avenue

    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Standing in Solidarity for Racial Justice at 6511 Lincoln Dr. at the Unitarian Society of Germantown

    6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

    Day After Day Demand Trump/Pence Out Now!

    Independence Mall

    *These are the scheduled protests for today. We do expect pop-up protests and will post them as soon as available.

    Events / Protests October 28, 2020

    Events / Protests October 29, 2020

    Events / Protest November 1, 2020

    4 Day Blitz to Defeat Trump

    9:00 AM

    Location: Philadelphia TBA

    Day After Day Demand Trump/Pence Out Now!

    6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

    Independence Mall

    Events / Protest November 2, 2020

    4 Day Blitz to Defeat Trump

    9:00 AM

    TBA Philadelphia

    Standing in Solidarity for Racial Justice

    5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

    6511 Lincoln Dr.

    Unitarian Society of Germantown

    Note: This a daily reoccurring (Mon - Fri) event scheduled through November 20th.

    Day After Day Demand Trump/Pence Out Now!

    6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

    Independence Mall

    Events / Protest November 3, 2020

    Election Day Results Protest

    7:00 AM

    Philadelphia City Hall - 1400 JFK Blvd.

    4 Day Blitz to Defeat Trump

    9:00 AM

    TBA Philadelphia

    Standing in Solidarity for Racial Justice

    5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

    6511 Lincoln Dr.

    Unitarian Society of Germantown

    Note: This a daily reoccurring (Mon - Fri) event scheduled through November 20th.

    Day After Day Demand Trump/Pence Out Now!

    6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

    Independence Mall

    Events / Protest November 4, 2020

    National Day of Rage events:

    Every Wednesday until 1/20/2021

    Time & Location: TBD

    This is a placeholder until further details are released, national call to action every Wednesday until 1/20/2020

    Election Day Results Protest

    7:00 AM

    Philadelphia City Hall - 1400 JFK Blvd.

    Count Every Vote in Philadelphia Rally & March

    1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

    Independence Mall – then march to City Hall

    End time for march is 4:30 PM

    Standing in Solidarity for Racial Justice

    5:00 PM-6:00 PM

    6511 Lincoln Dr.

    Unitarian Society of Germantown

    Note: This a daily reoccurring (Mon - Fri) event scheduled through November 20th.

    Day After Day Demand Trump/Pence Out Now!

    6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

    Independence Mall

    Events / Protest November 5, 2020

    Standing in Solidarity for Racial Justice

    5:00 PM-6:00 PM

    6511 Lincoln Dr.

    Unitarian Society of Germantown

    Note: This a daily reoccurring (Mon - Fri) event scheduled through November 20th.

    Standing in Solidarity for Racial Justice

    5:00 PM-6:00 PM

    Location: 6511 Lincoln Dr.

    Unitarian Society of Germantown

    Note: This a daily reoccurring (Mon - Fri) event scheduled through November 20th.

    No Events listed after November 5th as of 10/26/2020

    "Philly We Rise" - "progressive" groups planning "mass action" after November 3rd in the event of voter intimidation, mail-in ballot invalidation or other electoral discord.

    "NYC to the World" - National Call to Action - NY State of Emergency -Nov 4, 2020 to Jan 20, 2021

    Calling for direct action - road blocks, sit-ins, shutdowns, mass disruptions, student walk-outs, worker wildcats, rent & transit & debt strikes...


  • 27 Oct 2020 10:12 AM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Today at 5pm is the deadline to apply to vote by mail!

    After today, you can only request replacement ballots, turn your ballot in, or vote in-person on Nov. 3.

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of a request to move the deadline for receipt of mail-in ballots back to Nov. 3 means that PA election officials will be able to count ballots that arrive as late as Friday, Nov. 6, as long as they have been postmarked by Nov. 3. (The deadline to return ballots in person remains 8 PM on Election Day.) But a new challenge to the deadline filed in federal court Thursday could wind up before the Supreme Court after Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation, and since this week’s SCOTUS ruling was 4-4, a full court could move the deadline back to Nov. 3. Regardless, voters should be returning their mail-in ballots now!

  • 26 Oct 2020 4:18 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    New protections for some Philadelphia workers recently went into effect during the COVID-19 pandemic, including for health care employees and people who work for employers with 500 employees or more.

    On September 9, 2020, Philadelphia’s sick leave law was amended so that certain health care employees are compensated in the event they contract a communicable disease during a pandemic or epidemic event, all under certain terms and conditions.

    Philadelphia’s sick leave law was also amended so that employers with 500 or more employees are required to provide up to 112 hours of paid sick leave under certain circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic to Philadelphia employees who request it due to:

    • Care for self or family member showing symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Care for self or family member advised to self quarantine by a health care provider.
    • Care for self or family during local quarantine.
    • Childcare closure.

    This is in effect through December 31, 2020. A note is not required in order to request public health emergency paid sick leave.


  • 26 Oct 2020 3:30 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Did you know you can cast your ballot before Election Day?

    Philadelphia residents will have access to 17 satellite election office locations throughout the city where they can go to register to vote, request a mail-in ballot, receive their ballot, vote, and return it, all in one visit. In addition, voters can also visit one of these locations to return their already voted ballot.

    All satellite election offices will be open seven days a week and will remain open through Election Day, November 3.

    https://www.phila.gov/2020-09-29-visit-a-satellite-election-office-today/


  • 26 Oct 2020 3:27 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    The dropbox is a  legit box and it was just installed this weekend at Markwood Playground, 400 S Taney Street! . Here is a photo of Chairwoman Lisa Deely from this weekend around the box.

    https://twitter.com/PhillyVotes/status/1320094460441694208?s=20

    A round up of the dropboxes installed this weekend. Remember, any voter in Philadelphia can utilize these dropboxes. Voters can only drop off their own voted ballot. Here is a link to all of the boxes posted this weekend: 

    https://twitter.com/PhillyVotes/status/1320170008408936448?s=20



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