City Council Report: Week of October 10th, 2022.

Philadelphia City Council meets on October 13, 2022

Click below to read about events and legislation in city council this week.

On the heels of Philadelphia formally apoligising for conducting experiments on prisoners at Holmsburg Prison in from the 1950s to the 1970s, Councilmember Curtis Jones introduced a resolution in city council doing the same.

Inmates were exposed to various pharmaceuticals, viruses, fungus, asbestors, LSD, and components of the chemical weapon Agent Orange.

Inmates were unaware of the effects of their exposure. Often, the inmates used in these experiments were Black, often illiterate, and usually waiting to make bail.

The experiments were conducted by University of Pennsylvania professor Albert Kligman. In August of 2021, the Univesity of Pennsylvania released a statement on Kligman’s work which said, in part:

“Penn Medicine acknowledges that the work done by Dr. Kligman was terribly disrespectful of individuals – many of whom were imprisoned Black men – denying them the autonomy and informed consent which the medical community now considers to be foundational underpinnings for conducting ethical research. Legality, of itself, does not excuse these activities, which are not now, and never were, morally acceptable, even if Dr. Kligman and his contemporaries believed them to be.”

Councilmember Helen Gym’s expansion of the eviction moratorium passed city council.

Bill No. 220655 would extend the eviction moratorium from its original end date of December 31st, 2022, to June 30th, 2024.

Gym touted the success of the program and how it had been emulated across the country.

“In the past two years, our city has dramatically reduced evctions in what was once the fourth highest evicting ciu in the nation,” Gym said. “Not only have we receipted praised from the White House, the US Department of Justice, and the US Department of TReasurey, but diversion programs like ours have no been adopted in at least 180 jurisdcitions across 38 states.”

After the stated meeting, Hall Monitor asked Council President Darrell Clarke about Mayor Kenney’s unwillingness to fund the Philadelphia Financial Authority or appoint its board.

“It’s one of the challenges when (the member who proposed the legislation) is no longer a member of council,” Clarke said. “I’ll bring it up with mayor and see if there’s any explanation, and we’ll try to come to some sort of resolution.”

The Committee on Public Safety met on Tuesday, October 11th, 2022, to hear testimony on Bill No. 220654, which would revise the evening curfew hours for minors.

The legislation would permanently make the curfew for minors 14 and older 10 PM, and 9:30 for those under 13. Exceptions to the curfews include:
-If the minor is accompanied by a parent
-If the minor is running an errand or another legitimate reason to be out past curfew
-If they are legally working
-In a vehicle involved in interstate travel
-Dealing with an emergency
-On the sidewalk of their own home
-Attending an official activity

Having had its first reading in council on Thursday, October 13th, the legislation can be passed at the next session of council.

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