Councilmember Mark Squilla: “Public safety has to be our number one priority.”

Councilmember Mark Squilla joined Hall Monitor to discuss the upcoming fall council session. Among Squilla’s top priorities is addressing the city’s gun violence epidemic.
Councilmember Mark Squilla represents the 1st Councilmanic District and is the Majority Deputy Whip.

In this interview, reporters Denise Clay-Murray and Larry McGlynn ask Councilmember Squilla about the city’s violence epidemic, housing, and how he would like to see the budget surplus used. 

Squilla identified public safety as his top priority for the upcoming session.

“So I think the number one priority is how we look at public safety, how we are going to enforce certain measures, and how are we going to work to prevent some of the issues that you know, the perception of lawlessness that’s happening now in the city of Philadelphia?”

What are first district constituents saying about the potential Sixers arena?

“There’s people who are dead set against it. And there’s people that are really supportive of it. But it’s too early right now, we don’t even know the whole plan. We do know that anytime you have a development like this size, there’s going to be an impact on the surrounding community. So we do know that know that whatever the plan ends up being, as we meet with the developers, and as we meet with the community, the Chinatown community and the surrounding Washington Square, West and other stakeholders need to be involved in those conversations.”

On how the city should use its $400 millon budget surplus:

“We’re looking at our schools and the need for improving our physical plan of all our schools. That’s important. The other thing is, you know, we had a great program for rent assistance, people who were struggling for rent that actually helped both the renter and the landlord a lot of our small time, landlords are people who do rent affordably. And you know, when people aren’t able to pay, those folks aren’t able to pay their taxes and their bills. So I think rent assistance is something that we should look at and make sure that we’re able to fund that so that people could still stay in their their places that where they live. Also, I think that we need to we made big commitments to prevention programs, I think we need to continue those commitments to help people who are challenged in a way that they’re either most likely to be a victim of crime or or perpetrator of a crime.”

City Council’s fall session begins on Septemeber 15th at 10 AM.

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