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Police disproportionately nix West and North Philly block parties
Philly police denied over 200 block party permits this year due to “criminal activity.” We mapped the denials; most fall in underserved communities.
- The definition of “criminal activity” is subjective, and the PPD won’t say exactly how it’s determined. But once a block is designated a “problem,” it can be hard to shake.
Residents who got denied after years of permits are frustrated and upset, Lizzy McLellan Ravitch reports. Said one: “Block parties make us feel safer.”
New GoFundMe supports ex-Prevention Point workers
Last spring, both Billy Penn and The Inquirer reported on allegations of unsafe workplace conditions at Prevention Point in Kensington.
- Mutual aid orgs launched a new GoFundMe to help employees who left recover from the sexual assault, harassment, transphobia, and dangerous conditions they say they experienced on the job.
The crowdfunding effort has a $15k goal. If it’s successful, employees told Michaela Winberg, they plan to use the money for mental health treatment.
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- Nearly all unionized municipal workers complied with Philadelphia’s COVID vaccine mandate, the city announced yesterday, eight months after it went into effect. About 22k got the jab, with another 3,000 getting exemptions. The 68 who refused are in line to be fired. [BP/WHYY/Inquirer$]
- Many are unaware of the most serious allegation against Pete Rose: statutory rape. He dismissed a reporter’s question during the Phillies Alumni Weekend, saying: “It was 55 years ago, babe.” [Inquirer$/ESPN]
- Across the U.S., Mexican pizza is becoming a genre of its own. In South Philly, Rosario’s and San Lucas Pizzeria are culinary representations of the neighborhood’s Mexican and Italian roots. [NYT$/Rosario’s/San Lucas]
- Visit Philly’s new CEO Angela Val loves Prince, her leather jacket, and that Philly folks are “unapologetically proud to dance to the beat of our drum.” [Philly Mag$]
- The Onion took a jab at Philly on Tuesday, declaring it the first city to consist 100% of parking spots. We’re gonna need some more orange cones and beach chairs, folks. [Onion/PhillyVoice]
Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)
- Philadelphia is full of “violence interrupter” initiatives. Some work with law enforcement, and others purposely do not. Can a new faith-based coalition that puts pastors on corners move the needle? [WHYY]
- Teens from Philly rallied in Harrisburg this week to push lawmakers for anti-violence action, including stricter firearms licensing and funding for community programs. [Capital-Star]
- Twenty finalists compete for a $2,000 grand prize in an anti-violence rap contest called “Philly Got Barz” on Aug. 27. [Gtown Info Hub]
- A full house packed the in-person premiere of “They Don’t Care About Us,” the first-person documentary about survivors of gun violence. [PCGVR]
- After a particularly bad week, Philadelphia’s homicide rate — mostly due to shooting deaths — appears on pace to match or exceed last year’s record high. Nationally, the rate is also staying high, up 44% over the past decade. [Tribune/WashPost$].
By the numbers in Philadelphia
- 57: Shooting victims recorded last week so far, vs. 34 the week prior. [@PCGVR via City Controller]
- 1,442: Shooting victims this year, up 2% from last year [PCGVR]
- 337: Year-to-date homicides, 4% ahead of last year’s pace and up 71% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]
Mayor Kenney and other officials are meeting with U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Regional Director Ala Stanford — famous as founder of Philly’s Black Doctors Consortium — to discuss solutions to address gun violence as a public health crisis. A short briefing follows the closed meeting (11:30 a.m.).
ON THE CALENDAR
🎰 BP Quizzo lands at the South Philly sports complex in Live’s Sports & Social bar, where cohosts Danya and Sakeenah will quiz you on trivia about all things Philadelphia. Prizes include gift cards and beach chairs, all free with RSVP. (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17) 🎭 “The BOX” — a traveling play about the aftershocks of mass incarceration — lands at Eastern State Penitentiary. Tickets are on a sliding scale from $20 to $50. (7 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-14)
🦐 Early heads up on the Swedish Historical Museum’s summer Crayfish Party, because RSVPs are due by Aug. 12 for the dinner, which costs $55 per person for all you can eat — meatballs included. (6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19)