Philadelphia City Council renews call for state of emergency to combat gun violence

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Philadelphia City Council members are demanding that Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration act faster to use approved funds and declare a state of emergency to end gun violence.

Speaking at the end of Thursday’s council meeting, members expressed concern that they are not seeing enough results from approved funds to help reduce gun violence.

They argue that more than $200 million has been invested since last year and claim the government is not acting fast enough.

“We want the administration to take a look at where we stand. We want to see a complete lightning bolt when it comes to resources,” Councilor Isaiah Thomas said. “We want it to target areas where we see the most crime in the city of Philadelphia.”

The council renewed calls for Kenney, begun two years ago, to declare a public safety emergency to increase cooperation with the government as the city surpassed 400 homicides this week.

“I contend that we need an emergency response to this problem. If this isn’t an emergency, I’m not sure what an emergency is,” Councilor Jamie Gauthier said.

Council members are asking for a 90- to 100-day action plan for the administration to develop a plan for government agencies to work together.

“I’m just asking everyone to put aside the individual agendas and stop working in silos and come together and really care about people’s work,” said Councilor Katherine Gilmore Richardson.

The mayor’s office has drawn on previous claims, arguing that it is quick to allocate money to community crime prevention tactics while providing a roadmap for working with federal, state and local officials.

“There is an urgent need to bring all these units together to do something fundamentally different than what we have been doing because whatever it is isn’t working,” Councilor Helen Gym said.

The mayor continues to urge state leaders to pass tougher gun laws.

He insists that a state of emergency or the provision of military support would not open up more funds or allay concerns.

Kenney previously told Action News, “I think it could have unintended consequences, create more fear in our community, particularly in communities of color who are already grappling with decades of systemic racism and poverty that we are committed to eradicating.”

Council members also said during the meeting that parents and guardians need to be more involved.

“If you even suspect a young person in your household has been involved, you have to fold up that mattress, go under the bed, go in the closet. You have to run across this room and turn them in,” Councilor Cindy Bass said.

Action News has reached out to the mayor’s office for further answers to demands and demands from the city council.

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https://6abc.com/philadelphia-city-council-philly-gun-violence-mayor-jim-kenney-members/12281723/ Philadelphia City Council renews call for state of emergency to combat gun violence

Alley Einstein

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