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Philadelphia City Council Considers Business Curfew in Open-Air Drug Market



Last Updated on January 28, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

Title: City Councilmember Introduces Bill to Impose Curfews on Kensington’s Drug Market to Address Social Issues

Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, known for its excessive public drug use and high crime rates, is set to undergo major changes as City Councilmember Quetcy Lozada proposes a bill to impose curfews on businesses operating within the open-air drug market. The move comes as part of a broader effort to address social ills and improve living conditions in the area.

Under the proposed legislation, commercial establishments and restaurants located within a specific area of Kensington would be required to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. This curfew aims to disrupt the drug trade and reduce criminal activities that have plagued the neighborhood for years.

Kensington has long been one of the areas most impacted by overdose fatalities in Philadelphia, and its high levels of poverty have made it a focal point for social issues in the city. With the introduction of this bill, Councilmember Lozada hopes to create a safer environment for residents, while also making progress in the fight against drug addiction.

The bill has gained the support of Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker, who shares the same vision of addressing the underlying problems in Kensington. Mayor Parker believes that the legislation will not only help in tackling the open-air drug markets but also target nuisance businesses that hinder community growth.

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This bill comes on the heels of an executive order signed by Mayor Parker, declaring a public safety emergency in the city. The order aims to combat the rampant crime and drug addiction issues, with Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel and Deputy Commissioner Pedro Rosario leading the effort to dismantle open-air drug markets, particularly in Kensington.

The proposed legislation forms part of a comprehensive legislative package. Alongside the curfew, the package includes measures such as requesting quarterly reports on the use of an opioid antidote by first responders and data on the number of illegal encampments citywide. By collecting this data, city officials can better understand the scale of the problem and allocate resources effectively.

Mayor Parker and Councilmember Lozada are working closely together to combat the issues plaguing Kensington and improve the overall quality of life for residents. By addressing the root causes of drug addiction and crime, they hope to uplift the neighborhood and create a safe and thriving community.

As the legislative process unfolds, Philadelphia residents eagerly anticipate the outcome of this bill with the hope that it will bring positive change to Kensington and serve as a catalyst for improvements throughout the city.

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