Petition: Save Philly's Block Party Program! No Police Power Grab!

(Fishtown Block Party | Image: Jon Geeting)

Philadelphia is known as the Block Party capital of the East Coast, closing more streets for community celebrations than any other big city. 

But the Kenney administration just threw a big wrench into the gears of Philly block party culture by requiring communities to get pre-approved by the local Police District first before they can submit a petition to Streets.

This is totally unnecessary red tape that's just going to make it harder for neighbors to organize block parties, and weaken this important part of Philadelphia's culture.

Sign and share this petition to SAY NO to this Block Party Power Grab by the Police Department!

One of the biggest reasons why Philadelphia has such a strong block party culture—which is most popular in majority black neighborhoods in North, West, and western South Philly—is because of how cheap and easy it is to get a permit.

A block party permit costs only $25, and requires signatures from 75% of households on the block (or 90% on a weeknight or non-holiday). As of a few years ago, you can also apply for a block party permit online, thanks to Tim Wisniewski during the Nutter administration, who put the permitting process online in an effort to streamline block party organizing.

Now Mayor Kenney is going in the exact opposite direction, creating an annoying two-step process that's going to be much less clear and straightforward for residents. And by leaving it up to individual Police Districts all over the city, there's going to be too much personal discretion from individual police officers to decide who gets to have a party or not.

That's unfair, and is the opposite of the direction we need to be going in, with even more lax permission requirements to use streets as public space.

The Streets Department is framing this in Orwellian terms, talking about why Police pre-approval will improve "customer service" or the "efficiency and integrity" of the program, but that only makes sense if you consider the Police and City service providers as the customers to be served—not the residents organizing the block parties.

For the real customers, it's going to mean more of your block party applications getting vetoed by the Police for unclear reasons. Maybe police officers just prefer to drive on your block and don't want the hassle of going around—DENIED! There's also the additional hassle and delay of getting a permit reviewed by two separate departments—a burden that should be on the City to coordinate, not the block party organizer.

This policy already went into effect on August 1st and was just announced with no advance warning, so we need to get the Kenney administration to reverse this new rule.

Take Action: Sign and share this petition to help raise awareness of the block party power grab. Then, call your City Councilmembers and ask them to call on Mayor Kenney to support Philly's block party program, and oppose pre-approval by Police.

District Members

District 1: Mark Squilla: mark.squilla@phila.gov, (215) 686-3458, (215) 686-3459

District 2: Kenyatta Johnson: kenyatta.johnson@phila.gov, (215) 686-3412, (215) 686-3413

District 3: Jannie Blackwell: jannie.blackwell@phila.gov, (215) 686-3418, (215) 686-3419

District 4: Curtis Jones, Jr.: curtis.jones@phila.gov, (215) 686-3416, (215) 686-3417

District 5: Darrell Clarke (Council President): darrell.clarke@phila.gov, (215) 686-3412, (215) 686-3443

District 6: Bobby Henon (Majority Leader): bobby@bobbyhenon.com, (215) 686-3444, (215) 686-3445

District 7: Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez: maria.q.sanchez@phila.gov, (215) 686-3448, (215) 686-3449

District 8: Cindy Bass: cindy.bass@phila.gov, (215) 686-3424, (215) 686-3425

District 9: Cherelle Parker: cherelle.parker@phila.gov, 215) 686-3454, (215) 686-3455

District 10: Brian O'Neill: brian.o'neill@phila.gov, (215) 686-3422, (215) 686-3423

 

At-Large Members

Blondell Reynolds-Brown: blondell.r.brown@phila.gov, (215) 686-3438, (215) 686-3439

Allan Domb: allan.domb@phila.gov, (215) 686-3414, (215) 686-3415

Derek Green: derek.green@phila.gov, (215) 686-3450, (215) 686-3451

Bill Greenlee: bill.greenlee@phila.gov, (215) 686-3446, (215) 686-3447

Helen Gym: helen.gym@phila.gov, (215) 686-3420, (215) 686-3421

David Oh (R): david.oh@phila.gov, (215) 686-3452, (215) 686-3453

Al Taubenberger: (R): al.taubenberger@phila.gov, (215) 686-3440, (215) 686-3441

644 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 519 reactions

  • Nicholas Shapiro
    signed 2018-10-05 14:43:57 -0400
  • Allyson Adams
    signed 2018-09-05 22:51:24 -0400
  • lakia
    signed 2018-09-04 15:39:56 -0400
  • Nicole Forrester
    signed via 2018-08-29 08:09:31 -0400
    I’ve been trying to organize a block party for ages and it’s already difficult to get buy in/a date from neighbors/make time to organize!! Don’t add this extra burden that’ll keep communities from getting to know each other!
  • christopher egras
    signed 2018-08-28 22:00:20 -0400
  • Emma Dix
    signed 2018-08-28 21:45:52 -0400
    Please do not pass this bill!
  • Robert Vaughn
    signed 2018-08-28 20:08:39 -0400
  • Rosemary Savoia
    signed 2018-08-28 20:06:17 -0400
  • brady ettinger
    signed via 2018-08-28 19:49:07 -0400
  • Candice Johnson
    signed 2018-08-28 19:33:24 -0400
  • Susan Stirling
    signed 2018-08-28 18:57:35 -0400
    Leave customer service to Comcast, the right of citizens to gather in the city should be easily accessible.
  • Kareema Burnett
    signed 2018-08-28 18:29:20 -0400
  • Cassandra Mack
    signed 2018-08-28 17:54:01 -0400
  • William palmer
    signed 2018-08-28 15:57:21 -0400
  • Mike Ford
    signed 2018-08-28 13:59:45 -0400
  • Andrew Collins
    signed 2018-08-28 13:12:08 -0400
  • Lily Goodspeed
    signed 2018-08-28 13:11:03 -0400
  • Sean McCarthy
    signed 2018-08-28 13:03:06 -0400
  • Aubrie Costello
    signed via 2018-08-28 11:41:46 -0400
  • Caitlin Youngster
    signed 2018-08-28 10:53:25 -0400
    Caitlin Youngster
  • Steve Gravelle
    signed 2018-08-28 09:35:53 -0400
  • Michael Harris
    signed 2018-08-28 09:14:40 -0400
  • christopher davis
    signed via 2018-08-28 02:07:43 -0400
  • joshua santiago
    signed 2018-08-28 00:02:36 -0400
  • Michelle Schwenk
    signed 2018-08-27 21:07:22 -0400
  • Jesse Todd
    signed 2018-08-27 20:39:47 -0400
  • Garry Jones
    signed 2018-08-27 19:46:56 -0400
  • Anna Humphries
    signed 2018-08-27 19:32:45 -0400
  • Cassie Homer
    signed 2018-08-27 19:30:41 -0400
    This rule requires unnecessary red tape that makes it incredible difficult to throw a block party. It’s unreasonable to expect citizens to jump through hoops to get the two departments to coordinate.
  • Nora Rizkalla
    signed 2018-08-27 18:58:40 -0400