In a major victory for advocates, the Kenney administration just announced in an email this morning that they're reversing the misguided recent changes to the block party permit application process.
The Streets Department and Police Department announced today a streamlined process for residents applying for block party permits. Applicants will now have one less step in the approval process as they no longer need to visit their local Police District to submit an application in-person or by mail. The Departments will now manage this step of the process internally, saving residents extra time and added process [...]
The online block party application process remains unchanged for residents, and continues to grow in popularity by applicants. A recent change allowed block party applications submitted through the online process to be sent directly to the local Police Districts for approval. Once approved by Police, the system sends the applicant an email requesting payment and awaits Streets Department approval.
The Streets Department continues to accept paper applications and will now allow submissions with or without the Police pre-approval form that was previously required. Applications without the Police pre-approval form will be entered into the system by the Streets Department and Police will be notified automatically. Applicants will be notified within five days of submitting an application on their application’s outcome and can select to be notified by email or mail.
To recap, earlier this summer the Kenney administration changed the policy to require neighbors to get their local police districts to pre-approve block party applications before submitting them to Streets as usual.
We pushed back on this, arguing that making neighbors go through the extra hassle of coordinating approvals between multiple City departments—instead of the City just doing that internally—would lead to fewer people hosting block parties, and it would also create too much discretion for police to reject party applications with no paper trail.
Now, just two months later, the Kenney administration is already reversing the policy, thanks to the advocacy of nearly 650 people who signed our petition, and some real-world experience with this unworkable set-up.
This is a huge win for citizen advocacy that shows how powerful we can be when we join together to speak up and call attention to problems.
Stay tuned for other opportunities to take action, and as always, tell your friends and neighbors to subscribe to our newsletter for future action alerts around issues like this, along with local political news, analysis, and events.