PHOTOS: 300 Show Up to Attend Brian Sims’ Rally for Gay-Bashing Victims

LOVE Park was a veritable sea of supporters this afternoon, when more than 300 (!) local lawmakers, LGBT leaders and community members showed up in the rain to attend a rally for the two gay men attacked on September 11th in Center City.

The event was hosted by State Representative Brian Sims, who used the opportunity to draw attention HB 177 and SB 42, two pieces of legislation that would add sexual orientation to Pennsylvania’s current hate crime laws.

Photographer HughE Dillon was there to capture some snapshots, which you can seen below. Check some of the captions for remarks made by those who took part.



 

Council Members Push for LGBT-Specific Hate-Crime Legislation in Philadelphia

kenney reynolds brown

In today’s City Council session council members Blondell Reynolds Brown and Jim Kenney will introduce a bill that seeks to “close a hate-crime loophole that currently exists in the Philadelphia code.”

The bill would add a new chapter to the City Code that will provide “additional penalties for criminal conduct motivated by hatred regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and disabilities as defined in the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance and all of which are not covered by existing state hate crime laws.”

Read more »

Businesses Complain About Dîner en Blanc; Organizers Respond

DINER-EN-BLANC-2014-25-6363-atmosphere-marquee-940x540

Photo | HughE Dillon

This year’s Philadelphia edition of Dîner en Blanc was held last Thursday on South Broad Street. This caused consternation among business owners.

In addition to the fact that it shut down a stretch of South Broad after 7 p.m. on Thursday evening, Dîner en Blanc’s location, as per tradition, was kept secret until just before the event. The manager of Ruth’s Chris Steak House told NBC 10 the restaurant found out at 6:15 p.m. “We scrambled around to figure out valet parking,” Burnie Gaeta said, “to notify guests that there is going to be a backlog.” The city says officials reached out to local businesses 90 days in advance.

Read more »

420 Marijuana Arrests Since City Council Voted to Decriminalize

ramsey-marijuana-940X540

Two weeks ago, we told you that there had been 264 people charged with marijuana possession in Philadelphia in the month following City Council’s June 19th vote to decriminalize the possession of small amounts.

And since that report, there have been 156 more arrests, according to court records, bringing the grand total to 420. (Yes, 420.) That’s 420 people who now have criminal records for possession, and the vast majority of them were not charged with any other crimes. Read more »

Jim Kenney Urges Mayor to Sign Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Yesterday, Victor Fiorillo reported that there had been 264 arrests for marijuana possession in the month following City Council’s vote to drop pot possession to a $25 fine.

With the bill — which passed 13-3 — likely to become law in September, it looks silly that there are still pot arrests in the interim. And the author of the marijuana decriminalization law, City Councilman Jim Kenney, is urging Mayor Michael Nutter to sign the law and at least start the debate over whether cops are going to follow it. (Citing state statutes, cops say they plan to ignore the new law and continue to arrest people for pot possession anyway.)

“Just this week, it was reported that another 264 citizens have been arrested since this Bill overwhelming passed City Council on June 19, 2014. Every day Mayor Nutter fails to act, more young people will be handcuffed and jailed for a minimal offense — something that doesn’t happen anywhere else in Pennsylvania”, Kenney said in a statement. Hey, that’s Philly mag’s reporting! If we were a tabloid newspaper, we’d be running an inset image of yesterday’s story alongside this update.

Read more »

264 Charged With Marijuana Possession Since City Council Voted to Decriminalize

ramsey-marijuana-940X540

On June 19th, Philadelphia City Council voted to decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, passing a bill introduced by Councilman Jim Kenney. But Mayor Michael Nutter opposes the bill, and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has said that he will continue to make marijuana arrests, even if the bill is signed into law. In the month following the bill’s passing, 264 citizens were charged with the crime.

Read more »

Philadelphia City Council Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana

shutterstock_marijuana-940x540

[UPDATE: 4:40 p.m.] According to Councilman Jim Kenney’s director of legislation, Jim Engler, as per the Philadelphia Charter, Mayor Nutter does not have to take action on the just-passed marijuana decriminalization bill until Council is back in session in September. (The mayor has the option to sign or veto the bill, or do nothing which would also result in the bill becoming law without his official endorsement.)

“We’re writing a letter to the mayor asking him, since the voice of council has been heard and the bill has been approved by more than 12 members, that he begin implementing the bill and policy change as soon as possible,” says Engler.

The bill includes a three-month time period before it becomes law, which Engler says is something that is normally done with bills that require implementation. “Instead of waiting and twiddling our thumbs all summer long, we’re asking that if he’s going to make a decision one way or another, he should let us know now.”

[Original: 2:36 p.m.] You can breathe a little easier today, stoners, and not just because you probably are into vaping now. Philadelphia City Council voted today to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of weed. Even the heaviest stoners rarely buy more than an ounce at a time, so this bill is good news for Philadelphia potheads from the casual smoker to the wake-and-bake stoner.

The bill was first introduced by Councilman Jim Kenney in May. Under Kenney’s bill, Philadelphians caught with up to an ounce (30 grams) of marijuana would not be arrested. After they paid a $25 fine, they’d have the charge expunged from their record. (Presumably, their weed would also be confiscated.) Since June 2010, Philadelphia has treated possession of up to an ounce of weed as a summary offense punishable with a $200 fine and a three-hour class on drug abuse.

Read more »

Hospital Workers Union Backs
Kenney for Mayor

jim kenney philly

Councilman Jim Kenney

The 2015 Philadelphia mayor’s campaign has officially begun.

Henry Nicholas, president of the National Union of Hospital & Health Care Employees Local 1199, said Thursday his organization will back Councilman Jim Kenney for the city’s top office. Nicholas said Kenney started his career as a member of that union.

“It’s time he was promoted to the top of the class,” Nicholas told Philly Mag. “We’ve been a good citizen. It’s time for an 1199 member to be in charge of city government.”

Read more »

« Older Posts