Report: Councilman’s Nonprofit Is a “Phantom”

Kenyatta Johnson's "Peace Not Guns" comes under scrutiny.

AxisPhilly is raising questions about Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s “Peace Not Guns” nonprofit. The organization’s site “also states that it is a registered 501(c) 3, which means that it has permission from the federal government to raise and spend money without anyone—either donors or the organization—having to pay taxes.”

That statement is not true.

Peace Not Guns, Inc. is not now and never has been a federally registered non-profit. There is no record of it in the IRS database and it has never filed any of the financial reports that are required for such organizations. It also does not appear in state listings of approved charities.

Christopher Sample, Johnson’s chief of staff, readily admitted as much when contacted by AxisPhilly, and said that the councilman has not kept any financial records for Peace Not Guns.

“There are no financials for it at all. We don’t raise any money for it. It’s just a concept, really, just (Johnson’s) way of talking about the issue. He might do a roundtable for Peace Not Guns, or a rally, but there’s nothing financial for that,” Sample said. “If some people are complaining that the councilman says it’s a 501(c) 3, then I’ll talk to him about that, and tell him to stop doing that.”

AxisPhilly goes on to question how the organization raised money and how it was distributed. “It’s extremely sloppy at the very least, and it leaves the door open for all kinds of misbehavior,” said Zack Stalberg, CEO of the Committee of Seventy.