Northeast Philadelphia residents discuss bad dog owners, the closing prison and keeping the area clean.
Clean up the Northeast
Join me in saying “No” to litter in Northeast Philadelphia.
When I walk around my neighborhood, nothing frustrates me more than to see trash and litter on our streets. It is hard not to become disheartened at the sight of it; it is hard not to become numb to it.
Litter has many causes and therefore there is no one silver bullet to eradicate it. As a state representative and as a community leader before I was elected, I deploy a multi-pronged strategy. But for it to be successful, I need your help.
First, we need more public trash cans on our business corridors’ streets so the kid walking down Castor Avenue has a place to throw his candy wrapper. We need trash and recycling to be set out properly and collected efficiently so a strong gust of wind does not scatter your trash up and down the block. My office has given out hundreds of recycling containers and made sure that the city Department of Streets properly enforces laws on the books. In addition, we are working with the streets department to secure more Big Belly trash cans along our business corridors.
Second, if people do litter, there must be consequences. Along with Rep John Taylor, I have introduced legislation to increase fines for litter and direct those fines to litter prevention efforts.
Third, I partnered with Steve Prince of Steaks, Jidan Cleaning and the streets department to do a pilot program of weekly street cleaning on Castor, Bustleton and Rising Sun avenues. We are working with the leaders of both the Castor Bustleton Cottman Business Association and the Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association to expand the reach of this program.
Fourth, we need to have more consistent neighborhood clean-ups to get rid of the litter. On our residential blocks, we need leaders to step forward to organize their neighbors to clean up regularly on their street.
To those who do this already, know that you are not alone in your efforts — there are hundreds of people who do this yearly, but we need more help. That is why I launched a Super Volunteer program that encourages individuals to become the leaders we need at the block level.
Working with our young people, as well as block leaders, business owners, civic leaders and the city, we can finally make the Northeast free of litter.
State Rep. Jared Solomon
Prison closing a mistake
On April 18, Mayor Jim Kenney announced that in two years or less the House of Correction in the Northeast will be closed.
City Councilman Bobby Henon is quoted as saying this is an important step toward comprehensively improving our criminal justice system. Henon also states that the facility has safety issues and is outdated for programs needed for today’s criminal.
This is very interesting for something like this to be announced, as new District Attorney Larry Krasner has vowed to change the criminal justice system in Philadelphia. One of Krasner’s goals is to change the mass incarceration in Philadelphia.
This also becomes interesting because the MacArthur Foundation awarded the city a $3.5 million grant to lower its prison population rate by 34 percent over three years.
The overwhelming issue with Krasner’s approach to crime is that it has a very good possibility of making our neighborhoods less safe. Closing the House of Correction sends a message to criminals that we will find easier ways to punish you for your crimes. This means more criminals on the street and in our neighborhoods. Where will the $3.5 million go?
Fine bad dog owners
Early Sunday morning, I decided to walk to Mass at Our Lady of Consolation. It was such a beautiful spring morning and there are so many beautiful houses and gardens here in Tacony.
However, there is a downside. The amount of dog barking is a disgrace. Too bad if anyone wants to sleep in on a Sunday morning. Also, the amount of dog feces everywhere is disgusting. The dogs in our neighborhood are never walked. They just bark, and we are expected to put up with it night and day. Dogs don’t pay taxes. People do. Pet owners seem to think it’s OK to disturb the peace. They should be fined. A dog is a responsibility, not a toy. Not everyone enjoys loud barking. Good music is nice.