Democratic mayoral candidate Jeff Brown spoke at last week’s meeting of the Greater Bustleton Civic League.
Brown owns 12 ShopRites and Fresh Grocers, with 2,300 union employees.
The candidate is concerned that Philadelphia is short 1,500 police officers. He opposes defunding the police.
If elected, he declined to promise to keep Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. He described District Attorney Larry Krasner as being against the police and Mayor Jim Kenney as not supporting the police. He wants Krasner to begin prosecuting retail thefts of $500 or less.
Brown would like to repeal the Driving Equity Bill, sponsored by City Councilman Isaiah Thomas, which limits the reasons that police officers can stop cars.
“That was a really bad bill,” Brown said.
In response to a question about homelessness, Brown noted he faced the issue as a member of the Pennsylvania Convention Center board. There were 80 homeless people outside the center, Brown said, adding that the city did nothing. The board, he said, arranged for temporary housing and treatment for the homeless.
As for GBCL’s battle with UPS, Brown said the high-paying union jobs would be nice, but that UPS owes it to opponents to meet with them.
In other news from the Jan. 24 meeting:
• The group heard from Capt. Steven O’Brien, commander of the 7th Police District, and community relations officer Joe Staszak. O’Brien said there were robberies with guns on the 1600 block of Hoffnagle St. and the 2200 block of Bowler St. Beautyland, 1124 Gregg St., was also robbed. Of the 58 thefts from auto in a month-long period, 34 were catalytic converters and 16 came from unlocked doors. Staszak welcomes 7th district residents to meet with him on Feb. 17 at 11 a.m at the Pretzel Factory at 1890 Woodhaven Road.
• The GBCL voted 13-4 in favor of a variance for a property at 90 Red Lion Road. The site would be for professional offices, vehicle sales and rentals and minor auto repairs. There are 16 outdoor parking spots, and hours would be weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most of the car sales would be online. A Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing will take place Feb. 22.
• The group approved a variance for a shed at 9568 Walley Ave.
• At the December meeting, the group voted to oppose a proposal to build 63 luxury townhomes on an 11-acre piece of ground at 1719 Fulmer St. A ZBA hearing is set for May 24.
• Northeast Philadelphia History Network will meet on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. at Pennepack Baptist Meetinghouse, 8732 Krewstown Road. The topic will be Byberry African American Burial Ground. The speaker will be Hannah Wallace, Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. The ⅛-acre Byberry African American Burial Ground is located adjacent to Benjamin Rush State Park and is completely overgrown.
• Greater Bustleton Civic League will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. at American Heritage Credit Union, 2060 Red Lion Road. ••