Democratic mayoral candidate Helen Gym addressed last week’s meeting of the Lawncrest Community Association.
Gym was elected to City Council in 2015 and resigned to enter the mayoral race. She said public safety is the No. 1 issue and pledged to declare a state of emergency to combat gun violence. She’d deploy all available police officers to give a greater visibility on the streets.
Endorsed by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, she was a longtime opponent of state control of the School District of Philadelphia. She applauded the recent Commonwealth Court ruling that the state has shortchanged schools, including the ones in Philadelphia.
If elected, she’d modernize all public school buildings, focus on literacy and increase arts and career and technical education in schools.
In office, she supported eviction-prevention measures.
In a question-and-answer session, she said she supports building affordable housing on public land. She didn’t give a direct answer when one man complained about the so-called Driving Equality Law (a bill Gym voted for), which prohibits police from pulling over cars for various traffic violations.
In other news from the Feb. 16 meeting:
• The 2nd Police District was represented by Capt. Marc Metellus, a 20-year department veteran and the new commander; Sgt. Matt Lowe (who was in the same Police Academy class as Metellus); community relations officer Mark Mroz; and crime analyst Padraic Feeney.
Metellus will hold a town hall meeting on Wednesday, March 15, from 6-7 p.m. at the Philadelphia Protestant Home, 6401 Martins Mill Road.
Anonymous crime tips are being accepted at 215-686-TIPS or tips@PhillyPolice.com.
Police ask anyone with a security camera at home to register the system at http://safecam.phillypolice.com. If a crime is committed in the area, police will ask to see a copy of the video captured by your camera.
In a recent two-week period in the 2nd district, there were 72 cars stolen, including 24 Hyundais and 23 Kias. Mroz encourages people to buy The Club.
Mroz mentioned that an 11-year-old in a stolen car crashed the vehicle on Cottman Avenue.
Mroz recommends that people sign up for the Civilian Police Academy. CPA meets Wednesday nights for nine weeks at the Philadelphia Police Academy, 2838 Woodhaven Road. The next class will begin on April 23. For more information, contact Cpl. Megan Fabrizio at 215-934-4147 or Megan.Fabrizio@phila.gov.
Feeney urged people using OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace to make the transaction in a police district or a well-lit area to avoid a robbery.
• Resident Dallas Herbert spoke of Waste Free Philly’s five-point agenda for a Clean and Waste-Free Future for Philadelphia. The group is calling on mayoral candidates to pledge to, among other things, appoint a Deputy Streets Commissioner for Zero Waste. More information is at wastefreephilly.org.
• A fundraiser for a woman with pancreatic cancer will take place on Saturday, March 4, from 7-11 p.m. at Michael J. Crescenz Medal of Honor Rising Sun Post 2819, 6850 Martins Mill Road. Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for children and include open bar, food and music. There will be raffles and a 50/50. Buy tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/534181269557, on Venmo @Heather-Miller0429 or on Cash App at $Heatherlee429.
• Catholic Community Services, 1926 Grant Ave., will host a meet and greet for adoptive parents on March 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be resources, giveaways, refreshments and raffles. Call 215-459-0296.
• State Sen. Tina Tartaglione has moved her office to 5321 Oxford Ave.
• Lawncrest Community Association will meet on Thursday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m. at St. William’s Monsignor James E. Mortimer Memorial Hall, Argyle and Robbins streets. ••