The stated meeting of Philadelphia City Council for Oct. 24, 2019, included the honoring of a Philadelphia media institution, a potential task-force for domestic worker rights, and movement on a bill aiming to set responsibilities for bedbug remediation.
City Council recognized PhillyCAM, Philadelphia’s nonprofit public access television and radio station, in honor of its 10th anniversary. Several councilmembers read portions of a resolution
PhillyCam television broadcasts are aired on Comcast channels 66, 966, and 967, and Verizon channels 29 and 30. PhillyCAM radio broadcasts on WPPM, 106.5 FM.
Councilmember Allan Domb, reading from the resolution, said the nonprofit is comprised of over 800 members and represents neighborhoods from across the city.
“[PhillyCAM is made up of an engaged constituency of people of color, working people, women, sexual minorities, people with disabilities, educators, artists, seniors, returning citizens, and young people,” Domb said.
Gretjen Clausing, executive director of PhillyCAM, said the organization is looking to continue to grow and preparing for 2020.
“We’ve got the presidential election and the census (coming up), and we are excited to be out there using media to get people fired up to vote and be counted,” Clausing said.
Councilmember Maria Quinones-Sanchez introduced a resolution calling for the creation of domestic workers standards and an implementation task force.
The nine-person task force would consider, analyze, and make recommendations to city council’s Committee on Law and Government and the Mayor’s Office of Labor regarding the legal protections, benefits, and working conditions for domestic workers.
Quinones-Sanchez said the task-force was part of the domestic worker’s rights bill she proposed.
“We’ve been meeting as a task force in the summer, but we want to bring some other people around the table to help us guide through the implementation process,” Quinones-Sanchez said.
Bill 190106, a bill establishing tenant and landlord responsibilities for bedbug infestations, received a favorable recommendation from the Licenses and Inspections Committee and was heard in council for its first reading.
The bill received some backlash during its committee hearing due to the time frame tenants and landlords have a shared financial responsibility to remediate a bedbug infestation. Currently, the bill stipulates a tenant must notify a landlord within 90 days of moving into a rented space of a bedbug infestation. After 90 days, the cost of remediation is shared.
Critics of this amendment to the bill said 90 days is too short a time period to properly determine if an infestation was active. In some cases, an infestation may not be apparent for over a year.
Lawrence McGlynn is a recent graduate of Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication where he earned a Master’s in Journalism. For the next several months he will be reporting out of City Hall on various council and committee meetings, the city’s budget, and how these impact the daily lives of Philadelphians.
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