Home Featured | Home Page Special focus on Kensington

Special focus on Kensington

City Council President Kenyatta Johnson last week announced the appointees to the Special Committee on Kensington.

The members are Councilwoman Quetcy Lozada, the chairwoman; Councilman Curtis Jones, vice chairman; Councilmen Mark Squilla, Mike Driscoll and Jim Harrity; and Councilwoman Nina Ahmad.

“The Special Committee on Kensington is deeply committed to a rigorous evaluation of current strategies to address the opioid crisis in the neighborhood. While we know that Kensington has long faced significant challenges, this committee will develop innovative, data-driven solutions that can directly address the roots of the crisis, including the need for more effective addiction treatment options,” Johnson said. “I believe that this work will steer the neighborhood of Kensington in a direction to become a safer, healthier community where every resident feels supported and protected. As Kensington recovers, we should expect a positive ripple effect for other neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia facing similar obstacles.”

Jones and Ahmad were named to the committee because they chair Council’s Committees on Public Safety and Public Health, respectively.

“Until Kensington is safe, no neighborhood is truly safe,” Jones said.

Lozada, Squilla and Driscoll share parts of the neighborhood in their Council districts, and Harrity lives in Kensington. The four councilmembers make up the Kensington Caucus, formed at the beginning of the Council term focused on working collaboratively to provide stronger representation to the neighborhood.

“The establishment of a Special Committee for Kensington is unique. However, the challenges facing the neighborhood are exceptional and require a comprehensive and coordinated strategy. I look forward to this committee’s work and want to assure Kensington residents and businesses, as well as all Philadelphians, that my Council colleagues and I are committed to the positive transformation of Kensington going forward,” Driscoll said.

“I know from my own personal lived experience that recovery is a lifetime thing. It’s not something that you kick. This is a disease. A disease that we have our whole lives. That’s why we say we have one day at a time,” Harrity said.

The Special Committee was established through Resolution 240294, which was passed by Council unanimously April 18. The resolution stated that the committee will analyze and examine the effectiveness of current policies and work together to establish a framework for addressing the root causes of these issues facing the Kensington area including poverty, crime, substance use and homelessness.

Special Committee has a range of responsibilities, which include convening regular meetings to plan and coordinate activities, evaluating the effectiveness of current programs and policies, and identifying best practices at the local and national levels. They will work with subject matter experts to further develop data-driven solutions and restore stability to the neighborhood. ••

Exit mobile version