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Blondell readies push for school advertising bill

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown wants to clear up some myths about her school property advertising bill.

Blondell readies push for school advertising bill

Portrait of Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown in her City Hall office Feb. 5, 2013.
Portrait of Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown in her City Hall office Feb. 5, 2013. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown wants to clear up some myths about her school property advertising bill.

After it moved successfully out of committee at the beginning of the month, Brown said she’s been getting hit with a hailstorm of concerns from her constituents regarding the content of the ads that might appear on school property, should the measure pass next year.

In its original form, the bill would prohibit commercial displays on any school property with historic value and ban ads featuring alcohol or tobacco. It’s expected to bring millions of dollars to the city’s cash-strapped public school district, but it was stalled at last week’s final City Council meeting of 2013.

“One very legitimate concern is the nature of the advertising, that it will be reckless and irresponsible,” she said.

“We’ve never been down this road before, but the way you minimize that is to stay intimately involved in the process – even after it moves out of City Council – to ensure the spirit of the legislation is being honored.”

New amendments to the bill Brown plans to introduce would call for the creation of “parental advisory councils” by district and for the School Reform Commission to have “ultimate veto power” on all ads placed on school buildings. She said language in the final draft will also ask for involvement from the planning commission and Council’s education committee.

“It will be a working group that makes sure the advertising content is selective and thoughtful,” she said.

“As long as we’re having to look at $300 million in (school district) cuts, you can’t just sit and wait. You have to do something.”

Calls seeking comment from a school district spokesman were not returned at press time.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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