Triplets from left Ciara, Corinne, Christopher Lacey, 4, watch the St. Patrick's day parade last March. (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer )
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez wants to take on the issue of parade funding once and for all this week.
Quiñones-Sánchez plans to introduce legislation tomorrow that would put limits on the amount the city could charge ethnic parades and festivals* for police and sanitation costs. Read a letter she sent to Council members about the legislation here.
Quiñones-Sánchez said she was frustrated that ethnic parades were handed bills last year without warning.
"My biggest frustration is that we took groups to 100 percent [payments] without giving them any value for the work that they do," Quiñones-Sánchez said. She noted that the city’s six ethnic parades cost the city roughly $200,000 each year.
The Nutter administration’s decision to start charging parades and special events last year for city services like police and sanitation has been controversial, especially with the city’s ethnic parades.
Six ethnic parades march through Center City each year: Puerto Rican Day, Columbus Day, St. Patrick's Day, Greek Independence Day, Steuben Day and Pulaski Day. Last year, several ethnic parades shortened their routes to cut costs. The St. Patrick's Day parade went on last year after last-minute funds were provided by, among others, Philadelphia Media Holdings L.L.C., owner of the Daily News the Inquirer and Philly.com.
NOTE: This story was updated to reflect that the legislation would also apply to festivals.