Monday, November 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Councilwoman Wants To Limit City Bills For Ethnic Parades

Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez wants to take on the issue of parade funding once and for all this week.

Councilwoman Wants To Limit City Bills For Ethnic Parades

Triplets from left Ciara, Corinne, Christopher Lacey, 4, watch the St. Patrick´s day parade last March. (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer )
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.

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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.
 

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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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