Marquis of Debris: 'Bandit signs' already sticking up city nabes

A PROPOSAL from City Council to tweak the laws concerning one of the city's many dirty habits - and to monetize it - has incensed some neatness freaks, who say that the idea will make it even more difficult for Philadelphia to clean up its act.

Proposed legislation from Councilman Curtis Jones and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell would allow advertisers to post "bandit signs" for 90 days, after paying a $1 fee for each sign they plan to post.

The signs usually tout services, like erasing bad credit, buying ugly homes and hauling away junk cars for cash.

The proposed law would require advertisers to register with the Department of Licenses and Inspections, and let officials know how many signs they plan to post and where.

It sounds great. But look around: The last thing this city needs is to enact another law that won't be consistently enforced.

These tacky signs are already left dangling all over Philadelphia like sticky notes, and folks leave them hanging with virtually no fear of being penalized with a code-violation notice or a fine.

Christopher Sawyer, who has been rallying community support against bandit signs, is inviting Philadelphians to speak out against the proposal by signing an online petition at that he plans to post tomorrow.

Neighbors looking to spend their Saturday morning sprucing up a slice of North Philly are invited to a Neighbors In Action cleanup event on Thompson Street near 22nd.

The event, in partnership with United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the UnLitter Us network, runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For a listing of more neighborhood-cleanup events, check the UnLitter Us network website at aspx.

If you're fed up with the filth in Philly and want to talk trash, email the Marquis at, or find his page on Facebook.