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Blackwell extended dialogue on outdoor feeding ban

Shortly after Mayor Nutter announced a ban on outdoor feeding in city parks, City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell sponsored a resolution calling for hearings on the impact of the ban.

That resolution was finally approved today by City Council.

Blackwell had decided to hold the resolution for weeks so that homeless advocates and others concerned about the ban could speak on it during Thursday Council sessions.

"[There was] no opportunity for the public to know that this issue is on the front burner and that we have a potential problem in this city of homeless people being victimized as well as those who serve them," Blackwell said. "As long as [the resolution is] on the active calendar people had the right, the authority to sign up and talk about it."

"We wanted to afford them that opportunity to come in and talk about it and as long as they read it they know it's not forgotten," Blackwell said.

In April, Nutter established the Task Force on Outdoor Serving of Food to educate and encourage Philadelphia's hungry and outdoor servers to move indoors. Blackwell is a part of that taskforce.

Blackwell said the taskforce is set to meet soon and she felt comfortable moving the resolution forward now.

"We'll never forget about this issue, but we've reached a point where we can have this discussion at another forum," she said.