Philadelphia voters on Tuesday appear to have approved proposed amendments to the City Charter on police oversight, schools, and sexual-harassment policy, with more than 80 percent of the precincts counted.
The approval of Question 1 requires that City Council appropriate at least $500,000 a year to run the Police Advisory Commission, an agency that provides civilian oversight of the police department, investigating its policies and practices. Funding for the board has fluctuated over the years.
The approval of Question 2 grants Council power to approve new members of the Board of Education selected by the administration. The question was said to be misleading because it asked voters "if they want to "restore local control" of schools. That has already happened, with the state authorizing the disbanding of the School Reform Commission and replacing it with a local board.
The approval of Question 3 requires that the city give all of its employees sexual-harassment training.
Currently, such training is required for rank-and-file city employees only when a supervisor decides it is necessary. The new legislation would establish a standard that mandatory training take place every one to three years.
Separately, City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart is examining the city's sexual-harassment policies. A spokeswoman for Rhynhart said that audit, expected to be released by June, will likely include a recommendation of mandatory "high-quality" sexual-harassment training. Experts say that such training is effective at deterring workplace harassment if properly designed.
All Philadelphia voters, regardless of political party, were eligible to vote on the ballot questions.