Councilman Johnson Pulls the Rezoning Bill

Over 100 Eastwick residents and supporters attended yesterday evening’s meeting (Tuesday, November 20, 2012), organized jointly by the Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, held at the Pepper Middle School.

Folks sat patiently through presentations from the Philadelphia Water Department, Office of Emergency Management, and the Department of Licenses & Inspections, all of whom affirmed their commitment to working with the long-ignored community of Eastwick to identify and implement solutions to flooding.

But people really wanted to hear from Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who took the stage at 7:40 PM. It was worth the wait, as the room erupted into applause when he announced that he would be officially withdrawing the re-zoning bill that would’ve allowed the Korman Company to proceed with their proposed development of 722 rental apartments on 35 acres of green space adjacent to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.  He also pulled another, related bill.

“The community has spoken, and spoken loudly,” said Johson, affirming his commitment to serve and advocate for the residents he represents, the ones who elected him.  He pledged to keep Eastwick’s flooding issue on the front burner, and work with the community closely to resolve issues.

After thanking the Coalition for organizing, and making Eastwick’s voices heard, Johnson acknowledged, “In this process, the community has been very consistent.”

Pastor Darien Thomas conveyed the sentiment of many residents, when he expressed gratitude to Councilman Johnson from his ancestors, who have been waiting for some form of justice since the 1960’s, when 10,000 Eastwick residents were displaced from their homes, and children were moved from tree-lined neighborhoods, to bewildering concrete blocks.

When it was mentioned that, if closed, Pepper Middle School might become a prison, Johnson immediately responded, “not on my watch.”

Reverand Pamela Williams’ approval echoed throughout the room, “You have established yourself as a major leader in the city of Philadelphia, in my heart and in my mind. You took on the responsibility. You came back, and you listened to your constituency. And you did the right thing.”

The Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition expresses its thanks and appreciation to Councilman Johnson for his support and commitment to the Eastwick community.

Related article:

Councilman Johnson says he’ll withdraw bills Korman needs to build 722 apartments by Kellie Patrick Gates for PlanPhilly – November 20,2012

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1 Comment

  1. Connie Pilling

     /  November 21, 2012

    The people spoke and were heard!


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