NEIGHBORHOODS RALLY AT CITY HALL TO DEMAND THAT MAYOR NUTTER ‘TURN ON THE TAP’!
DAY CAMPS FACE DISCRIMINATION AS THE CITY LOCKS THEM OUT OF LOCAL POOLS
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Over 100 Philadelphia residents converged on City Hall today, joined by over 10 other city organizations and labor unions, to demand restoration of 1.1 million dollars in funding to open all of the city’s 27 closed public swimming pools.
The closed pools, which serve over 500,000 residents, also provided hundreds of summer jobs for adolescents and served thousands of Philadelphia summer campers, who have had their programming canceled as pools and libraries receive cuts in funding.
“We are here today to demand that Mayor Nutter turn on the tap and restore the 1.1 million dollars taken from pools in our communities!” said Martha Jones-Smithey, a local leader and rally organizer from the Fairhill neighborhood.
Just last week the Creative Steps Day Camp was discriminated against by the Huntingdon Valley Pool + Club after their local swimming pool was closed by budget cuts.
“The discrimination faced by Creative Steps was just a more explicit version of the racism the campers faced when they were locked out of their neighborhood pool,” said Eric Braxton, an organizer with the Coalition to Save the Libraries.
In the weeks leading up to the rally, public outrage at pool closings has lead to five neighborhood demonstrations in the threatened communities of Grays Ferry (Stinger Pool), Point Breeze (Chew Pool), Girard Estate (Marion Anderson Pool), Fairhill (12th+ Cambria Pool), and East Germantown (Lonnie Young Pool).
Many neighborhoods have felt the consequences of pool closings as youth violence spikes during the summer months and children are forced to make dangerous trips to swim in other areas.
“These pools are vital to our neighborhoods. They keep our kids safe. They provide jobs for young people. They bring our families together. That’s why we’re here – to fight for our community!” said Nadine Rykard, a resident and leader from Grays Ferry.
CONTACT: Zachary Hershman at email@example.com for more info + list of participant organizations.