In wake of Pittsburgh synagogue attack, Philadelphia City Council gets new hate crime legislation

Pat Loeb
November 01, 2018 - 4:23 pm
Philadelphia City Hall

Courtesy of Paul Gluck

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Philadelphia City Council got legislation Thursday that its sponsor says would strengthen the city's hate crime law. 

Councilman Bobby Henon introduced a bill expanding the definition of who is protected under Philadelphia's hate crime legislation. He said older people in his district feared being targeted because of their age, and the need became clearer last week, when a racially-motivated shooting in Kentucky and the synagogue attack in Pittsburgh claimed elderly victims.

"Unfortunately, (these) tragic events are reminders that we must insure that our hate laws reflect the value of our cities in protecting targeted communities," Henon said.

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The bill would lay out consequences for crimes motivated by age, race, religion, or national origin.

Council also got a bill that would let the city buy solar power in bulk. Philadelphia has set a goal of powering all its city buildings with renewable energy by 2030. If it passes, the bill introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown would get it 22 percent of the way there, by allowing a Purchase Agreement with a solar facility, to be built in Adams County.

"It's another good, tangible example of us moving better and closer toward lowering our carbon footprint," Reynolds Brown said.

And Council approved a resolution requesting an audit of the city's Office of Information Technology. Sponsor David Oh says he's been troubled by its performance.