Do you have problems with the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA)? Do you feel its policies are unjust? If so, you may want to participate in a citywide Town Hall Meeting that will discuss the agency and its policies. Sponsored by community activist Lawrence Clark and the People’s Choice Movement Coalition, a group of concerned citizens, the meeting will be held Saturday, October 16 from 11:00AM to 1:00PM at Berean Institute, 19th & Girard Avenue.
People who feel they have been treated unfairly will have a chance to air their grievances through testimony that will be used to document the authority’s alleged misdeeds. Each person testifying will have three 3 minutes and must provide written testimony. Those who don’t get to testify due to time constraints can also provide written testimony to be included in the documentation. Legal counsel will be on hand to discuss Act 22, the law that turned control of the agency over to state. A representative from the PPA has also been invited to participate.
Clark and the group expressed their extreme displeasure with the policies of the PPA at a protest demonstration in front of the agency’s Filbert Street office in March and called for an investigation into the practices of the agency.
They are also calling for a 60-Day Moratorium that would allow individuals to establish financial hardship, halt the auction of vehicles and impose a freeze on hiring and the awarding of contracts.
“We feel that the Philadelphia Parking Authority has become unjust, revenue driven and a political bureaucracy,” explained Clark. “The PPA is like an out of control beast has been buffaloing drivers in the city. There is no compassion in its policies, especially during these hard economic times. These policies are in fact, driving people away from business districts in the city. Why should people shop here when they can go to suburban malls and not worry about getting ticketed or towed? It gives the city a negative image. Look at how the city is portrayed in the TV show “Parking Wars.” PPA enforcement personnel are like vultures waiting to swoop on unsuspecting prey!”
Clark stressed the point that the PPA should have more compassionate policies during these hard economic times. “The illegal towing of vehicles, favoritism in parking enforcement in certain parts of the city while being punitive in others and harassing people for penalties when their tickets have already been paid must stop. People should be able to set up reasonable payment plans and have a reasonable time to get the funds to keep their vehicles from being auctioned. Even the IRS is working with people during these tough economic times. No one is advocating on behalf of the people. However, we want to remind those employed by the Parking Authority that the people pay their salaries. We are tired of the disrespect and disregard, so we’re advocating for ourselves.”
“We’re also calling for the establishment of an independent review board that includes citizen representation, to audit the current practices and policies of the Philadelphia Parking Authority. The review board should not be stacked with political cronies that conduct business as usual.”
The group wants an audit that includes:
- A time management study of all employees
- Awarding of contracts.
- Revenue enforcement policies.
- Hiring practices
- Mission statement and functions.
- Administrative and operational functions
Clark said the group is looking into other ways to address the unjust activities of the PPA. “This is a movement by and for the people,” he said.
People interested in providing testimony must register by emailing their name, address and a written 3-minute testimony to [email protected] no later than Thursday, October 14.