The report highlights notable achievements and recaps the progress of the Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation group formed last June
PHILADELPHIA —The City of Philadelphia today released its one-year progress report that provides a comprehensive update on the City’s Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation work, marking one year since the group’s formation. The initiative, supported by a diverse Steering Committee, was established on June 4, 2020 as part of the City’s commitment to reform amidst widespread activism around police brutality and racial inequities in the city and across the country.
Beginning with the removal of the Frank Rizzo statue, to long-term commitments to police reform, inclusive economic recovery, and health equity, the City of Philadelphia and partners have spent the past year working collectively to build a more equitable city for all Philadelphians.
“Over this last year, the City has taken measurable steps in reforms, increasing transparency in the Philadelphia Police Department with an emphasis on strengthening diversity, internal accountability and updating policies to improve community safety. In spite of difficult economic times, we promoted an inclusive effort towards recovery, supporting countless individuals and hundreds of minority-, women-, and disabled-owned businesses. We worked to address communities’ various needs through racial and economic equity plans in health targeting our most vulnerable zip codes,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The City continues to take solid steps in these measures. I am proud of the progress we’ve made in partnership with the Pathways Steering Committee. I cannot thank the members enough for their time and service. The Pathways initiative is an undertaking that will continue, as this is only the beginning to bolstering more opportunities for Philadelphia residents.”
Over the past year the City has worked together with varied institutions, departments, and community leaders and organizations to enact a meaningful reform agenda, reimagine public safety, and advance racial justice. Through short-term, mid-term, and long-term objectives, the Steering Committee has focused its work on four key priorities: Public Safety and Policing, Economy, Community Engagement and Reconciliation Process, and Health.
“Over the last year, the Pathways initiative has worked to address the more pressing issues of our city, and nation at this time. I am honored to see this important work toward a more equitable future for all Philadelphians continue, and thank the Committee for working toward long-lasting change,” said Cynthia Figueroa, Deputy Mayor for the Office of Children and Families.
Progress as of June 15, 2021 and notable achievements:
Public Safety and Policing: Since the launch of the Pathways initiative, City leaders along with Commissioner Outlaw’s executive team, the Steering Committee, and the Committee’s police reform working group have worked closely to implement meaningful reforms to better serve and protect Philadelphians. The multi-level agenda currently consists of reforms divided into five main areas:
- Update and review policies.
- Strengthen oversight measures and increase transparency and equity.
- Implement behavioral health and mental-health-related operational reforms in policy and protocol.
- Evaluate budgeting and collective bargaining process.
- Support state-level police reforms.
In the past year, the Philadelphia Police Department has worked on a series of reform efforts in these categories. The Police department has had sizable growth in numbers of Crisis Intervention- and Implicit Bias- trained officers and personnel; groundlaying measures in reimagining oversight and disciplinary processes; and substantial growth in its partnership with Department of Behavioral Services and Intellectual disAbility Services to properly serve the needs of Philadelphians who suffer from mental health and behavioral health related crises.
“The Police department has made important progress in our efforts to increase public safety. We continue to work towards making organizational advancements that increase internal accountability and equity,” said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “All Philadelphians need to feel safe in their communities by those that are sworn to protect them, and we are committed to enacting true and lasting reforms in order to better serve our neighborhoods.”
Some key numbers that summarize the progress on Public Safety and Policing are:
- The CNA’s after-action report was completed in December 2020 and the final report identified a total of 77 findings with the PPD’s response to city-wide unrest during this time period, and also included recommendations for improvement in each area. PPD accepted all 77 recommendations.
- 26 target reform areas completed or pending in the Pathways initiative.
- 3,214 (51%) officers have received the full 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training and certification.
- Nearly 150 virtual PPD-sponsored community meetings, sessions and town halls.
- 2,741 (43%) PPD personnel trained in Implicit Bias.
Going forward, the Police Department continues to focus on implementing equitable strategies, including those designed to increase diversity in recruitment, rebuild a foundation of trust and relationships in neighborhoods, and implement tools to increase equity and proactively reduce harm.
Inclusive Economy: The Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation initiative’s economic efforts have supported the development and implementation of COVID-19 relief programs, the allocation of dollars into small and minority-, women-, and disabled-owned businesses (M/W/DSBEs), and targeted investments in disproportionately impacted neighborhoods and communities through funding and programmatic initiatives.
These efforts, in collaboration with the Steering Committee, Department of Commerce, and Inclusive
Economy subcommittee, prioritize reviewing the City’s budget, investing in historically disadvantaged communities, and supporting small businesses against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the last year:
- $27 million in COVID-19 relief has been distributed by the Department of Commerce to 3,177 businesses; 63 percent of funding was awarded to minority-owned businesses.
- 10,000 PPE kits were distributed to small businesses to help them reopen last summer.
- $271.3 million City contracts awarded to M/W/DSBEs in FY20, a 6.6 percent increase from FY19.
- 30.1 percent of City contracts awarded to M/W/DSBEs in FY20
Looking ahead, with significant new investments for program staff, workforce development, commercial corridor revitalization, and minority business certification in the proposed FY22 budget, the Commerce Department is poised to further advance its equitable recovery agenda in the upcoming year.
Community Engagement and Reconciliation Process: In the last year, the Pathways initiative has worked collaboratively with community partners to foster conversations between institutions and residents to address structural racism and racial inequity issues in the city. The group also prioritized a review of public landmarks, monuments and holidays.
Pastor Carl Day of Culture Changing Christians added, “Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation are all serious, long-term processes that take extensive work and commitment to accomplish. I appreciate Mayor Kenney for doing what a great leader should do, in understanding that those issues and processes are far greater than himself and to build a vehicle that will drive the mission, with other great, respected leaders from various industries, religions, and all walks of life to come together, be heard, be impactful and most importantly be united, in our pursuit of change. He planted the seeds with the vision and start of this committee, the lasting fruit from this committee will be the byproduct of our commitment to build with each other and stay united beyond this administration, in order to truly reimagine a greater Philadelphia. I’m grateful to be a part of this effort and hopeful that we will get it done.”
Since June 2020, the City’s Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation has hosted and sponsored 21 public events aimed at public safety, police reform, community wellness, community empowerment, and reconciliation, with over 2,000 participants in City’s Pathways-sponsored events and over 650 participants in youth-focused events.
In addition to efforts to increase community relations between the PPD and residents, the Steering Committee has prioritized reviewing Philadelphia’s public art and landmarks. The Landmarks and Monuments Review is a public-driven process to ensure that the City of Philadelphia’s values of inclusiveness, integrity, and respect for the diversity of its citizenry, visitors, and history is reflected in its monuments and public art, as well as in the names of its City-owned landmarks. Approximately 7,000 City-owned assets have been classified in a database created under the Landmarks and Monuments Review.
In addition, the Administration examined and updated City holidays in relation to racial justice. On January 27, 2021, Mayor Jim Kenney signed Executive Order 2-21, which made two changes to the list of City Holidays. The City of Philadelphia will once again recognize Juneteenth (June 19) as a holiday; and, for the first time, the City holiday celebrated on the second Monday of October will be recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day rather than Columbus Day. These changes, instituted via Executive Order 2-21, will be in place at least through the end of the Kenney administration. The City will also continue to pursue including these changes permanently as part of the Collective
Bargaining Agreements with the four municipal worker unions, which expire in 2021.
Finally, The Pathways Steering Committee’s shared findings and recommendations are supporting the Administration as it continues to implement the racial equity, diversity, and inclusion strategies laid out in Executive Order 1-20, which Mayor Kenney signed in January 2020.
Among other things, the Executive Order formalized the Administration’s citywide Racial Equity Strategy, which sets forth a shared framework to embed racial equity as an explicit governing principle—a lens all City departments and agencies will use to assess how their operations and policies, impact all Philadelphians, including historically-marginalized communities. Under the Executive Order, all City departments will be required, by the end of 2023, to conduct Racial Equity Assessments and create Racial Equity Action Plans. Departments will complete these assessments and action plans in a phased approach, beginning with the first cohort of departments in 2020.
Health: The Pathways Steering Committee worked to support the development and implementation of the City’s health reform agenda with a focus on providing an equitable lens to public health in tackling race- and economic-based disparities.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) has implemented its Coronavirus Interim Racial Equity Plan, focused on eight key strategies for addressing race-based disparities during the pandemic. This plan summarized PDPH’s approach to addressing disparate impact of COVID-19
on other communities that have also suffered from historic disinvestment and structural inequity including immigrants, people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity, and people with criminal justice system involvement.
By working with community organizations and stakeholders to address existing health disparities, the City has ensured that its response to the COVID-19 pandemic was focused on those at the highest risk. During the last year:
- 857,383 Philadelphians have received at least one dose of vaccine, this is 69% of the adult population. (as of 06/14/21)
- 668,710 Philadelphians have been fully vaccinated, this is 54% of the adult population. (as of 06/14/21)
- There are 93 testing sites in Philadelphia in total, along with several mobile and pop-up testing options.
- PMHCC, Inc., in partnership with the Health Department, has been running a Community Testing RFP seeking proposals from qualified organizations to expand the availability of COVID-19 testing, particularly among people who are at high risk for acquiring or transmitting the infection. To date, this RFP has contracted $12,244,205.34 to 16 community testing providers.
- COVID-19 vaccines are available at 280 sites across Philadelphia. All of these sites are free and do not require appointments, identification, or insurance.
- PMHCC, Inc., in partnership with the Health Department, ran a Community Vaccination RFP seeking proposals from qualified organizations to create vaccine access points in geographic areas and communities that are medically underserved. This RFP has contracted $18,084,091.04 to nine community vaccination providers.
In addition to developing and maintaining a suite of the most visited, most interactive web pages in the history of the City’s phila.gov website (more than 17 million page views to phila.gov/covid since March 2020), the Health Department has developed a robust community outreach program in concert with Philly Counts. Philly Counts, as part of their COVID-19 vaccine outreach work, has hosted ten Vaccine Information Champion Training events in four languages, including American Sign Language.. These events have trained over 600 Vaccine Information Champions. The Philly Counts program has made more than 78,351 phone calls, sent more than 7,591 text messages, knocked on more than 2,254 doors, and engaged with more than 10,735 Philadelphians.
In the first round of the COVID-19 Prevention & Response Fund, in partnership with the Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia, $365,150 have been distributed to 49 organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area. 72 percent of those funds went to an organization with a leader of color. $150,000 was granted to organizations with at least 90 percent BIPOC staff, and $188,000 was granted to organizations with at least 90 percent community-based staff.
One year later, the group—along with its three subcommittees in police reform, inclusive economic recovery, and community engagement—continues to routinely evaluate its progress, adapt its target actions and recommendations to meet residents’ shifting needs, and sustains its commitment to
transforming Philadelphia through active re-imagination.
“This work is critical to the Philadelphia community, said Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition. “I am glad that I had an opportunity to join with the Mayor, city officials, and community leaders to move it forward. Though we have made progress, we still have a lot of work to do and I am committed to staying a part of this effort.”
The full Philadelphia Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation 2020-2021 Year-End Review can be downloaded on phila.gov.
For more information, events, and progress on the Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation efforts, visit its website.
For updates on the Pathways initiative, sign up for the Pathways newsletter here.