The Republicans to the rescue? Maybe.
This afternoon, Joe DeFelice, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Republican Party, weighed in on Councilman Mark Squilla’s Special Assembly Occupancy bill. The proposed legislation has been that’s a major topic of discussion since Billy Penn reported on it yesterday.
In case you didn’t log on to any social media yesterday — which, if you’re a musician, means you’re already behind on promoting this week’s shows – the bill “…would require owners of nightclubs, cabarets, bars and restaurants in the city to collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of entertainers — bands, rappers and DJs — in a registry, and to share that personal information with police upon request,” according to Billy Penn.
DeFelice’s statement also claimed the bill would also raise the permit cost for such events by 500%.
“We have a healthy and growing music scene in Philadelphia and the natural instinct of Democrats on City Council is to see how they can throw needless regulations at it,” said Joe DeFelice in the statement. “We should also have serious concerns and reservations about City Hall being fair and uniform on how they apply this and to who they apply it against.
“On top of that, the City would likely be asking for a lawsuit for First Amendment and Free Speech violations. It’s sad that this isn’t the first time they have forgotten Philadelphia is where the Constitution was born. This can be a major civil rights issue… from many angles.”
The statement also identifies councilwoman Maria Sanchez as also pushing for the bill’s passage. It lists her email address for people to contact if they’d like to weigh in on the matter: Maria.Q.Sanchez@phila.gov.
Elsewhere, Squilla’s also taking more of a PR hit. Other publications are again reporting his involvement in a “White Lives Matter” rally in South Philly last summer. That’s being paired with conjecture that a shooting after a rap concert outside theTLA last year is what inspired the bill, or at least the provision to provide law enforcement with entertainers’ information.
The shooting theory is based on what little response the police and Squilla’s office has given about why the bill was created. Combining that with the “White Lives Matter” protest is, for some, painting Squilla as possibly a racist who’s really out to squash just one certain type of music in the city with an encompassing bill.