City Council Bill 160016 is, to say the least, problematic.
Last Thursday, Jan. 21, City Council introduced a bill sponsored by 1st District Councilman Mark Squilla that’s generated an outcry from the Philly music community. Rest assured, the legislation has several more steps before it becomes law and it will almost certainly be amended (read: gutted) before it becomes City of Philadelphia law.
Squilla’s bill would amend section 9-703 of Philadelphia Code under “Special Assembly Occupancies,” altering “the application procedures and increasing the fee for a Special Assembly Occupancy license and for Promoter registration, clarifying the role of the Philadelphia Police Department in approvals of licenses…” according to City Council’s bill summary.
Facebook went nuts with a BillyPenn story yesterday, written by Dustin Slaughter, that broke the news. It included a few gems from R5 Productions head honcho, Sean Agnew. Slaughter did his best to break down the unwieldy and, ultimately, misguided language of the 12-page bill: Special Assembly Occupancy licenses would become more expensive ($100 per year to $500 every two years); the Philadelphia Police Department would be involved in the granting of these licenses (read: the police will tell L&I if the venue’s a dump, violent, loud late, etc.); and, perhaps most mystifyingly, venues and promoters could be tasked with collecting the phone numbers and addresses of performers to improve public safety.
Suffice it to say, there’s been an incredible amount of backlash against and press on the bill. Continue reading →