Schwartz talks federal, hears local at Take Back Your Neighborhood meeting

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz spoke about a dys­func­tion­al Con­gress in a re­cent vis­it to the Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood civic as­so­ci­ation meet­ing.

Schwartz (D-13th dist.) men­tioned a lack of an agree­ment on is­sues such as gun safety, spend­ing and il­leg­al im­mig­ra­tion.

The five-term con­gress­wo­man in­dic­ated that she fa­vors cuts in sub­sidies to the big oil com­pan­ies.

“I think they’re do­ing just fine,” she said, adding that the cost sav­ings should be used to lower the budget de­fi­cit or pur­sue al­tern­at­ive en­ergy sources.

There were few ques­tions about fed­er­al is­sues.

One neigh­bor com­plained that, while Phil­adelphia Gas Works has six cus­tom­er ser­vice cen­ters, the only North­east loc­a­tion is at 4410 Frank­ford Ave. in Frank­ford, a lengthy trip for many area res­id­ents. PGW pre­vi­ously closed an of­fice at 8566 Bustleton Ave. in Bell’s Corner.

Schwartz’s dis­trict con­sists of about 700,000 people. She has an of­fice at 7712 Castor Ave. in Rhawn­hurst and an­oth­er in Abing­ton.

A former state sen­at­or, Schwartz is giv­ing up her con­gres­sion­al seat next year to run for gov­ernor.

In oth­er news from the Ju­ly 15 meet­ing:

• Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood will hold its third an­nu­al North­east Cel­eb­ra­tion on Sat­urday, Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Max My­ers Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, at 1601 Heller­man St.

There will be food, mu­sic, chil­dren’s activ­it­ies, his­tory speak­ers and of­fi­cials from loc­al polit­ic­al of­fices and civic and com­munity groups.

• Amy Dougherty, ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the Friends of the Free Lib­rary of Phil­adelphia, en­cour­aged people to join a new Friends group at North­east Re­gion­al Lib­rary. The neigh­bor­hood’s branch lib­rary, Bush­rod, no longer has a Friends group. The city­wide Friends group has been boost­ing Phil­adelphia lib­rar­ies since 1973. The or­gan­iz­a­tion also ac­cepts dona­tions of used books at its book­store at 311 N. 20th St. (near Vine Street).

The group is fight­ing for more money in the city budget to keep all 54 lib­rary branches open six days a week.

“We’re small, but we’ve got a big mis­sion,” Dougherty said.

For more in­form­a­tion, call 215-567-4562.

• Di­anne Murphy, the com­munity re­la­tions of­ficer in the 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict, told the crowd that rob­ber­ies of cell phones are “ab­so­lutely through the roof.”

“It hap­pens at 9 in the morn­ing. It hap­pens at 9 at night,” she said.

Murphy, who was joined by Lt. Lisa Harner, urged people to be aware of their sur­round­ings so they don’t be­come easy tar­gets. She said pock­ets and purses are good places to keep cell phones when they are not in use.

One wo­man at the meet­ing com­plained about slow 911 po­lice emer­gency re­sponse. Murphy ex­plained that all calls are pri­or­it­ized in or­der of ser­i­ous­ness, adding that people should con­tact their elec­ted of­fi­cials to provide fund­ing for more of­ficers.

Harner (215-685-7275) and Murphy (215-685-7276) both wel­come calls from 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict res­id­ents.

• Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood will meet again on Monday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. at Max My­ers. The meet­ing after that is set for Oct. 21. ••

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