By Buddy Hall
On September 15, 2021, Mary Gay Scanlon, member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Pennsylvania’s 5th congressional district, in conjunction with Ms. Jannie Blackwell, the 1st Vice Chair of Democratic Party of Philadelphia, Chair of United Ward Leaders of Color, Ward Leader, 46th Ward and former longtime member of City Council; met today with approximately 30 non-profit organizations regarding the violence in the community before taking a walking tour of the Southwest Community where the some of the speakers non-profit organizations are housed.
City Of Dreams Coalition, Fathership Foundation, Born Leader Family, ACANA, along with Southwest CDC were just a few of the non-profit organizations that were in attendance at Kingsessing Recreation Center (4901 Kingsessing Avenue) as many of the organizations representatives took the opportunity to speak with Congresswoman Scanlon to express their concerns regarding the gun violence and deteriorating quality of life in the community and offer insight on their programs and how they have been looking to combat the violence and senseless shootings that continue to affect the lives of the residents in the Southwest Philadelphia area.
Congresswoman Scanlon and Ms. Blackwell listened intently and gave praise to all that were able to speak to them prior to the walking tour. “It gives me great pleasure to listen to you all voice your concerns and give me your vision of what you see as not only the problems, but the ideas that can take shape as possible solutions through your hard work and effort that you put in everyday in this community through your organizations” stated Congresswoman Scanlon. Ms. Blackwell thanked everyone for “stepping up” and being the “continued voices of Southwest” that are “fighting the good fight.”
Upon the conclusion of the organizations speaking with the Congresswoman, a walking tour of Southwest Philadelphia ensued, which entailed visits to Southwest District Services (4901 Kingsessing Avenue), and Philadelphia Auto and Parolee (5224 Woodland Ave) before finalizing the walking tour with a visit to Neighborhood United Against Drugs (5218 Woodland Ave). While in each facility the Congresswoman got a firsthand view of the services being provided on a daily basis through a hands-on approach. Congresswoman Scanlon made a vow to look further into additional funding for the southwest area and having a hand in the changes that the various organizations that were a part of this event are invoking on a daily basis. We truly appreciated her time and attention and look forward to her returning in the near future.