Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell represents the third district of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that covers much of West Philadelphia and Southwest Philadelphia, including University City. She is serving the public from 1992 to 2020, a total of 28 years.
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell has been a member of many committees. Among the most notable were the Chair of the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development, & the Homeless, and Chair of the Education Committee. Also, she is a Co-Founder and Commissioner on the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs. It was through her service on these committees, that she has earned the reputation as an advocate for social change and serving the poor and impoverished in Philadelphia.
Councilwoman Blackwell focused on increasing affordable housing and creating economic opportunity. Through her efforts, blight elimination and innovative housing construction took place across the city and resulted in The Lucien E. Blackwell Homes, located in and around 46th Street and Brown Streets in West Philadelphia that totaled over 1,000 new homes accessible for rental and homeownership.
In 1999, Councilwoman Blackwell announced a Ten-Year Economic Development Plan for West and Southwest Philadelphia leading to the formation of the non-profit organization “West Philadelphia on the Move”. The plan included increasing affordable housing and job and business development.
Next, Councilwoman Blackwell funds many events throughout the year to feed and clothe the homeless. She raises thousands of dollars each year to provide gifts to the children of homeless families and those living in shelters for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
In addition, she has sponsored African and Caribbean immigrant groups such as the African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA), the Caribbean Festival, the Sudanese Community, St. Vincent and the Grenadine Organization of Pennsylvania, AFRICOM, the African and Caribbean Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ACBC), and Team Jamaica Bickle.
Finally, regarding education Ms. Blackwell wanted to improve the quality of education for the youth in Philadelphia. She supported efforts to increase funding for pre-K, as well as introduced the legislation to return control of the Philadelphia School Board to the local community and terminate the control that was previously held by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In my opinion, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell is a hardworking woman and well-respected member of her community through her efforts to make housing affordable, feeding the poor yearly, and supporting the Afro-Caribbean cultural activities.
Jovan Longs Tucker is a guest writer for the Southwest Globe Times.