Brown wants 'selective, thoughtful' process on school-property advertising bill

FILE PHOTO Blondell Reynolds Brown: "Selective and thoughtful" advertising.
FILE PHOTO Blondell Reynolds Brown: "Selective and thoughtful" advertising.
Posted: December 18, 2013

CITY COUNCILWOMAN Blondell Reynolds Brown wants to clear up some myths about her school-property advertising bill.

Brown said that since it moved successfully out of committee earlier this month, she's been getting hit with a hailstorm of concerns from constituents about the content of the ads. The measure still must pass the full Council next year.

As now written, the bill would prohibit commercial displays on any school property that has historic value, and would ban ads featuring alcohol or tobacco. It's expected to bring millions of dollars to the cash-strapped Philadelphia School District, but it was stalled last week at the final Council meeting of 2013.

"One very legitimate concern is the nature of the advertising, that it will be reckless and irresponsible," Brown said.

"We've never been down this road before, but the way you minimize that is to stay intimately involved in the process - even after it moves out of City Council - to ensure the spirit of the legislation is being honored."

Brown plans to introduce new amendments to the bill that would call for the creation of "parental advisory councils" in each Council district and for the School Reform Commission to have "ultimate veto power" on all ads placed on school buildings. She said language in the final draft will also ask for involvement from the planning commission and Council's education committee.

"It will be a working group that makes sure the advertising content is selective and thoughtful," she said.

"As long as we're having to look at $300 million in [school district] cuts, you can't just sit and wait. You have to do something."

Calls seeking comment from a school district spokesman were not returned.


On Twitter: @RuffTuffDH

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