Find the original article by Bastiaan Slabbers here https://whyy.org/articles/juneteenth-a-vibrant-celebration-of-freedom/

The rhythm of African drums swelled and bounced off Center City high rises as floats rounded City Hall on Saturday during the annual Juneteenth parade, commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865.

For the third year, floats rolled from City Hall to Penn’s Landing in a vibrant celebration of African culture and traditions. Participant Leighdy Morris, Queen of the RBG Brigade, said the celebration should be a national holiday similar to the Fourth of July.

On the second float of the parade a band performed the Redemption Song by Bob Marley. A few light drops of rain did not seem to hinder the participants as they made their way over the parade route.

Among the participants in the parade were Kenneth Gamble of music producing duo Gamble & Huff, Congressman Dwight Evans, Sheriff Jewell Williams, students, Police Explorer cadets, dance and performance ensembles, and many others.

June 23, 2018 — Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams and the Sheriff’s Office Color Guard helped to lead the Philadelphia Juneteenth parade and launched his annual “Summer of Peace” at the Juneteenth Festival this weekend.

The Sheriff is encouraging young people to stay away from all forms of violence. At “pop-ups” and outreach events throughout the summer, the Office will give away free gunlocks and offer children and adults an opportunity to take a “gun safety” pledge to make sure all firearms in the home are safely secured. On social media, the office is promoting an antiviolence message: “Let's talk it out. Don’t shoot it out”. Citizens of all ages and all parts of our city can help to spread the message through short videos that will be posted on the Sheriff Office Facebook pages.

“We all love the summer: the sunshine, vacations, barbeque, time with friends and family. But I want to encourage our young people to have a peaceful summer and stay away from the conflicts that lead to tragic and senseless violence. So let’s talk it out, don’t shoot it out,” said Sheriff Jewell Williams.

At the Juneteenth Parade, the message was enthusiastically received by a many of the parade participants and viewers: honored members of the historic Tuskegee Airmen, young drill team members, the Masonic Lodge, a contingent of renowned Buffalo Soldiers as well as international visitors to the city’s historic monuments. They will be the first to pass along the message for the Summer of Peace, 2018.

 

 

Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams and the Sheriff's Office Color Guard led the Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade in Center City Philadelphia on June 23 while launching his annual Philadelphia "Summer of Peace" message:

Let's Talk It Out. Don't Shoot It Out!

Sheriff Williams encourages young and old to stop violence in our community. Juneteenth is an annual festival to commemorate emancipation from slavery.

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Office of the Sheriff
Philadelphia City and County
Jewell Williams, Sheriff

 

Sheriff’s Office Reaches Philadelphia Communities as Summer Begins

 

The Office of the Sheriff will inform and help promote a safer summer for all Philadelphia residents by reaching out to communities across the city. This weekend, Sheriff Jewell Williams, staff and deputies distributed information about office services, gave away free gunlocks and were present to answer community questions at several events in various parts of the city:

 

  • The Northwest: Councilwoman Cindy Bass’ Community Day in Vernon Park, Saturday June 10
  • South Philly: Pennovation Center 2nd Annual Job Fair, 3401 Grays Ferry Ave, Saturday June 10
  • South Philly: 43rd Annual Odunde Festival, the nation’s largest African American street festival
  • Center City: Philly Pride Day, Celebrating Philadelphia’s LGBT Community at Penn’s Landing

Throughout the summer of 2018, the Sheriff’s Office will make it a priority to get free gunlocks into the hands of families with small children, using Philadelphia’s rich tradition of street and ethnic festivals and community outreach events to push a public safety message: Got a Gun, Get a Lock. Gunlocks have been proven to be an effective prevention device and protection against childhood accidental shootings.

The Sheriff is also determined to help citizens find out more about the operation of the Sheriff’s Office, about opportunities to buy properties at Sheriff’s Sales, and to give residents with questions about properties involved in the Sheriff Sale process a chance to find the answers they deserve.

 

The public is welcome to join us at Upcoming events on the Sheriff’s Office Summer Calendar which include:

 

  • Wednesday June 13, Keystone First Annual Spring Resource Fair, Renaissance Philadelphia Airport Hotel, 11:30am 
  • Wednesday June 13, Council President Clarke’s Seminar, “Tangled Title”, Love Zion Baptist Church, 2521 N. 23rd St, 6pm
  • Saturday, June 16th, Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 14th Annual Health Fair, 2001 West Lehigh Ave, 10am
  • Saturday, June 16th, 24th Police District Community Day 3399 Aramingo Avenue, Old Pathmark Parking Lot, 10am
  • Saturday, June 23, Juneteenth Parade and Freedom festival, Market Street Parade ending at Penn’s Landing, 12pm
  • Thursday June 28th, Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood Advisory Committee, Rebuilding Communities Fair, 6pm

 

For more information about the Sheriff ‘s Office, visit our website

www.phillysheriff.com

This editorial was originally published on Philadelphia Gay News at http://www.epgn.com/opinion/editorials/13333-survival-of-the-fittest

 

May 3, 2018

Kristen Demilio

This week, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran an article headlined, “Sheriff sale ads: A bonanza for the politically connected in Philly.” The paper is the city’s second-largest recipient of sheriff’s ads, at $1,613,157, only behind the Legal Intelligencer at $1,812,244 annually.

The articled conflated two issues: the private-contractor system by which sheriff’s ads are placed in Philadelphia-area publications, and the fact that minority news organizations receive those same ads.

PGN places sheriff’s ads in its pages through a relationship with political operative and ad broker Ken Smuckler. The Inquirer did not disclose its own relationship with Smuckler and his connection to Gerry Lenfest, the Inquirer’s funder.

But most important is how the Inquirer exploits a 1976 law for which it lobbied to enhance the paper’s own profits at the expense of minority and LGBT media.

The Inquirer benefits from the law, which requires that sheriff’s ads be placed in a general-interest newspaper and a local legal publication. But circulation rates in that general-interest paper have declined over the years and, in its place, smaller news outlets targeting specific populations have filled in the gaps of local, independent journalism, all while remaining profitable (as PGN is).

The substance of the Inquirer’s article looking at whether middle brokers are needed to replace ads is undermined by the snarky and dismissive tone the reporters used toward multicultural media outlets.

Despite the overwhelming advantages enshrined in the law, the Inquirer’s current survival is sustained not by paying customers, but by Lenfest literally donating The Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com to the Institute for Journalism in New Media so that it can receive funding beyond the sheriff’s ads.

PGN survives by its journalism. Why can’t the Inquirer?

 

This was originally posted by Philadelphia Free Press. You can find the original piece here http://philadelphiafreepress.com/philadelphia-inquirer-seems-to-want-to-keep-public-notice-from-the-public-p7318-1.htm

Wed, May 23, 2018

By Jim Haigh

Special to the University City Review

A few weeks ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a deep dive into the fascinating domain of public notice. This is advertising that is required by law to be published in a newspaper, and is generally paid for by a governmental entity or stakeholders in a legal proceeding. The object of the INKY’s attention was the notice required for Sheriff Sales, and they took the tone of righteous watchdog in bashing both the Sheriff -- and all publications not named Inquirer or Daily News (or Legal Intelligencer) -- for bringing public notice to the public.

Readers of “Sheriff sale ads: A bonanza for the politically connected in Philly” can be excused for coming away with a sense of waste, fraud, abuse and dirty dealings. Because that was the obvious intent of the inflammatory headline, dramatic prose and sidebars on spending by the individual media outlet. But while INKY readers can be excused, the paper cannot: it was a self-serving, misleading and otherwise undemocratic smear job on both competitors and public notice.

A more accurate headline would read: “As INKY circulation shrinks, raises ad rates, Sheriff seeks more outlets to notify public, boost sales,” because that is, in fact what is really going on. A legitimate investigation into government malfeasance would enumerate harms, and would also be transparent in revealing any conflicts of interest held by the journalistic enterprise. The Inquirer failed horrifically on both counts. They failed to report that actual Sheriff Sale revenues have gone up dramatically with public notice being shared with more of the public. They failed to reveal the extent to which their far-ranging public notice monopoly is a “bonanza” to their bottom line -- and that they have directly lobbied against reforms that would bring more notice to more of the public.

As it turns out, the Sheriff’s decision to do what businesses do in the private sector -- treat advertising as an investment -- resulted in a “bonanza” in collections, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Here’s the money quote from PGN publisher Mark Segal in his blistering rebuttal to the hit piece, “The Inquirer did not make clear that from 2012 to 2017, since the expansion of multi-cultural advertising and changes in the Sheriff’s office, the collection of delinquent taxes and fees from the Sheriff’s office rose from $27 million to $61 million. According to the Sheriff’s office, $248.9 million has been contributed to the city tax roles since 2013.” So for all the facts and figures uncovered, strung together with innuendo of fraud and belittlement of loyal readers of all hometown papers not owned by Philadelphia Media Network, how can anyone believe they somehow missed the bigger, inconvenient truth: more notice to more of the public leads to better results?

When the blowback subsides, the INKY hatchet job on Sheriff Sale advertising will probably just be a blip on the longer arc of pay-to-read newspapers attacking rivals seeking to compete for legal advertising and public notice. While Sheriffs have discretion to operate more like the private sector in their advertising planning, the vast majority of local government bodies -- cities, boroughs, townships, counties -- can only advertise in a paid subscription model newspaper. Across our Commonwealth, community papers that have been delivered free to every neighbor in town for generations are not an option for official public notice, mandated by law to be published and paid for with local tax dollars. This paper, along with its trade association, the Mid-Atlantic Community Papers Association, have fought long and hard to change the law last modified in 1976. But in the face of logic, economics, proven results like the Philly Sheriff’s -- and in spite of the downward spiral of paid circulation -- publications including the Inquirer have been able to convince state legislators that public notice law dating back to Jimmy Carter’s peanut whistle is still in the public’s best interest.

Stay tuned....

Jim Haigh

Advocate for Local Media & Small Business

Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office Collects $61 Million In Delinquent City Taxes in 2017-18

$250 Million In Delinquent Taxes Have Been Returned Between 2013 and 2017

PHILADELPHIA —Today, Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams testified at Philadelphia Budget Hearings, telling council members that the Sheriff’s Office collected and returned $61.3 million dollars in delinquent taxes and fees to the City general fund for The School District of Philadelphia and other city operations. In conjunction, the Sheriff’s office released an annual report of Sheriff Office activity, which accumulated the total of delinquent tax revenues, returned to the city treasury in the past five years. Since 2013, the Sheriff’s Office has generated nearly $250 million in revenues for the City. Part of this revenue is apportioned to the School District of Philadelphia. The Sheriff is the largest collector of delinquent taxes for the City.

“In the coming year, the office will pay to the City nearly three times our cost,” said the Sheriff’s budget testimony. More than $32 million will come from the collection of delinquent taxes and $13 million will come from delinquent water and gas charges. Other estimated earnings of $12 million will result from fees for various legal services for servicing writs and court orders and a$3.5 million worth of reimbursements from banks and attorneys.

The $61 million dollars in 2017-18 taxes and fees is nearly three times the cost of the operation of the Sheriff’s Office. The proposed budget for the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year is $24.5 million. It supports 408 employees including 314 uniform personnel. 54% or $596,000 is allocated for transporting and provisions for 87,030 prisoners in the care of the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s Deputies now secure City Hall; training was completed for a new 40 officer warrant squad and both the bicycle and K9 units were expanded. Sheriff’s deputies served 4,412 warrants and approximately 300 Protection From Abuse orders. The Sheriff identified and returned a record $3.3 million dollars in excess recovery funds to individuals who lost their homes to foreclosure or tax delinquency.

Outreach and advertising served to greatly increase the number of participants in 4 monthly sheriff sales. The office conducted 36 seminars teaching citizens how to buy a property through Sheriff Sale. The attendance at these seminars has increased sharply, indicating more demand for properties and interest in this method of purchase. This year, 19,919 properties were ordered to Sheriff Sales; ultimately 5,936 properties were sold, others were stayed or postponed.

The Sheriff has also committed resources to a critical public safety outreach initiative: the office has distributed 5000 gunlocks to Philadelphia citizens in an effort to prevent childhood gun accidents in our homes.

Click here to download the 2017 Sheriff's Annual Report.

SHERIFF JEWELL WILLIAMS TESTIFIES BEFORE CITY COUNCIL ON HIS BUDGET.   Photo Credit:  Willard Rozier​

The Safe Return program is for Philadelphians who have outstanding warrants who want to address them and receive favorable consideration by the courts. this event takes place on May 1, 2, and 3 at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church (2800 West Cheltenham Ave) from 10AM to 3PM
 
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