Philadelphia/ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 10, 2024
Philadelphia's Councilmember Lozada Leads Unanimous Vote for Kensington Opioid Crisis AuditSource: Philadelphia City Council

In a move to aggressively tackle the opioid crisis in the Kensington area, Councilmember Quetcy Lozada of District 7, recently put forth a resolution that the whole council backed unanimously. The aim is to perform an audit on the city's financial contributions to the neighborhood, ensuring they are impacting positively, as reported by This action followed the end of an encampment resolution initiative that saw 312 individuals receive direct assistance via services like detox, wound care, and housing.

Despite the visible progress, Lozada stressed that the crisis is not over and continual efforts are needed. "Just because the most visible area of the open-air drug market was cleared does not mean the crisis is over. Work will continue to be done," Lozada stated, reflecting a commitment to further resolve encampments and extend outreach, according to Her critiques of past fiscal investments were sharp and direct, pointing out that a whopping $70 million poured into the community in 2023 did little to change the worsening conditions, such as crime and overdose rates.

An audit, as Councilmember Lozada urges, will allow the city to scrutinize effectively how previous funds were used and to what effect. This review is a strategic step towards a more efficient allocation of resources and to avoid repeating past mistakes. In her words, the Kensington neighborhood deserves better, and taxpayers do too. "It is our responsibility as leaders to make sure that our City’s limited resources are driving programs and policies that are making a positive impact and being used as effectively as possible," Lozada remarked in her statement by

To bolster community action, Lozada encourages residents to be vigilant and proactive. Citizens can report drug trafficking to the police, or they can call upon outreach teams from the Office of Homeless Services to intervene in encampments and offer those affected avenues out of their suffering. This involvement is crucial in reducing the drug market's stronghold on communities and in saving lives on Philadelphia's streets. "Residents can participate in this process. You can report drug trafficking by calling the police. You can request an outreach team from the Office of Homeless Services to visit encampments and offer individuals lifesaving and life changing services by calling 215-232-1984," she articulated, as reported by

Equally important is the support Lozada has within the council, thanking her colleagues in the Special Committee on Kensington and all members for their consensus on the resolution. This cross-council support signifies a unified front against Kensington's persistent struggles and shows a cooperative intent to bring about stability and relief to a community that has been ailing for too long.