Philadelphia, October 20, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and City officials broke ground on the new Philadelphia Public Safety Services Campus this afternoon.  When complete, the campus – located at 4601 Market Street in West Philadelphia – will be the new co-location for the Philadelphia Police Department headquarters, the Medical Examiner’s Office and the Morgue, and the Department of Public Health Laboratories.  Interior demolition and design work is currently underway, and the construction phase is estimated to begin in December 2015.  The new facility is expected to be move-in ready by Spring 2018.


“Throughout the course of our Administration we have developed a city-wide vision for planning and developing public safety services facilities, and in the last few years we have celebrated many ground-breakings and ribbon-cuttings for projects like the DVIC, the DHS-SVU Co-location, the new Police Training Academy and the Regional Tactical Training Facility, and the Juvenile Justice Services Center,” said Mayor Nutter.  “Today’s event is another piece of that vision to create comprehensive public safety sites throughout the city that address a variety of needs.  This is a much-needed investment that will bring the City of Philadelphia Police and Health Departments into the 21st century to better serve the needs of all Philadelphians.”


The estimated $250 million project will transform the buildings at 4601 Market Street, formerly the Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company, into a state-of-the-art campus covering approximately 15 acres strategically located adjacent to the 46th & Market Street station of SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line.  Co-locating all three City services provides a variety of benefits for City employees and taxpayers: reduction in facility operational costs, energy efficiency and cost savings through sustainable building design, and access to public transportation resulting in reduced fuel consumption.  Approximately 900 City of Philadelphia employees will relocate to this campus, including 800 uniform and civilian Police Department employees and 100 Health Department employees.


The project is currently meeting or exceeding goals for participation by minority and women-owned businesses and a diversified workforce while striving to increase local workforce participation.  The interior designs for the building will reflect ‘best practices’ for laboratories, medical forensic examination and law enforcement facility operation.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Neighborhoods, Press Release, Topics

Mayors Nutter and Peduto Issue Statement On Gun Litigation Provisions in HB 80

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto issued a joint statement today on provisions added to HB 80 to increase the vulnerability of cities and other localities to lawsuits by pro-gun advocates.

The new provisions would give pro-gun groups or other organizations legal standing to sue municipalities with the aim of invalidating firearms ordinances and other local regulations. HB 80 would also require that if a lawsuit is filed against a municipality and succeeds, the municipality must pay all legal fees and costs for the plaintiffs.

The bill is now before the House (after passing the Senate where all Senators from Philadelphia opposed the new provisions). The Mayors urged members of the House not to concur in these amendments:

“We are profoundly opposed to the provisions added to HB 80 in the Senate. Gun violence represents a particularly tragic epidemic in poorer communities in cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Parents, family members and community leaders are naturally compelled by concern for their loved ones to do everything in their power to combat the shootings that destroy lives. It is squarely at some of these responses by the community that HB 80 is now aimed. The standing and attorneys fees provisions of HB 80 raise the stakes for local governments, and the communities they serve, for trying to do something about illegal gun violence.

“In Philadelphia, lawmakers have implemented ordinances and policies, such as requirements regarding lost or stolen firearms, and possession of firearms on City property, that address the issue of proliferation of unlawful guns, while staying within the statutory framework set out by the General Assembly. While any law can be tested in court, no one, much less resource-strapped municipalities and their taxpayers, should be singled out to bear markedly increased risk and cost for trying to protect human life. Indeed, under HB 80, it would be riskier for cities to act on matters of unlawful gun possession and violence than to act on zoning. No one would reasonably argue that human life should be riskier to defend than a zoning setback.

“The General Assembly should not facilitate lawsuits against local governments simply to thwart their modest attempts at striking a balance between the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and reducing the proliferation of illegal firearms and the deaths they cause. Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania provides that the courts shall be open to all and provides for remedies in the due course of the law. No more is necessary to settle disputes about the validity of ordinances, and yet this bill would give certain litigants special treatment, and impose new costs on taxpayers. We respectfully urge the House not to pass HB 80 with these onerous provisions in it.”


Media contact for Mayor William Peduto:

Timothy McNulty
Communications Manager
Office of Mayor William Peduto
City of Pittsburgh
Cell: (412)660-1999

Posted in Press Release, Mayor's Press Releases

Mayor Nutter To Host Flag Lowering Ceremony In Honor Of Gloria Casarez

WHO:            Mayor Michael A. Nutter

WHAT:      Mayor Nutter, City officials and employees and members of the Philadelphia community will celebrate the life of Gloria Casarez, the first Director of the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affairs, who passed away yesterday, with a flag lowering ceremony.

Mayor Nutter has ordered that the rainbow flag, which is currently being flown in honor of LGBT History Month, will be lowered to half staff.

WHERE:   City Hall, Dilworth Plaza Northeast Corner Flag Poles

WHEN:      Monday, October 20, 2014                        1:00 p.m.    TODAY

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases

Mayor Nutter’s Statement On The Passing Of Gloria Casarez, Director Of Mayor’s Office Of LGBT Affairs

Philadelphia, October 19, 2014– Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued the following statement on the passing of Gloria Casarez, the City’s first director of the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs:

“Gloria was a fun, serious, strong and kind person who always wanted to do more for others and who fought for equality of rights for all people. She was a clear, strong voice to the LGBTQ community in Philadelphia and across America.

“We all loved Gloria’s commitment and spirit. She was a fighter and champion, personally and professionally. I knew when I met her that I had found the right person to serve as the Director of the LGBT Office, but more importantly, that I had met a great person. Her judgment and influence were felt throughout the Administration on a broad range of issues.

“Our prayers are with her, her wife Trish, and their families. I am deeply, personally saddened by our Administrations’ loss of such a valued colleague, but our entire Administration team has benefitted from having had the opportunity to serve our City and citizens with the support of her leadership and wisdom.”

Gloria Casarez, 42, was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Kensington. She is a graduate of West Chester University with degrees in criminal justice and a second in political science.  She was a founding member and community organizer of Empty the Shelters, a national housing rights and economic justice organization. She was later a coordinator for the LGBT Center at the University of Pennsylvania and then executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative [GALAEI] in Philadelphia, where she dramatically increased resources and developed nationally recognized programs serving men of color and the transgender community from 1999 until joining the Nutter Administration in 2008.

As director of the City’s LGBT Office, Gloria Casarez developed priorities and policy for the Administration in a wide range of areas, including health, city services, civil rights, public safety and education.

In 2012, the City garnered a Number Two national ranking in LGBT equality in the first edition of the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index. Philadelphia was the highest ranking among the nation’s 10 largest cities and the highest scoring city in a state without statewide legal protections for LGBT people.

And during her tenure, Ms. Casarez was recognized by at least a half-dozen organizations for her work, including an annual Community Service Award from the NAACP, the Cheryl Ingram Advocate for Justice Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Kiyoshi Kuromiya Award for Justice from Philadelphia FIGHT.

Within months of becoming LGBT Office director in April 2008, she played a key role in the establishment of the Mayor’s Advisory Board on LGBT Affairs in September 2008.

In 2010, while winning a handful of awards for her public service, Ms. Casarez took great pleasure in performing an important ceremonial role: on Aug. 23, 2010, she tossed the first pitch at Citizens Bank Park at the start of a Phillies game.

See photos of Gloria in her role as Director of LGBT Affairs here:

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Neighborhoods, Press Release, Topics

Forbes’ Under 30 Summit Announces Finalists For ‘Pressure Cooker’ Pitch Contest

Finalists include two Philadelphia entrepreneurs vying for $400,000 in equity investment and Forbes advertising

Philadelphia, October 17, 2014 The Forbes Under 30 Summit announced yesterday the five finalists for the “$400,000 Pressure Cooker”, a ‘Shark-Tank’ style competition for entrepreneurs, including two Philadelphia entrepreneurs, who were selected from more than 115 submissions.

“I am so proud that Philadelphia has been selected to host the Forbes Under 30 Summit and that two of our own forward-thinking start-ups have been selected as finalists for the $400,000 Pressure Cooker,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “Our Administration works hard to promote and support young entrepreneurs and start-ups with the next big idea.  I am looking forward to learning more about all of the finalists and their creative business ideas.  Once again, I want to thank Forbes for selecting Philadelphia as the host city for the first-ever Under 30 Summit and offering our great city an opportunity to shine.”

The five finalists for the $400,000 Pressure Cooker Competition are:

  • MilkCrate (Philadelphia), an app that helps people live sustainably in their neighborhood;
  • TowerView Health, a medication schedule management solution;
  • Enrou (Los Angeles), an online, content-driven marketplace for socially-conscious consumers;
  • LifeShel (Pittsburgh), which creates smart phone cases that crowd source community safety; and
  • Readycart (Chattanooga), a commerce solution bridging content creators and retailers on any platform.

The competition will occur during the summit on Tuesday, October 21 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  Finalists will pitch their ideas to competition judges, Revolution’s Steve Case, Forbes Media President & CEO, Mike Perlis, and Atom Factory Founder, Chairman and CEO, Troy Carter, and more than a thousand Under 30 Summit attendees.  The competition winner will receive a $125,000 equity investment in their startup from Steve Case and Forbes, and $275,000 in free Forbes advertising and other services.

On May 12, 2014, the City of Philadelphia and Forbes announced the launch of the first-ever Under 30 Summit, which is expected to bring together more than 1,000 young entrepreneurs and game changers from across the United States.  The Under 30 Summit will take place October 19-22, 2014, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and other venues in Philadelphia. The agenda will include “The $400,000 Pressure Cooker” pitch contest, panel discussions, TED-style presentations, an “Under 30 Music Festival” with leading bands under the age of 30, and mentorship from successful business leaders, like Danny Meyer and Jim Breyer among.  The summit will conclude with the “Under 30 Food Festival”, highlighting some of America’s most notable young chefs.

Forbes’ Under 30 Summit is an extension of Forbes magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list – which features 30 game-changing entrepreneurs under 30, in 15 fields, as judged by some of the greatest minds in each category. Attendees of the summit will be culled from the past three years of this list, which has become one of the magazine’s most popular franchises. The third annual “30 Under 30” list generated more than 8 million page views online in just the first week of its publication in January 2014

To review the complete Forbes Under 30 Summit agenda, visit:

To apply for “The Pressure Cooker” competition, visit:

Posted in Press Release

City Of Philadelphia To Host Diwali Celebration

Philadelphia, October 16, 2014 – The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (MOIMA), in collaboration with the Global Philadelphia Association and the Department of Commerce, will host a cultural showcase at Love Park celebrating Diwali, a popular holiday in the Indian and South Asian communities, on Thursday, October 23.

Zabeth Teelucksingh, Executive Director of the Global Philadelphia Association and one of the initiators of this project, said, “At a time when Indian Prime Minister Modi has just completed his visit to the U.S, it seems fitting that Philadelphia should celebrate its Indian diaspora by marking the Diwali celebration – and this auspicious time in the Hindu calendar.”

Jennifer Rodriguez, Executive Director of MOIMA noted, “The Indian and South Asian communities in Philadelphia are among the fastest growing in the city and raising awareness about their contributions and cultural heritage is an important part of making Philadelphia a welcoming city for all.”

In keeping with tradition, music, dancing and lights will be the focus of the event taking place in Love Park, beginning at 5 pm. City leaders and Indian dignitaries will be in attendance to help celebrate this occasion.

Philadelphians throughout the city are encouraged to use the following hashtag #DIWALIinPHL to share how they celebrate or what they like about Diwali.


About Diwali: One of the most celebrated events on the Hindu calendar. The festival gets its name from the row of clay lamps that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects them from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as Christmas is to Christians.

About Global Philadelphia Association: The Global Philadelphia Association’s mission is to assist – and encourage greater interaction among – the many organizations and people who are engaged in one form or another of international activity within the Greater Philadelphia Region, to promote the development of an international consciousness within the Region, and to enhance the Region’s global profile. The Association coordinates a World Heritage City Working Group, comprised of numerous civic, business, and academic leaders from the Philadelphia region. For more information,

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases

The City of Philadelphia Named a World Festival & Event City

The International Festival & Events Association (IFEA) has honored both the City of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia Flower Show with respective awards for excellence in event management.  The City was named a 2014 recipient of the IFEA World Festival & Event City Award and the Philadelphia Flower Show was recognized with 17 awards, including the top honor, the Grand Pinnacle Gold Award for the world’s best event.

“Philadelphia is a world-class city and, as such, we are fast becoming a destination to host big events.  We have great facilities, amenities and the right team of City officials and employees in place to ensure that events held in Philadelphia run efficiently, effectively and safely,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “I’d like to thank the many departments, agencies and community partners that work together to make Philadelphia a great place for big events.  I’d also like to congratulate the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for its incredible work of the iconic Philadelphia Flower Show.  I want to thank the IFEA for recognizing Philadelphia and the Flower Show for our many successes in planning and executing big events.”

The IFEA created the World Festival & Event City Award, the only recognition program of its kind, to recognize great global festivals and industry events and the cities and event organizers that stage them.

City entries were judged by an international panel of industry experts based on categories ranging from community involvement and local government support to festival and event branding and festival and event diversity.


“International recognition for the City of Philadelphia’s festival and event community is well deserved,” said Jazelle Jones, Deputy Managing Director and Director of Operations. “Philadelphia and its surrounding counties support 89,000 jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry and attract more than 39 million visitors annually. We host a multitude of world-class festivals and parades each year, including the largest free outdoor concert in the United States, Wawa Welcome America’s Philly 4th of July Jam, produced by Desiree Peterkin-Bell. With our status as a finalist for the 2016 Democratic National Convention and with the World Meeting of Families on the horizon in 2015, Philadelphia is uniquely poised to capitalize on the recent proliferation of events and festivals and establish itself as a world-class destination.”

Jazelle Jones accepted the award on behalf of the City during the 59th Annual IFEA Convention & Expo in Kansas City, Missouri on September 29, 2014.


The complete list of 2014 IFEA World Festival & Event City Award recipients is as follows:


  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates;
  • Dublin, Ohio, United States;
  • Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia;
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States;
  • São Paulo, Brazil; and
  • Sydney – New South Wales, Australia.

“The IFEA and VISA are pleased to recognize and highlight those cities and markets who have worked, through concerted efforts, to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events,” said IFEA President and CEO Steven Wood Schmader, Certified Festival and Event Executive, during the presentations. “Through this award, the IFEA hopes to create a continuing dialogue between events and cities around the world, at a time when each needs to be supporting the other more than ever. The quality of all the entries paints a bright picture for our industry and those cities recognized with this award are helping to build a strong foundation and example that we hope all cities, globally, will work to emulate.”

For more information on IFEA visit:

Read the City’s winning award submission here:



The Office of Special Events (MDO) is a full service, one-stop shop for all special event permitting and licensing needs.  The Office of Special Events is also responsible for managing the municipal response to special events, departmental cost recovery, risk mitigation and community outreach.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release
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