City Council’s legislative session is derailed today thanks to Councilwoman City Bass and her ridiculous bill (text of the bill here) that still leaves open the ability for the City of Philadelphia to harass Asian beer deli owners who have plexiglass up in their stores.
The public comment period started off with a South Philadelphia Vietnamese business owner who doesn’t have plexiglass up inside her store, who lost her son to a robbery and was shot dead. A succession of public commenters including minsters appeared to put weight on Councilwoman Bass to delete section (g) of her bill.
Update 3PM: After over 30 minutes of city council members trying to save face and dance around Section (g) of the beer deli bill, City Council voted to pass the bill on a vote of 14-3.
City Council altered the beer deli restroom bill to order L&I to come up with regulations on *when* beer delis are to take down their plexiglass. L&I will now be charged with coming up with regulations to determine when Asian beer deli owners must take down their safety glass.
Councilman David Oh mentioned in his testimony against the bill that the L&I Commissioner had already testified to City Council that he thought the plexiglass was already illegal under Title 14, the zoning code.
This basically means beer delis, which are mostly Asian-American owned, are going to be faced with the threat of being ordered to remove their glass over the next 3 years as the Department of Licenses and Inspections comes up with regulations over safety glass.
There is a hidden expectation that Councilwoman Bass pushed to leave Section (g) in the bill as a dark cloud to hold over beer delis. If it gets to the point where the City takes Asian-American business owners to court to order them to pull their glass down, expect this drama to come back up in a big way in the future, likely putting the Kenney Administration in a bind on national television as the controversy leaves the city limits.
Only time will tell if the City truly intends to be this stupid.