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Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez speaks at the Kensington Avenue clean-up on Nov. 1.
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez speaks at the Kensington Avenue clean-up on Nov. 1. Photo: David Maas / AL DÍA News.

Philly cleans up Kensington Avenue

“Today’s clean-up is just symbolic of folks saying, ‘we’ll roll up our sleeves and help, and government can’t do it all, but these kids in Kensington should…

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More than 400 Philadelphia city employees and volunteers carried out a large-scale clean-up in Kensington and Fairhill last Thursday, Nov. 1, as part of the city’s emergency response to the opioid crisis.

The clean-up, which was one of the first items on the Philadelphia Resilience Project’s to-do list, was concentrated along Kensington Avenue.

More than 30 community groups participated, helping clear graffiti, sweep streets and collect trash, among other efforts.

“It is unfair that the 700 people who now occupy these streets have occupied our neighborhoods and made it unsafe for the long-term residents. Kensington has been sympathetic, Kensington residents have been patient, pero no más. No más,” Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez told the city employees and volunteers gathered at the intersection of Allegheny and Kensington streets on Thursday morning.

“Today’s clean-up is just symbolic of folks saying, ‘we’ll roll up our sleeves and help, and government can’t do it all, but these kids in Kensington should not experience this much longer,’” she added.

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney also shared a few words, voicing his frustration with the assistance coming from the Trump administration to combat the epidemic that killed more than three Philadelphians a day in 2017.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time, a lot more resources, and remember - we’re alone here,” he said. “While the federal government is talking about building walls and sending the army to the border to stop women and children from saving their own lives, we’re here without any resources from the federal government.”

By next Thursday, Nov. 15, the city has pledged to clear the Frankford Avenue encampment.

To learn more about the Philadelphia Resilience Project, click here.

For the city's latest weekly update on the progress of its emergency response, click here.

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