For immediate release: Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Contact: Jolene Nieves Byzon, 215-300-1071
Community Advisory and Accountability Council will advise and support the Controller’s Office’s independent review of the City’s response to the civil unrest following George Floyd’s murder.
Philadelphia, PA – The Office of the City Controller announced members of its Community Advisory and Accountability Council, a coalition of community and nonprofit leaders, business owners and residents of Philadelphia that will advise and support the Office’s independent review of the City of Philadelphia’s response to the civil unrest following George Floyd’s murder.
“Too often, the voice of the people is lost in a review like this. But I believe that the perspective and experience of those individuals who were affected during the civil unrest will be critical to understanding what happened and the City’s response,” said City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart. “I want to thank the many Philadelphians who applied to serve on the Community Advisory and Accountability Council. While we could not select everyone, we are proud to have a diverse group of people, racially and geographically. Their wide-ranging personal experiences will strengthen the results of our review.”
The Council will be chaired by Reverend Mark Tyler, Pastor, Mother Bethel A.M.E., and Jeff Brown, President and CEO, Brown’s Superstores.
“The formation of this Council is extremely important as we seek to ensure that the voices that are closest to the pain are heard. It is important to include a group as diverse as this so that the citizens of Philadelphia can be reassured that the process is transparent,” said Reverend Tyler. “We applaud Controller Rhynhart for using her office to push for answers to lingering questions about the response by law enforcement during the most recent uprisings. It is our hope that such answers will lead to desperately needed changes.”
Members of the Council were selected through a nomination/application process. Preference was given to community leaders and activists, nonprofit leaders, and business owners from the neighborhoods most affected during the civil unrest. Members of the Community Advisory and Accountability Council and their neighborhoods are as follows:
- Glenn Blumenfeld, Center City
- Garlen Capita, Germantown
- Amelia Carter, West Philadelphia
- Ashlyn Ernst, East Falls
- Isaac Gardner, North Philadelphia
- Yvonne B. Haskins, Germantown
- Ansharaye Hines, West Philadelphia
- Reverend Damon Jones, West Philadelphia
- John J. Longacre, South Philadelphia
- Amanda Mcillmurray, South Philadelphia
- Abdul-Aily Muhammad, Southwest Philadelphia
- Margaret Mund, Center City
- Anna Perng, Chinatown
- Elvia Ramirez-Vidal, South Philadelphia
- Melissa Robbins, Northeast Philadelphia
- Leah Shepperd, Fishtown
- Reverend Abbey Tennis, West Philadelphia
“At a difficult time, city officials had the challenging dual responsibility of protecting our citizens while also respecting their right to protest. It will be our job to investigate how the city responded and whether they responded appropriately,” said Jeff Brown. “More importantly, it will be our job to help the city find a way to prevent this kind of injury and destruction in the future. It’s my belief that our investigation will allow the city to learn from its mistakes and create a better future for the people of Philadelphia.”
The independent review is being conducted by Ballard Spahr LLP and AT-RISK International, Inc. (AT-RISK). Ballard Spahr and AT-RISK were selected for their complementary experience in investigations and emergency management operations and resource deployment, respectively.
The Council will meet regularly to receive updates on the Controller’s Office’s independent investigation and provide feedback throughout the review, including on the release of the findings and recommendations.