Community/Grassroots Coalition Press Conference & Rally, Requesting Mayor Michael A. Nutter to Sign Bill 140377

Institute for the Development of African-American Youth to Hold Outdoor Press Conference & Rally in Support of Bill 140377

Wednesday, September 10, 10:30 a.m. at City Hall

**Rally activities will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Press conference at 11 a.m.**

On Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 10:30 a.m. at the north apron of City Hall, Institute for the Development of African-American Youth (IDAAY) will lead a coalition of community and grassroots organizations in an outdoor press conference and rally in support of City Council Bill No. 140377.  All Philadelphians and supporters are invited to attend the press conference and participate in the rally. The bill, already passed by City Council, will allow the police to issue a $25 fine for Small Amounts of Marijuana (SAM) possession instead of an individual being arrested and charged with a criminal offense. The purpose of the press conference is to request that Mayor Michael A. Nutter support and sign Bill 140377 that will eliminate the 4,000 annual arrests in Philadelphia for SAM.  The outdoor press conference and rally will be held rain or shine.

Annually, $3 million is spent and 17,000 police hours are dedicated to arresting citizens for SAM possession.  In 2012, 82% of persons arrested for SAM violations in Philadelphia were African American (an arrest rate higher than other communities).  Philadelphia is the only county in Pennsylvania to arrest, jail and give criminal records to citizens for small amounts of marijuana possession.

In the meantime, please sign IDAAY’s online petition by September 5, 2014 to show your support for Bill No. 140377 at www.idaay.org/petition-for-bill-140377.  The goal is to obtain 5000 signatures.  Supporters of IDAAY’s petition drive are Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, PA CareerLink, PA Working Families, Action United, African-American United Fund, Decarcerate PA, Families for Justice as Healing, Institute for the Development of African American Youth, Justice Works Youth Care, Philadelphia Peaceful Surrender andX-Offenders for Community Empowerment.  For over 23 years, IDAAY has provided leadership for city governments such as the police and officials regarding issues affecting African-American youth.

Media Contact/Press Inquiries for IDAAY Executive Director Archye Leacock:

Monica Peters, 215-281-8105, monicapeters23[at]@aol.com