SUPPORT FOR THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S NUISANCE TASK FORCE
WHEREAS, the residents of neighborhoods within the City of Philadelphia currently struggle to maintain their quality of life against the ravages of drug and alcohol related crime associated with nuisance properties;
WHEREAS, drug and alcohol-related nuisance properties severely damage the quality of life in Philadelphia neighborhoods, rendering life in these residential neighborhoods intolerable and severely damaging the health, safety, and welfare of adult residents and their children;
WHEREAS, drug and alcohol-related nuisance properties inhibit the economic and civic development of Philadelphia neighborhoods;
WHEREAS, residents in Philadelphia neighborhoods lack the legal and financial resources required to undertake organized efforts to prevent crime and to preserve and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods;
WHEREAS, District Attorney Lynne Abraham has established a successful inter-governmental Task Force designed to streamline the government's response to nuisance properties and to assist residents in fighting nuisance properties through community empowerment;
WHEREAS, the District Attorney's program has resulted in the closing of ten nuisance bars and one crack house;
WHEREAS, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency has awarded the District Attorney's Office a $200,000 grant to expand the District Attorney's program to combat drug nuisances pursuant to Pennsylvania's new Drug Nuisance Law;
WHEREAS, the District Attorney's program has relied upon members of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division who volunteered to represent community groups in fighting nuisance properties;
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Foundation has awarded Urban Genesis, a nonprofit corporation formed by the District Attorney, a $5,000 grant to fund litigation and other costs of such volunteer efforts;
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association now desires to augment and expand its efforts to cooperate with the District Attorney in counselling, representing and empowering community groups in neighborhoods victimized by nuisance properties;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:
1. The Philadelphia Bar Association supports and wishes to join the efforts of District Attorney Lynne Abraham to improve the quality of life in Philadelphia's neighborhoods.
2. The Philadelphia Bar Association wishes to expand the efforts of its members to assist community groups in fighting the scourge of nuisance properties.
3. The Board of Governors supports the decision of the Chancellor to form a special committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, to be known as the Philadelphia Legal Action Network, which will be the Association's focal point in coordinating its activities with the District Attorney's Nuisance Task Force.
4. In cooperation with and through the Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program, the Board of Governors urges members of the Philadelphia Bar Association to provide pro bono counselling, leadership and litigation services to Philadelphia residents and community groups struggling to improve their communities and rid their neighborhoods of nuisance properties.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: February 24, 1994