News

Our testimony on Community Benefit Agreements

On December 4, Philadelphia City Council introduced a bill that would require developers of large projects to negotiate Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) with neighborhoods where those projects will be completed. Our staff attorney Ebony Griffin shared testimony suggesting ways that City Council can ensure that this proposed bill promotes agreements that provide a meaningful voice for communities.

Our testimony on US Bank liens and displacement in Philadelphia

November 25, 2019 Dear Housing Committee: My name is Ebony Griffin and I am a staff attorney at the Public Interest Law Center focusing on environmental justice and the Law Center’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative. Thank you for allowing me to testify today about an issue which very deeply effects my practice and the preservation […]

What does Philadelphia’s new public land policy mean for community gardeners?

On October 31, Philadelphia City Council passed a bill overhauling the city’s process for selling and distributing publicly owned land. Learn what these changes mean for community gardeners and others seeking to turn vacant land into green space.

Our testimony on environmental justice and climate change

August 13, 2019 Dear Representative Kenyatta: My name is Ebony Griffin and I am a staff attorney at the Public Interest Law Center focusing on environmental justice and the Law Center’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak before you today about an issue I feel so passionately about. […]

Comments on the Philadelphia Land Bank’s draft 2019 strategic plan

We shared our comments of the Land Bank’s draft strategic plan, looking forward to further partnership.

City Council Testimony on Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Racism in Philadelphia

At a December 12 hearing of the Health and Human Services Committee of Philadelphia City Council, Executive Director Jennifer Clarke delivered testimony prepared by Staff Attorney Ebony Griffin on the disparate health impacts of air pollution on low-income and minority neighborhoods in Philadelphia, using Nicetown as a case study, and proposes changes to the process by which polluting facilities are approved.

Pennsylvania’s DEP Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy Should be Strengthened

September 12, 2018 – Earlier this year, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a revised draft of its Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy. This policy provides guidelines for the DEP’s approach to the permit review process in Environmental Justice Areas–communities where 20 percent of residents live below the federal poverty line and/or 30 percent […]

Proposed Anti-Squatting Bill Will Have Unintended Consequences

Philadelphia City Council has recently introduced two proposals to address the problem of trespassing into residential properties – a practice often described as “squatting.” As long-standing advocates for homeowners and tenants, we and Community Legal Services value the importance of preserving property rights, as well as protecting legitimate occupants from illegal lock outs and other illegal eviction practices.

Windows and Doors Ordinance Important to Fight on Disinvestment in Philadelphia

Community groups fighting to revitalize their communities from the blighting effect of boarded up and uncared for buildings lost an important tool when first a Philadelphia court and then the Commonwealth Court struck down a City ordinance requiring operable doors and windows on vacant buildings.

Request for Proposals: Grounded in Philly Improvements

The Public Interest Law Center is seeking proposals for GroundedinPhilly.org improvements.