Philly seeking ideas from public on Rizzo statue

 Protesters call for removing the statue of the late Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, who also served as the city's police commissioner, outside the Municipal Services Building in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Protesters call for removing the statue of the late Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, who also served as the city's police commissioner, outside the Municipal Services Building in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Kenney administration wants to hear from Philadelphia residents about whether to move the statue of Frank Rizzo who served as the city’s mayor from 1972 to 1980. 

It’s the first step of what looks like a protracted process.

A plan was established a few years ago, which spells out the steps for decommisioning or removing public statues, said Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Kenney.

The Kenney administration is seeking asking for comments to be posted on the city’s website through mid-September.  If there is enough concern from the public to warrant an Philadelphia Art Commission review, Hitt said the city will notify the panel.

“We then, also at the same time, have to give the artist, the statue’s artist, a 30-day notice.  At the conclusion of that 30-day period, the art commission would schedule a hearing to vote on the city’s proposal,” she said. “It would be at the art commission hearing that the public would have a chance to provide input on the city’s proposal.”

Calls to tear down the statue on the steps of the Municipal Services Building escalated in the wake of a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Critics of Rizzo, who also served as the city’s police commissioner, say he reigned over a corrupt police department and used his power to alienate minorities. His supporters say he was a devout public servant who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind.

Last week, the statue was egged and a man was arrested for spray painting “black power” on it.

Here’s a link to the online form to weigh in on the matter

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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