Urban planner shares her thoughts on Occupy Philly, which now has a residency deadline

    Is Occupy Philly glamorizing homelessness? Yes, says an urban planner and public health professional.

    Jillian Penrod-Krause talked at length to Philadelphia Weekly about her thoughts on the hundreds occupying City Hall as “the 99 percent” to protest the nation’s wealth disparity.

    Here’s an excerpt:

    “Philadelphia has alcoves and stoops and alleyways that are utilized by the city’s very large homeless population.  I don’t see true homeless people with tents. Making a big statement and saying like, ‘I’m going without the necessities. I’m going on a hunger strike. I’m doing this to make a statement,’ that really doesn’t involve tents or cell phones. Reduce your dependence. It’s very important for voices to be heard. Absolutely. Ironically, they should take lessons from corporate branding and marketing and figure how to best send [their] message.”

    It’s not something the occupiers will have to worry about for much longer; they’ve got to be out by November when work begins on the Dilworth Plaza revitalization project. But as long as the occupiers are there, the city has some loose ends it wants demonstrators to tie up.

    A letter dated yesterday from City Managing Director Rich Negrin calls for the removal of combustibles near buildings, more weather protection for the Tech Tent and the use of portable toilets, among other things.

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