Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is requesting the removal of his City’s Christopher Columbus statue as a “part of reckoning with the legacy of systemic racism,” he announced Wednesday.
The decision comes as protests continue nationwide and as rioters call for the downing of historic monuments and statues.
Kenney added that the recommendation will be given to the Philadelphia Art Commission on July 22 for final approval, Kenney wrote on Twitter.
Part of reckoning with the legacy of systemic racism means reconsidering what figures deserve to be commemorated in our public spaces.
On July 22, the City will ask the Philadelphia Art Commission to approve the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue. https://t.co/pmX1CHrvqH
— Jim #VaxUpPhilly Kenney (@PhillyMayor) June 24, 2020
“In recent weeks, clashes between those individuals who support the statue of Christopher Columbus in Marconi Plaza and those who are distressed by its existence have deteriorated to a concerning public safety situation,” Kenny said in a statement Wednesday. “It is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue.”
He added, “The City is committed to finding a way forward that allows Philadelphians to celebrate their heritage and culture, while respecting the histories and circumstances of others that come from different backgrounds.”
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CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’
On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.
The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.
Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.
“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”
“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”
While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.
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