New Philadelphia Bill Could Literally Get Asian Store Owners Shot
By Ryan General
December 1, 2017
A councilwoman in Philadelphia is somehow bothered that local shopowners are setting up plexiglass to protect their businesses.
City Councilwoman Cindy Bass is pushing for her so-called “stop and go” bill that would force local business owners within the city to take down bulletproof glass from their establishments, putting convenient store workers’ lives at risk. She said this is about giving her constituents “dignity.”
The bill reads: “No establishment shall erect or maintain a physical barrier.”
For business owners like Rich Kim, plexiglass is about safety, reports Fox 29.
“The most important thing is safety and the public’s safety,” said Kim, whose family managed a deli for the last 20 years in the city. “If the glass comes down, the crime rate will rise and there will be lots of dead bodies.”
Kim said they set up the bulletproof glass his store after a shooting incident. According to him, the barrier had already saved his mother-in-law’s life. The passing of Bass’ bill, which aims to enforce stricter penalties on convenience stores, would force Kim to remove the protective barrier.
Bass, however, insists that the bill is not just about removing plexiglass but also to enforce stricter penalties on establishments she deemed as a “nuisances” in the neighborhoods.
“Nuisance establishments like stop-and-gos harm neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia in several ways,” Bass told Philly Magazine. “First, they contribute to increased crime. On any given day, you can find people in front of these businesses selling ‘loosies,’ or loose cigarettes, and engaging in other nuisance behaviors like loitering, public drunkenness, possible drug sales, and even public urination.”
But as attacks against Asian American businesses across America continue to rise, many business owners, especially in the Asian American community, are worried the bill would pose a great risk to their businesses.
Mike Choe, who heads a non-profit group assisting Korean-owned businesses, said he intends to raise $100,000 to fight the Bass’ “stop and go” bill.
“I do think it’s a bad bill that will endanger Korean Americans,” he said.
In an interview with local radio program “The Dom Giordano Program”, the councilwoman further pointed out that there are numerous other businesses without such barriers.
“There are thousands, thousands of businesses in the city of Philadelphia that operate in those same neighborhoods that sell the same products and do not have plexiglass,” Bass was quoted as saying. “There is a focus on the plexiglass but the bottom line is these are businesses that have been skirting along for a long time in terms of what they’re supposed to be doing and what they’re actually doing.”
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