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Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker visits Kensington, shares plan for improving public safety, quality of life on 100th day

On 100th day in office, Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker discusses public safety in Kensington
On 100th day in office, Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker discusses public safety in Kensington 02:46

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker on Thursday marked her 100th day in office surrounded by top city leaders at Russell Conwell Middle School in Kensington. 

The group shared updates on their top priorities, including improving life in Kensington and making Philadelphia safer, cleaner and greener. 

Conwell Middle School sits just blocks from the intersection of Kensington and Allegheny avenues, an area frequently packed with homeless encampments at the heart of one of the largest open-air drug markets on the East Coast. 

Cleaning up the neighborhood is a major priority for Parker, Philly's 100th mayor. 

Parker arrived at Thursday's event on the Market-Frankford Line and walked through Kensington to the school. There, she and Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel laid out a five-step plan for addressing the problems.

READ MORE: Philadelphia Mayor Parker gets personal about being 1st woman to run city, biggest challenges she inherited

First, city officials will hand out warnings to people living on the streets and direct them to resources to get into housing and treatment. Step 2 brings the enforcement phase, which comes with a heavy police presence targeting drug sales and quality-of-life crimes. When that's done, city leaders will hold and beautify the neighborhood, then transition it back into the hands of the community. But Bethel said police will never leave Kensington behind.

Bethel said the first phase of that plan will likely start sometime after the next 30 days but didn't have an exact time. The commissioner also detailed a broader public safety plan, focused on community policing, data, modernization and community partnerships.

They're working on ways to add more officers to the department and get more cops walking their beats. 

The administration also laid out plans to beautify Philadelphia. Clean and Green Director Carlton Williams said officials are working to make events like last weekend's spring clean-up happen year-round, as opposed to only twice a year. He re-upped a promise to plant 15,000 trees over the next five years and said they're actively expanding cleaning crews for neighborhoods.

On housing, Parker reiterated a pledge to build 30,000 affordable housing units over the next four years. Education leaders said they're on track to start a pilot program of year-round, full-day schooling in 20 Philly schools. 

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