The Save Chinatown Coalition files appeals for public records about the proposed 76 Place arena’s impacts on Philadelphia’s Chinatown
PHILADELPHIA, PA — Today, the Save Chinatown Coalition filed appeals against eight city and state agencies that denied public record “right-to-know" requests about the proposed Philadelphia 76ers arena abutting Chinatown. The Coalition is represented by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Advocacy for Racial and Civil (ARC) Justice Clinic. The public records requested would give insight into communications between elected officials and arena developers about the arena proposal, which the Philadelphia City Council is expected to consider in January.
The Save Chinatown Coalition has opposed the 76ers arena proposal for over a year due to concerns about the harm caused to small businesses, residents, and organizations in a neighborhood that serves as a hub for Philadelphia’s broader Asian American community.
“These right-to-know requests are intended to help bring the public into the decision-making process. The denials further block the community from assessing what’s being proposed on its own doorsteps,” said Annie Lo, Skadden Fellow at AALDEF.
“Our community and city need information about the arena and how it might affect our homes, businesses, and daily lives," said Deborah Wei of the Save Chinatown Coalition, "The refusal to release information to the public speaks to a lack of transparency or a democratic process for a project with potential to not only impact Chinatown, but the entire city."
The right-to-know requests focused on undisclosed impacts of the proposed arena, including impact studies commissioned by the City and the developer’s own traffic study. The administrative appeals filed today state that the agencies improperly denied the majority of the Coalition’s valid requests for information.
For additional information, contact:
AALDEF Communications Assistant
Save Chinatown Coalition