Allentown City Hall

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Allentown City Council tabled an ordinance to establish campaign contribution limits on Wednesday night.

The legislation was tabled due to questions surrounding how the bill's provisions would actually be enforced.

The bill, co-sponsored by Councilwoman Ce-Ce Gerlach and Councilman Joshua Siegel, would limit individual contributions to $2,900 to candidate committees and political action committee contributions to $5,000. The legislation is based on campaign finance legislation used in the city of Pittsburgh. Currently in Allentown, there are no campaign contribution limits.

Arts-based community project

Council approved the city's inclusion in the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Communities Pilot Initiative. The initiative was designed "to provide multi-year funding to community-driven, arts-based development projects that serve as catalysts for livability, economic development and community connectedness."

Also called "creative placemaking," the funded projects "will have a demonstrated, positive impact on their respective communities."

In Allentown, The Artist-Neighbor Growth and Opportunity Project was established during the last five years of community engagement, research and pilot programs in Center City. 

Known as "TANGO," the project is "committed to providing artists and cultural solutions to urban challenges including poverty, housing and quality of life in the city." This will be accomplished through a four-pronged strategy over the next four years by addressing affordable quality housing, creating economy and entrepreneurship, and improving cultural infrastructure and community-building, according to the city.

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is providing multiyear funding for the project. Specifically, Allentown will receive $12,500 during the current 2020-21 fiscal year; up to $25,000 during the next three fiscal years; and $12,500 for fiscal year 2024-25.

Other news

In other business, council approved the hiring of Dakota Martin to serve as a patrolman in the Allentown Police Department. He will receive $62,632 in annual compensation. The vote was 5-2, with Gerlach and Siegel dissenting.

Finally, at the meeting's conclusion, President Julio Guridy said council plans "to open council chambers" to the public in July.

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