PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) —
A provision requiring the removal of bulletproof glass from so-called ‘Stop and Go’ stores in Philadelphia has been removed from a larger reform bill.
Instead, the glass issue will be studied by L&I. It’s a victory for store merchants who protested at council on Monday.
Councilwoman Cindy Bass, the sponsor of the bill, wants owners of the shops to meet state law minimum requirements for serving alcohol, including serving hot food, have to seat for 30, and access to bathrooms.
She says the plexiglass barriers also are disrespectful to customers, treating them as criminals rather than consumers.
“No more normalization of receiving food or drink through a prison-like solitary confinement window. What message does it send our children? What are we conditioning them for?” Bass said.
Outside city hall on Monday, Asian-American merchants – mostly Korean immigrants – protested that part of the measure.
The president of the Asian-American Licensed Beverage Association says they are being unfairly targeted for this restriction, while banks and gas stations are not being targeted.
“Today we are here for bulletproof glass, which is our major concern. We have no problem at all with the bill. The only thing we have a problem with is bulletproof glass, which everybody deserves,” said Adam Xu. “It’s our last line of defense for our safety, for our lives,” said Adam Xu.
The association says it fully supports all of the other reforms in the council measure.
The bill containing those reforms is moving forward in council.
Last month, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that gives the state’s liquor control more authority to shut down bad actors.
Bass’ resolution will also tighten the city’s requirements to get a liquor license.
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