Despite a polite invitation painted on a bed sheet, Mayor Kenney will not have brunch with the Center City camp protesting for affordable housing, his office said Monday.
"Dear Mayor Kenney," read the banner at the protest camp, located on the Ben Franklin Parkway, "You are cordially invited to brunch and conversation" to discuss protesters' demands for permanent housing for the homeless.
"Come and meet us," one of the protesters said this weekend. "We deserve houses, too. Y'all have somewhere safe to live. Why can't we?"
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The group says city services offered to help with housing so far are unsafe or have not answered their real needs. But Kenney's office said another meeting with the group would be unproductive. The statement said the protesters' demands have changed, and in some cases are outside the city's control.
"The mayor respectfully declines the invitation. He met face-to-face with the group in good faith on several occasions and does not feel another meeting — with media present — is appropriate at this time," the statement read.
The protest camp has been on the Parkway for weeks. Despite three deadlines for protesters to leave, the city has not evicted them. Recently, the campers set up barricades to protect their camp.
Neighbors say the camp is blocking neighborhood ball fields and traffic and has prevented kids from being able to play in the area.