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Mayor Michael Nutter and Philadelphia City Council: Return that $10 million to Our Schools!

This petition had 568 supporters

It's time for Mayor Nutter and City Countil to fund city schools, not city surveillance.

The Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DVIC) is a $20 million fusion center located in South Philadelphia. It is part of a network of at least 74 centers across the U.S. that gather a wide variety of information collected from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as well as the private sector.

A bipartisan Senate report issued in 2012 strongly criticized fusion centers - including the DVIC itself - as wasteful and ineffectual. Harold “Skip” Vandover, a former director at the Department of Homeland Security’s reporting branch, is quoted in the report with regards to the actionable “intelligence” being fed to analysts at fusion centers:

"There were times when it was, ‘What a bunch of crap is coming through.’"

The report also pointed out serious threats to civil liberties fusion centers pose to all of us. Republican Senator and U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations chairperson Tom Coburn blasted fusion center performance:

"It’s troubling that the very ‘fusion’ centers that were designed to share information in a post-9/11 world have become part of the problem. Instead of strengthening our counterterrorism efforts, they have too often wasted money and stepped on Americans’ civil liberties."

At a time when the city of Philadelphia is facing an enormous budget shortfall and is closing nearly thirty public schools, we believe the $10 million our city used to fund the center does not reflect the needs of a city in crisis, and that this money can be better spent on education and Philadelphia's most under-served communities.

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