March 14, 2019, Michael D'Onofrio - The Philadelphia Tribune
Philadelphia’s hometown rapper Meek Mill brought his message of criminal justice reform to City Hall Thursday.
And City Council responded by honoring Mill with a proclamation designating Friday through Sunday as Meek Mill Weekend.
(Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clark, Meek Mill, and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson - The Philadelphia Tribune/Michael D'Onofrio)
During a presentation ceremony before the City Council meeting, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said Mill has “stepped up and taken his advocacy to the next level to make sure our justice system is just and fair for everyone.”
The City Council resolution honored Mill for his triumphs as a chart-topping hip-hop songwriter, his philanthropic efforts and his use of his celebrity to generate awareness of inequities in the criminal justice system.
State Sen. Sharif Street, D-3, also presented Mill with a congratulatory resolution from the state Senate.
“We’re acknowledging today not just a man who had personal success but a man who had personal success that never forgot where he came from,” the state senator said.
Mill, who grew up in North Philadelphia, decried drug laws that overwhelmingly burden Blacks and people of color with prison sentences and criminal records.
“I don’t want my son growing up in a world — a place where if he decided to use marijuana one time, he could spend two or three years in a state penitentiary raised by people he don’t know,” Mill said as he stood beside his 7-year-old son, Rihmeek Williams, and others.
The 31-year-old recording artist said he wants to use his platform to bring about a more equitable criminal justice system. That’s why he’s collaborating with hip-hop icon Jay-Z on Reform Alliance, a criminal justice reform coalition dedicated to raising funds to get people out of jail.
“This is not a call out for people to do crime and not go to jail,” he said. “It’s a call out to give people who actually come up under different circumstances a fair shot in America.”