The People's Champ
Defending the rights of ALL people, not special interest groups or politicians!
Irina M. Goldstein a Republican candidate for City Council At-Large focused on tax reform, getting rid of the soda tax, providing access to quality education for all children, providing trade education, fighting Philadelphia's sanctuary city status and seeing that City Hall provide safe and clean streets that are not riddled with drugs and violence. Moving Philadelphia forward means ensuring that all Philadelphians have the support and access to services they need and deserve from City Council!
PASSIONATE, EXPERIENCED, BUSINESSWOMAN READY TO MOVE PHILADELPHIA FORWARD
1. Where are you from?
I was born in the former Soviet Union, more specifically a small village called Belaya Tserkov (White Church, direct translation) Ukraine. My family and I left the country in the late 80’s due to political and religious reasons. I lived in refugee camps in Austria and Italy at the ripe age of 4 before settling in Philadelphia in 1989.
2. Do you live in Philadelphia now?
I’ve spent the past few years between China and Philadelphia with a few random trips to other parts of Southeast Asia, I’ve traveled the world before it was even cool to do so for Instagram, but with great pride, I call Philadelphia my home. So, the short answer is yes.
3. What made you decide to run for Philadelphia’s City Council-At-Large?
Like I mentioned previously I’ve traveled the world, I’ve been to some world-class cities and always get disappointed to come home to Philadelphia and realize that we are the 2nd highest in taxes as a city in the country yet have pretty much nothing to show for it. There is vast corruption in politics in the city and people are more concerned with the status quo and holding their seats in office instead of asking the tough questions and doing what is right for the voters who also happen to be some of the poorest in the country.
For years I have waited for someone to come into City Council to do the right thing, to be business savvy and who loves the city and its people as much as I do but I realized I might have to wait forever and forever is one thing I do not have.
I got tired of waiting and feel with the current women’s movement and my businesses up and running without much interference from me and my having no husband or kids to worry about I figured there would never be a better time in my life to make the city where the country I love was born, the city that helped make me who I am today a world-class-city that I hope once I’m elected and incorporate the changes I want will serve as a template for other great American cities of the future.
Philadelphia aside from some of the highest taxes in the country, poor education, deteriorating schools, the anti-business policies and more than 20%+ of people living below the national poverty level has great potential and is a highly underrated city in desperate need of a hero with business experience and the right motives to be the new blood in politics to shake things up. I obviously believe that my team is exactly what the city needs and come May 21, 2019, we will know how Philadelphians feel about it.
4. Did you always have an interest in taking on this role?
As a child, I wanted to be a judge because I’m always fair and honest even when it hurts me, and I felt the courts needed me, but then I realized law school wasn’t for me and plus I was too creative and artistically inclined to hack the tedious studying.
I ended up going with my other love Advertising and Art Direction as a child growing up my real longing was to become an AD exec or an art director on Madison Ave working for one of the top advertising agencies.
Luckily for me, life had other plans for me and after more or less a decade in big pharma advertising, I found my way to business school and the courage to branch out as an entrepreneur full-time.
I started my first business at 12 cleaning houses for my mom’s hospice patients, my mom is a homemaker and had an endless supply of customers for my cleaning services, so I always had an entrepreneurial “shark-like” mentality, which I think came from seeing my parents immigrated to this country in their late 30s with two kids, no language skills, and a few hundred dollars to their name and not only make it in this country but thrive solely because of their grit and persistence.
5. When elected, what are your plans as the City Council for Philadelphia?
I have big plans for the city and its people and I’m looking forward to being out and about over the next few months and meeting with residents and local leaders to see how I can advocate and support those who need me.
At the end of the day, what matters most to me is the people that support and elect me and what they need me to do to make their communities and experiences with the city what they deserve them to be. I am all about seeing that voters and taxpayers get their money's worth and not this thievery that we have become accustomed to.
I am really looking forward to learning about some issues that might have been overlooked or are going unaddressed by other city officials at the present moment and seeing how we will be able to integrate them into our plan for when we are elected.
However, as a small business owner, the issues most important to me and the business owners I work with through my financial practice are Philadelphia's burdensome taxes which I believe are driving small businesses away from the city.
Secondly, education is critical for our city. We must prioritize and increase the number of vocational schools to meet the needs of industry in the coming decades. We need students who are ready, willing and able to meet the needs of the workforce coming out of high school without being saddled with massive amounts of student loan debt.
Thirdly, the quality of life is extremely important to me. We need to beautify this city, particularly the neighborhoods. This starts with simple things like more funding for street cleanings and parks. But, it also includes emphasizing funding for community gardens and empowering non-profit organizations to be an even greater source of positive change for neighborhoods.
These are just some of the issues I will be focusing on. As I continue to meet with concerned citizens, business owners, teachers and neighborhood organizations, I intend to listen closely to their needs to put forward the best ideas and policies possible to make Philadelphia better, safer and more successful.
6. What is your vision for Philadelphia and Philadelphians?
My mission is a total overhaul of all the outmoded forms of operation in our city that can no longer measure up or function as they're supposed to. Sound like a big job? It is.
But you can bet that there is no one better than an experienced, successful businesswoman with an MBA that has built something from nothing more than once and who understands not only the business world but people and more importantly the people of Philadelphia and what they and their families need to live safely and prosperously in a beautiful city they would be proud to call their home.
My goal is to work my way into City Hall and try to break it up from the inside and to do so in a grounded and safe way to make sure we don't throw away the baby with the bathwater.
Progressive action can be scary and unpredictable, but we will manage to create a smooth balance between what might seem as radical progressive ideas those in City Council and the processes needed to turn these ideas into reality.
7. Do you have campaign a motto?
Let's just say no one should ever underestimate a Philadelphian, the home of all the best underdogs, especially when it's in the form of a little, passionate, Jewish Eastern European woman that doesn't take no for an answer.
8. What are you most looking forward to on your road to City Hall?
Honestly, I'm just really excited to meet new people, hear their stores and unite those who feel divided, forgotten or unheard due to this current highly aggerated and unproductive national political scene and hopefully helping facilitate a place where we can not only unite but all work together for the greater good of all.
My mission is to see that all Philadelphians can and do flourish without City Hall stifling our efforts and or acting in any way other than one that benefits all of the citizens of our beloved city. My mission is to see that City Hall is held accountable for their bad choices and work with voters, communities and community leaders in seeing that we rise above the issues plaguing us.
Good government is one of the most important factors in economic growth and social well-being and in Philadelphia we can't afford any more bad government.
Change starts now and with you!