List of Issues
END SANCTUARY CITY STATUS
The first thing that needs to change is the sanctuary city policy. Philadelphia has become a hub for drugs and consequent overdose deaths. Recently, an illegal immigrant was released and raped a young child. We need to comply with federal law. Mayor Kenney does not get to make immigration law by unilateral fiat. We are going to work with the U.S. Attorney here to comply with federal regulations to which the city is subject. I.C.E. is predominantly full of patriots who are busting up drug and even human trafficking rings. They are a federal agency with a legal mandate to fulfill a certain mission. I’m done with thumbing our noses at the laws on the books.
REPEAL SUGAR TAX
As it stands, the beverage tax is here to stay. I am running for office to constantly push from within city hall to repeal the soda tax by a vote of City Council. The negative economic impact of this beverage tax is clear. Every week, thousands of Philadelphians travel outside of the city to purchase their sodas, sports drinks and other items taxed under the Kenney administration.
This isn't just a loss of a few tax dollars on soda. This has a real impact on our economy as a city. New supermarkets are reluctant to open or hire.
Even Oxford Economics agreed. In a report, they stated that this beverage tax would cost the CIty almost 1,200 jobs and a loss of almost 80 million dollars in GDP that our city needs. When I am on Council, I will be a constant voice against this tax and together - WE WILL REPEAL THE BEVERAGE TAX.
TAX REFORM & BUSINESS
City wage taxes are anywhere between 3 and 4 % for city residents. This is unacceptable and makes Philadelphia an unappealing place to work and raise a family and makes Philadelphians pay the 2nd highest taxes in the country all the while also being one of the poorest and least developed cities in the country.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are parking lot taxes, rental car taxes, hotel room taxes, tobacco taxes, beverages taxes and every imaginable business tax in between which ultimately serve to dissuade business owners from starting or growing in Philadelphia.
Business owners get doubled taxed. Business income and receipts taxes on small business hit owners on both gross receipts and taxable net income. The money the city takes away is largely from small business, and that is money which could have been allocated to expansion and hiring more Philadelphians that so desperately need jobs.
When I'm elected to City Council, I will be the voice for small businesses on City Council. I will stand up against over taxation and will unleash the growth potential that our City has by empowering small businesses and creating opportunities and procedures that will allow a streamlined business launch and operating process.
Additionally, I intend to seek out opportunities to partner with universities, startups, and entrepreneurs abroad to see how we can work together to bring new industry and opportunity to Philadelphia.
Once I am done on Council, Philadelphia will be one of the top metropolitan cities in the country to do business in and with.
If we don't properly educate our current and future generations, we'll continue to fall behind the national average and we
will be enabling poverty and quality of life to decrease in our City for decades to come. I'm a firm believer that most of the societal problems we face could be handled with a stronger emphasis on education.
Everyone agrees education is important. But, how do we make changes that can provide tangible results for decades to come?
In my opinion, it takes greater input from the parents, communities and teaching professionals who care about the outcomes. It takes a greater emphasis on trade schools, so our high school graduates are ready, willing and able to work or start their own business immediately following graduation; rather than taking on loads of debt attaining 4-year college degrees which may not be the right fit.
It takes really looking at how our schools spend our taxes dollars and eliminating inefficiencies. If the goal of spending money in our schools isn't narrowly focused on educating our children and preparing them for a bright and successful future, then we aren't spending the money we have wisely. I will be a constant voice on City Council pressing for more accountability, for more alternative programs related to trade schools and technical education and ultimately, for more results!
Gentrification has been at the heart of our city for more than a decade now and it is the very thing that has transformed our city into a hopeful and in parts beautiful place to live and do business in.
However, it also created a somewhat of a crisis for people looking for affordable housing and although Philadelphia is one of the most affordable cities as far as housing is concerned there have been a lot of people who have been negatively impacted by the evolving neighborhoods.
The CIty owns a lot of land which is currently sitting there unutilized, generating no income and or tax dollars and is being used in a lot of areas as dumping grounds due to poor maintenance on the cities part that could easily be transformed into beautiful housing communities that will be rent to own and will allow people the opportunity to become homeowners at a beyond reasonable cost.
Improving housing improves communities and inspires people to take care of their homes, themselves, and each other. People who live in good, clean, safe, communities and homes are inspired to do better and be better.
While I am against safe injection sites as I do believe doing drugs be it a choice or an illness should not be comfortable and or so accommodating that we encourage others from other townships and cities to come here.
However, I am all for getting together with community leaders who are out there taking part in helping Philadelphia with this crisis and work in the communities affected most by drug use to develop a comprehensive solution to our areas homelessness and drug use problem.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Philadelphia is a World Class City that is only at the beginning of reaching its true potential. As I've traveled around the globe, I couldn't help but know that Philadelphia, the birthplace of America, has the potential to be the greatest city in the world.
But, this takes real work and effort. This is a city of neighborhoods and greater emphasis needs to be placed on the working class who make this city run. We need more parks, more street cleanings, more funding and partnering with non-profit groups
to beautify our neighborhoods and make them safer places to live and work.
In order to achieve this, we need to build on the successes that exist; but also, rethink how we approach the quality of life issues. For some neighborhoods, it may be cleaning up blighted properties. For others, it may mean developing a series of community gardens on abandoned lots. And, yet for others, it may mean simple street cleaning and graffiti removal.
This City we love is important to us and our families. We can't afford to do it later, or not do it at all. I will be a voice that empowers you, the residents of Philadelphia, to have the highest quality of life possible in our neighborhoods with me advocating on our behalf on City Council.