As a City Council member I will work for those who work the hardest and have the least. I will work to expand affordable housing in the city, fight for proper funding for our public schools and work to end the criminalization of communities of color through the criminal justice system.
We need to culturally, politically and economically reorient our values from prioritizing profit and the rich to ones that put people first.
I have spent most of my life working with the people who have been hurt and demoralized by our current political system to fight for a more just society. I will uphold racial, economic, and gender justice. I will value and fight for the needs of workers, young people, immigrants, artists, poor people, parents, the formerly incarcerated and senior citizens. I will lift up the expertise of the people who are most affected by our city’s systems.
Affordable Housing For All
Everyone deserves safe and affordable housing. Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods and we must ensure that people can stay in their homes and communities. In the richest country in the world, no one should be living on the streets or in unsafe homes. As a city we must invest in affordable housing, protection for renters and relief for property owners who can’t keep up with rising property taxes. All people have a right to the city.
We have a housing crisis in Philadelphia. We have thousands of people who are homeless. Over 50% of our city are renters. Currently renters have no protection from their rent going up astronomically from year to year. Longtime homeowners, poor and working folks and people of color are being pushed out of their neighborhoods because of rising property taxes due to over-development and ballooning housing costs. The type of development we currently see in Philadelphia will push those who have built and maintain this city out. We are rapidly moving towards cities like San Francisco and New York where everyone but the wealthy are pushed to the outskirts where housing is cheaper but it is harder to access services, community and jobs.
Invest in Affordable Housing
I believe we need to stop subsidizing luxury real estate developers and therefore need to end the 10 year tax abatement for new construction. That revenue should go to the School District and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Protection for Renters
We must implement fair rental practices, landlords should not be able to drastically increase rent on their tenants. This causes massive displacement and destabilizes people and communities. We need rent control. We must limit the percent a landlord can raise your rent year to year, lease to lease.
Philadelphians deserve to be provided with an attorney when facing eviction. Currently only 7% of tenants have legal representation during eviction proceedings, compared with 80% of landlords. Tenants with lawyers are only evicted 5% of the time. By providing tenants the right to an attorney we could dramatically curb displacement in our city.
Cooperatively Owned Housing
Philadelphia should commission a study on how to best give technical and financial support to start resident owned housing co-ops.
Reform City Zoning Codes
As a member of City Council I will work to reform city zoning codes to allow for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) across the city so that homeowners on a fixed income can rent out a portion of their home. ADUs would also increase the affordable housing stock in the city. I will also push for inclusionary zoning that requires affordable units in all market rate developments.
Criminal Justice Reform
We need to work to prevent harm and invest in healing our communities. We need to spend less money on incarceration and parole and instead invest in programs that actually keep our communities safe. Everyone deserves to be treated humanely and fairly by our justice system. We must work to repair the harm done by the wasteful War On Drugs and "tough on crime" policies.
While Philadelphia has made great strides in reducing our jail population and scaling back the failed War On Drugs and “tough on crime” agenda of our predecessors, there is more to be done. There is still extreme racial and economic disparity in who sits in jail and who doesn’t. We spend over a billion dollars on jails, police and the court system every year. We need to spend less money on incarceration and parole and instead invest in our communities.
End Cash Bail
We need to end cash bail. No one should be in jail because they can’t afford bail. We need to stop criminalizing people for being poor.
Treat Addiction, Don’t Criminalize It
Divert more people with drug offenses into treatment programs instead of incarceration.
Welcome Home Returning Citizens
We need to use the money saved from closing the House of Corrections to invest in job opportunities and training programs for people with criminal records. We need to expand and enforce “Ban The Box” ordinances that bar employers and universities from asking applicants about prior arrests.
Hold Police Accountable
We must push for transparency in the FOP contract negotiations. We need to roll back policies that protect police who act violently against our loved ones with impunity. On City Council I will advocate for increased funding for the Police Advisory Commission and give it the power to subpoena, investigate and censure cases of police brutality and over-policing.
Fully Funded Schools
All public schools should be fully funded. Your zip-code shouldn’t determine the quality of education you receive. I envision a public school system in which students and teachers are given the tools, resources and supports they need to succeed. I envision a school system in which students, teachers, families and communities work together to make our city a place in which all of us can thrive, with schools as the centerpiece of our communities.
The root-cause of Philadelphia's public school crisis is chronic underfunding. Pennsylvania has one of the largest funding disparities between wealthy and impoverished school districts of any state in the country. Our children are not receiving the education they deserve, with classrooms that are overcrowded and under-resourced. Pennsylvania needs a school funding formula that is needs based and not overly reliant on local property taxes. This includes supports for special needs and ESL students. As an elected leader I will be a champion for a fair and just statewide school funding formula. Locally I will secure more funding for the school district and make sure it is spent well.
Fund Our Schools - End the 10 Year Tax Abatement and Enact PILOTS
The first legislation I will introduce on City Council is the repeal of the 10 year tax abatement for new construction. The city is subsidizing luxury real estate developments at the expense of our public school students. I support ending the 10-year tax abatement and using those funds to address our crumbling and underfunded schools. I will also champion a Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTS) program for Philadelphia's mega nonprofits. Enormous institutions like Penn should not be exempt from paying property taxes.
Stop School Closings
I plan to use City Council's influence as the school district's main funder to stop future school closings. I am opposed to further privatization and charterization of the school district. We need to be reinvesting in our public schools and its students.
Clean Up Our Toxic Schools
For far too long our schools have been crumbling and causing our children and teachers to get sick from toxic infrastructure. Many schools have asbestos, deteriorating roofs, outdated heating systems, water supply concerns and lead paint. We must prioritize cleaning up our schools to ensure the best environment for our children to learn. The money we gain from ending the 10 year tax abatement should go to our schools to solve this problem.
End The School To Prison Pipeline
We must end the criminalization of our young people inside their schools and focus on funding more counselors, teachers, and nurses. Our schools spend too much money on police, metal detectors and cameras. Too much of the district’s policy is designed to punish students, rather than support their learning and growth. I plan to focus on ending the policing of our youth and instead invest in the support staff, programs and teachers they need to succeed.
A Green New Deal For Philadelphia
I have worked with hundreds of families who are climate migrants who were forced to come here because the land that sustained their people is being destroyed. Here in Philadelphia, when I look out and see blocks of vacant factories, I am reminded that our land, air and water has been poisoned and our communities abandoned. A Green New Deal for Philadelphia will allow us to hire and empower the people most impacted by environmental degradation, to solve the greatest crisis of our time, Climate Change.
Climate Change is threatening the planet and humanity. Climate Change is caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Locally we breath air that is harming our bodies, causing increased rates of asthma and bronchitis. Our public transit system is underfunded and inefficient and our cycling infrastructure inadequate, leaving people without a viable alternative to driving. Our energy grid is overly reliant on fossil fuels not prepared to transition to renewable energy.
Stop The Building Of Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
As a member of City Council I will oppose all new fossil fuel projects in Philadelphia by using all zoning and regulatory means at my disposal.
Transition to Renewable Energy
I will fight for a city funded study on how to transition Philadelphia to a democratically controlled, 100% renewable energy system by 2030. A system that creates union jobs and works to undo the harms caused by environmental racism.
Make Homes More Energy Efficient
I support increasing funding to the Weatherization Assistance Program that make homes more energy efficient for long-term home owners who wouldn’t be able to afford repairs without the fund.
Invest in Public Transportation
Cap, daily, weekly and monthly fares on SEPTA. SEPTA should eliminate transfer fees, provide free rides for children under the age of 18 and bring the regional rail system’s prices and frequency inline with the rest of the system.
Economic Justice and Workers' Rights
In the wealthiest country in the world, people shouldn’t be too poor to access food, healthcare and housing. In order to make Philadelphia a city where all of us can thrive, we need organized workers and progressive tax policies and programs that invest in middle-class, working and poor communities.
A fair tax structure is one of the foundations for a just society. As an elected leader I will champion a tax structure in which those who profit the most are called upon to pay their fair share.
Organized workers make their workplaces and our city better. Locally, teachers have worked to keep class sizes from ballooning, firefighters have fought back against dangerous station closings and brownouts and nurses have organized to center the well-being of their patients. I will always support workers in their efforts to unionize.
Hundreds of thousands of our friends and neighbors struggle to provide for themselves and their families. Too many people have to work multiple jobs just to survive. Too many of our neighborhoods have been abandoned and neglected. Many of us are one missed paycheck away from a crisis. Too often tax breaks and tax-payer funded handouts are going to large corporations when they should be going to the people and programs in our communities.
Create A Workers’ Rights Enforcement Office
Philadelphia needs a fully funded office dedicated to monitoring and enforcing pro-worker ordinances like the Fair Work Week, Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, paid sick leave and protections from wage theft.
Pass The Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights
Both of my parents are house cleaners. Nannies, house cleaners and care providers do important and difficult work. A Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights would ensure that workers receive overtime pay, paid sick leave and fair contracts.
Create A Public Bank
A public bank will provide affordable loans to people starting small businesses and buying homes. A public bank will keep more of our money in our communities. It will create another revenue source for the city to use to improve roads, fund schools and rebuild rec-centers.
Moratorium on Sheriff Sales of Community Lands
Community gardens and farms built on abandoned land should remain in the possession of the community. Gardens and farms allow communities to create financial independence by growing and selling their own food.
Sue Banks That Discriminate
Black and Latino home buyers in Philadelphia are more likely to be denied a conventional mortgage than their white counterparts with similar credit and employment. Homeownership is a way for people to build wealth for themselves and their families. Philadelphia’s City Government needs to stand up to banks that have racist loan practices and participate in modern-day redlining.