What experience and/or personal background qualifies you to hold this office? If elected, what would be your top three policy goals for this office?
Though I have no official experience for this office, I feel my experience as a 2nd chairperson of the 47th ward And being a long time activist in the community seeing both positive and negative changes in our city would qualify me to help in an official capacity.
Our city has a major inequality problem: 26% of Philadelphians live in poverty, making us the poorest big city in the US. If elected, how will you address the issue of poverty, through legislation and other means? In your response, please address our tax structure, programs to support and invest in neighborhoods and small businesses, workforce training, and engaging businesses and non-profits to address this issue.
First of all, we need to get people jobs. We must prepare them for the workforce to be able to compete with others to achieve higher levels of income, where as we need to implement more programs to train the people for these types of jobs. We need to attract more business into the city, our neighborhoods, support small businesses, with the hope of the people securing these jobs, and for them to invest in us.
Philadelphia lacks sufficient affordable housing and programs to help address homelessness. What actions will you take to combat this? Please be specific and consider land disposition (Councilmanic prerogative, land trusts, land banks, etc.), tax laws, zoning regulations and assistance programs in your response.
The cost of housing is becoming so much less affordable for most in our city, especially those with low incomes, fixed incomes, and moderate incomes. Not only do we need affordable housing, we also need low income housing, because there is a difference between affordable and low income housing, for example, an affordable housing tenet usually having 4x the rent in income, as opposed to a low income tenet having barely 2x the rent in income. I would propose we use the land we have to develop affordable, low, and housing for the homeless.
If elected, do you plan to reduce or increase taxes, and which ones? Do you support the creation of any new taxes and, if so, what would be your plan for the revenues generated?
If elected, I would plan to reduce property taxes, which are going sky high because of so much development in our neighborhoods, cut back the amount of years for the developers abatements, which would be money generated, which we could use for other things, such as our schools, etc. I do not support any other taxes at this time.
If elected, what would you do to ensure our public school system is fully funded and provides an equitable education experience for all Philadelphia students? What is your perspective on charter schools?
I would use some of the money generated from the above question to help fund our schools, seek funding on state and national levels to ensure that our schools provide equitable education for all students. As for charter, they are attended by choice Although they are state authorized, they are mostly established by non-profit groups universities, or other government entities.
Do you support any reforms to current policing practices in Philadelphia, including stop and frisk? What programs would you advocate for to assist returning citizens, including post-release counseling for jobs, housing, and other support services?
Being a person of color myself, I support any reform that would not allow police to overstep their boundaries when making a stop, especially stop and frisk, in which I think people’s rights are violated. Actually there are programs in place for counselling for jobs, housing and prisoner support services, I had a family member who was released from prison and received a job working for the city.
What is your opinion about the increasing privatization of city public spaces and institutions, including Dilworth Park and Franklin Square? What steps would you take to protect or expand public spaces in Philadelphia?
I really would like to see the selling off of our city come to an end, because I believe Philadelphia should belong to Philadelphia.
How will you advance immigrants’ rights?
For one I will continue to support the dreamers, would promote support centers that would keep immigrant families together, and support legislature that would advance the right of immigrants
If elected, what will you do to advance environmental justice in Philadelphia? Specifically, how will you advocate for greater residential and commercial energy efficiency and support efforts to eradicate lead poisoning in schools and households?
Environmental justice is a key part of council’s work, so I would propose working on monitoring programs for the environmental justice issues of the entire city, where poor air quality, flooding, and environmental health threats are addressed.