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?
What qualifies me for this position is being a resident of the City I love, the City of Philadelphia. As Benjamin Franklin said, our democracy “Is for the people, by the people”. As the grandson, son, father and friend of other Philadelphians, in today’s climate of corruption. I felt I could no longer just take exception, I had to take action.
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.
The City of Philadelphia has given away its tax revenue generators, instead of revenue going to many, the trend over the last decade has revenue going to the few. An example of this is Vet Stadium, Sky Box Revenue, and the Parking Authority.
I want to make sure the City holds onto those revenue generating entities, like the Philadelphia Zoo, PGW, PWD, and the Biosolids Recycling Center. And work to get ack revenue that rightly belongs to the tax payers of Philadelphia.
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.
There are a multitude of failing structures; abandoned multiple unit facilities; and old schools that have closed down in our neighborhoods; and these structures are being allowed to crumble. Instead of paying people to take care of children ripped away from their parents because of homelessness, I say we build up these abandoned apartment buildings and renovate these empty schools to rebuild communities.
I am not diminishing the need for foster parents or DHS intervention, I just believe we could be wiser, and more compassionate about the cases of homelessness, and the times that we separate children from their parents, especially when physical abuse is not a factor.
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 decrease the property taxes of Philadelphia residents, over the age of 65, that have been living in one home in Philadelphia for over 30 years. For these faithful, tax paying citizen, I would want to ensure they could not lose their homes due to raising property taxes, due to a variety of reasons, including gentrification.
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 work to create an elected school board, to take some of the nepotism and favoritism out of the school district. I am okay with Charter schools, whatever it takes to make sure our children are educated. But I do think that Cyber Charters, should not receive the same amount of funding at brick and mortar schools, because the do not use the same amount of resources.
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?
If stop and frisk was performed on only people committing a crime it would be fine. But since both Black, Brown and White Police Officer have an inherent fear and suspicion of Black and Brown youth, No, I think it has been used as a tool to harass and entrap young black men and women.
The reason why Drexel University is bursting at the seams is co-ops. Until we can find opportunities in the unions, in the trade schools in the universities, in the hospitals, real work that people can put on a resume, we will get more of the same.
Co-op’s and on the job training opportunity’s, that will be my focus.
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?
This has been a sad trend, you can include Smith Playground, paying for space at the park and many other locations. Again, we have given away the revenue that once went to many, to the few. I want to change that trend.
I want to start now looking at some of these leases, to see which ones the City can get out of, so that we can go back to the City Owning it’s own property instead of paying high rent in properties that we don’t own.
How will you advance immigrants’ rights?
I will support Mayor Kenny’s efforts to keep Philadelphia as a Sanctuary City. Just like some locations in the North were used as safe havens for slaves who escaped the evil brutality of slavery, I will help my brown, yellow and black brothers and sister’s find refuge in the City f Brotherly Love and Sisterly affection.
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?
If we can put a man on the moon, we can replace lead pipes in the ground.
I will work with the PWD, to find some of the best ways to improve and increase the rate of pipe replacement. We can look to PGW, as they have also had a program in place to increase pipe replacement.
There are many ways we know of now, to increase energy efficiency.
- Better education in recycling, (Reuse, Restore, repurpose)
- Like shoe repair shops, reverse this throw away generation
- Like New York City, ban Styrofoam cups and containers
- Lets stop killing the Earth
- Work with SEPTA to increase service, to try to decrease cars on the road.
- Use schools for evening programs for children, why are schools closed at night, when our children need somewhere to go.
- They have everything our children need, libraries, gyms, classrooms, computers. Let’s work to save our children and our planet.
Philly Green Man