Issues

 

END STOP AND FRISK

LEGALIZE RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA

END THE 10-YEAR TAX ABATEMENT

MORE PUBLIC BATHROOMS

INCREASE RECYCLING AND TRASHCANS

CLEAN, SAFE, ACCESSIBLE STREETS

 

Let’s make our streets safer, cleaner, and more accessible. We can create accessible public restrooms and make trashcans more readily available throughout the city, lowering crime rates and improving neighborhoods and business corridors. We must be aggressive about lowering our 40 a day Hit-And-Run rate, by investing in Vision Zero PHL and protecting our curb cuts and bike lanes -- keeping Philadelphia accessible for all. As a Progressive Independent candidate for City Council At Large, I am running to work with city officials to end Stop-and-Frisk including racist and classist policing. We must work to expunge marijuana-related offenses. Also, creating a new taxable revenue stream by legalizing recreational marijuana and then reinvest back into our communities, infrastructure, and our public school system.

 

DEEPER DIVE

End Stop-and-Frisk:

According to the ACLU Pennsylvania chapter, African American Philadelphians account for 69% of all stop and frisk incidents despite only comprising 48% of the city’s population. These numbers do not add up; crime is pervasive and does not regulate based upon race. Let us work to fund our police officers with the tools they need to keep us all safe; while also increasing accountability and training to prevent racial profiling and other practices that are rooted in racism and xenophobia. Purging our forces of neo-Nazis and other men and women that give the badge a bad name needs to continue to be a priority. The stronger community relationships we can build from the ground up with our police forces, the safer it will make all of our neighborhoods.

 

Legalize Recreational Marijuana:

Full legalization of recreational weed is Philadelphia’s untapped budget crisis answer to our underfunded and crumbling public school system. Marijuana tax revenues in Philadelphia can help us lower the wage tax and create a new revenue stream to fund the renovation of our public schools and community resources. Legalization must also support the expungement for certain marijuana-related offenses. With the continued increase and social acceptance, legalizing recreational cannabis is an untapped resource that is becoming harder to ignore. Tax revenue generated from marijuana sales in Colorado has provided funding for mental health services, youth education programs, police forces, and more. According to the Auditor General of Pennsylvania, an estimated $200 million will be generated annually in taxed revenue across the state. Considering that we are the most populous city in Pennsylvania, legalizing recreational marijuana is an untapped budgetary resource. 

 

Safe Streets:

In September 2017, the City of Philadelphia released a Three-Year Action Plan for its Vision Zero program. The first core principle of Vision Zero is that traffic deaths are preventable and unacceptable. According to the Three-Year Action Plan, Philadelphia’s traffic-related death rate is over twice that of New York City despite its population being eight times lower. Vision Zero PHL is committed to eliminating traffic-related deaths and severe injuries by 2030. Expansion of our city’s protected bike lane network, extreme traffic calming measures, and pedestrian-focused planning are just a few ways to reach this goal. It is time we prioritize the safety of our citizens and get aggressive in tackling our 40-a-day hit and run rate. 

 

More Public Restrooms:

The spread of hepatitis A became a public health concern in Philadelphia in the summer of 2019, particularly in Kensington, where there is a high concentration of street citizens. Public restrooms will help eliminate the spread of hepatitis A and contribute to cleaner streets. In late September, the first public mobile restrooms and sinks were installed in Kensington. It is critical not just to the health of our vulnerable citizens, but to all Philadelphians that this program continues and expands. Other large cities have valued and set aside funding for such programs to both alleviate the stench and give health access; it is time that we as a city caught up. We need a clear commitment to accessible public restrooms.

 

Increase Recycling and Trashcans:

Increased levels of trash have long-lasting negative impacts on communities, business corridors, and the environment. It creates obstructions in our walk and bike paths, degrades our parks and green spaces, and pollutes our waterways. More trashcans installed on corners citywide is a step towards combating Philadelphia’s litter problem. Well managed with clear oversight programs are required for successful citywide clean streets programs. I propose that we go back to basics; trash cans, brooms, large mobile trashcans, and people-power. Increasing oversight and opportunity, we propose funding a clean streets program that hires our street citizens. By empowering them to use our community resources, as has been done in other large cities with significant homeless populations. 

Sources:
http://visionzerophl.com/uploads/attachments/cj8a9vbdj074ojnd66ah3mxxi-2017-vz-action-plan-final.pdf 
https://www.aclupa.org/news/2018/01/08/analysis-philadelphia-police-stop-and-frisk-data-shows-illeg