For Immediate Release

11 of 17 Council Members Score a “Zero” on Business Issues Despite Philadelphia Facing Poverty Related Jobs Crisis – April 9, 2019

Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the country, with the highest rate of deep poverty

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Despite Philadelphia’s challenge as having one of the highest poverty, and deep poverty rates nationwide, a Philadelphia Business Journal survey finds that eleven members of Philadelphia’s City Council scored a “zero” for their votes on job and economic issues. Three other members fell below a score of 20, meaning they regularly support initiatives believed to limit economic development.

Yvette A. Núñez, Vice President of Civic Affairs at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, responded with the following statement.

“Philadelphia is a world class city and has every potential of soaring to new heights. But our city also suffers from pockets of economic dormancy and staggering unemployment. It’s time that we as Philadelphians came together to solve this problem and to find new solutions that to bring new economic stimulus to the areas in most need. 

If so many members of Council are voting for policies that can hurt job creation and economic growth, it should be a wake-up call to all of us. We need to find solutions that will bring new economic investment in communities that are hurting and more ways of modernizing our workforce. We need to address opioids and gun violence. We need to come together to make Philadelphia the shining City on the Hill that we know it can be.

The Chamber has initiated a new campaign called the PHL Neighborhood Growth Project. We have proposed ideas to help breathe more economic life into depressed neighborhoods and have suggested a process – a listening tour if you will – whereby the city’s business leaders can join with civic leaders, neighborhood organizations and elected officials to drive consensus about moving forward. We hope that this will become a permanent fixture of the Chamber’s public policy activities, and that it can serve as a model for other cities looking to bridge ideological divides that lead to nothing but impasse.

This is a long-term initiative that builds on the Chamber’s ‘Roadmap for Growth.’ With its partners in this project, including the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber last week released a new policy platform that is focused on building support for an inclusive growth agenda that spreads prosperity to all corners of the city. There are four pillars of the Inclusive Growth Agenda: good jobs and inclusive economic growth, improving our schools and modernizing our workforce, creating safer and healthier neighborhoods, and reforming City Hall to put people first.”

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