For Immediate Release

Majority of Incumbent City Councilmembers, Candidates Back Inclusive, Pro-Growth Agenda – May 9, 2019

PHL-NGP Policy Platform Focuses on Expanding Prosperity to Every Neighborhood, Fighting Philadelphia’s Highest Among Big Cities Poverty Rate

PHILADELPHIA, PA: The broad-based coalition of businesses, community leaders and voters supporting the Philadelphia Neighborhood Growth Project (PHL-NGP) today announced that a majority of City Council incumbents and candidates support the development of an inclusive, pro-growth agenda as a way to address the poverty that is Philadelphia’s biggest problem. The PHL-NGP’s Inclusive Policy Agenda addresses both the short-term need to help people find jobs as well as the longer-term investments needed to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs and to become entrepreneurs.

“For months, we have heard from business leaders, community leaders and citizens that they want, and the city needs, leaders in City Hall to focus on a new inclusive-growth agenda that addresses the biggest problems facing the City of Philadelphia in a way that builds a strong, sustainable economy that extends prosperity into every neighborhood,” said Steven Scott Bradley, the Chairman of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE.  “What is so encouraging about the responses to the PHL-NGP questionnaire isn’t just that a majority of current Council members agree, but that a majority of candidates running for Council are equally committed to inclusive growth.  That’s a great sign for the city’s future.”

Twenty-nine candidates for City Council responded to the PHL-NGP questionnaires, including nine of the 15 Council incumbents running for re-election. 

  • ALL 29 respondents support the development of an inclusive, pro-growth agenda in City Hall;
  • 27 believe poverty is the most pressing issue facing the city;
  • 27 recognize the need to cut red tape to help spur small business creation and growth and would support a Small Business Bill of Rights;
  • 25 would modernize the 10-year tax abatement to create a Neighborhood Renaissance Fund (NRF); and
  • 25 believe the city needs to accelerate tax cuts for businesses and individuals to spur job creation.

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, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and dozens of civic and business leaders from across the city, the Chamber has been engaging with community leaders, voters, and candidates in honest dialogue about the challenges facing the City of Philadelphia.  In meetings with community members and business leaders across the city, the new agenda has found broad support that mirrors the support it found among incumbents and candidates.

One element of the PHL-NGP’s Inclusive Growth Policy Agenda that garnered strong support was modernizing the 10-year tax abatement to keep in place the program that has been a resounding success and committing recouped revenue toward a multi-year, dedicated “Neighborhood Renaissance Fund” (NRF) to be invested in underserved neighborhoods. The NRF would focus on supporting the neighborhood commercial districts that anchor our communities and generate vital jobs, as well as to support clean-up and greenscaping of the city by investing in programs to remove urban blight and illegal dumps.

Also popular were proposals to increase job training and funding for workforce modernization, as well as investing in proven efforts to improve public safety and end gun violence.  Respondents recognize that an educated and diverse workforce is key to the long-term competitive success of the city and acts as a catalyst to attract and retain businesses. Equally important is the fact that too many of our neighborhoods and local micro-economies are victimized by crime, gun violence, opioid and drug addiction.

Philadelphia has undergone a stunning renaissance over the last two decades, but it is clear that not every community, every neighborhood, has shared in the prosperity parts of the city are experiencing,” closed Jennifer Rodríguez, the President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “We should not be satisfied until every neighborhood, every community, every family, every resident and every child, feel they have equal opportunity to share in Philadelphia’s prosperity.  That’s why an inclusive, pro-growth agenda is so important and why we are so encouraged by the responses we have received.”