Thank you, City Council for Your Commitment to Inclusive Growth Policies – May 16, 2019

Council’s unanimous approval of fall hearings on how best to ensure every neighborhood shares in Philadelphia’s prosperity comes hours after Kenney Administration announces city’s overall growth continues

Today, the Philadelphia City Council unanimously authorized its Committee on Commerce & Economic Development to hold fall hearings on how best to ensure that Philadelphia’s growing prosperity is shared in neighborhoods across the city. The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and its allies in the Philadelphia Neighborhood Growth Project (PHL-NGP), which earlier this spring announced the inclusive growth agenda that will serve as the focus of these hearings, looks forward to working in partnership with members of City Council as it begins this important conversation about the city’s future and how best to address the biggest challenges it faces.

“Today’s commitment by City Council to hold hearings on how best to create an inclusive, pro-growth agenda for Philadelphia is great news for its residents, its businesses and its future,” said Rob Wonderling, the president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.  “In meetings with community leaders, members of the clergy, the public and business leaders, we have seen tremendous enthusiasm and support for the sort of inclusive, pro-growth policies that lay at the center of the PHL-NGP Inclusive Growth Policy agenda. We want to thank Councilman Green for sponsoring these hearings and every Council member who voted to support them and we look forward to being active partners with Council in this critical discussion.”

The Council’s move to hold hearings on the PHL-NGP agenda comes the same day the Kenney Administration reported that new statistics from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Philadelphia’s municipal agencies show the city continues to grow overall. However, as two recently released reports reveal, the Chamber’s Defining Growth and the Pew Foundation’s State of the City 2019, that growth isn’t shared equally across the city, and too many communities remain plagued by high unemployment, violence and addiction, and a lack of investment and opportunity.

“The majority of new jobs are created by small businesses, not large corporations, and as such, it is important that Chambers of Commerce and local government collaborate in creating policies, incentives and building resources to help our neighborhood businesses grow,” continued Jennifer Rodríguez, the President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  “That’s why I applaud Councilman Green and the City Council on passing the resolution today and look forward to working with them on implementing the NGP Inclusive Growth Agenda.”

In April, the PHL Neighborhood Growth Project announced a policy agenda that 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.  It is based around four (4) pillars: Inclusive Growth and Good Jobs; Education and Workforce Modernization; Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods; and Putting People First at City Hall.  Ten incumbent members of City Council have endorsed the principles in the PHL-NGP Inclusive Growth Agenda as have a majority of candidates for City Council.

The PHL-NGP is a broad-based coalition, 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.  Since its announcement this winter, the Chamber has engaged with community leaders, voters, and candidates in an honest dialogue about the challenges facing the City of Philadelphia and to advocate for an inclusive, pro-growth agenda as being key to needed solutions.

“Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods with unique characteristics and when they are strong, our city is strong,” said Steven Scott Bradley, the Chairman of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE.  “By working in partnership with job creators and the community, Council will be able to build actionable plans to ensure that every neighborhood shares in the City’s prosperity. That should be everyone’s goal and I look forward to working with all parties as part of this process.”