I’ve faced an empty bank account. I’ve worked hard every day to survive and build a life for myself in a city I love. That experience has taught me the importance of every dollar, and along with my public health background, has galvanized my sense of the value of ensuring that public money is efficiently spent on evidence-based approaches that our communities want.
One of my first priorities in this office would be to divest the city from the fossil fuel industry. Historically, pension funds have been invested into fossil fuels. I would stop this practice and put that money towards greener, renewable energy sources. As a member of the Board of Pensions, I would also prioritize labor rights and work with unions to fight for fair contracts, stop wage theft, and secure benefits. A third priority would be to fully finance the notoriously underfunded Philadelphia public school system. To do this, I would collaborate with community leaders and other stakeholders to find innovative ways to fund our schools as well as modernize and green our school infrastructure. Our children do not deserve to learn in asbestos-ridden classrooms. The City Controller’s office has excellent workers – it needs a leader who won’t leave anyone behind and is committed to finding creative solutions to complex problems to make our communities stronger and healthier.
I've worked hard to pay my way through high school, when I left my home, then college and two master's degrees. My data science background, my lived experiences, and my work to uplift people and communities in Philadelphia who are historically forced into shadows make me the right person for this job. Poverty, health, education and other core issues Philly faces are interconnected, and have to be addressed through evidence-based approaches and a transformational vision. We don't take corporate cash – we are a grassroots-funded campaign – because the Controller should be accountable to the people. I am the right person for this job because I am running to be a City Controller for our communities.
Budget transparency, accountability and efficiency are, I believe, shared party priorities. We may disagree on what to spend the budget on, but the basic idea that we should know how it’s being spent and whether it’s being spent effectively – those aren’t ideological values. Those are basic tenets of well-functioning local government, and I will work with people from across the aisle to do things like hold charter schools accountable for misspending, find money for a public bank that generates revenue for Philadelphia, and scale evidence-based public health approaches that reduce violence and are already working nationwide.