I am where I am because my family and community believed in the power of education. My undergraduate degree is in education, and my first job after college was as a teacher. This gives me unique experience in dealing with the issues that our City is faced with. The next mayor needs to not only be equipped with the tools to address the issues but have lived experience to do so. We cannot continue to have our municipal government shaped by those that do not know what it is like to be close to the issues of young people and their families. As a teacher, I put my students first and understand that their educational experiences have the ability to shape the trajectory of their lives. We need a mayor who will consider every issue in having the ability of shaping the lives of all Philadelphians and I will draw upon my experiences in the classroom to do so.
I am running for Mayor to make Philadelphia a safer, cleaner and greener city with economic opportunity for everyone.
Safer: For the city and business to function, people have to feel safe in their homes, getting to work, dropping their kids off at school, and commuting into the city for work or fun.
Cleaner and greener: Businesses have an unfair disadvantage whenever anyone calls the City we love “filth-adelphia” because the streets and sidewalks aren't clean – people do not want to come to a dirty place to work or shop or spend time here. We must prioritize cleanliness in our City. We must also preserve the integrity of the green spaces in our neighborhoods.
Economic Opportunity: From start-up, to building and growing an existing business, to scaling a company to IPO – especially for Black and brown businesses that have not shared equally in the growth of the city – Philadelphia is entirely too complicated a place to do business. That is why I’m going to bring my experience in Harrisburg and City Hall to streamline city government interaction for all businesses.
I am the only candidate who has worked both in Harrisburg as a State Representative of the 200th legislative district and in City Hall as a Councilmember of the 9th councilmanic District. Having the experience at the state and local level is vital to ensuring that the City can retain its dedicated funding streams and also advocate for additional dollars to be allocated to the issues that we need the most investment. In both chambers, I led legislators as the Chair of the Philadelphia delegation of House members and as Majority Leader of City Council. This places me in unique position to draw upon my experiences to negotiate for our City's needs.
We cannot continue to do the same things expecting different results in this City. For too long, we've played politics and have stood on ideological high ground. This has led to us being at an impasse in addressing the issues most important to our City. We cannot continue to engage in an "Us vs Them" mentality. I will ensure that all stakeholders have a seat the table, promote transparency amongst all departments, and build a consistency in the level of communication that stakeholders from various ideological perspectives have. This starts with leadership and holding all parties accountable during difficult negotiations and keeping compromise at the forefront of our efforts to make Philadelphia the greatest big city in the nation.