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Jeff Brown

Candidate for Mayor

Campaign website

What is one life experience you have that voters should know about?

One of the most important aspects of the work I've done has been supporting the re-entry of returning citizens to their families and our communities. Helping these individuals return to their communities, find gainful employment and become contributing members of society has long-term, large-scale impact on neighborhoods and communities across our city. When opening a new store, I have adopted the practice of holding town hall meetings with members of the community that we plan to serve. We communicate our intent to be strong community partners and, more importantly, talk with them about the ways we can best serve their needs. At the forum for our store at 52nd and Parkside, I was approached by a member of the community who asked me to help address the issue of returning citizens. We talked about the challenges and agreed to take on the challenge. As a result, my wife and I founded Uplift Solutions, a non-profit that reduces the barriers for returning citizens and at-risk youth, helping them find pathways to long-term success. I also made a personal commitment to employ returning citizens, promote them into management, and help expunge their criminal records.

What would be your top three policy priorities in office?

Addressing structural poverty, combating our city's public safety emergency, and improving city services.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I am the only candidate that has successfully run a large, unionized organization. I voluntarily unionized my business because I believe labor unions play a critical role in protecting workers and building the middle class. My relationship with the four locals that represent my employees has been so collaborative and positive, that the four locals have endorsed my candidacy for Mayor. I am also the only candidate who has actually created jobs on a large scale basis. Over the life of my business, I have employed more than 60,000 employees with strong union wages (averaging about $25/hour for full-time employees, plus a wide range of benefits including healthcare, childcare, retirement, sick leave, etc.) I have also been a leading advocate for hiring returning citizens and providing the support and resources necessary to help them successfully re-enter society. In addition, I have supported small, minority business development by funding and supporting a Small Business Incubator, and I created and helped fund the PA 30-Day Fund, an initiative through which we provided $3,000 grants to small, largely women and minority owned businesses, during the COVID pandemic.

How do you plan to work across ideological lines to achieve shared goals?

This is a challenge I have successfully navigated on many occasions. You have to be willing to focus on potential areas of mutual agreement and build upon those areas. I have successfully worked with individuals with a wide range of interests and motivations and will work collaboratively with anyone who is interested in addressing the urgent challenges we face as a city. In fact, addressing these challenges will require bringing a wide range of entities and interests to the table – corporate, non-profit, public sector, etc., and this is something in which I have extensive experience. Finally, this requires an aptitude for creative problem-solving. Often, it means envisioning and creating a completely alternative resolution. My experience in multiple fields of endeavor is uniquely positioned for success in this area.