What is one life experience you have that voters should know about?
I am most proud of my work on the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative under Mayor Street. Our team worked to eliminate blight across Philadelphia - we removed tens of thousands of abandoned cars, demolished some 7,000 unsafe structures, and hauled thousands of tons of trash out of lots throughout the city. Many of those lots were turned over to neighbors to care for and enjoy. There is so much more to do to eliminate litter and blight in Philadelphia, and I hope to continue the work I did in my youth to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods.
What would be your top three policy priorities in office?
Reducing crime, especially gun violence, is my first priority. The ongoing trauma due to gun violence is unacceptable. We need to make sure kids are engaged in school and summer jobs so they don't fall prey to the street. My second priority is to renovating and Build new schools so our kids can feel proud of their neighborhood school and get a great education in a healthy, modern space. My third priority is helping Philadelphians find jobs with family-sustaining wages. All of these priorities are inter-related and reduce poverty.
What sets you apart from other candidates?
I am a regular guy - I am not approaching my job from a theoretical level or just looking at numbers on a spreadsheet. I have struggled with addiction and been given second chances. I have worked hard and been supported by a union that helped me survive on a living wage. I live in Kensington, the most desperate neighborhood in Philly, with my family. I have not walked away. I know things can get a lot better if we have the will and smarts to get it done.
How do you plan to work across ideological lines to achieve shared goals?
I believe that most people in Philadelphia want the same things - safe and clean streets, healthy schools for our kids to achieve, green spaces to play and exercise, and expanded access to libraries and recreation centers. I am a good listener and I will not be satisfied with the status quo. I am willing and able to work together with the mayor and anyone else on council to move on these issues. The people of Philadelphia deserve nothing less than a sincere effort by all elected officials to address the many challenges we face.
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