“This year could have been different — and that’s exactly what makes this year’s budget process so frustrating. Philadelphia had an opportunity to do something bold and make one-time investments that would revolutionize some of the city’s most pressing issues.” Inquirer Editorial, June 10, 2021
We could not have said it better ourselves. A year after fatal traffic crashes rose 78%, Mayor Kenney proposed to slash his Vision Zero budget from approximately $2.5M to $1M. A year after Parks and Recreation busted its butt to serve youth and elders during its most difficult year, Mayor Kenney leaves its operating budget over $5M short. A year after vulnerable tenants struggled to find low income housing, Mayor Kenney proposed cutting the Housing Trust Fund and zeroing out the land bank.
This is why we joined together with 23 other organizations from around the city in a network organized by AARP-PA to unite around one common agenda to ask that $30.1 M be restored or reallocated to programs that support Vision Zero, Sidewalks, Transit, Housing, Parks & Recreation, and Commercial Corridors as part of the Livable Communities Budget Campaign.
Over the past two weeks, our network visited eleven City Council members offices (those were the offices that agreed to a meeting); generated over 300 emails to City Council members, testified twice in City Council, and submitted an op-ed to the Inquirer. We thanked the Councilmembers who promoted our budget asks to the Council President in a tweet campaign.
We won’t know the result until the budget negotiations end, which as of this writing, is still ongoing. It’s not too late to send an email yourself to City Council. Use this link to send an email today.