We strive to ensure that every Philadelphian is able to find a good job and that better opportunities lay ahead.
In order to do this, we must identify and fully develop those things that are unique to Philadelphia and those things that make our city more desirable or competitive than other areas. Above all, we must be a city that gets the best from people by being a city where individuals can reach their potential and achieve their dreams.
To transform this ideal into a reality, we have to address the divide in our city between those who enjoy the richness of our city and those who suffer the hardships of our city. I believe the most practical thing we can do is increase the number and variety of jobs that are available to those who seek them in each neighborhood. In certain cases, we must encourage small businesses to prosper, in others, we must invite new industry to take root in our industrial areas. We must engage in the global economy. Our city government must begin to implement economic growth policies that are comprehensive, evidenced based and global best practices.
When I was elected, I met with Council President to advocate for bringing more employment and investment to our city through the creation of a Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy. Not only did he create the committee but he named me the Chairman, as well. In my first year, I sought overseas investment, invited trade missions and trade representatives, I visited numerous Consulates and Embassies to promote trade and tourism, began exploring ways to promote our creative and innovative economy, encouraged more exports, travelled to Korea at my own expense to meet with executives from Hyundai-Rotem, Samsung Electronics, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, and others regarding establishing or expanding business and employment here in Philadelphia.
In the following two years, I held hearings to examine how we could be more globally competitive, implement successful models of vocational and career training into our public schools and community college, train and expand our workforce to meet the needs of area employers, adopt global best practices in public education and make our city more attractive place to do business and create jobs by improving city services and reducing and simplifying taxes which discourage investment and cause employers to move out of our city.
I have advocated for the deepening of our river to accommodate larger ships, modernization and expansion of our airport to make our city an international destination and to support our businesses and institutions, examination of natural gas opportunities, increasing live entertainment venues, high-end retail shopping in Center City, more international tourism and conventions, development of our national treasures, historic areas and museums to increase family–based tourism, use of technology and big data to establish a “smart city/smart aging” initiative, and the development of creative/innovative sections in our commercial areas for a more 24-hour Philadelphia.
I created PHL LIVE Center Stage to promote opportunities in music, the Black Film Advisory Committee to promote filmmaking in African American community and the Youth Non-Profit Symposium to connect non-profit providers with corporate contributors and foundations. I introduced bills to reduce the wage tax by $100 million over 11 years, collect delinquent taxes more efficiently (2% increase in efficiency would collect about an additional $26 million per year), reform our Pension system and address our pension debt, and create an International Trade and Investment Fund to attract overseas money to be used to fund economic growth.