There is no place like home.
Philadelphia has been described as a “City of Neighborhoods.” The great thing about that is that Philadelphia offers a wide variety of neighborhoods to choose from. There is something for everyone — cosmopolitan, artsy, middle class, quiet, energetic, ethnic, family-oriented. These are just a few of the terms that have been used to describe Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The bad thing about that is that many of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods have been neglected and poorly maintained with crime and trash — very visibly.
Some neighborhoods are wealthy and some are poor. The wealthy neighborhoods need an appropriate level of services. Fortunately, they are well-maintained and offer great amenities and public resources. Middle-class neighborhoods have public resources that are typically overused and in need of repair. Poor neighborhoods have public resources that are misused or not used at all because of crime, bullying, and other safety concerns.
As a Councilman At-Large, I am concerned about the quality of life in each of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, and I work to improve it in an across-the-board manner. There are common concerns that, if addressed, I believe will improve the quality of life for everyone who lives, works, and visits our City.
1. Public Safety. Wherever you live in our City, you should be safe in your home. You should not live in fear. You should be able to sit outside, walk to the store, or visit a friend late a night. Your children should be safe when using the library or riding public transportation. There should be a fire station and medic close enough to your home. Crossing guards and school police and adult supervision should be adequate. Police should be visible and readily available on the street and in the park.
2. Clean Streets. That means the trash is picked up on time and the street is cleaned periodically. City ordinances regarding public health, safety, and cleanliness should be enforced against those who violate it and encouraged for those who are struggling financially or due to health. The City should respond quickly to dumping, danger, and disrepair.
3. Properly Maintained and Supervised Public Spaces/Resources. Libraries, parks, playgrounds, recreation centers and memorials, monuments ,and public transportation stations and stops should be well maintained. These areas should be properly policed and cleaned. Lights should be bright and sidewalks in good condition. Patrolling commercial corridors should be specific to the needs of these areas. Utilities and other city services should be responsive, courteous and respectful.
4. Quality Education and Resources. Each neighborhood school should be properly staffed and provide a good quality education, training, resources, programs, and activities. The health and well-being of each student should be checked and cared for at school.
All in all, neighborhoods that lack resources should be given attention by the City in terms of scheduling services, resources, and programs to travel to these neighborhoods on a regular basis. Many services and programs are also provided by businesses, non-profit organizations, as well as, state and federal agencies.