Will New Council Members Bring New Thinking?

November 16, 2011 Bill I Am: The CEO’s Corner Leave a comment

City Hall

With 27 percent of Philadelphia below the poverty level and nearly forty percent in the African-American community, who will emerge as the leader in city council for economic development in order to decrease this poverty rate? With new city council members, council president and a second-term mayor with no pressures of re-election, how will the pressing issues of Philadelphia’s poverty be addressed?

Campaign promises are better realized through group agenda rather than 17 separate agendas. Innovative thinking and economic set asides are imperative to the revival of Philadelphia’s economy. Our local politicians must aggressively attack poverty in a way that they never have before. It starts with providing the appropriate training, writing for more federal grant opportunities and strategic contracting for minority businesses. If these things are all done as a team, wealth opportunities will be increased measurably.

In a November 9th Inquirer article, Mayor Nutter has charged black business owners to go after more than contracts and look at the whole perspective:
“I want to see a hotel built in this city by a black company, owned by African-Americans and other minorities,” Nutter said. “This is where you get into real economic participation. Working somewhere is great. Owning something is better.”

What are the Mayor’s plans to make this hotel a part of the group agenda and not just a post-election day statement? Will the next four years show a true partnership between city council and the mayor as a true team working toward economic development, similar to former Mayor Rendell’s working relationship with city council in the 90s?

Our city council needs new thinkers that will adhere to the promises that they have pushed during their campaign. As political leaders, it’s their duty to assure that Philadelphia politics work for our city. As constituents, it’s our duty to pressure our politicians work for us.

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