Textile Jobs: With Textile jobs on the rise in the south and the exportation of American textiles on the rise aboard, it’s time for Philadelphia to re-enter the textiles market. Philadelphia was once a leader in textile production industry. Now we are a city of old decaying factories while the textile industry is experience a job boom in the south; with the production of nonwoven products. We need to revitalize our old factories and attempt to compete in this industry in which we were once considered the “workshop of the world”.
Natural Gas Jobs: PA is the fastest growing natural gas producing state in America. Marcellus Shales is estimated to create over 212,000 jobs over the next decade. Due to our location as a port city we are in prime position to take advantage of the natural energy job boom. We can refine it here, and ship it from here worldwide from our ports; creating new jobs while making us the lowest energy costing city in America. This will help us compete to attract businesses looking for low cost energy, creating residual industry job growth.
Increase Police Force: Although in general terms, crime is down, however our homicide rate still remains one of the highest in the country. Currently, 74% of or homicides occurred outdoors, 80% with a gun, and 80% of the perpetrators had a previous arrest record. Neighborhoods like Northwest Philadelphia shockingly are among the highest, 60% of our crimes occur in 8 of our 22 police districts, in the city. These are alarming number no matter how you look at it. Since 2000 we have had our police force cut by 500 officers. Based on our crime statistics it seems as though we should be ramping up our police forces.
Elected School Board: It’s time to take the children of Philadelphia education out of the hands of bureaucrats and professional politicians, and the state legislature has the authority to do so. Philadelphia is the only county in the State that does not have an elected School Board. The makeup of the board needs to be Bi-Partisan, in the same manner as citizens elect Philadelphia City Commissioners, allowing both political parties to have a seat at the table. The time is now, to put our children education in the hands of qualified citizens and not the friends of elected officials.
Education Tuition Property Tax Exemption for Day Care, Primary, & Secondary Education: This gives parents the power to choose a quality academic institution for their children, instead being forced to attend failing schools in their neighborhood.The average family on public assistance recieves free daycare services which can run from $9,000-$11,000 annually. Where as a family with a household income of $30,000 would have to pay for these same services. These familes should be exempt from the school portion of their State Property Taxes.
Gun Rights: The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bare arms, and I believe this right should not ever be infringed upon . However, there needs to be common sense legislation, to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, while allowing law abiding citizens the opportunity to protect themselves. But, anyone with common sense understands that there is an immediate need for stiffer background checks. All law abiding citizens has a right to own a legally registered firearm.
Student Loan Repayment Tax Deductions: I’m proposing an expansion to the current tax cuts provided to those who have student loan payments; to reflect the actual payments made towards the loan instead of a worksheet formula, based on the interest of the loan. This would help college graduates to invest heavier for their retirement, continue their education, and create small businesses.