Broad Coalition Behind Mayor’s Budget Proposals Grows

Press Release 3-10 City of Phila/Mayor’s Office

PHILADELPHIA – Today, School District leaders, FOP Lodge 5, the Dominican Cultural Association, Philadelphia NOW, the Maternity Care Coalition and other community leaders joined the broad coalition supporting the Mayor’s budget proposals. Their statements of support follow. These Philadelphians join the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, Philadelphia NAACP President Rodney Muhammad, small business owners, parks advocates, PCCY, Education Voters, prominent faith leaders and others who expressed their support publicly following the Mayor’s address last week.

Philadelphia NOW: “Mayor Kenney has put forth a bold budget that could really change the status quo for Philadelphia’s women and their families. Rather than continue the same old strategies, his plans for pre-k and community schools will provide the education our neighborhood children deserve. Investments in community infrastructure like parks, rec centers and libraries have also proven to drive down crime, increase academic performance and provide critical services to Philadelphia’s low-skill job seekers. We can’t let Big Soda’s fake populism and fat wallets stand in the way of real, meaningful change.”

Dr. William Hite, Superintendent, Philadelphia School District: “I support Mayor Kenney’s visionary quality pre-K plan. More funding for quality pre-K is exactly what we need to ensure that more children are ready for school each year. Children who arrive ready for kindergarten are better poised to thrive throughout the primary grades.”

FOP Lodge 5, President John McNesby: ““Mayor Kenney’s first budget would significantly improve public safety. Not only does it provide additional resources directly to our officers, but it also supports after school programs, neighborhood schools and other investments that make our city safer in the first place. The FOP stands behind his budget plan as well as the tax to fund it. It’s the only way to make Philadelphia safer without raising property taxes or cutting important services.”

Facundo Knight, Dominican Cultural Association: “Philadelphia’s Dominican community will be well served by Mayor Kenney’s plan to increase access to quality pre-k and strengthen our neighborhood, public schools. No tax is perfect, but the programs this tax will fund will far outweigh any negative impact. I look forward to joining the Mayor to educate all of our City’s Latino communities about the need to lobby together in support of his plan.”

Ben Miller, South Philly Barbacoa owner: “The increase in price of soda as a business owner won’t hurt me. It may actually encourage our customers to buy some tax exempt drinks that we have a higher profit margin on. In addition to being a small business owner, I’m also a community member, and the programs this tax will fund are very important to our community.”

Lola M. Rooney, Director of Early Childhood Education and School-age Child Care for the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA: “Children who come to school without exposure to early childhood education possess a limited vocabulary, unable to understand what is taught in Kindergarten. Meanwhile, those exposed to quality early learning experiences know the alphabet, numbers, and basic literacy concepts. I’ve personally witnessed students who had quality pre-K excel through middle school, graduate high school with honors, and become successful entrepreneurs and employed adults. Unfortunately, those who struggled in Kindergarten continued to struggle in future grades. We cannot continue to let this happen. Children need quality pre-K and the public needs to support the Mayor’s plan to increase quality pre-K citywide.”

De’Wayne Drummond, Pres of Mantua Civic Association, Family Literacy instructor at School District of Philadelphia: “I’m a pre-K product, parent, and parent engagement specialist. A lot of people don’t know that pre-K benefits parents too. It teaches us to invest in our kids’ learning from the beginning. It helps get us in the routine of getting our children ready for school and teachers too. Parents participating in our children early learning process reinforce paramount early childhood education skills with our kids. Pre-K is for families and our elected officials should invest in families and communities. Family and community engagement is the true roadmap for our young children to have a fair future.”

Fairmount Park Conservancy: “At the Fairmount Park Conservancy we know that an outstanding urban park system is a key quality of life and economic development driver for our city. We have seen through our work that high quality public spaces have the potential to drive positive change in our neighborhoods, and we believe that every one of our neighborhoods deserves safe, welcoming and vibrant open space and recreational amenities. We are in full support of Mayor Kenney’s initiative, which seeks to address long-standing inequality in past investments in infrastructure and has the potential to impact every community throughout Philadelphia.”

Maternity Care Coalition “The most critical period of a child’s life is during pregnancy to age five. Teenage parents are students that need multiple supports to achieve their goals. Quality pre-K and strong neighborhood schools demonstrate Philadelphia’s commitment to providing the essential supports needed for children and families to grow and thrive.”

Additional supporters include…

Pastor James Hall, Senior Pastor Triumph Baptist Church
Steve Wray, Executive Director of Economy League of Greater Philadelphia
Minister Rodney Muhammad, Philadelphia NAACP President
Kevin Johnson, Director of Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center
Terrence D. Griffith, Pastor for First African Baptist Church and immediate past President, Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity
Kenny Gamble and Rahim Islam, Universal Companies
Susan Spicka, Director, Education Voters of PA
John White, President, Public Financial Management
Ted Qualli, Police Athletic League
Philadelphia Parks Alliance
John Grady, President, PIDC
John White, President, Public Financial Management
Donna Cooper, Executive Director of PCCY
Julio Soto, owner of El Soto bodega on 15th and Tasker
Elaine Gonzalez Johnson, Latinas in Motion
Edgardo González, Community Leader and Board Member of Board Chair of Taller Puertorriqueño
Steve Lam, Philadelphia Chinese Community Organization United
Otis Bullock, Executive Director, Diversified Community Services
Angelina Williams, Parent, former Home and School Association
Ahn Nguyen-Brown, Principal, George Nebinger Elementary School
Tanisha Woods, Owner, Little Learners Literacy Academy in South Philadelphia
Hillary Kane, Director, Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND)
Rachel Honore, West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning
Sharon Marino, Principal, Alexander K. McClure Elementary School
Melissa McPhillips, First Grade Teacher, School District of Philadelphia
Michael Lowe, Principal, Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School
Tawana Tonkins, Owner and Director, Kai’s Comfy Corner Child Care and Early Learning Center, South Philadelphia

Find out more about Mayor Kenney’s Priorities for Philly