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CITY COUNCIL PROPOSES SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON CITY INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS WITH EMPHASIS ON EQUITY AND INCLUSION IN JOBS

In Cherelle Parker, Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, News by PHL Council

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – City Council today introduced a resolution to form a special committee to develop and recommend strategies to ensure inclusion and equity in multiple city infrastructure projects expected to take place under the massive American Jobs Plan proposed by President Biden.

In a resolution introduced today by Council’s Majority Leader Cherelle Parker (9th District) at the request of Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), Council will authorize the creation of a Special Committee on City Infrastructure Projects under the American Jobs Plan.

The resolution noted:

“The American Jobs Plan would provide billions of dollars to states and municipalities, and could help fund infrastructure projects in the City of Philadelphia including improvements to SEPTA systems, the airport, City water systems, housing, the Navy Yard, and Philadelphia ports, roads and bridges, possibly creating thousands of family-sustaining jobs for Philadelphia residents; and … funding under the American Jobs Plan should be leveraged with other City programs through strategic, inclusive implementation of projects with the greatest impact on the challenges facing city residents including gun violence, lack of opportunities and unemployment.”

The resolution goes on to note that City Council’s Neighborhood Preservation Initiative is planning to invest $400 million in affordable housing, basic system repair, retaining walls, permanent housing for the homeless, along with commercial corridor investments that include working capital, property rehabilitation and entrepreneurship – all of which can be leveraged with the American Jobs Plan to serve more residents and businesses.”

The members of this special committee will be appointed by Council President Clarke, and the committee’s duties will include holding regular meetings, tracking the city’s progress towards implementation of its infrastructure projects, examining the efficacy of current programs, identifying national best practices; developing metrics to measure progress toward strategic goals; and holding public hearings to highlight the Special Committee’s work and solicit public input.

The creation of a special committee on jobs and infrastructure is the latest effort by Council emphasizing the importance of jobs and employment as key strategies in the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and in reducing and preventing gun violence.

“We need to be laser-focused on employment and jobs creation in everything we do in the upcoming city budget deliberations and moving forward with this recovery,” Council President Clarke said. “We need jobs and economic stability for the Philadelphians most devastated by this pandemic and by the senseless violence plaguing too many of our neighborhoods. This special committee will focus on these goals.”

Majority Leader Parker, in floor remarks today, spoke of the “economic violence” endured by too many persons of color in American society and in Philadelphia, and her commitment to changing the arc of those deep-seated, systemic problems. “A job represents hope,” Parker said last week, as Council unveiled its Violence Prevention and Opportunity agenda.

Council will vote on the resolution at its next session. 

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