COUNCILMEMBER GILMORE RICHARDSON RESPONDS TO MAYOR KENNEY’S BUDGET ADDRESS

In Council News, Katherine Gilmore Richardson, News by PHL Council

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(PHILADELPHIA) March 31, 2022 – In response to Mayor Kenney’s Seventh Budget Address, Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At Large) issued the following statement:

“I remain hopeful and optimistic that City Council and the Administration will finalize a budget that reflects our city’s needs. Our revenues have improved, but our fund balance remains significantly below both our target goals and the GFOA recommended level. Data shows that the economic impacts of COVID-19 will continue for years to come, and I know the Administration agrees that we must be conscious of our City’s lack of financial preparedness for future economic downturns.

 “I am grateful to the Administration for its hard work, especially its engagement with residents to develop the budget proposal. I was also glad to hear the Mayor mention the Environmental Justice Advisory Commission in his address. I look forward to our discussions about how we fully fund the Commission’s work. However, I remain concerned about how we are addressing our most fundamental inequity: the vast disparity in life expectancy and quality of life by zip code. Now is the time to pass a budget that reflects our vision for Philadelphia’s future: a city that is safe, resilient, financially stable, and provides opportunity regardless of zip code.”

“After two years with devastating flooding and some of the hottest summers on record, we are not fully resourcing our commitment to carbon neutrality or to protecting our most vulnerable communities. Despite a significant uptick in violence and nuisance business operations, we are not increasing the investment in departments that address quality-of-life issues. With so many people still stuck in the cycle of generational poverty, we are not developing strong pipelines to family-supporting and sustaining careers, especially for those without four-year degrees. Our communities deserve a budget that prioritizes improving their quality of life, and I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Administration to achieve that goal.”

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