In March 2019, City Council released its Narrowing the Gap report, which outlined actionable strategies for preventing and alleviating poverty that have been successful in other cities or at a smaller scale in Philadelphia. Following the release of the report, City Council passed two resolutions which established a Special Committee on Poverty Reduction and Prevention. This committee was tasked with proposing actionable policies and programs which could be implemented in order to reduce and prevent poverty.

The Special Committee consists of a full committee with diverse representatives of policy experts, practitioners, providers, and thought leaders. Using the Narrowing the Gap report as a basis, City Council identified three subcommittees of the larger full committee 1) Housing, 2) Jobs and Education, and 3) Social Safety Net.

Committee Goals

While the resolutions did not identify measurable goals for the Special Committee, the co-chairs have defined its goal as moving 100,000 Philadelphians out of poverty by 2024. The co-chairs have tasked Reinvestment Fund, who has been retained by City Council to provide support, with identifying city population cohorts that programs and policies would strategically target in order to reach our 100,000-person goal. The Special Committee would produce a report that recommends short term (1 year), intermediate term (5 years), and long term (10 years) interventions in the funding, local legislation, and state/federal advocacy arenas.

Process and Timeline

City Council has indicated that they would like the Special Committee to complete the process and provide a report by the end of the calendar year. To that end, the Special Committee has outlined a quick moving timeline:

  • The full Special Committee will hold a public hearing on October 10th, 2019 from 3pm – 8pm.

  • Subcommittees are slated to meet monthly, beginning in the middle of September 2019. Members of the subcommittees will complete work between monthly meetings.

  • Each subcommittee would host a public hearing in November 2019.

  • The full Special Committee would meet in December 2019 to review the final recommendations and report.

Special Committee Co-Chairs

Honorable Maria Quiñones Sánchez

Eva Gladstein

City of Philadelphia, Managing Director’s Office

Sharmain Matlock-Turner

Urban Affairs Coalition

Mel Wells

One Day At A Time, Inc.

Share your ideas for reducing and preventing  poverty with the Committee.

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Full Committee Members

H. Patrick Clancy, Philadelphia Works
Honorable Allan Domb, Philadelphia City Council
Bill Golderer, United Way
Dr. Donald Guy Generals, Community College of Philadelphia
Otis Hackney, Mayor’s Office of Education
Sidney Hargro, Philanthropy Network
Maura Hesdon, Shoemaker Construction/Women in Construction
Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., School District of Philadelphia
Sheila Ireland, Office of Workforce Development
Dr. Roberta Rehner Iverson, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Judith Levine, Temple University
Mitchell Little, Community Empowerment and Opportunity
Yvette Nunez, Chamber of Commerce
Mecca Robinson, Forget Me Knot Youth Services
Theresa Singleton, Federal Reserve Bank Chris Woods, Labor/1199C

Housing Subcommittee Members

Joseph DeFelice, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Andrew Frishkoff, LISC
Rachel Garland, Community Legal Services
Ira Goldstein, Reinvestment Fund
Kelvin Jeremiah, Philadelphia Housing Authority
Beth McConnell, Philadelphia Association of CDCs
Sue McPhedran, Mission First
Anthony Miles, TPP Capital Management Group
Sarina Rose, Building Industry Association
Nilda Ruiz, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (APM)
Stefanie Seldin, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia
Tayyib Smith, Smith & Roller
Liz Hersh, Office of Homeless Services
Marlynn Orlando, Pennsylvania Apartment Association

Jobs and Education Subcommittee Members

Jessica Cunningham Akoto, KIPP Philadelphia Schools
Rafael Arismendi, Congreso
Steven Scott Bradley, The African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE
Malik Brown, Graduate Philadelphia
Rev. Bonnie Camarda, The Salvation Army
Katherine Clupper, The PFM Group
Carol de Fries, Community College of Philadelphia
Pedro Ramos, Philadelphia Foundation
Jennifer Rodriguez, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Esteban Vera, Jr., The Laborers' International Union of North America Local Union #57
Rhonda Willingham, Menz Fit
Tara Williams, PA Department of Human Services
H. Patrick Clancy, Philadelphia Works Inc.
Otis Hackney, Mayor’s Office of Education
Yvette Nunez, The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia
Alexandrea “Ali” Robinson-Rogers, The School District of Philadelphia

Social Safety Net Subcommittee Members

Pauline Abernathy, Benefits Data Trust
Glenn Bergman, Philabundance
Sharon Dietrich, Community Legal Services
Ben Ellis, Phila. Corp. for Aging
Kathy Fisher, The Coalition Against Hunger
Will Gonzalez, CEIBA
Fran Kelly, SEPTA
Antoinette Kraus, PA Health Access Network
Anton Moore, Unity in the Community
George Mosee, Jr., Phila. Anti-Violence & Anti-drug Network
Debbie Robinson, Speaking for Ourselves
Kristin Romens, PEW
Mary Catherine Roper, ACLU of PA
Stephanie Scott, PA Department of Human Services
Senator Sharif Street, PA Senate Health & Human Service

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