On Wednesday, February 18, Next Great City announced the six initiatives of its 2015 policy agenda, which is designed to lead to renewed investment, energy and strength in the city‘s neighborhoods while supporting sustainable practices and an effective city government.
More than 100 Next Great City Coalition members participated in three town hall style meetings to help identify the six recommendations for the four year Mayoral term beginning in 2016. Next Great City is made up of over 100 civic associations, labor unions, businesses, public health organizations, environmental nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and social service groups.
According to Next Great City, these recommendations are within the Mayor’s authority, can be accomplished within four years, will have a significant impact on the health of our neighborhoods and can be done at little cost or with identified funding.
Presenters at the announcement of Next Great City’s 2015 policy agenda.
The six recommendations are:
- Healthy Houses: The next Mayor should prioritize repair and improvement of existing affordable housing in policy and practice as well as expand the city pilot that improved children’s health and school attendance dramatically by removing asthma triggers from the home.
- Nourished Students: Because many students do not have access to clean water or nutritious and appealing meals during the school day, the next Mayor should work to offer modern water stations near cafeterias and throughout the school, incubate a local business to provide appealing and nutritious pre-plated lunches, and encourage school gardens.
- Strong, Local Businesses: Lower license and tax obstacles, offer gap financing, integrate nonprofit supports, and improve inspections in order to improve the climate under which small businesses operate.
- Trail & Bike Lane Access: Improve connections to and between trails and bike lanes, create uniform signage, and extend Bikeshare to lower income neighborhoods.
- Clean Public Spaces: To reduce the amount of litter in public spaces, the next Mayor should improve regulation, charge for single-use plastic and paper bags, and implement a street cleaning program.
- Storm Preparedness: Create an extreme emergency response plan for residents, establish a flood task force, and make storm vulnerabilities a required factor in new development and infrastructure decision-making.
“Safe streets and safe access to trails is really going to be important for meeting the demands of those who want many options for how to get around, and they want to feel safe doing it,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, Deputy Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, one of the presenters at the event.
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In addition to these six initiatives, the Next Great City coalition asks that the next Mayor complete big initiatives the city has began work on but not yet completed, including: PHILA2035, the Philadelphia Land Bank, Greenworks, and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan.
Next Great City Coalition’s Philadelphia Mayoral Candidates’ Forum will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where candidates will address the Next Great City Coalition’s 2015 policy agenda.
Learn more about Next Great City and the upcoming forum at http://nextgreatcity.com/.
Images via Mo Manklang-30-
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