Orsino For City Council: Democrat-At-Large
Orsino For City Council: Democrat-At-Large
We should be able to rely on the government for the most basic of services. Roads that are safe to drive and bike on. Water that doesn't contain lead. Predictable trash pick-up. Schools that don't contain asbestos. Streets not full of guns. A tax code that doesn't bleed the working class dry, while still making the rich pay their fair share.
Common sense stuff.
Philadelphia is the largest, poorest city in America, but it doesn't have to be. I will make sure we invest back into our communities rather then have our tax dollars only benefit the wealthy. I will put a stop to redlining and make sure city services are distributed equitably. I promise to expand access to state & federal benefits and social programs by having service coordinators available at locations like libraries, schools, police & fire stations, hospitals, and city health centers. I also plan to substantially expand funding to city public assistance programs. I will also create programs that promote entrepreneurship and help people in low-income neighborhoods start businesses, make them thrive, and and help end generational poverty.
There is no excuse for schools in our city to have carcinogenic substances like asbestos present, toxic mold, or dangerous lead residue in water pipes. None whatsoever. If I have to go to Washington to petition the Federal Government for a way to remove these substances and bring these buildings up to modern standards I will. This is absolutely unacceptable and MUST change.
No one should go broke paying taxes. I want a fair and sensible tax code that is low & affordable for seniors and those with limited income, has the rich pay their fair share, and penalizes corporations that exploit our environment and labor force. I also want a tax code that offers major incentives for doing the right thing like switching your home to solar, being a landlord that joins a HUD program, or buying an electric car, just to name a few examples.
Everyone in Philadelphia should have access to healthcare, including GP, OBGYN services, dentistry, reproductive health, rehabilitation and recovery services, behavioral health, geriatric care, and pediatrics. We also should provide people places where they can sign up for Medicaid, Medicare, and other types of medical benefits with the assistance of an experienced social worker. Another major goal of mine is to bring down our city's alarmingly high HIV infection rates and increase accessibility to free contraceptives, birth control, and STI prevention & education.
Too often, a worker's right to organize is illegally denied. Unionbusting can take many forms. I will pass legislation that protects the rights of workers to unionize and strike, so we can send a strong message to would-be exploitationists and profiteers. Promoting union apprenticeship programs within our high schools will also provide an education on workers' rights and a path to a lucrative career for students.
The current state of public housing in Philadelphia is inexcusable. Housing is a human right. No one should be on a multiyear waitlist for a place to live. Not only do I plan to substantially increase the number of public housing developments in Philadelphia, I plan to examine new housing concepts, and programs such as rent control that will promote upward mobility, equity & inclusion.
Many of our city's older adults lack access to many of life's most basic of necessities. From proper medical care, adequate food, or even opportunities for socialization, many of our seniors are forced to go without. Older adults who are members of marginalized groups are particularly at risk, especially within communities of Color, and within the LGBTQ+ community. I will write legislation that will increase funding to our senior services day one in office.
I pledge to protect the right to marry the person of your choosing, your right to an abortion, your right to access contraceptives, your right to vote, and I pledge to keep Philadelphia a sanctuary city. I promise to fight extremism, fascism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, and all other forms of bigotry that infringe on the Constitutional & Basic Human Rights of each and every person in this city.
Too many people's solution to crime and public safety issues are to simply lock more people up. Instead, I propose we address the root cause of the social, economic, and systemic issues driving crime and try to stop them at their source. I also support a massive restructuring of the city public safety system, including adding social and mental health workers to every police precinct, hospital, & fire station and requiring a Criminal Justice Degree & Social Work Minor for all public safety officers.
No teacher should have to buy their own classroom supplies . Ever. Furthermore, we should be filling our classrooms with the latest technology, teaching our children about the latest in science, introducing classes on financial literacy, civics, home economics, the trades, and giving every child in the city the option to start their education early with free universal preschool.
I promise to strengthen our city's protections for marginalized groups to the maximum extent. Protecting the rights of POC, LGBTQ+ individuals, older adults, religious minorities, immigrants, and our multicultural communities will be a top priority. I will also work to increase Equity and Inclusion across various sectors of Philadelphia: from employment and education; to food security and better access to transportation; I will work to make sure all Philadelphians can have equal outcomes.
The reality of the world we live in is that a high school diploma is no longer enough of a credential to obtain a job to support oneself on. We need to set our young people on the path to success and provide them with the minimum credentials today's world requires. I propose funding an associates degree for every young Philadelphian who maintains a 2.0 GPA or higher. Alternatively, we should give our young people the opportunity to join a union apprenticeship program to develop a skilled trade.
SEPTA in its current form cannot handle the needs of our rapidly growing city. Worse, its paratransit service cannot handle growing ridership using 3rd party labor and vehicles alone. I'm proposing a massive expansion of public transit, including new subway lines, more connections to NJ, regional rail expansion, ferry & water taxi services, new trolley & light rail services, and improved paratransit/senior services. All this will culminate in what will be Philadelphia's largest public transit overhaul & expansion in nearly a century, building towards a greener, better tomorrow.
The economy should work for the people and not the other way around. I will make the establishment of a community bank where people can get home, business, and personal loans, as well as open high interest accounts a top priority. I also believe in the creation of a municipal-owned stock exchange that will offer a more financially attractive place to trade then a commercial exchange and will generate massive amounts of revenue for the city coffers.
I will commit our city to the principals of the Paris Climate Accords and the Green New Deal. Furthermore, we will work to add services like composting, urban farming, green storm water infrastructure, and native plant species landscaping into our city services. Restoration of many of Philadelphia's long paved over creeks, when and where possible, will also be a priority. One of my goals is to set the nations highest air and water quality standards for any urbanized area in the United States, and to set a new standard for environmental protection.
Philadelphia is losing many of it's historic buildings and neighborhoods to rapid gentrification. I promise to launch a major effort to save, preserve, and repurpose historic structures, rater then let them meet the wrecking ball for the sake of "progress". I will also designate many neighborhoods historic or cultural districts in order to preserve their architecture & character and to stave off mass displacement due to gentrification.
Our city animal shelters are overflowing with animals in need of homes, particularly "bully-breed" dogs. As an animal lover, I refuse to sit by as countless innocent dogs are euthanized daily, simply because they are labeled as "bully-breeds", or other types of large breed dogs. I will work to expand our shelter facilities, increase adoption rates, and work with animal rescue groups to make sure our city's homeless pets find a forever home. I will also work prevent animal cruelty in the City of Philadelphia by placing higher penalties for committing such acts.