Today marks the start of a new Council session and the launch of our Council Connectors program, which is part of our overall commitment to fostering inclusive, neighborhood-focused growth across the city.

Council Connectors are people who own and operate businesses across the city — in neighborhoods and downtown. We know that increasing the number of jobs in the city – particularly in neighborhoods — is critical to tackling the city’s biggest challenges.

We believe:

  • That the single best way to address the city’s poverty – the city’s biggest challenge — is by increasing the number of city residents employed at jobs that pay good, family-sustaining wages
  • The single best way to generate the tax revenues needed to fund critical investments in education, public safety, and job training is to increase the number of new businesses being created and employing city residents
  • The single best way to create new jobs is through a focus on inclusive, neighborhood-focused growth in City Hall

We convened the Council Connectors today to collaborate with City Council on how best to encourage the creation of neighborhood jobs.  We know that just as every business needs something different to grow, every neighborhood will need different policies and programs.

Launch of Council Connectors

What would we like to see Council do?

We are focused on how to develop and implement programs and policies that will foster inclusive, neighborhood-level growth. That’s why the upcoming Council hearings — sponsored by Councilman Green — that are focused on the Neighborhood Growth Agenda announced this spring are so exciting. They will get to hear first hand from community and business leaders what they need to happen in their communities to support and grow jobs.

What does “collaborate” with Council mean?

We hope to build relationships with the members of Council to both discuss what our concerns are and to serve as sounding boards for ideas that are proposed in Council. We are both job creators and community leaders. We know Council members have a tremendous amount of things they are trying to address and needs they are trying to balance; we want to be part of the solution.

When business and government collaborate, great things happen. For example, today Councilwoman Parker introduced a $10 million transfer ordinance to implement a citywide cleaning program that will create up to 300 jobs for local residents. Not only does this program create jobs, it also promotes safe and healthy neighborhoods. We applaud Councilwoman Parker for her leadership on this important job creation initiative.

Does this mean we support higher taxes?

Business and the people we employ are the only source of local tax revenue — we pay business privilege and gross receipts taxes and wage and property taxes and sales taxes; the issue isn’t whether we are willing to pay taxes. But Philadelphia has significant financial challenges and it’s not possible to raise taxes enough to pay for everything. We should — we must — focus on whether we can increase the amount of tax revenue by increasing the number of business operating and the number of people employed here. That should be the goal and what we are focused on.