The following letter was sent by the PHL Neighborhood Growth Project to neighborhood, business, and civic leaders.

Philly’s middle-class numbers have shrunk… making it the sixth-smallest middle class in America’s largest 50 cities. — Philly (10/17/19)

Dear Friend,

Last week, the scholar Richard Florida released a report where he explored roadblocks to seeing all Philadelphia neighborhoods thrive. One of the things he identified was our ever waning middle-class population. The decline in the number of middle-class residents, in combination with the city’s highest-among-big-cities poverty rate, is a significant challenge to the city’s future.

Our Inclusive Growth Agenda has the solutions to address, and solve, this problem.

We can ensure our middle-class families are staying in Philadelphia with investments in making our neighborhoods safe and clean. Planting more trees and keeping our commercial corridors clean will invite more businesses and increase a neighborhood’s “curb appeal.” Making a commitment to implement smart policies to reduce crime will garner local business development and bring families out to parks and shared spaces.

But our middle-class needs more than safe and clean neighborhoods.

We must strengthen our workforce initiatives and provide the necessary skills and training for resident to succeed in a modern economy. When residents have access to good, family-sustaining jobs that connect them to a world-class workforce, they will stay right here in Philadelphia and take part in our shared prosperity.

Listen, if we’re going to be a shining city on the hill, we need a strong middle class. But that’s not going to happen without some changes. We’re ready to put in the hard work and have the honest conversations. Are you with us?

Thank you,

PHL Neighborhood Growth Project