When he took office, Mayor Jim Kenney said that by working together, Philadelphians could “make every Philadelphia neighborhood the best that it can be.”
Part of that vision includes the Mayor’s first proposed budget, a comprehensive plan that would make quality pre-K accessible to thousands of families, create 25 community schools, and rebuild Philadelphia’s parks, rec centers, and libraries.
These transformative programs will both build up neighborhoods as well as combat Philly’s high poverty rate. They’re paid for with a tax on sugary drinks, often called the “soda tax.”
A core component of the Mayor’s proposal includes Rebuild, the movement to improve our parks, rec centers, and libraries in every neighborhood.
Thousands of Philadelphians — including working parents at rallies, Philadelphia Eagles players, editorial boards, and children testifying before City Council — have all said the same thing: It’s time to Rebuild Philadelphia!
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Mike Newall calls #RebuildPHL “transformative and awesome.”
This would be transformative and awesome for our city: https://t.co/Hxlis6uVgN
— Mike Newall (@MikeNewall) February 25, 2016
Philadelphia Parks Alliance executive director George Matysik says that #RebuildPHL is a once-in-a-century opportunity.
“Not since FDR’s New Deal has our city seen this type of potential investment into our neighborhood—and particularly to the community infrastructure used by our children.” – Philadelphia Parks Alliance Executive Director George Matysik
Eric participates in local rec center programs. He says they taught him how to be a better student. Improving our parks, rec centers, and libraries will help more kids like Eric.
— Philly Parks & Rec (@PhilaParkandRec) May 4, 2016
The Jardel Rec Center Gymnastics Team supports the proposal.
— Danielle (@dstehel688) May 20, 2016
Local non-profit organization The Food Trust says that we owe our kids more than they’re getting.
— The Food Trust (@thefoodtrust) April 28, 2016
PhillyVoice explains that #RebuildPHL is an opportunity to reverse decades of under-funding.
“The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has been underfunded for years – decades, depending on who you ask – and the effects are obvious…Mayor Jim Kenney’s 2017 spending plan calls for a new tax on sugary drinks that would help fund a new plan for community schools, the establishment of pre-K programs and investment in his Rebuilding Community Infrastructure program. That final initiative calls for nearly $350 million – $300 million from a new bond issue, plus $8 million annually from the city capital budget for six years – to be used to pay for improvements to the city’s parks, recreation centers and libraries.”
— Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) April 27, 2016
The Philadelphia Parks Alliance shows the need for #RebuildPHL in Germantown.
— Phila Parks Alliance (@PHParksAlliance) May 15, 2016
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Philadelphia spends a fraction of what other cities do on parks, rec centers, and libraries.
“Chicago pays $174 per resident toward parks and rec services, she said. New York spends $162. We spend $66. Trying to correct the imbalance between the attention paid to Center City and to the neighborhoods has so far been at the heart of Mayor Kenney’s plans for his administration.”
— Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) May 11, 2016
The Philadelphia Daily News endorses Mayor Kenney’s proposed budget, saying it’s the best proposal for our neighborhoods.
“As Kenney has proposed it, the 3-cents-an-ounce tax on sodas and other sugar-laden drinks would raise $95 million to fully fund pre-kindergarten and create a special fund to accelerate repairs and renovations on rec centers, libraries and police and fire facilities. No other alternative offered so far comes close to raising the total needed for those initiatives.”
— Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) March 30, 2016