Philadelphia – Philadelphia City Council passed Ordinance 170206, which authorizes the City’s $300 million bond borrowing authority and the structure for Rebuild, with a vote of 16-1 during today’s City Council session.  City officials released the following statements in response to its passage:

Mayor Jim Kenney
“I’ve been to dozens of recreation centers and libraries over my life in public service.  Those spaces are more than just buildings or structures.  They are safe havens for kids, places where they can play sports or participate in summer camp.  Our seniors go there for aerobics and to engage with their neighbors.  Adults take Zumba or use the computers to apply for a job.  They can’t do those things if the roof leaks or if there is no heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer.  Philadelphians lose their sense of community, just a little, when they can’t use their recreation center or library.  That’s why Rebuild, and the transformative work it will do in our neighborhoods, is so important.  Rebuild will also revitalize neighborhoods by serving as a model to improve workforce diversity and economic inclusion in the construction industry.  It will require contractors to meet hardline minority and women participation rates and hire a percentage of workers locally, all of which puts individuals to work in good paying jobs and puts money back into our local economy.  I want to thank City Council for passing this legislation and moving Rebuild forward.  I intend on signing this ordinance as soon as it hits my desk.”

Nicole Westerman, Executive Director, Rebuild
“At the end of the day, City Council, the Kenney Administration and Rebuild share the same goal – to improve the quality of life for Philadelphians, build stronger community bonds and help connect Philadelphians to family-sustaining jobs in the construction industry while also creating opportunities for new, diverse businesses to grow.  Every Philadelphian deserves a recreation center, park and library that is safe, inviting and full of amenities and because of the legislation that City Council passed today, we are one step closer to making these goals a reality.”

Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
“I want to thank City Council for passing the Rebuild legislation today. I am thrilled that we can now begin working to build high quality parks and recreation centers for all Philadelphians. The improvements that Rebuild will bring are critical to the success of our city and are long overdue. I can’t wait to get started.”

Siobhan Reardon, President and Director, Free Library of Philadelphia
“The Free Library is delighted that City Council has approved the Rebuild initiative and we look forward to having a number of our 54 libraries benefit from infrastructure improvements.    Every year, a number of our libraries close due to lack of heat or air-conditioning or have no elevator service to provide accessibility.  Being open and available to serve the citizens of Philadelphia is our number one goal.”