Monday, April 18, 2011

Howard Treatman's Policy Statements

Howard Treatman, one of the Democrats running for Philadelphia's 8th city council district, has released seven policy statements. The seven subjects are: Economic Development, , Government Reform, Public Safety, Education, Unused City Owned Parcels, Public Transit, and the Environment.
His economic development statement has six points that he expands on:
Treatman's Vision for Philadelphia

Philadelphia's economic growth will be the unquestionable focus of Howard's tenure in office. Howard Treatman's plan for economic development will:

1. Re-think the tax structure to help small and large businesses start, expand and prosper
2. Ensure more effective and transparent public/private partnerships
3. Create opportunity zones in key neighborhood retail corridors
4. Encourage entrepreneurship and innovation
5. Capitalize on our district's arts and culture
6. Protect property owners and taxpayers by fixing the broken assessment system

The Government Reform policy has two main points: Making government more open and accountable, and Making elections fairer and more inclusive. Within these broad topics are some very specific statements, such as getting rid of city commissioners and ending the practice of government cars to city council members, increased city planning and random audits of groups that receive government funding. He also believes in 8 year term limits for city council.

In Public Safety he talks about increased community involvement, more policemen, and increased 911 response time.

Recognizing that educational funding is done at the state level, Treatman focuses on increasing the area’s economic base and resources and providing resources to support safe, healthy families.

Given Treatman’s involvement in renovating real estate his statement on unused city owned parcels is relatively short:
A key part of Howard’s strategy is to transform properties that sit abandoned and unused into property that either creates economic activity or strengthens a community. The city of Philadelphia has hundreds of parcels sitting on the books, earning no property taxes, adding nothing to our economy and in many instances scarring neighborhoods. Only Howard has the real estate experience to promote and sell these assets to responsible investors and community groups.

Like education, transit funding is decided at the state level and Treatman acknowledges that and includes lobbying Harrisburg. He also calls for SEPTA to avoid delaying the long-proposed fare card system. Harkening back to economic development he says he will “target development toward transit hubs and focus on job creation in places that are accessible by transit.”

In the Environment policy we learn that Treatman is an avid cyclist who supports expanding and maintaining the city’s biking routes. He wants to expand the recycling program to more apartment buildings and businesses. He also wants to have more trees planted and ensure that parks and playgrounds are accessible to all.

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