Alliance for a Just Philadelphia launches 2023 People’s Platform on MLK Day
The organization launched the platform ahead of the upcoming Municipal Elections.
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The Alliance for a Just Philadelphia, a coalition of 27 community-based organizations, officially launched the People’s Platform on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 16, ahead of the 2023 Municipal Elections.
In a press conference hosted on the southside of City Hall, next to the Octavius Catto Statue, it featured speakers from the Philly Student Union, Asian Americans United, Juntos, Philly Thrive and Amistad Law Project.
City Council and Mayoral candidates are in campaign mode as they try to convince Philadelphians a vote for them means solutions to Philly’s biggest crises that include gun violence, inequities, and old school buildings.
The Alliance is an “act now” organization instead of waiting for politicians to come through on their promises.
The People’s Platform is a vision for the city that prioritizes communities and focuses on all of the needs of Philadelphians, specifically for Black and Brown communities, immigrants, refugees, and the poor and working class residents.
“What we need is a Philadelphia that actually works for every one of us. We know that we're in an unprecedented gun violence crisis. The only thing that the city is consistently investing in is police, and not on the things that we know actually would make our communities safer and stronger,” said Kris Henderson, executive director Amistad Law Project.
The platform represents the culmination of a six-month process from progressive community organizations across Philly to form a unified platform of issues to advance in the city’s mayoral and council races.
The platform has 10 issue areas that are as follows: An Economy for All, Justice for All, Land & Housing for All, Education for All, Environmental Justice for All, Good Jobs for All, Health for All, Public Services for All, Sanctuary for All, and Democracy for All.
“To truly address the issues our city faces, we need a real vision that is rooted in the communities facing disinvestment. A vision of a city where everyone can thrive, and where safety is something tangible,” said Erika Guadalupe Núñez, executive director at Juntos.
Koby Murphy, the Lead Organizer with the Philadelphia Student Union, touched on education and the necessity to invest in it, to give students and teachers a better chance at succeeding.
“I entered this movement fighting for young people. Our city is defined by how much we invest in those future young people coming up, right? The school district, Harrisburg, constantly points fingers at each other, instead of doing what they need to do, which is give young people the education they deserve,” he said.
The controversial proposal for the 76ers arena in Chinatown was also a topic of discussion at the conference with Wei Chen, the Civic Engagement Director from the Asian Americans United organization, speaking on the importance of pushing back on those looking to build the arena in the heart of their 150-year old neighborhood.
“Chinatown is a center for our spirits and identity. This isn’t just about Chinatown — this is about destroying communities like UC Townhomes in West Philly,” Chen said.
The alliance, first started in 2018, is a coalition composed of 27 local organizations that work across race, age, and represent residents across the city.
The People's Platform released their first during the 2019 municipal elections in which they also hosted the People's Forum, the largest City Council candidates' forum of the election cycle.
Since 2019, the People’s Platform has been supported by many of the candidates and has led to several legislative victories, with 2023 People’s Platform serving as a guiding issue and policy document for the 2023 local elections.
“Our elected leaders must incorporate this community led vision into their own work, and finally do what's necessary to invest in the services, public institutions and interventions that we need as a city, while divesting from the broken systems that continuously harm our people,” Guadalupe Núñez.
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