5 mayoral candidates answer 5 Chamber of Commerce questions about jobs and growth

 Five of the six Democratic mayoral candidates responded to the Chamber of Commerce questionnaire. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Five of the six Democratic mayoral candidates responded to the Chamber of Commerce questionnaire. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

A couple of weeks back, NinetyNine told you about how the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce sent questionnaires to the mayoral candidates as part of the organization’s “Roadmap For Growth: A Vision for the City of Philadelphia.”

As promised, the Chamber made the candidates’ responses public this week. All of the Democratic candidates not named Milton Street responded to these five questions:

1. How many net new jobs will you create in your first term? How will you work with the business community to create them?

2. How would you assist sole proprietors to grow into small enterprises and increase employment? Provide a specific example of how you would do so.

3. Specifically, how would you create efficiencies in Philadelphia’s operating budget and reform the cost structure of municipal government?

4. How do you view the mayor’s role in creating a well-educated workforce? How do you specifically plan to carry out that vision?

5. How do you view Philadelphia’s competitive standing compared to other cities with regard to taxes, regulations and job creation? How would you improve our city’s competitiveness as Mayor?

In advance of the Chamber’s April 7 mayoral debate at the Kimmel Center, the candidates’ full responses are available by clicking their name here: Lynne Abraham, Nelson Diaz, Jim Kenney, Doug Oliver and Tony Williams.

Don’t have time to read through them all just yet? That’s fine. NinetyNine went ahead and pulled a noteworthy quote from each of their responses:

Abraham: “Unnecessary overtime for city employees needs to be monitored and dealt with. Not only does wasteful overtime cause unnecessary costs each year, but it contributes to the pension shortfall, which is out of control. Monitoring overtime will require new rigor and a new culture.” (to question three)

Diaz: “There’s a reason 48% of working Philadelphians reverse commute to the suburbs. That’s unacceptably high, and it’s a direct result of our tax and regulatory structure combined with our dysfunctional education system and public safety issues. It’s because of all those things that we’ve been the 2nd worst city in the country at creating small business jobs since the recession, with only Detroit behind us. That’s insane.” (to question five)

Kenney: “We’ve had enough task forces and commissions to tell us what we need to do; now we need to get to work. The experiences of the business community will inform a lot of my decision making process as Mayor. We will work together to create a thriving economy that does not run roughshod over its workforce. We cannot celebrate job growth if the result creates a new generation of poverty.” (to question one)

Oliver: “The mayor is going to have to find a way to retain all of the college and university students who graduate. They come here to learn. They come here to play. But they don’t come here to stay. We have to find a way to get these folks to live here, work here, and grow roots here. That’s the way our tax base grows. That’s the way Philadelphia grows.” (to question four)

Williams: “As Mayor, I will institute a plan to annually benchmark anchor institution procurement from locally owned small businesses. By 2020, I will push to re-direct anchor institution procurement locally by 25 percent, estimated to create 4,000 new small business jobs, and $15M in city revenue. This initiative would target women-owned businesses, and businesses owned by people of color.” (to question two)

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