When a trio of aspiring mayoral candidates filed petitions earlier this month to join Jim Kenney (D) and Melissa Murray Bailey (R) on the November ballot, Boris Kindij told NinetyNine he wanted to wait to clear any potential challenges before talking about his candidacy.
Two weeks later, the challenge window has closed, so Kindij emailed a lenghty statement outlining his plans and visions in the form of a letter to Philadelphia.
A Croatian-born American, the 41-year-old spent two years in Croatian War (1991-1993) and moved to the Philadelphia area in 2000.
He currently lives in South Philadelphia with his fiancée Jennifer and has a 9-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.
“I am practically a Philadelphia ‘New Kid on the Block’ that fights for justice and fairness in life,” he said.
Among the highlights of his letter:
Kindij, maintenance coordinator for a professional property management group who responds to “24-hour maintenance emergencies” across the region, likens his mission to those undertaken by Thomas Jefferson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
He hopes to unite the city by “eliminating poverty.”
He proposes establishing a tax-free zone for those who bring jobs into the city.
He states that he “will lower real estate and wage taxes, and heavily invest in our public schools.”
And, in a statement reminiscent of erstwhile mayoral candidate Milton Street’s “414 Community Movement,” he would “create Philadelphia’s Public Security Officer Agency (up to 10,000 jobs)” through which he would “contract a major U.S. private security provider that will hire, train, and supervise qualified returning and underprivileged citizens and transform them into good and productive citizens.”
It’s a lot to digest, for sure. So, you can read Kindij’s letter in its entirety:
Thomas Jefferson once said, “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”
Martin L. King had a dream that, one day, his children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Both of them were remarkable American heroes among many others, known and unknown, who fought for justice and fairness.
Therefore, this is the very same reason why I have made the decision to run for Mayor. I want to bring justice and fairness to Philadelphia and its people.
Our city has been struggling and suffering for decades ruled by a government that primarily serves its own interests and not its citizens.
As a result, the majority of Philadelphians have lost trust in politicians. Philadelphia has become one of the poorest, corrupt, mismanaged, crime-infested, most rundown and in debt cities in the country.
William Shakespeare’s famous quote from Hamlet, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” describes the exact current state of City Hall with its “Pay to Play” practices.
To deliver long lost honesty, integrity, trust, respect, and accountability back to city government, I have made a decision to invite the ‘SAM KATZ’ administration to join me.
While collecting signatures on the streets of Philadelphia for four months, I met a lot of people that lived without dignity.
Most of them were African Americans and Latinos who were hopeless, jobless, homeless, penniless, angry at racial and income injustice, and frustrated with city politicians and their empty promises.
Many of them wanted jobs, $15 minimum wage, access to better public schools and education for their children.
They wanted equal rights and the chance for a better life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The presence of a high level of crime, daily shootings, drugs, homicides, streets full of trash were other concerns of our citizens.
Black and Latino communities do not trust the police.
The city needs to hire more minority police officers and effectively communicate with various neighborhoods to rebuild that trust.
Philadelphia is divided into two very different slices.
As Bernie Sanders fights for justice and fairness throughout the nation, I will fight to unite the City of Brotherly Love by eliminating poverty.
As Mayor of Philadelphia, I will create an Income Inequality Advisory Committee (comprised of representatives from labor, business, and nonprofits), and with City Council’s cooperation, increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by changing Philadelphia’s BIRT Code.
City Hall will give two options to businesses:
Option A: For-profit business entities that apply Philadelphia’s $15 minimum wage schedule will pay a lower business income tax.
Option B: For-profit business entities that do not apply the $15 minimum wage schedule will pay a higher than current business income tax.
There is no need to fight the useless battle against Harrisburg and waste millions of dollars on Attorneys’ fees. We need to think outside of the box.
I will create a 10-year tax-free zone (TFZ) program for new business entities that will bring jobs to Philadelphia.
Their minimum requirement (e.g. 25+ employees) apply the $15 minimum wage schedule, and pay an annual membership to the City of Philadelphia.
I will also expand the 10-year tax abatement to 20 years for all properties under $250K, the program that will bring jobs to our underdeveloped and poor neighborhoods.
Many young citizens come from underprivileged families. Many of them have made mistakes in their lives and have received some type of permanent criminal record. Landing jobs for those young men and women has become a “mission impossible.”
Therefore, I will create Philadelphia’s Public Security Officer Agency (up to 10,000 jobs), the largest in the nation.
It will contract a major US private security provider through PPP that will hire, train, and supervise qualified returning and underprivileged citizens and transform them into good and productive citizens. Their job will be to protect our citizens and keep our streets safer, secure, and cleaner.
I will lower real estate and wage taxes, and heavily invest in our public schools.
I will cancel ‘Stop and Frisk’ practices.
I will fight city corruption, keep Chief Integrity Officer and Inspector General offices permanently.
I will monitor every single city agency and its districts making sure that every single taxpayers money is spent wisely and rationally.
I will privatize public utilities if necessary (PPP- an option).
Trash-collection privatization will be the first thing on my agenda. I will not tolerate filthy streets in Philadelphia anymore.
I will discuss with labor unions the importance of city pensions reforms. All new employees will have to join the city’s hybrid pension plan, called Plan 10, which is similar to a 401(k).
I will not allow Philadelphia to become another Detroit.
We all have to share in responsibilities to financially save the city and pensions.
The retirement age for new city employees will have to increase. Their contribution into a pension fund and insurance will also have to increase.
Health care costs and spending must stay within city government’s control and not be transferred to labor unions.
I will suspend DROP except for uniformed employees (police and firefighters). The funds will come from the prompt delinquent tax collection ($1.2 billion), PILOT (either voluntarily, or via statutory measures), mandatory contributions from Comcast and PPA, sale of PGW (privatization or PPP), and TFZ annual memberships.
Philadelphians, on November 3, 2015, you will have several alternatives to select from as to who will become your next Mayor.
You can either vote for the ‘Business as Usual’ option or for an Independent candidate with a vision, integrity, and compassion to succeed in creating Philadelphia a better place for everyone to live. Your future is in your own hands.
Boris KindijIndependent Candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia