Bill Pounds isn’t stupid.
The Manayunk resident is aware that Republican hopefuls don’t typically fare well in Philadelphia elections. But he still sees sense in trying.
What’s more, the first-time candidate is optimistic about his chances of becoming the next state representative for the 194th Legislative District.
“Letting people know who we are and what our message is — that’s going to change people’s minds,” said Pounds, 30.
“When you show people you care and show up at their door and you talk to them and ask them, ‘What’s important to you? What changes do you want to see?’ People respond to that and take notice.”
Pounds’ campaign focuses on a trio of issues: welfare, public education and property taxes.
As a social worker, Pounds has worked with countless families struggling to make ends meet. He wants better for them.
If elected, Pounds said he would work on making upward mobility a more tangible part of the picture for welfare program participants.
“I see a lot of people where they’re stuck in this rut that they can’t seem to get out of,” he said. “I see a lot of single mothers and a lot of children that don’t have the best resources sometimes and it seems like we’re just keeping them in a position where they’re not going to succeed.”
The city’s cash-strapped public education system is a problem too, he said.
Pounds blames, in part, the city’s Democratic leadership and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
He said state money isn’t being spent “the best way that it could be.”
As for teachers in the city, Pounds thinks there’s a lack of accountability.
“They’re not being held to a high enough standard and I think a lot of times they’re getting away with too much and the quality of the service isn’t where it should be,” said Pounds.
He added that the state of the city’s public-school system is just another reason why residents aren’t sticking around. Taxes, he argues, are another.
Pounds said lowering property taxes, for instance, would go a long way.
“If you tax people, they’re going to hold onto their money more and that’s not good for a city economically. So if you can lower property taxes, people are going to spend more money, you’re going to have people wanting to stay here,” he said.
Pounds doesn’t have a challenger in May’s Pennsylvania Primary.
He’ll face state Rep. Pamela DeLissio or army-veteran David Henderson in the General Election on Nov. 4.
The 194th Legislative District covers Manayunk, Roxborugh, East Falls and parts of Montgomery County.