Phila. Ballot Questions

    Question 1: Establishing LGBT Office

    #1. Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affairs, headed by a Director of LGBT Affairs?

    This proposed amendment to the Home Rule Charter would add a new Office to the Administrative branch of City government: the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affairs. The Office would be headed by the Director of LGBT Affairs, appointed by the Mayor.

    The Office of LGBT Affairs would: 1) Develop proposed policies regarding civil rights issues affecting LGBT people; 2) Coordinate the implementation of policies and programs to support the LGBT population and to support the City’s equality and diversity goals; and 3) Coordinate among City agencies and the LGBT communities to improve access to City services and to improve quality of life for LGBT people.

    Question 2: Creating Dept. of Planning and Development

    #2. Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to create a new Department of Planning and Development, headed by a Cabinet-level Director, to oversee the City’s planning, zoning, development servicesand housing and community development functions; put the Historical Commission in the Charter and create a new Housing Advisory Board; and attach the City Planning Commission, Historical Commission, Art Commission,Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Housing Advisory Boardto the newDepartment?

    This proposed amendment to the Home Rule Charter would create a new Department of Planning and Development. The Department would be headed by the Director of Planning and Development who would be a member of the Mayor’s cabinet.

    The Department would have three divisions: the Division of Development Services,the Division of Planning and Zoning,and the Division of Housing and Community Development. The Division of Development Serviceswould coordinate among various City and non-City agencies in providing support to development projects. The Division of Planning and Zoningwould provide administrative support to the Planning Commission, the Historical Commission, the Art Commission and the Zoning Board. The Division of Housing and Community Developmentwould be responsible for developing and carrying out the City’s housing and community development programs.

    The amendment also would make various changes regarding several City boards and commissions.Two additional members would be added to the Planning Commission — the Director of Planning and Development and a member appointed by the Mayor.The Historical Commission would be formally included in the Home Rule Charter, and its duties set forth in the Charter. The Director of Planning and Development would replace the Director of Housing as a member of the Historical Commission, and one Mayoral appointment would be eliminated. The Housing Advisory Board would be created, consisting of twelve members (seven designated by various City and non-City agencies and five appointed by the Mayor); the Board would provide advice to the Division of Housing and Community Development regarding housing policy.

    Question 3: Borrowing money for capital purposes

    City Bond Question: Should the City of Philadelphia borrow ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE MILLION NINE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($155,965,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

    This ballot question, if approved by the voters, would authorize the City to borrow $155,965,000 for capital purposes, thereby increasing the City’s indebtedness by $155,965,000. Capital purposes means, generally, to make expenditures that will result in something of value with a useful life to the City of more than five years, for example, acquisitions of real estate, or construction of or improvements to buildings, property or streets.

    The money to be borrowed would be used by the City for five identified purposes, namely, Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development, all in specific amounts identified in Bill No. 150507 (approved June 18, 2015). City Council would have authority, by ordinance, to change the intended allocation of these proceeds.

    Committee of Seventy contributed to this guide.

    For more information, check out their explainers for the ballot questions

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