While Ken Trujillo might not be a household name in politics, he intends to make himself known to Philadelphia voters in the next few months.
Trujillo, who served as city solicitor under Mayor John Street, has held other appointed positions in government. He is a successful attorney and businessman who has the personal wealth to fund a competitive ad campaign, if he so chooses. Trujillo sat down with WHYY senior reporter Dave Davies to talk about his vision for the city.
“My life and my career has been one both of private and public service,” said Trujillo. “Most of my career has been with one foot both in government, a foot in private industry, but also a very significant dedication to the nonprofit community and to working with the poorest of Philadelphia.”
When it comes to fixing the city’s broken schools, Trujillo said lasting change will come only through improving the city’s financial situation and gaining the means to properly fund schools.
“Philadelphia is the poorest of the 10 largest cities, so we have a poverty problem in Philadelphia,” he said. “Business makes rational decisions … if we’re putting business at a structural disadvantage, at a tax disadvantage, then they’re not going to come to Philadelphia.”
Trujillo recommends shifting the city’s tax burden from business and payroll taxes to property taxes over time by increasing property values.
“If you have business wanting to locate in Philadelphia, that increases the value of the real estate, and then after you create the value of the real estate, then what happens? You collect more in terms of tax revenue from commercial real estate,” he said.
Asked how much he’ll put into his campaign, Trujillo declined to give a dollar figure.
“I’ll have whatever’s necessary to win,” he said.