Councilmember Kendra Brooks: Wealth Tax, Senior Housing, Rent Control, all top priorities

Hall Monitor reporters Denise Clay-Murray and Larry McGlynn spoke with Councilmember Kendra Brooks about her legislative goals for the upcoming fall council session.

Brooks highlights access to abortion, the passage of a city wealth tax, her community gardens project, senior housing, and rent control as her top priorities this session.

Councilmember-at-large Kendra Brooks

“We’re planning to introduce project protection for abortion access, for those traveling to seek abortions. We’re doing that along with Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Abortion Liberation Fund, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, Women Against Abuse, and CHOP. And there are a couple of us a package of bills that we looked at that was just introduced in Pittsburgh. And we’re working on mirroring some of that here in Philadelphia. And that’s something we plan on doing when we come back in the fall.”

Regarding her wealth tax legislation: “We have a hearing scheduled for September 21.It will tax intangible personal property, like stocks and bonds at a rate of 4%, which is $4 on every $1000.” (Note: That hearing has since been canceled)

“We’re going to continue to have our seniors and housing series that we’ve been working on, because we realized our seniors are one of our most vulnerable populations. And if we don’t do anything, to preserve the current housing crisis that they’re in we’re doing a disservice to our city.”

“And (we’re working on) rent control (which was one of the first things I introduced on council). However, we have not had a public hearing, as of yet. So we’re looking to reactivate that work around rent stabilization.”

Brooks also discussed her community gardens project.

“I see myself as a progressive. So for me aligning with the progressive movement was more about aligning with folks that were showing me, my neighbors and other folks how to organize and get our needs met, whether it was around schools, whether it was around neighborhoods against the power plant, there’s so many different things that I’ve organized around that came out of the progressive movement. “

“Parks and Recs still isn’t funded up to full capacity. We need to make sure we have (programs) for young folks which is necessary, especially with the gun violence crisis that we have in the city.”

“(We also need more) commercial corridor cleanup and more streets clean up, and you know, towards sanitation, and make sure our city is clean. And not just in places where people visit I’m talking about in every neighborhood, we need to make sure that you know, clap trash is collected, and we do something around blight, making sure we’re invested in you know, cleaning out vacant lots and making sure abandoned properties are boarded up.?

“We can definitely do more investment in home services, eviction protection, we need to make sure people are able to stay in home rental assistance.” 

  • 00:17 What is it like being in the minority on city council?
  • 02:20 What are your top priorities for the fall council session?
  • 07:38 Will council be proposing more anti-poverty legislation this fall?
  • 09:12 How does the progressive movement deal with racism in its own ranks?
  • 13:22 What can council do to help the schools? 14:30 How do you create coalitions in council?
  • 17:11 What should the city do with its budget surplus?
  • 19:20 What qualities are you looking for in a new mayor?

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