CONTRIBUTE

Help us reach our goal

CONTRIBUTE

Help us reach our goal
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Focus on Children

As a City Council member, my focus is on children. My top priorities are whatever will help children now, and as they grow into adulthood.  We have an obligation to create healthy indoor and outdoor spaces in every neighborhood. Of course this includes healthy schools,  safe green places to play and exercise, and clean neighborhoods for families.

Supporting Immigrant Students

Immigrants are the lifeblood of our country.  City Council, 440, and Harrisburg needs to work together to incentivize  teachers to add an ESL Certification to their credentials. There are simply not enough ESL teachers and they are spread too thin.  Whether teachers work in content areas or are designated ESL teachers, English Learners will benefit if more teachers can implement high impact strategies. In particular,  it is important that we expand opportunities for teachers and Paras to attend QTEL training. Currently there is only one cohort scheduled to begin this summer.

School Nurses

Each school needs at least one certified School Nurse. City Council, The Philadelphia School District, and the PFT should work together to recruit students directly from Philadelphia nursing programs. We should also increase the seats in our CTE Medical Assistant programs and incentivize our Philly high school graduates to work alongside nurses while working their way through college. We need to collaborate with local nursing programs to create paid internship programs for nursing students.

Attracting and Retaining African American Teachers

The research is clear – “When Black students have at least one Black teacher by 3rd grade, they’re 13 percent more likely to enroll in college. With two Black teachers, they are 32 percent more likely to go to college. For low-income Black boys, their on-time high school graduation rate climbs by nearly 40 percent.” El Mekki, S, EdSurge, 2021) There are not many easy fixes in education, but this is obviously one and we are failing to prioritize hiring more teachers of color.  But we must go beyond attracting African American teachers to Philly, we need to support and train them well in order to retain them.  We know why African American teachers quit and those issues must be addressed with administrators and monitored by The Philadelphia School District.

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Opioid Crisis

As a recovering addict and board member of One Day at a Time recovery center, I understand the struggles of addicted people.  I ALSO see how these people make life really hard for Philadelphians trying to live a good life in this city.

We need a two-prong approach –

  1. Support the addicts. Help them get OFF the streets,  into facilities to START the recovery process. They are degrading themselves and dying.

  2. What I see EVERYDAY going on in Kensington is TOTALLY unacceptable.  Families should not be exposed to this tragedy.  Commuters should not be exposed to this tragedy.  In fact, NO ONE should be exposed to this tragedy!
Reducing Gun Violence

Men and women with good jobs are not running the streets committing crimes. Kids with summer jobs and good job prospects after graduation are not on the streets with guns.

Repairing and building schools is a shovel-ready project that will provide many family-sustaining jobs.  More and better jobs will lift families out of poverty.  Expanding CTE programs and connecting students to internships during HS and good jobs after graduation will prevent Philadelphians from getting mixed up in the violence on our streets.

Millions have been spent on community-based anti-violence programs, but there has been little to no oversight.  We need to audit and monitor all anti-violence programs – expanding those that show they have been effective and defund the programs that cannot show they have reduced gun violence.

Stopping Crime before It Starts

Our city has a variety of serious problems including homelessness, opioid addictions, gun violence – mostly driven by poverty.  We can help families stabilize by connecting them to access to affordable housing, LIHEAP, CHIP, and mental health services. Kids who grow up in a home led by a healthy adult with a family-sustaining job are less vulnerable  to getting caught up in trouble in the streets.  By helping families, we can reduce crime and make each neighborhood safe. We can connect with families in schools.

Eliminating Blight

I am most proud of my work on the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative under Mayor Street. Our team worked to eliminate blight across Philadelphia – we removed tens of thousands of abandoned cars, demolished some 7,000 unsafe structures, and hauled thousands of tons of trash out of lots throughout the city. Many of those lots were turned over to neighbors to care for and enjoy. There is so much more to do to eliminate blight in Philadelphia, and I hope to continue the work I did in my youth.

Tackling Litter

Litter! I see the negative impact of litter and dumping every day.  I see the need for more trees to reduce the effects of urban “heat islands” – increased energy costs and usage, air pollution levels, and heat-related illness  (especially asthma in children) and death (especially the elderly.) I want every kid in every neighborhood in Philly to have all that they need to have a good life.  This is what I advocate for every day  now and will continue to do if re-elected.

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Narrow Scope of Goals

At this point, I am focusing on Education, crime and neighborhoods.

If asked about other issues like health care or potholes:

I have a lot more to learn and I am willing to learn, but right now,  this is what I know about and this is what I am passionate about.

My friend and mentor Eddie Kirlan taught me an expression from Seneca, a Roman philosopher: “To be everywhere, is to be nowhere.”  I want to focus on a few issues and actually  get somewhere.

Homeless

There are many causes and types of homelessness. The city needs to partner with developers to provide safe and affordable places for families with children to live throughout the city. Philadelphians who are living on the street are veterans, the elderly, and those suffering from addiction and mental health problems. There needs to be a coordination of services to get to the root of the problem of individuals.  Although I admire the work of the many charitable institutions that endeavor to help the homeless every day,  we need to work towards a Zero Homeless policy.  We will be judged by our ability to find solutions to the problems that help our most vulnerable citizens.

Union Credibility

As a member of Laborers Local 57, I not only support and understand your struggle, I have lived the same struggle. I will always fight shoulder to shoulder with you. Your fight is mine because I know good paying union jobs are what workers need and deserve.

Why are unions good?

I am a member of Laborers Local 57. I know first hand the benefits of being in a union, and not at the mercy of the whims of bosses. Earning a living wage, having access to benefits and paid time off, as well as due process protections has allowed me to live a decent life in Philadelphia.

Deferred Maintenance Plan

To paraphrase PFT3 President Jerry Jordan, I support a comprehensive, collaborative, transparent facilities plan, coupled with significant investment commensurate with the facilities needs of our public schools. If it costs $5 Billion, we will get back millions in City Wage taxes, while lifting many families out of poverty since unionized tradespeople  will complete the work. Those workers will spend money in their neighborhoods, improving the economic situation in neighborhoods throughout the city. Repairing and replacing school buildings does right by kids and is an investment in our city.  This is a WIN – WIN – WIN situation.

How Jimmy Will Win

My Campaign Strategy is simple – In a City-Wide race, I must get out there and meet as many people as possible.  I have to engage with regular people like me and LISTEN to them.  Philadelphia has some broad issues that need to be addressed, but each pocket of Philly has its special concerns.  My key constituency are working class people, but I am embrace anyone who wants to make Philly a better place, especially for kids. I am a long-time and committed Democrat.  Many people know me because I have supported them for years – connecting them to the right people to get things done and helping to get good people who wanted to get elected for the right reason – helping others. I am endorsed by the Philadelphia Democratic Party.

What sets Jimmy apart?

I am a regular guy – I am not approaching my job from a theoretical level or just looking at numbers on a spreadsheet.  I have struggled and been given second chances.  I have worked hard and been supported by a union that helped me survive on a living wage.  I live in the most desperate neighborhood in Philly with my family.  I have not walked away.  I know things can get a lot better if we have the will and smarts to get it done.

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About Jim Harrity

Elected in November 2022, Jim Harrity is one of seven Council Members At-Large on Philadelphia’s City Council. In this capacity, Jim represents all residents of Philadelphia, regardless of their district.

Prior to his election, Jim has served in various positions with the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, first as an Investigator in the City Controller’s Office and most recently as Political Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

Jim has dedicated his life to serve the people and currently provides drug and alcohol center information to those who want another chance. He also mentors the children on his block by providing tools to fix their bikes, parental advice, and encourages them to pursue opportunities to advance their education or careers.

Jim lives in the Kensington area of Philadelphia, with his partner Marnie, and their children

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