Barholle 4 Philly
An Artist’s Eye For Change
A Platform For The Taking
Shaughn Barholle is an artist based in Philadelphia, PA. He agitates for social justice, good government reform and is committed to infusing art with reality in order to bring about radical change and progressive policy reforms that will make life better for the every Philadelphia citizen. Committed to the values laid out by the Working Families Party, Shaughn is seeking their endorsement and nomination, aside other WFP candidates (and endorsed Democratic candidates), in the 2023 citywide election.
Shaughn is launching his campaign for Philadelphia City Council At-Large officially following the 2020 November election. He is currently organizing around the principles outlined below and meeting with residents who are looking for change in their neighborhoods.
If you don’t have a seat at the table,
it’s time to build a bigger table.
I fully endorse the protesters who have supported Black Lives Matter and all the groups who have organized for democracy and freedom in and for our communities of color. I pledge to work towards implementing every single demand outlined in this document when elected.
Philadelphia Schools for Philadelphia Citizens
- Restore faith in the School District of Philadelphia by soliciting input for structural reforms through community meetings held around the city at each of the neighborhood schools.
- Freeze and reduce city funding to charter schools. Insist on fairer funding mechanisms for students in charters and freeze future charters until the charter system has been revised.
- Each school should ideally be run by people within the community; prioritization of hiring should be given to residents who live proximate to the school or in demographically similar adjacent communities. Philadelphia residents should be given higher priority in hiring.
- A Commission for Democratizing the Philadelphia School District will be created with the intent of closing and reopening the district under a new, more democratic structure.
- The commission will be driven by the fundamental notion that our public school’s primary mission is to create a more democratic and educated electorate. To that end, civics courses will be reintroduced and a more democratic structure will be instituted both at the school level as well as at the district level. Our institutions need to reflect our pedagogy. The commission will be charged with coming up with a plan for soliciting meaningful feedback from individual communities, welcoming all input from all local citizens and stakeholders in the neighborhood schools and soliciting expert feedback from leading progressive educators on how we can best educate our citizens to lead our democratic institutions in the future.
- Explore turning large abandoned school district buildings into temporary public housing and community service access points: homeless shelters in the winter, job training, public restrooms, laundry and showers.
- Explore a School District Tax in order to expand public funding for the schools that is levied on all families who have students in the schools. Families with students in private schools may be assessed a nominal tax. This tax would be progressive and only be levied on families who are well above the poverty threshold.
Radical Neighborhood Initiatives
- Starting in the most blighted communities and under served parts of our city, (a radically overhauled) Philadelphia Housing Authority will seek all legal means to reclaim derelict lots and tear down buildings that cannot be salvaged. Contiguous vacant lots will be turned into community shared space, with public pavilions serviced by locals working around the clock at each location.
- The pavilions will have accompanying structures that will be staffed 24/7. Each structure will have a public bathroom, some will have subsidized laundry facilities and public showers.
- The pavilions will be outreach centers for homeless and impoverished residents. Services can be rendered from the pavilions and/or residents can be connected with public services from these pavilions. The pavilions will not only create jobs throughout the city while hopefully facilitating greater community organization and congregation. City funds will be available to help subsidize community gatherings and police will be made available for security if requested. (Obviously, these are all ambitions for a post-Covid reality)
- Street cleaning, road repairs and other services can be organized from these pavilions. Involving and hiring local residents to staff the pavilions is essential and working with unions to hire locals as day laborers in helping to repair their own neighborhoods will be explored as a concept. Extending this idea into a more comprehensive training program should also be considered.
- Non-contiguous private lots will be reclaimed and developed according to the needs of the community. Some lots will become city maintained green space, with others being developed into new structures. Maintenance for the green spaces will be organized out of the pavilions with jobs being determined and offered to local residents for help maintaining the spaces.
City Healthcare For Everyone
- Explore the costs of opening up the city’s healthcare as a public option to anyone who lives in Philadelphia.
- Actively lobby the Commonwealth to increase the poverty line or decrease medicaid eligibility.
- Work on developing a public fund that will help subsidize the lowest income people buying into the public system. Prioritize keeping premiums stable with the fund.
Community Peace Keeping
- Dismantle the current police department and replace it with a community oriented peace force that can and will police their own neighborhoods, side by side with professionals trained in de-escalation and educated in the most up-to-date standards in community based policing tactics. Peace forces will not be armed when on patrol, discussions around any lethal weapon can be negotiated for proximate access, but never on the body during normal patrol.
- In partnership with the district attorney’s office, the Philadelphia Peace Force will continue to work towards greater positive community interface. Each pavilion will also have a pair of on duty peace officers stationed there. Their first priority will be community engagement, their second as first responders to community emergencies.
- Require peace officers to engage in a community oriented activities, whether it’s basketball with local kids or weeding a community garden side by side with local residents.
- Institute a policy of working with Federal Law Enforcement ONLY when the suspect in question is a clear danger to the community. A clear and transparent threshold will need to be met in order to sanction ANY ICE or other federal policing actions within our communities.
- Ban the use of tactical chemical weapons on Philadelphia citizens at any time, period.
Innovative Public Outreach
- Employ survey takers to canvas the city perpetually. Give them discretion to offer compensation for time taken to fill out a survey.
- Have city workers ride city buses and subways and offer $5 SEPTA credit for 15 minute conversation and survey. Train survey takers to conduct the survey in a conversational style and require recording of the survey.
- Publicize neighborhood door-to-door campaigns administered by people within the community.
- Hire & train Taxi, Lyft and Uber drivers who live within the city to conduct the surveys during their rides. Those who consent will have their conversations recorded for city review and will be offered a $5 ride credit. Incentives will be offered to drivers as a means for compensating them for their time.
Expanded Public Housing
- Focus public housing on a more community, rather than individualistic, urban plan. Invite those of more modest means to live in these communities so long as they promise to send their children to the local schools, expanding the socio-economic diversity of both the neighborhoods and the local schools.
- Build high quality residences and place no income restrictions on those who qualify to live there. Make public housing a viable alternative to the private housing market acting as a deflationary tool for helping to control the costs of rent citywide while also acting as a tool to increase the quality of private housing stock using market forces.
- Offer generous subsidies to low income households that will effectively increase quality of living without increasing the cost out of pocket for housing.
- Explore programs of relocating high paying professionals with large outstanding student debt or low wealth accumulation to live and work within the local communities. Graduating medical students could provide services at local community health clinics and public hospitals. MSWs, therapists and other professionally certified mental health practitioners would be incentivized to live within the communities where they provide a certain level of cost affordable services to the local residents. Teachers with Masters Degrees would also be given priority housing, with subsidies given to those who qualify and extra incentives offered to those teach in their neighborhood catchment. Each class of qualified professionals will be offered a set number of years rent free housing depending on demand and provided they send their children to the public schools and service the local community. All professionals offered this package would then be welcome to continue living in the property after said term expires, paying market rents and free from service restrictions, except the public school requirement.
- An escrow program with matched public funds should be explored that can used as a nest-egg for people living in public housing to save for their own homes.