Barholle 4 Philly
An Artist’s Eye For Change
Shaughn Barholle for City Council 2023
The following platform outlined below is a prelimiary platform for my mayoral run in 2023. The Shaughn Barholle for Mayor campaign is currently looking for volunteers that can offer any help or expertise in furthering Shaughn Barholle’s platform.
Philadelphia Schools for Philadelphia Citizens
- Restore faith in the School District of Philadelphia by soliciting input for structural reforms within the district 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 be run by people within the community, prioritizing hiring of people 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 underserved parts of our city, the city will seek all legal means to reclaim derelict lots and tear down buildings that cannot be salvaged. Contiguous vacants 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 through the city, but also will hopefully facilitate 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.
- 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.
- The City of Philadelphia has made strides to embrace more community policing strategies. In partnership with the district attorney’s office the Philadelphia Police Department will continue to work towards greater positive community interface. Each pavilion will also have a pair of on duty police stationed there. Their first priority is community engagement with their second being the first responders at the scene or a local emergency.
- Institute a policy of working with ICE 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 ICE actions within our communities.
City of Philadelphia’s City Worker 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 for 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.
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.
- Hire/train Lyft and Uber drivers who live within the city to conduct the surveys during their rides. Those who consent will have their conversations recorded and will be offered a $5 Lyft or Uber credit. Incentives will be offered to participants.
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 as well 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.
- Explore programs of relocating high paying professionals with large outstanding student debt to live and work within the local communities. Graduating medical students could provide services at local community health clinics. MSWs and therapists with other professional certifications would be invited provided they services a certain number of medicaid billable hours. Teachers with Masters Degrees working in a school within a certain proximity of their public housing community. Offer said qualifying professionals five year agreements where they can focus on paying down debt and saving up for their own property. After five years, they are welcome to continue living in the property, paying market rents.