Greg Benjamin 188th
The Philadelphia School District has an annual budget of $3.4 billion dollars yet many of the local schools are toxic from asbestos. Classrooms in many schools are underachieving. Schools continue to close in our district. I plan to:
1. Support the passage of Gov. Wolf’s proposal to provide funding for the removal of
asbestos for school buildings in the district, so as to assure and well-being of our
children and the staff for a safer environment.
2. Collaborate with School District, principals, teachers and to improve the quality of
underachieving public schools.
3. Strengthen the relationships between area learning institutions such as University of
Pennsylvania, Drexel and Philadelphia School of the Sciences who send their students
to work in local schools. See to provide training to student volunteers to improve their
learning experience and the service they provide to teachers and student in the schools
4. See to make sure that every child should have the opportunity to attend a safe and high-quality school in their neighborhood.
5. Advocate in conjunction with other Philadelphia legislators for the Philadelphia
School District receive its full and fair share of state funding
There is a crisis in our district as it pertains to reasonable housing in our district. There is a
concern that blighted conditions from unkept properties need serious attention. Homes are in need of resources because of toxic conditions resulting from lead poisoning. I plan to:
1. Work with the Pennsylvania state housing trust fund (PHARE) to establish ways of
providing reasonable financial support for homeowners in our district.
2. Work with community CDC’s, RCO’s and other community groups to educate
residents on accountable homeownership.
3. Secure financial resources through state funding to remove lead in houses in the city
4. Encourage local banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to provide fair
equitable loans to local residents.
Criminal Justice Reform
Pennsylvania prisons are both overcrowded and extremely costly, using up resources that could be better used to support community needs. Also, state prisons are filled with individuals who have “paid their debt to society,” have made improvements in their lives, and are no longer a
threat to the community. I plan to:
1. Propose legislation to reduce the number of individuals receiving life sentences and
establish a sentencing process that enables individuals to be released earlier
2. Propose legislation to “ban the box” in Pennsylvania so that returning citizens may
apply for good-paying jobs with living wages and benefits.
3. Increase funding for Re-entry programs providing counseling, job training and
placement, and educational services for returning citizens
4. Research the use of restorative justice options for offenders in non-violent crimes
Mental health needs are well documented throughout our state. Yet, the resources need
improvement. Mental health needs to be seriously addressed. There is a direct connection between the intellectually disabled and issues impacting communities such as violence, homelessness, and diagnoses such as Depression and Suicide. I want to work to achieve:
1. Increase housing support for homeless persons with mental health issues
2. Support for families with daily self-care and mental health issues. Support for families
and individuals dealing with depression, violence, anxiety, etc.
3. Upgrade in service providers such as outpatient mental health programs and Crisis