Voices | March 18-25

Image | Bo Harvey

The Shout out:

Mayor Kenney has announced that his administration will hold regular public briefings to talk about strategy to stop the city’s rising murder rate.

Your turn:

What would your strategic suggestion be for the city to reduce the tide of violence?

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaks during a rally against the Heartbeat Bill and in support of women’s reproductive rights inside Philadelphia City Hall on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019.

Mayor leaves resident disappointed, discouraged

Dear Mayor Kenney,

Just learned that you raised the fee for trash removal on my small rental apartments, and you are now taking away our 1 percent exemption on real estate taxes.

Received this year‘s tax bill on rental property, which you raised $600 more after increasing last year’s taxes $1,300, and now the taxes are $4,800 on a 100-year-old building.

You just keep raising the market value of these older properties in Philadelphia without any thought to how senior citizens are going to pay. It seems you are trying to force us out of the area.

You have recently given 45 new properties tax breaks valued at more than $50 million, but you do not have any consideration for your senior citizens, whom you are using to pay for these new properties and line the city’s and your coffers.

I am sorry to say that the mayor I trusted has left me very disappointed and discouraged. New homes in Philadelphia still have the advantage of tax abatements, and people like myself who have lived here for mega years, our taxes keep getting raised unfairly.

Are you going to do anything for someone like myself, a senior citizen whose Social Security is limited and also pays school taxes when our children don’t go to school? What is fair about how senior citizens are treated? I, for one, moved into Philadelphia in 1974 when few people wanted to live here!

I think it’s about time you think about the seniors who made Philadelphia a place people want to visit and live and spend their money. We deserve credit for all our hard work to make Philadelphia special!

Tax abatements are still being given to people moving into our city when there’s no reason, as Philadelphia is a bargain! This is wrong because you are making us pay for other people’s cheap prices. We need reductions in these bills that you have caused us to incur unfairly!

Arleen Wolf | Philadelphia

Reparations about government-sanctioned oppression

Re: “Fighting back against cancel culture”:

Christopher Tremoglie and Greg Manco are misinformed if they think reparations is just about avenging the kidnapping, murder, rape and maiming of our ancestors. It’s more than that. It’s about the ongoing oppression that has been government sanctioned for 400 years.  

It starts with slavery. It continues with the 40 acres and a mule that was promised for the Civil War. It further includes stealing of land, sharecroping, the KKK, lynching, Black Tax, unequel education, police brutality, redlining, mass imprisonment, shall I continue?  Even most recently with the Capitol insurrectionist treatment versus that of Black Lives Matters protesters.  

“Racist reparation bullshit?” Racism comes with power. Who has the power and privilege here, my friend? Why would “a study” upset you that much?

Candy Slaughter | Philadelphia

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