Our Platform

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SAFE, AFFORDABLE HOUSING
 

We think all city residents deserve safe, affordable housing. This includes the majority of city residents who rent their homes (60%) and the 52% who, according to the United Way, struggle to pay rent.

Too many residents are living in unsafe housing. Some homes have severe mold, rodent infestations, outdated heating and electrical systems, holes in the roof, crumbling porches, stairs and infrastructure. Overall, 25% of city properties are classified as “blighted” by the city. Among the reasons are aging housing stock and absentee landlords who don’t take care of their property. We believe City Council has a role to play in improving housing conditions and making sure landlords maintain their properties. Well-managed housing stock can be a valuable asset for the community and a way to ensure safe, clean neighborhoods.

Our plan:

  1. Institute a rental licensing program to ensure rental properties are safe, sanitary and decent. This is something many other municipalities in PA have done to protect tenants and to maintain property values. Our plan is to create a performance-based system that rewards responsible landlords and devotes resources to problem areas.

  2. Work to acquire more state and federal funding to address blight and rehabilitate homes. The city should aggressively apply for state and federal grant money for housing rehabilitation. Identifying programs and making a long-term plan for submitting applications (in partnership with local organizations) should be a top priority.

 
 
A GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS FOR ALL
 

In a small town like Meadville, we can work together to make real changes that benefit the community.  We want City Council to be responsive to everyone, including people who are struggling to make ends meet and who feel excluded from the governing process. City Council should listen to all voices and make it easier for people to participate in public decision-making.

Our plan:

  1. Welcome new voices into local government. Meadville is full of community members who are eager to work hard for the common good. That’s what makes this place so special!  City Council should develop strategies for involving new people.

  2. Let residents make collective decisions about the city budget. One of the most exciting things we can do as a city is to empower residents to collectively decide how to spend public money. We can create what’s called participatory budgeting. It’s one of the recommendations to come out of the My Meadville Community Action Plan, and it will make the city budget open to democratic decision-making.

  3. Create a Youth Engagement Committee. We want young people to have a strong voice in local government. That’s why we will establish a Youth Engagement Committee to work with City Council on issues that impact youth.

  4. Hold regular town hall meetings. Our campaign is about outreach and listening, and this won’t change once we’re in office. We will work with local groups to hold regular town halls to stay connected to voters and to hear from residents on important issues.  

  5. Create citizen councils. City Council should play a leading role in addressing fundamental issues facing our community. As needed, we will create citizen councils to study and advise on health and environmental issues facing residents.

 
 
IMPROVED PUBLIC SPACES & RESOURCES

Everyone knows municipal resources are tight. As a result of decades of federal and state tax cuts for the rich, local governments are forced to do more with less. That doesn’t mean we should throw our hands up. Other communities have found ways to invest in public spaces and build community wealth. We can too.

Our plan:

  1. Find creative ways to improve our parks. We will seek funding for maps and better signage, as well as for more benches, trash cans, and pet waste stations. We will look into new ways to sustain a free summer parks program for youth.

  2. Help establish neighborhood hubs. We believe every neighborhood should have a community hub. Neighborhood hubs can host block parties, clean-ups, neighborhood meetings, tool libraries, and other resources. We want every resident to feel connected and supported, and to have opportunities to engage in their community. This is another idea from Meadville residents featured in the My Meadville Community Action Plan

  3. Update zoning laws. We support changes to the zoning ordinance that would allow for urban farming and community gardens, as well as more flexibility for small businesses, community groups, and social enterprises.