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Philadelphia Mayoral Candidate Karen Brown talks Issues and Election with Philly2Philly.com


Philadelphia Mayoral Candidate Karen Brown Discusses Issues and Tuesday Election With Philly2Philly.com

On Sunday night Dennis Bakay had a chance to talk to Karen Brown about a variety of issues in Philadelphia and Tuesday's election. Ms. Brown is the Republican candidate for Mayor. Karen Brown

Dennis Bakay: The situation with crime and violence has seemed to worsen in Philadelphia despite City Hall's claims that crime has declined. How do you plan on combatting this?

Karen Brown: I agree with you the situation is horrendous. It's ironic that when Mayor Nutter was originally running for Mayor, he said that if he didn't cut the rate of violent crimes by 30-50%, he shouldn't be re-elected. He hasn't elected a police class since he was elected.

If elected, I would elect a police class each year to replenish the force. I would also keep recreation centers open - anything to keep kids out of trouble. I also want to bring back the PAL centers so they work together with kids and develop relationships. They need to work with each other, not against each other. When you look at who is killing each other, they are younger and younger. They are 23 and younger and haven't begun to live yet.

DB: The issues with Philadelphia's schools are well documented over the years. What is your plan to improve schools in the urban areas?

KB: I was a school teacher for 24 years and believe I know more about education than he (Mayor Nutter) ever would. This is the only county in PA without an elected school board. We need a school board with 12 to 13 people on it so they have small areas to govern - so they can focus and develop a relationship with those neighborhoods. We also need to develop trade schools. In addition, we need more after school programs and whatever it takes to keep the kids focused and in school.

DB:What do you see as the major problem with City Council?

KB: They don't get along. Mayor Nutter won't work with the City Council and they won't work with him. The biggest joke is that the Mayor refuses to work with City Council and they accomplish very little. 

The City Charter hasn't been touched in 60 years. The Charter puts the council at the mercy of the Mayor. I want to change and update the charter and make sure we don't bicker back and forth.

DB: What are your three top priorities should you be elected Mayor?

KB: #1 Turn the school system around.

#2 Make sure cops and firemen are fully funded.

#3 - There are actually two things really that I would say are my 3rd priority. One - Bring jobs into the city. I will go to Harrisburg and lobby to get South Port, a super cargo port, into the Navy Yard. This will create 100,000 jobs in the short-term for dredging and 10,000 permanent longshoreman jobs. I also want to get the solar panel industry developed here and bring in federal money to enhance our city.

#3a - Roll back taxes on properties and small businesses.

DB: How do you like your chances on Tuesday?

KB: We are neck and neck and he (Mayor Nutter) is running scared. The poll projections show us at 49.3 to 50.7 and he is bringing President Obama here on Tuesday. Seriously, the president is coming here on Tuesday as if he has nothing better to do? He actually tried to bring Hillary and Bill Clinton in last Saturday but the Nor'easter grounded their plane so they were unable to make it.

We love our chances.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

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Special thanks to Thomas Camarda for helping with the coordination of this interview.

Photo of Karen Brown from phillyrecord.com