By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia is in the midst of a building boom, thanks, at least in part, to tax abatements from the city. Now, the City Council President wants to see all that construction activity benefit Philadelphians more directly in the form of jobs.
Darrell Clarke is sponsoring a bill that would require anyone receiving a city subsidy to make a good faith effort to hire Philadelphia residents for at least 50 percent of their jobs. He says, right now, less than a third of work on city construction sites goes to Philadelphians.
“It’s time, frankly speaking, given the poverty level and we have all committed — council, the mayor and even the private sector — have said that we have to make sure we reduce that poverty level that we close that gap as it relates to opportunities for citizens,” said Clarke.
The bill doesn’t mandate the 50 percent level, but a lack of effort to get there would result in penalties, including the reimbursement of any financial assistance a business gets.