Jim Kenney: Keep Your Campaign Promise. Bring Back Street-Sweeping in Your First Term.

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Sign our petition to tell Mayor Kenney to keep his campaign promise, and bring back street-sweeping services before the end of his first term.

Philadelphia is known nationwide as an exceptionally dirty city, and this dirt problem even has a name: Filthadelphia.

Mayor Kenney campaigned on changing this during the 2015 campaign, and restoring the street-sweeping program was a regular part of his stump speech. He even said that cleaner streets are worth the occasional hassle of alternate-side parking.

The red flags started going up right after the May primary, when Kenney started backtracking, saying he'd only bring the program back for neighborhoods willing to move their cars, and there would be some kind of opt-in or opt-out provision. 

This week we found out it's been cast aside even further, as a "Long-Term Priority" in the Zero Waste Action Plan released this week, described in the most non-committal possible language. At some undefined point in time, the administration will maybe "consider restoration of street sweeping."

That's unacceptable. Mayor Kenney needs to make restoring street-sweeping a priority in his first term.

As we've argued previously, street-sweeping should be one of Philadelphia's bedrock municipal services. Philly was actually the first city to have a street-sweeping program (thanks, Benjamin Franklin!), and now we're the only major city that doesn't have one. It's relatively cheap, costing the capital budget just $18 million in to buy the sweepers, and about $3 million in annual salaries to clean the whole city every other week. The problem isn't money—it's people who don't want to move their cars, even occasionally. 

The Mayor is already on the record saying that he wants to take the cleaner streets side of that trade-off, and now it's time for him to make good on that promise. 

Sign and share the petition, and help us send a message to Mayor Kenney that he needs to put clean streets first, and be accountable for what he promised the voters.

290 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 258 reactions

  • Daniel DeCarlo
    signed 2018-10-19 20:29:18 -0400
    This is absolutely necessary and will help to make the city more attractive to potential buyers and families who want invest in the city. Cleaner streets = higher property values = more tax revenue for additional municipal services and infrastructure spending.
  • Thomas Saldutti
    signed 2018-09-20 13:05:56 -0400
    Reading other articles, it sounds like the only solution is a “culture shift” in which people would stop using so many disposable products. If this was true, how come other American cities don’t have such a noticble litter problem? It’s hard to believe that the Philly is the only city with a throwaway culture. If the city starts street sweeping and people see cleaner streets, maybe they will feel more motivated to keep their neighborhood clean. As for the car debate, people don’t seem to have any problem moving their car for street repaving. I think we could at least implement bi-weekly street sweeping and it would still make a huge difference without aggravating parking problems.
  • Jeremy Olsen
    signed 2018-09-20 08:47:51 -0400
    Sanitation removal workers need to be more careful. City needs to be more strict about how trash is to be put out. Recycling seems like a bad joke
  • Joan McGee
    signed 2018-09-19 21:12:38 -0400
  • Richard Kinney
    signed 2018-09-19 19:49:54 -0400
    I am outraged and embarrassed at both the filthy state of Philadelphia and Mayor Kenney’s apparent unwillingness to address this fundamental aspect of city services. Shame is too soft a term to direct at the Mayor and City Council for their negligence.
  • Margaret Turcich
    signed 2018-09-19 19:28:51 -0400
    MARGARET TURCICH I’m happy to help with this. Is it possible to print hard copies and have people sign them. In addition, this could be sent to Community organizations for forwarding. Thanks
  • Sharon Bean
    signed 2018-09-19 09:43:26 -0400
    Sharon Bean
  • Tessa Upin
    signed 2018-09-19 08:47:36 -0400
  • Jim Hershey
    signed 2018-09-19 08:09:20 -0400
    Walk East on Washington from Broad St to Front St and look at how dirty that street is. All of the streets in my neighborhood are the same. It’s disgusting living with the trash on these streets! Buy street sweepers and hire people to operate them now! Happy to move my car to clean the streets! It will make this city much more attractive to live in and raise property values.
  • justine hookes
    signed 2018-09-19 07:59:18 -0400
  • Leslie Linnebur
    signed 2018-09-18 11:43:28 -0400
  • Kerri Johanning
    signed 2018-09-18 10:15:41 -0400
    Every other major city does street sweeping and has public trash cans readily available. People complain that we can’t have public trash cans because they collect household trash. Who cares? Empty the trash cans then and put our more. The trash is still being accumulated. Let’s give it a place to be collected and then empty it.
  • andrea reynolds
    signed 2018-09-18 04:24:20 -0400
    This city is so dirty-trash,garbage,recyclidng cans thrown every where. Home owner need to be held responsible for up keep of property. weeds every where,parking is a lame excuse for not cleaning street-. Mayor kenney,please keep your campaign promises and stop doing photo shoots with different parts of the city to make yourself look good. do something about our dirty streets
  • Adam Stein
    signed 2018-09-17 23:15:21 -0400
  • Andy Lee
    signed 2018-09-17 19:32:29 -0400
    Andrew Lee
  • Marcus Gilchrist
    signed 2018-09-17 10:45:04 -0400
  • Robin Williams
    signed 2018-03-13 05:39:44 -0400
  • Julian Goresko
    signed 2018-02-26 13:37:21 -0500
    I’m a car-owning resident and want street sweeping.
  • Patricia Tahan
    signed 2018-02-25 22:35:51 -0500
    Frances LaRosa
  • Ryan Suits
    @ryan_suits tweeted link to this page. 2018-02-24 14:30:10 -0500
    Sign and share to tell Jim Kenney to keep his promise to clean Philly's streets http://www.phila3-0.org/street_sweeping?recruiter_id=50020
  • Ryan Suits
    signed 2018-02-24 14:29:44 -0500
  • Marco Angelucci
    signed via 2018-02-24 04:28:41 -0500
  • Ethan Solomon
    signed 2018-02-24 00:59:11 -0500
  • Paul Grossman
    signed 2018-02-23 20:29:43 -0500
  • Anna Greenwald
    signed via 2018-02-23 19:14:02 -0500
  • Hannah Taylor
    signed 2018-02-23 08:28:34 -0500
  • Daniel Fromm
    signed 2018-02-23 07:49:00 -0500
    NYC does it, why can’t we? The world knows us for our trash, and it’s impossible for visitors to park!
  • Marianne Schilling-McCabe
    signed 2018-02-22 22:28:26 -0500
  • Daniel Martino
    signed via 2018-02-22 21:58:09 -0500
  • Gregory Phillips
    signed 2018-02-22 21:55:24 -0500
    Gregory A Phillips