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.