PHILADELPHIA — State Sen. Art Haywood aims to focus on economic, environmental and social justice in the political new year.
“My office will respond to the decades of injustice,” the Philadelphia Democrat said “Specifically on economic justice, we shall work to implement recommendations in the Poverty Report so that thousands of people can meet their basic needs.”
Haywood’s 4th Fourth Senate District seat covers Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Germantown and West Oak Lane in Philadelphia; and Cheltenham, Springfield, Jenkintown, Rockledge and Abington in Montgomery County.
Haywood piloted a poverty listening tour in 2019 to better understand the depth of poverty and how it affects communities. During the tour he visited multiple regions across Pennsylvania listening to what people had to say about poverty.
“We will continue our fight to get McDonald’s owners in the district to end the poverty pay of $7.25 and move to $15 per hour,” he said. “Our efforts to have hard-working older adults retire with dignity shall be intensified in retirement savings plans for Pennsylvanians who do not have a workplace retirement plan.”
When it comes to environmental justice, Haywood said he will work to make electric providers buy at least 30% of their electricity from clean energy sources as well as have lead testing of water in every school and remediation.
On social justice, Haywood is preparing to work to end excessive probation in the criminal justice system and to take guns away from people who are considered to be an extreme risk to the public.
His supports the expansion of mentoring at-risk youth through the Mentoring Collaborative of the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition (GPUAC).
Other notable efforts include encouraging people to vote using the new vote-by-mail process and working with area hospital and community leaders to avoid an abrupt facility closure similar to Hahnemann Hospital’s closure.
“With the support of the community, I am confident we can accomplish more in the 2020 year of justice,” Haywood said.
Afea Tucker is a correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.