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Good Economy Mayoral Forum Recap: SBN’s Turn
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Good Economy Mayoral Forum Recap: SBN’s Turn

The 2015 Mayoral democratic candidates have made their rounds amongst the forums, and Sustainable Business Network (SBN) had their turn hosting on Saturday evening. A few hundred community members heard five of the candidates discuss small business incentives, taxes, schools and solar energy (and an Energy Hub) during the Good Economy Candidate Forum at Temple’s Alter Hall.

We live-tweeted the event along with Generocity & Forsei consulting.

Good Economy Candidate Forum Recap

Here’s the highlights from Saturday Night:

  • Lynn Abraham kicked off her 2 minute introduction by talking about Judy Wicks, who was in the second row of the audience. She commended Wicks (who happens to be the founder of SBN) for her commitment to Sustainability.
  • 4 of the 5 candidates support a Fossil Fuel energy hub in Philadelphia. Nelson Diaz was the sole opponent, stating that Grid endorsed him due to this stance.
  • Anthony Williams was pissed and declared that “everyone here is talking about an energy hub”, and got fired up about people ‘pandering’ re: the Hub.
  • Doug Oliver got a little confused and said that B-Corps should include socially responsible business… but that’s a big part of the B-Corp principle. Forsei Consulting could tell us allll about that.
  • Anthony Williams thinks we have the assets to bring solar to every home, although Doug Oliver needs to look at the data to see if solar is energy & cost-effective. Solar States schooled him and said to look at the facts. Lynn Abraham thinks we can have 20K Solar homes by 2025.
  • Current frontrunner Jim Kenney stated his green cred by stating he started the City Council environmental committee. Fun fact (he didn’t mention): he also introduced Plastic Bag legislation with DiCiccio in 2009.
  • Lynn Abraham gets Green Cities, Clean Waters, LEED & recycling/reusing.
  • All the candidates essentially want to encourage local business, with various methods. Lynn Abraham mentioned a need for updating technology & Business owner’s “Bill of Rights”, Jim Kenney wants to follow Chicago’s footsteps, Nelson Diaz wants to emphasize locally-owned & minority-owned business, Doug Oliver thinks we should live & work in the same communities (Versus 40% of Philadelphians who commute OUTSIDE the city to work. Editor note: I’ve been one of them for 8 years.) Tony Williams wants to make L&I more efficient for biz owners.

I’ll also acknowledge one interesting point of the evening. One heckler from the audience did interrupt the first 30 minutes of the forum, including Chris Raab (moderator) and the candidates. Many of her comments targeted the fact that the audience was hosting the event in North Philly, while many are attempting to gentrify neighborhoods but ignoring existing community needs.

The irony lies that much of sustainability is focused on bettering the community for all people, various income levels and races. After all, sustainability isn’t about the environment – it’s about human’s well beings. Specifically in Philly, making a better city for all of us, from quality of life, health and helping people improve their lives. That’s what we’re talking about when we discuss sustainability.

More good economy forum highlights from Twitter

SBN Executive Director Jamie Gauthier kicked off the evening.

And one of the most puzzling quotes from Lynn Abraham:

Although a few people have asked, we have not officially decided on endorsing a specific candidate. Instead, we want to encourage the Good Economy Philly platform for all of the candidates.

Thanks to Sustainable Business Network for inviting us to live-tweet & host the Twitter Chat a few weeks back. We can’t wait to see more candidate updates until Election Day on May 19, 2015.

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Julie Hancher
Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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