No Cuts in Philadelphia’s City Services!

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No Cut Backs in City Services!
Keep Our Libraries Open!

The City administration is proposing major cut backs in city services; layoffs, the closing of pools and rec centers, the loss of essential fire services and the shutting down of 11 city library branches. The city is not only closing library branches, but will also cut the budget for new books and shorten the hours of the remaining libraries. Tentative plans to build a state-of-the- art Central Parkway branch are still in the works. The library has already raised millions of dollars in donations for this luxurious expansion project, yet they are slashing vital neighborhood services. Certainly, if the City can raise the private donations for this new construction, then they can raise more to keep libraries in the neighborhoods open.

Only 50 percent of city homes have a computer. Some 25 percent of Philadelphians live under the poverty line. For many working people the library is an essential resource—a place to study, a place to access the internet, a quiet place to read. At the same time, they tell the city’s kids that to succeed in life they must study hard and stay in school. How are they supposed to do this without access to libraries?

Why is there no money for libraries and city services? For years, the city has given tax breaks to rich developers and corporations. The City has lost tax revenue due to the current economic crisis and city worker pension plans have lost a lot of money. At the same time, the City is making payments to service municipal bond debt. The city’s budget is balanced on the backs of working class neighborhoods. All of this is in the context of the recession and a massive Wall Street bailout. The government didn’t hesitate to give our tax dollars to rich bankers and corporations, why not bail out the cities?

The priorities of the City government are clear. They give tax breaks to developers and Center City condo dwellers while City services are strangled.

There is an alternative to cutting jobs and essential services. The city should place a moratorium on bond payments and the budget process can be opened up to review by a committee made up of elected representatives from the unions and community organizations. Taxes could be levied on the rich and powerful so that they pay their fair share and the Federal government could step in to guarantee the city’s debt. This would insure that small investors don’t get hurt.

We say:

-Money for Libraries, not Wall Street Bankers!

-No Layoffs, No library closings!

-Stop foreclosures and utility shut offs!

-No Cut Backs in City Services!

-Make the Rich Pay!

-Release nonviolent offenders from city jails and fund drug treatment programs! The money saved can help keep city services functioning.

-For a committee chosen by the unions and community organizations to oversee the city budget!

-Use the money from the Wall Street Bailout to create jobs, fund health care for all and to rebuild schools!

-Bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and spend the money to rebuild the cities!

We say there is an alternative — socialism. Workers and the oppressed can organize to take economic and political power from the capitalist class and create an environmentally sustainable, democratic, socialist society which uses our resources for public good and human needs instead of for private profit and corporate greed.

Distributed by Philly Friends of the Socialist Action Newspaper
Email: philly.socialistact ion@gmail. com
Phone: 609.558.1869

Socialist Action News

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