Growing up in Lebanon County, my family often had supper with neighbors and folks who were visiting the area. Sitting around a table discussing everything from crops to politics gave me insight into what was going on around the world but also a better understanding of how people felt about the issues affecting their lives.
A new initiative called On the Table Philly seeks to re-create that casual but informative conversation with people from different walks of life. The program gathers civic leaders and citizens from across the city to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing our communities. Thanks to the leadership and insight of the Philadelphia Foundation’s President and CEO Pedro Ramos, in conjunction with the Knight Foundation, this important idea is happening citywide today.
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia is pleased to be a part of this important initiative. After all, bringing people together from our city’s neighborhoods to discuss issues is what we do. Our Roadmap for Growth Action Team, an initiative that convenes civic and neighborhood organization leaders in order to address these issues and create a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda, seeks to lift and improve Philadelphia’s economic and civic life.
The main focuses of the Roadmap for Growth Action Team are:
· Advocating for policies that contribute to the city’s economic and civic well-being
· Building a coalition of businesses, nonprofits, and civic and neighborhood organizations that care about Philadelphia’s economy and residents’ quality of life
· Convening important actors and providing solutions for challenges that Philadelphia’s businesses, residents and government face
· Collaborating to improve the city’s quality of life through problem-solving that recognizes the strengths and capacities of other organizations
· Supporting economic opportunity across race, gender and ethnic boundaries
Developing a dialogue to foster communication and finding areas of common ground are important if we are to move forward as a community. Tragically, Philadelphia’s poverty rate now exceeds 26 percent. That’s unacceptable, and we must do more to ensure that all people are part of the economic growth the city is now experiencing.
In addition, we need to focus on diversity and inclusion within city businesses, both small and large, and help find solutions for our most vulnerable citizens, including providing access to quality education, healthcare and job security. By participating in On the Table Philly, we will help identify opportunities and solutions that will lead to growth and prosperity regionwide.
If you would like to get involved with the Roadmap for Growth Action Team and continue the conversation, contact me at [email protected].