There is no shortage of ills facing the City of Philadelphia, and the hard-working people that make this city great. Alexandra believes that we must focus on creating a healthy, functional and prosperous Philadelphia, in which we all benefit. To that end, she’s focused on five key areas of concern.
A Healthier Philadelphia
As a healthcare professional, nothing is more personal to Alexandra than ending health care as a profit-making scheme that is available to those who can afford it, or live in the right area. Alexandra has seen what it is like to try to survive without access to quality health care, and how it not only impacts the health, but the financial health, of Philadelphia families.
On the Federal and State level, she believes in instituting a guaranteed, single-payer system that turns health care into a right.
But the City of Philadelphia can also play a role in ending the idea of “health care deserts,” where there is no easily accessible place to get critical care. While this issue was put in the spotlight with the wrongful closing of Hahnemann University Hospital, the issue long preceded it.
Alexandra believes it is on city leaders to fight harder to open new hospitals and community health centers, even if it means taking that fight to Harrisburg and Washington, DC.
Keeping Communities Safe, and A Healthier Justice System
Violent crime continues to force too many Philadelphia families to live in fear. But the old “tough on crime” policies of the 1990s and 2000s didn’t make us safer. They did lead, however, to record incarceration of people of color, with excessive sentencing.
Alexandra believes we cannot address crime just when it happens, but must address the root causes of crime. This means creating more economic opportunity for all communities in Philadelphia. It means early intervention for those in need of mental health services, with the promise of guaranteed continued care. It means fairer and more just policing, and less policing when other professionals would be better suited to handle a situation, to keep it from turning violent.
Inequity in our justice system exacerbates racial and socioeconomic inequality. Too many people who shouldn’t be in prison are, and too many who’ve served their time face continued unfair and unjust punishment. We can both reduce crime and keep our streets safe, and fix the issues plaguing our system to ensure it is just.
We must also provide more and better services for our kids that give them a safe place to play and thrive. As a soccer coach, Alexandra has seen how team sports can change lives. We must invest much more in community recreation centers and other spaces that are available to all kids in the city, and where parents can trust that their children are safe.
Healthier Housing and Zoning
Education is the backbone of a healthy democracy, but our current system is failing students of color, low-income students, and students with neurological differences, like those on the Autism Spectrum. Decades of depleted federal funds have created a $23 billion discrepancy between funds invested in predominantly white school districts and predominantly minority school districts. We must move towards equity-driven and student-focused education policies to invest in our public schools, pay our teachers a livable wage, make educational buildings safe, and make schools the center of thriving communities.
In Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, this means ensuring a robust minimum wage for our teachers, so that we can recruit and retain the best educators possible. It means not only better funding our city schools, but focusing on individualized support to help students overcome barriers to opportunity, ensuring equity. And it means less punitive school environments that suspend students for minor offenses, and instead encourage restorative justice, peer mediation, counseling and social work. Combined these will create a healthier learning environment where all of our kids can thrive.
Healthier, Functional and Equitable Public Schools
Being in the public health sector, Alexandra has seen, first-hand, how our for-profit health care system pummels families through Philadelphia and the United States.
She believes healthcare is a human right. In Congress, Alexandra will fight non-stop until Congress passes a single-payer, high quality, national health insurance program, in the form of Medicare for All. Alexandra will dismantle the current healthcare industry standard, so you no longer have to worry about networks, premiums, copays, and deductibles. She will fight to cancel all medical debt and to expand every person’s access to consistent medical care. As part of its expansion, Alexandra believes Medicare should fully cover mental health; dental, vision, home or community-based, and long-term care; reproductive care; all safe and comprehensive cancer treatments; and prescription drugs.
A Healthier Climate and Environment for All Philadelphians
Urgent action to address the planet’s devastating climate and ecological crises is long overdue. While extreme challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, and the loss of arable land affect all of us, it is important to recognize their disproportionate impact on communities of color and the working-class.
Heat deaths are on the rise. Studies have shown that while cities often run hotter temperatures than the suburbs, trees that provide cool shade and lower temperatures are planted much less frequently in poor neighborhoods than in affluent neighborhoods. As a result, neighborhoods with poorer residents often feel the effects of the climate crisis in a much more severe way.
Beyond the climate crisis, pollution in Philadelphia continues to punish our most defenseless. The asthma rate among children in Philadelphia is 21 percent – more than double the national rate.
Our policy solutions must prioritize communities struggling with polluted air and water, a lack of healthy food and adequate sanitation, transportation, and infrastructure and increasingly devastating natural disasters.