At the same time as the national Democratic Party is pushing so hard to restore growth and create jobs, city-level Democratic politicians in Philadelphia can’t seem to get enough of stopping jobs from being created.
How else to explain Mark Squilla’s bill strengthening political hurdles to opening new restaurants and bars (in the name of stopping new nightclubs from opening) in Fishtown and Northern Liberties vacant buildings? How else to explain Kenyatta Johnson and Mark Squilla and Darrell Clarke blocking the sale of vacant city-owned land parcels that people want to turn into new homes?
Why should neighborhood busybodies have veto power over every single new bar and restaurant in this popular corridor? Why should most new apartment buildings have to go through the political ringer?
In the abstract, these same politicians say they are very upset about all this vacancy and joblessness in the city. But when it comes to specifics, it’s their fault! They can let restaurants and bars open by-right, without political approval. They can expand the zoning envelope of neighborhood commercial corridors to CMX-3 or CMX-4 and create more homes and construction jobs and spaces for new businesses.
People want to invest in the city and create jobs, but this kind of dumb NIMBY politics is blocking the jobs from being created.