Philadelphia Councilpersons Quinones-Sanchez and Goode To Attend Tonight's POWER Airport Jobs Rally

Five members of city council join POWER's push for airport jobs. Community forums give voice to hundreds of unemployed Philadelphians who have struggled to find work in tough economic times.
Hundreds of people from POWER congregations show support for Airport Jobs Plan
Hundreds of people from POWER congregations show support for Airport Jobs Plan
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June 20, 2012 - PRLog -- Philadelphia, PA : Philadelphia City Councilpersons Maria Quinones-Sanchez, from District 7, and Council At-Large-Member Wilson Goode are confirmed to attend tonight’s economic justice forum hosted by the inter-faith group POWER!, Philadelphians Organized To Witness, Empower, and Rebuild ( The meeting will take place tonight, June 20th, at 6:45pm, at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church located at 6001 Colgate Street and will be attended by hundreds of people seeking to secure jobs from the upcoming airport expansion project for unemployed Philadelphians. This is the fourth in a series of community forums where there has been powerful testimony from members of POWER! congregations who are currently unemployed or underemployed.  Edward, a member of St. Martin in the Field Episcopal Church, spoke about the pain of being laid off from Borders Books and the psychological struggle of applying daily for jobs for over a year with no success. "I am in a prison not of my own making" said Edward to the large and racially and religiously diverse crowd. Jerome, a member of St. Raymond's Catholic Church in Cedarbrook spoke about the barriers he continues to face in finding employment due a brush with the law when he was a kid.  "I made a mistake as a young person, paid my debt, have rehabilitated and am ready to work.  I apply for jobs every day, I am smart and work hard, but employers are afraid to take a chance.  What will happen to people like me, our families and our communities if we are not put to work?"  

Following testimonies, POWER! leaders presented five Economic Justice Principles the organization wants to see incorporated into legislation - first covering Airport jobs, but eventually covering all jobs created with city subsidy or support.  The Principles include hiring preferences, targeted training and recruitment programs, and a commitment to ensure unemployed Philadelphians get hired.  POWER! developed these Principles after nearly a year of research including meetings with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials, the Mayor's Office and the Philadelphia International Airport Director. POWER! has also held research meetings with multiple labor unions which will represent many Airport workers. It has also researched other cities which have successfully implemented similar "Community Benefits Agreements" resulting in greater access to jobs for inner city and long-term unemployed residents.

The $6 billion Airport Expansion project, which will be financed in part by municipal bonds, state and federal funds, and airport fees, is projected to bring more than 100,000 jobs to the Philadelphia region over the next several decades.

So far, five Philadelphia City Councilpersons have heeded POWER!’s call to co-sponsor legislation to give preference to Philadelphia residents on jobs and economic opportunities created by the Airport expansion and other publicly-subsidized projects. With the support of Councilpersons Mark Squilla, Kenyatta Johnson, James Kenney, Bill Green, and Curtis Jones, POWER! is hoping to maintain momentum as it seeks support from the rest of Council.

POWER! is comprised of more than 40, inter-faith congregations in the city of Philadelphia that have joined forces to bring about change and economic justice. For more information about POWER! or to learn more about tonight’s forum with members of Philadelphia City Council POWER! congregations go to or call (215) 232-7697.  All media inquiries should be directed to Leslie Patterson-Tyler via email at or cell phone (609) 247-2632.
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