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Courting the voters

Allan Domb

 

Allan Domb

It’s not 2023 yet, but campaign ’23 is in full swing.

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Mayoral candidate Allan Domb was in Castor Gardens last week, speaking at the Take Back Your Neighborhood meeting.

Domb resigned from City Council to run for mayor. He is one of eight Democrats who have declared their candidacies. The others are Cherelle Parker, Maria Quinones Sanchez, Derek Green, Rebecca Rhynhart, James DeLeon, Helen Gym and Jeff Brown. Other possible candidates include state Rep. Amen Brown. On the Republican side, Councilman David Oh is expected to run.

Domb, a North Jersey native, said he grew up so poor that his family used recycled Hellmann’s mayonnaise jars as drinking glasses. He credits his parents with instilling a work ethic in him. By age 5, he was shining shoes.

Domb moved to Philadelphia in 1976, built a successful real estate career and served as president of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors.

In 2015, Domb won an at-large Council seat and was re-elected in 2019. He resigned in August to explore a run for mayor and recently announced his candidacy. As a councilman, he donated his salary to public schools.

“The city is in a crisis,” he said.

The city’s woes, he said, include poverty, crime, housing, education, services and leadership.

“We have a mayor who doesn’t want the job,” he said.

Domb said the city is losing its population base due to crime and education. He favors prosecuting illegal gun cases and getting illegal ATVs and dirt bikes off the streets. He wants to put an end to the practice of people walking into stores, taking what they want and walking out without paying.

“We need to prosecute retail theft,” he said.

If elected, Domb would like to see 500 more police officers, and he supports community policing. Council has provided $200 million to violence protection programs, and Domb wants a close look at the programs to see if they are saving lives.

As for education, he favors the teaching of financial literacy, technology and entrepreneurship, and would give high school students the chance to work at a job one day a week. He noted that Philadelphia has the lowest average income of the 50 largest cities.

In a question-and-answer session, Domb said he opposes Philadelphia being a sanctuary city because the city already has enough problems to solve.

“Charity starts at home,” he said.

Contending that the city has poor management, he said a Domb administration would attract quality people to head departments.

Also, he thinks city government should be more hospitality oriented. He recalled Drexel University and the Ritz-Carlton providing training to city workers in the Nutter administration.

In office, he’d declare a public safety health crisis when it comes to drugs. More than half of the addicts in Kensington are from outside Philadelphia.

“No other area in the country is as bad as Kensington,” he said.

While in Council, Domb pushed for a crackdown on landlords who owed property taxes and supported giving wage tax relief to people who make $32,000 or less a year. He said the city has done a poor job of marketing how to claim wage tax relief.

In other news from the Nov. 21 meeting:

• Nicole Brunet, policy director for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, spoke in support of traffic-calming measures such as roundabouts, speed cushions and narrower roads. Brunet said anyone who wants to slow speeding on their street or has an issue with striping or a stop sign or traffic light can contact the city. A speed study would be conducted to see if action is warranted.

The coalition also supports expansion of speed cameras to other high-speed streets. Right now, the cameras are only on Roosevelt Boulevard. The money from fines goes to improving safety on the Boulevard, Castor Avenue and Cottman Avenue.

For more information, visit BicycleCoalition.org.

• State Rep. Jared Solomon said his office will be moving early next year to a building at Castor Avenue and Hellerman Street that will also house five other partner organizations. Solomon, who will be one of three managers for the Senate trial of District Attorney Larry Krasner, said he voted against impeachment because he believes the DA has not committed any impeachable offenses.

• Mark Mroz, community relations officer in the 2nd Police District, urged holiday shoppers to not leave their gifts in their car while they are in stores. Also, Mroz said they should wait until the morning of trash collection to put large boxes on the curb so nobody will be tempted to break-in your home to steal a new television or other valuable gifts.

• Take Back Your Neighborhood will hold a Town Watch training on Zoom on Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. The next regular meeting will be Monday, Dec. 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Max Myers Playground, 1601 Hellerman St. ••

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