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POWER’s 5 Priority Areas

Many of the public and private systems that are meant to sustain families and communities do not work for too many Philadelphians in too many neighborhoods. Decades-long losses of jobs, population and tax base have created a seemingly permanent poverty-class in large swaths of the city and are now destabilizing many middle class communities.  A bold, comprehensive vision for systems change is needed.  POWER congregations are promoting a 5-part, multi-year organizing platform for policy change in the areas of Jobs, Education, Housing, Public Safety and Healthcare, with a first focus on a jobs plan for Philadelphia.

This 5-point platform is the result of relational outreach work conducted by more than 30 POWER congregations with approximately 1,000 of their members and neighbors that began in fall 2010. The thousand stories we heard revolved around five key policy areas – Jobs, Education, Safety, Housing & Health – and blended into a common narrative about pain, hope, frustration and diminishing opportunity.

Since Winter 2011 more than 150 POWER lay and clergy leaders met with fifty public and private sector leaders in these areas to understand why our key systems are failing to provide the pathways to opportunity our families need, and to learn about both the scope of the challenges we face as a city, as well as opportunities for change. POWER congregations will be exploring and pursuing campaigns within these broad issue areas, at both the neighborhood and city-wide levels, in the coming year.

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