Philly Jobs with Justice's Saturday, May 31st: community forum “U. Penn: Is It Paying Its Fair Share?” at Monumental Baptist Church on 50th & Locust drew nearly a hundred neighbors and allies. After testimony from PCCY executive director Donna Cooper, long-time Philadelphia resident Charles Clark, and U. Penn professor Mary Summers, attendees broke out into small groups to discuss the issue of U. Penn giving back to the community through PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) payments for schools and essential services. After coming together and listening to each other's stories, the response was overwhelming: U. Penn isn’t paying its fair share, and PILOTs could begin to remedy that.
Since May, more than a dozen Jobs with Justice volunteers have spent weekends knocking on doors in West and Southwest Philly, asking community members to sign on in calling on Amy Gutmann to make U. Penn pay its fair share-- and hundreds of neighbors already have.
Services in the city of Philadelphia are being slashed, and our communities are suffering because of it. Are we to go without quality services while those at U. Penn not pay taxes? Of course not. We are all in this city together - we all take, and we should all give back, U. Penn included.