Philadelphia’s laws are set by 17 people on City Council. We asked incumbents and challengers what their first proposed bill would be if they win their party nomination May 21 and the general election this fall.
Not everyone answered the request, which was part of a larger survey the Philadelphia Inquirer circulated to candidates. But here are the answers that we did receive — edited only for relevance and clarity.
Five candidates said their first priority would be to repeal or reform Philadelphia’s 10-year tax abatement, which provides a break on property taxes on new construction. Backers say it has helped spur a building boom in the city, while critics say it encourages gentrification, reduces the stock of affordable housing and costs money that could go to schools.
Another five Council candidates said their first measure would further affordable housing or rent control. A few want to prioritize the environment and three have pitches for government reform — including term limits and limiting the land-use power district council members have, known as councilmanic prerogative.