PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling it an "historic opportunity" to jumpstart the City's economy in the wake of COVID while also offering unprecedented job and investment opportunities for Black and Brown communities, a coalition of leading minority business, civic and faith leaders today urged the Delaware River Waterfront Commission and the City to select the Philadelphia 76ers' plan to redevelop the Penn's Landing waterfront.
The Urban League of Philadelphia, the Urban Affairs Coalition, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity and the African-American Chamber of Commerce collectively endorsed the Sixers project based on the urgent need to recover from the pandemic and change the trajectory of the racial wealth and income gap, by unlocking a more prosperous future for our communities, the City, and the state of Pennsylvania as a whole.
At a crucial time for the residents of Philadelphia, the 76ers' proposal would provide billions of dollars in net new revenue to the City and School District at a site that currently provides no tax revenue whatsoever. And the Sixers' commitment to devote approximately $1 billion of the development investment to Black and Brown communities creates a transformational opportunity to ensure that all citizens of Philadelphia will share in the project's benefits.
"This proposal – which in addition to constructing a new, world-class arena would create schools, parks and museums for public use – follows a historic commitment from the 76ers to champion equality and fight systemic racism, showing that they continue to be leaders in our region for driving positive change in our communities," said Reverend Robert Collier, President of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity.
The coalition believes that the Sixers' proposal would also create jobs that a wide range of Philadelphians can take advantage of, including returning citizens and those without a college degree.
"It is clear that we as a country are becoming more serious about righting the wrongs of racial discrimination. It's the responsibility of our City and its leaders to use projects such as Penn's Landing as tools to continue to move in that direction and to do so with urgency – people's livelihoods depend on it," said Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition.
"We need new job creation and employment for black people to be lifted out of poverty in the city. I welcome this development," said Andrea Custis, President and CEO of the Urban League of Philadelphia.
"We would enthusiastically welcome any project, such as the 76ers proposal, that provides these benefits to our communities and urge others to do the same," said Steven Bradley, Chairman of the Board of the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE.
SOURCE Philadelphia 76ers