Council candidates identify their major initiative

Latest in a series of posts on candidates for election

selections from Douglas Graves, “Bethlehem City Council candidates.” Bethlehem Press, May 14, 2021.

What major initiative do you support or would you support that will improve the quality of life for citizens of Bethlehem?

Kwiatek: I support the implementation of the Climate Action Plan, which I believe will transform the city of Bethlehem to a model green city where we lower greenhouse gas emissions, increase the use of renewable energy and reach zero waste. This will improve the quality of life for every resident of the city.

Leon: I support the climate action plan and continued efforts to ensure that Bethlehem’s air quality improves.

Callahan: I proposed, supported and got passed the Equal Pay Ordinance that supports equal pay for equal work for women.

Crampsie Smith: I support and have been working on Inclusionary Housing in Bethlehem, which is housing that is affordable for low/middle to middle income workers and families. In November, I initiated the Inclusive Bethlehem/Affordable Housing Task Force. 1 in 3 area households are cost burdened, meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing every month. Since 2014, 887 apartment units have gone through Bethlehem’s approval process, none are considered affordable units. This housing crisis is getting worse as people move out of larger cities into smaller cities like Bethlehem due to the pandemic and an increase in working remotely. Our Task Force will be presenting recommendations to council and the Mayor in the future. In order to retain Bethlehem’s rich, diverse heritage, we must promote and secure suitable housing that is affordable for multi-income levels.

Wilhelm: Our most time-sensitive initiatives revolve around pandemic recovery. This includes ensuring that all of our citizens have equal access to vaccines and are getting vaccinated, as well as prioritizing small business recovery funding, housing assistance and mortgage/rent relief, and support to our schools.

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