Why I’m Running

By Al Taubenberger
It’s a question I’m often asked: Why?  Why am I running once again for elective office in Philadelphia?  I have run for City Council before and was the Republican nominee against Michael Nutter in the 2007 Mayor’s race.  I run not out of ego, nor am I a glutton for punishment.  I am running for a Republican At-Large Council seat because public service is my highest calling.  I care deeply about this city and its people.  When I engage in moments of self-reflection, as we all do, I know in my heart that my extensive and diverse experience and long history of community service make me an ideal candidate who’s running for the right reason – to help others, not myself. 
For more than two decades, I served as President of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.  I also served as a board member of Philadelphia Jobs Commission.  These experiences provided me with the business acumen needed to effectively assist small businesses and entrepreneurs – the backbone of our economy – so that they flourish, thereby creating jobs and adding to the city’s tax base.  And, as a former member of the Philadelphia Tax Reform Commission, I understand the fine balance that must be struck to ensure fair taxation that allows businesses to prosper, while still providing the city with the resources it needs.
I understand that public safety is one of the most important aspects of our quality of life.  If folks don’t feel safe in their own homes and neighborhoods, they won’t stay here.  That’s why I am the founder and President of the Burholme Civic and Town Watch and serve as a board member of Northeast Victims Services.  I am also proud to have once again been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5.  I have the utmost respect for our police, firefighters and all first responders that keep us safe.  They need more resources and they should have them.
I care about the future of our children and am not satisfied with the current condition of public education in the city.  As long as the SRC remains in place, the state must provide more funding for our public schools.  As a former member of the Resource Board of the School District of Philadelphia and a current board member of St. Hubert’s High School’s board of directors, I am deeply committed to continuously improving the quality of education for our youngest citizens.
Philadelphia’s infrastructure is a near-constant work in progress, which is why I serve as a board member of the Philadelphia Parking Authority and the Northeast Philadelphia Airport.  I also formerly served as a board member of the Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission.  Our streets, highways, bridges, tunnels and even the airport are all in need of upgrades.  We must do a better job of tapping into state and federal transportation funds to – no pun intended – bridge the city’s funding gap.  And our Department of Licenses & Inspections is a mess.  Although cranes are thankfully back up across the city, we cannot continue to build and demolish buildings under such lax, inept government oversight.
Finally, Philadelphia should revere its senior citizens, those who have long stood by this city through good times and bad.  It’s why I serve as a board member of the Wesley Enhanced Living Retirement Communities, in order to better understand the needs and challenges of our seniors.  Our senior citizens often require intense medical care, which is why I serve as a board member of the Nazareth Hospital Foundation Board.
So, why am I running for City Council?  Because I’ve spent a lifetime immersing myself in the issues that matter and preparing myself to serve the people of Philadelphia with honor and distinction.  And anyone – Democrat, Republican, Green Party or Independent – can vote for me.  On Tuesday, November 3, 2015, I respectfully ask for your vote.
Al Taubenberger
Republican Candidate for City Council (At-Large)
Northeast Philadelphia, PA