Let me tell you a story about me and Allentown.
I began my career in economic development during the financial crisis in 2008. I felt the same worry that weighed on everyone else, and felt the same hope as we poured our hearts and souls into the city we love. I worked with Allentown’s long-time champions who have fought to improve the quality of life for so many by working tirelessly to drive the city’s revival. I am proud to have been a part of the course correction that has brought real progress to Allentown.
In 2013, I turned my talents to helping put the Lehigh Valley on the map as a great place to foster new investment and create thriving businesses. These efforts brought tremendous success, with an economy that has grown to over $41 billion of output and created tens of thousands of jobs in the past five years. That’s my story—one of hard work, of collaboration with developers and stakeholders, and one of a wish to use my knowledge and experience to bring prosperity to every corner of our safe, clean and healthy Allentown.
Let me tell you another story. After the downturn, Allentown’s unemployment rate rose to 16.4% with 30,000 residents—more than a quarter of the city’s population—living under the poverty line. These are 30,000 single mothers, extended families, essential personnel, schoolchildren, respected elders and neighbors. It was a bleak time, but the people of this city never gave up.
Since then, Allentown has rebounded: new buildings in Center City, an arena, new businesses creating new jobs, and new energy fueling the cultural scene. By 2019 the city had grown, the unemployment rate was cut in half, and the number of those living in poverty had dropped by 15%. That’s the story of present-day Allentown—one of pride, of hardship and of resilience.
We can do better in Allentown right now, through cooperation and partnership and service. Now is not the time to scrap the strong foundation we have built, or pull the plug on our core institutions. Now is not the time to blow it up—now is the time to step it up. We need to accelerate this progress, and make sure that the prosperity we foster is equitable and sustainable.
Now I want to hear your story. Tell me your experience, and how you think we can continue to make Allentown the next great opportunity by emailing email@example.com.
Matt for Mayor
P.S., next week our website will have a fundraising portal making it easy to give to the Matt for Mayor campaign. Meantime, we’re making progress on ways that you can support our campaign even as a person who cannot vote in the election. Email me to learn more about how you can volunteer or donate to Matt for Mayor.
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Matt for Mayor