Thank you, Mr. President. I was not going to do a speech of the majority. I know you were anxiously anticipating the light going on, but I was not going to do it until my colleague Councilwoman Reynolds Brown rose to shed the light on House Bill 1047.
I have held the bill requiring a 20 percent increase in the payment to the City of Philadelphia to be dedicated for energy conservation and programs like this since last session. I want to announce that I'm not going to hold it again, not another week, because the temperature outside is below 32 degrees today and that those gas bills are going to hit the mail for November, and more people will be homeless due to utility shut-offs than ever because of mortgage foreclosures.
There are -- I know every one of my colleagues in this Chamber gets a call at least once a week this time of year about utility shut-offs and things like that.
They have come up with a new term for poor, a super poor. I mean, not super person, not super abilities, but below the category of poor, so poor that some of the traditional programs like CAP and LIHEAP don't even apply. There is a category of poor today that because of the circumstances of the house, because of energy leaks through the roof, because of cracks in the window, they won't even bother to weatherize it because it's just beyond help.
We have the ability -- everything has going up in the last 20 years, except what the City gets from PGW. Gas has gone up. Rent has gone up. Food has gone up. Definitely our constituents' taxes have gone up, but the only thing that remains the same is the PGW amount to the City of Philadelphia.
We will consider this bill, and in the proud tradition of my colleague Councilwoman Blackwell that doesn't mind going down 16 to 1 on a vote or Wilson Goode who rarely checks a poll before he does something, we're going to call this vote, because too many of my constituents asked me at AVI workshops, Councilman, it's nice what you do for the super poor, but what are you going to do for the maintenance of the middle class? And next week we're going to answer that question, at least incrementally, 10 percent, that we're going to do something to weatherize, reduce their utility expenditures and help them out.
Everybody else gets bailed out, Wall Street to Main Street, except our streets, and we're going to vote next week.
Thank you, Mr. President.