- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Today's Daily News was full of political gems including Mayor Street's announcement that he will form a "compensation commission" to review the pay of current administrative employees and appointees. This is in and of itself an interesting issue and you can read the whole article by clicking here, but even better was this quote from the Mayor on the state legislative and judicial pay raise:
"When I complained bitterly that things that affect Philadelphia are done in the middle of the night without a lot of notice, people turn their heads," Street said. "The same people who are complaining now turned their heads when the Parking Authority legislation was done in the middle of the night. This is the way legislation happens in Harrisburg."
Yea, what about all of those other things? Does our city's progressive community only take its lead from the op-ed board at the DN and Inky or is it just John Baer whose charms we can’t resist?
There are plenty of even more egregious things than the pay raise that have gone down in Harrisburg in the past three years alone, where was all the furor then from Philadelphia progressives?
I don't know if anyone has been following the saga of Rick Mariano, and the federal investigation into whether or not he accepted a bribe. But, it appears to be coming to a head, and according to the Daily News, he is about to be indicted.
One target of the investigation, Vincent DiPentino, testified yesterday before a federal grand jury and is now cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's Office.
His attorney, Mark Cedrone, confirmed yesterday that DiPentino had testified about "his relationship and business dealings with Councilman Mariano."
DiPentino did not initiate the financial transaction that caused his legal trouble, Cedrone said, but "fully expects" to be charged.
"Mr. DiPentino is now called upon to pay heavily for his acknowledged wrongdoing," Cedrone said. "He's prepared to accept responsibility for his wrongdoing."
DiPentino, a longtime friend of Mariano's and owner of a real-estate firm in Juniata Park, acted as middleman for a $10,900 check issued by another company in 2002 to pay off part of Mariano's credit-card debt.
Click Read More to see my personal plea to the Councilman.
In an interview on WHYY radio today, David Cohen's daugher Sherrie Cohen announced that her mother, 88 year-old Florence, has asked to be allowed to fill the vacancy left by the passing of her husband.
Cohen died two weeks ago yesterday. According to the City Charter, the Council President has the option of calling a special election for a vacany or waiting until the next Councilmatic primary.
Council President Verna has not yet announced what it is she plans to do.
More to come...
It was standing room only yesterday as the seats and aisles of City Council’s public gallery were filled with a who’s who of Philadelphia progressive political leaders, as well as the city’s political ruling class. I joined them in mourning the loss of Councilman David Cohen over two weeks ago. Also present was the amazing Cohen family including Cohen’s wife and partner in crime, Florence who worked in Council with her husband for over 16 years.
Mayor John F. Street and City Democratic Committee Chair and Congressman Bob Brady were among the many speakers, including half of City Council, who eulogized Councilman Cohen at a memorial service Monday. Progressive leaders like Pat Eiding of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, Christie Balka, of the Bread and Roses Community Fund, and Stan Shapiro, of OnePhiladelphia and former head of City Council technical staff, were also on hand to honor Cohen.
Almost all of the day’s speakers spoke about Cohen’s incorruptibility and his dedication to public service on behalf of Philadelphia’s poor and working people. However, it was clear that many of the speakers were describing Cohen as one would describe a dinosaur: fascinating and powerful maybe, but ultimately, extinct.
Extinction may be the goal for some members of the city's ruling class, but it's not an option for progressives. So, now that Cohen is gone, what’s next for City Council and progressives?
Click “read more” below to find out.
In a landmark study of the effects of high quality early childhood education (ECE) the Perry Preschool study identified a group of low-income African-American children assessed to be at risk of failure in school and randomly assigned them into a control group that did not receive preschool and a treatment group that received high quality preschool at age 3 and 4. These two groups were then tracked through age 40. The study found that 60 percent of the kids receiving high quality preschool earned $20,000 or more by age 40 compared to just 40 percent of the control group. While 55 percent of the control group had been arrested five or more times by age 40, this was true for just 36 percent of the kids receiving high quality preschool (read more about the Perry Preschool study by clicking here).
Click Read More to See The Rest
I had a mattress, which stunk, two milk crates of belongings, an old boom box, and some clothes to my name. There was no place to keep my private things, if I had any that is. My step father had thrown me out. And this was the only place I knew to go. I was 16 turning 17.
-Karl Martino, founder of Philly Future, on being homeless on Philadelphia.
Project HOME is the city's premier organization aimed at breaking the cycle of homelessness. The organization, and its executive director, Sister Mary Scullion, is one of the main reasons that other cities are starting to look to Philadelphia on how to end homelessness. And, it is probably not going out on too far of a limb to say that Mayor Street could not have and would not have been able to propose a plan to completely end homelessness in Philadelphia if it were not for the work of Sister Mary and Project HOME.
To that end, I wanted to let everyone know about a fundraiser that I am going to, on October 27th, and hope I can encourage at least a few others to come as well: A group billing itself as "The Young Friends of Project HOME" are organizing a benefit for the wonderful organization, next week, Thursday, October 27, 5:30pm to 8:00pm. The tickets are not cheap- $40 dollars if you buy them in advance- but, I am going to go, and support a wonderful group, that has had an integral part in changing the debate on homelessness in Philadelphia. I hope to see a few of you there, as well.
And, please read the rest of Karl's post at Philly Future.
I am more soliciting answers here, but, for the second time in the last month or so, I randomly came acrosss Inside Story on Channel 6. For those who haven't seen it, Inside Story is trying to be a local version of any of the right v. left, current event "news" shows, and is hosted by Monica Melpass. And, for the second time, I was surprised that out of the four local talking heads that were featured, 3 were clearly conservatives.
Does this make a whole lot of sense? In a City like Philly, you are effectively acting like the conservative viewpoint is the dominant view of the locals? In Philadelphia? Really?
Has anyone else seen the show? Was the 3 to 1 balance the same? Seems pretty weird...
Last spring, City Council almost passed a bill that would make all workplaces in Philadelphia smoke-free. This fall, City Council will take up this issue again and it's going to be a very close vote.
The Breathe Free Philadelphia campaign has been working hard to round up enough votes on Council to pass workplace safety bill that would disallow smoking in almost all bars and restaurants.
Councilman Frank DiCicco plays a key role.
Find out why. Click “read more” below.
In talking about SEPTA, one thing that many of us are trying to get across, is that the health of all City workers is related; and if the TWU is forced to give massive healthcare concessions, other union and non-union workers will be forced to follow, with the result a workforce of people with less and less adequate healthcare.
Today, in the Daily News, Will Bunch continues to paint the big picture of why these struggles are so important. He looks at Delphi, a spin-off of General Motors, that is now insisting that it must slash worker salaries from $27 and hour to as low as $10, and discusses the ripple effect this could have all the way to Philadelphia:
"What this does is it sends a shudder of fear and anxiety through the local ranks," said Art Shostack, a futurist and sociology professor at Drexel University who closely follows labor issues. That's because even though the city has little economic activity directly linked to automaking, "everything is connected" and other industrial workers will face similar pressures
Click read more to see more...
Tonight I participated in a conference call with Lois Murphy, terrific soon-to-be Congresswoman from the Philly burbs. The call, which took about an hour, was really cool and informative. This is the second time I have spoken with Lois, once at Drinking Liberally and once on the conference call tonight. Each time, I have been extremely impressed with Lois. In 2004, Lois lost by less than anyone else in the entire country. Of the myriad pickup opportunities in the country, Lois’s potential seat is probably the best.
Why? Read on, gentle reader, read on.
Today's Inquirer (click here to read more) reports that the owners of the Marathon Grill chain have agreed to pay nearly $21,000 in back wages to a group of former employees, half of them immigrants, to settle a Department of Labor complaint against the company.
Every day, thousands of immigrant workers go to service jobs in the Philly area. Most of them work for employers that are ethical and comply fully with the law. But not all of them are that lucky.
Find out why by clicking "read more" below.
The Cohen family and City Council will hold a memorial service in Council Chambers next Monday, October 17th at 2 PM to honor David Cohen's life. Speakers will include public officials, labor and community leaders. There will be a reception to follow.
David Cohen was a giant among men and women (and everyone else). Along with his wife Florence, he helped make this city a better place to live for generations of working Philadelphians. His passing was a great loss to our city not just in the land of rhetoric, but in the here and now, as we watch our leaders struggle to govern the city's newer, wealthier residents while stumbling to help those who have still not gotten their piece of the pie.
Click "read more" below to find out more reasons that we will miss Cohen.
Confused? So am I.
Lets look at the difference in two articles today in our hometown papers:
SEPTA workers have an uphill battle building public support for there fight to win a good contract. Over the past nine months I have talked about this fight with thousands of people in Philadelphia and my pleas for support have been meet with replies of “we have to pay for health care, they should too” and “SEPTA has terrible customer service, the workers are over paid and don’t deserve our support.” Surprisingly, these sentiment have most often been heard from “progressives” and from many working – class Philadelphians. These responses, however, are uninformed, oversimplified and lack a broader strategic prospective of what progressives should be fighting for. Click "Read More" to read the rest.
“William Nieves will not be forgotten”
In a tragic loss for the progressive community, death penalty opponents around the Commonwealth this week mourn the death of William Nieves. William, who spent six years on Pennsylvania’s death row for a crime he did not commit, died Saturday in Philadelphia. He was 39.
“William Nieves will not be forgotten,” said Andy Hoover, executive director of Pennsylvania
Abolitionists United Against the Death Penalty. “We admired him for his perseverance during his wrongful
conviction and for his strength of conviction upon his release.
“His case is an example of government run amok.”
Learn more about Nieves by clicking on "Read More"