The Day

There are no sweeping words for what happens today; they really speak for themselves.

We all know the challenges, the problems, the hopes we have. And, we all know what is at stake:

And, of course, it is not only Nutter who begins today. Remember this woman?

Especially for those of you who opened your wallets, and wore out your knocking knuckles, enjoy. Tough work is ahead.

Was going to go over there to the swearings-in

But we're playing it on TV here and it sounds like there is a bajillion people. Crowds scare me.

In other good news, word is that Lance Haver has been retained as the Consumer Affairs Advocate! This is excellent! Lance works very hard on behalf of the normal folks in this city, in big ways and on individual cases. This was an excellent move on Nutter's part and it was a brave one.

Haver and Nutter have disagreed quite strongly in the past, but Mayor Nutter has the courage to recognize that Lance is a real resource for the City and overlooked their past differences for the good of all of working people. It's a great move. It's a smart move and I find it very encouraging.

Not to hide my bias, Lance is a very good friend of mine. I acknowledge that, but I really do think he's a great resource in City Hall and Nutter's willingness to keep on an occasional critic shows he's practicing what he preaches.

This Too Will Pass, treating grave matters lightly and light matters gravely, since 2001.

Great news about Lance!

I’m very happy to hear that Lance is likely stay on.

The common thread in all Nutter’s appointments—-they all have years of experience in their field.

The after party....

Anyone going to the event at the Navy Yard? I'll be there serving soup from the Trolley Car Diner. Seriously. It's going to be awesome. Come to our booth!

Check out my website!

I'll be there

What kind? I'm a big soup fan.

Seafood bisque and something

Seafood bisque and something else that I can't remember.

Check out my website!

It's a crime emergency, all right, but we still don't know

what that means... is highlighting one of three executive orders signed by the new mayor today. Still little clue about what the emergency declaration really means, but it looks like something of a two-step: Nutter authorizes Ramsey to come up with a plan by the end of the month.

From the Captain Obvious Files

"The order, effective immediately, directs new police Commissioner Charles Ramsey to determine what is behind Philadelphia's 'crime crisis.' Nutter said the order directs Ramsey, who was also sworn into office today, to develop a plan to make Philadelphia safer."

I was waiting for the next sentence to read "We reached Ramsey, hard at work on Nutter's order to craft a winning Wing Bowl strategy..."

When did the mayor become so short on details? My sense is that Nutter "didn't elaborate on more specifics of the order" because there was nothing to say (unless maybe it's a super-secret wiretapping plan) that's not said via the symbolism and toughest/most extreme on crime rhetoric that won him the primary. Ordering a police commissioner to develop a plan to make Philadelphia safer? Bold.

:( society

That non-emergency emergency

The Inquirer:

Ramsey disclosed that the crime emergency was unlikely to involve any special police powers or suspension of the department's labor contract with officers, as Ramsey did four times during his nine years in Washington.

"If that's needed, then it's something that I would make in a recommendation at a future date to the mayor to see whether or not that's something he would be willing to do," Ramsey said. "But I think there are things that we can do short of that at first to see how effective that would be, short of calling a state of emergency."

During the election campaign, Nutter promised to declare an emergency that would allow the city to suspend rights in crime-infested neighborhoods, including limiting outdoor public gatherings, halting vehicle movements through some neighborhoods, and expanding curfews. None of those extra powers were mentioned in Nutter's executive order.

Nutter's declaration is also referred to as 'symbolic.'

In other police news, Wilson Goode's great grand nephew was definitely shot twice in the back.

A deadline is a deadline is

A deadline is a deadline is a deadline. Give Nutter credit for saying - it wasn't just campaign rhetoric but I don't want to rush into something with so many possible negative repurcussions or at least controversies half-prepared. By putting a reasonable deadline out there so publicly he has given himself a deadline it will be hard to postpone again.

MrLuigi, my cat, actually only types half as badly as I do.

Nutter Secretly Edits 'Safety Now' Plan to Read 'Safety Jan 31'

A deadline is a dealine, sure, and there's certainly some due diligence Ramsey's got to do. But having spent the last year of his life, generally speaking, doing nothing other than thinking about how a Nutter administration would tackle issues like public safety, and having the opportunity to sound out his "Safety Now January 31st" Plan, I'm not sure why a lack of specificity on day one should be anything short of unacceptable -- especially when you say that you are going to reduce the homicide rate by as much as 50%.

If only shouting "we can do this!" prevented homicides.

I'm not playin' around about it.

I am glad, especially since

I am glad, especially since I think much of what he talked about with the state of emergency in entire sections of the city- not stop and frisk, but curfews and decreases in civil rights, etc- are illegal, and would be challenged, and overturned.

It's an emergency. Oh, no....wait.....

It will be an emergency in three weeks.

Its been a crime emergency for decades

I would say its been an emergency for many, many years and snide comments aside - 3 weeks to prepare a well laid out plan is more than reasonable.

Honestly I tire of people who are happy to have our politicians beat their heads against the same wall over and over again in Harrisburg in terms of gun laws but have nothing but pre-emptive complaints about any plan that attempts to do what we can with the laws we already have on the books.

Do you like seeing those little shrines of stuffed animals all over our town?
Do you like seeing so many young men murdering eachother over petty bullshit?

Homicides per capita are more than 3 1/2 times higher hear than in New York. Not 10% higher, not 20% - more than 350% higher. Thats not acceptable to me.

We can do better in Philadelphia. I am sure of it.
MrLuigi, my cat, actually only types half as badly as I do.

Nutter is listening to citizen concerns

Nutter is doing exactly what we wanted him to do—-listening to citizen concerns and not rushing into this. The appointment of Gillison is a clear signal that he takes civil libertarian concerns seriously.

Right, good point, because

Right, good point, because the last year or so wasn't for understanding issues like public safety, listening to citizen concerns, and developing solutions accordingly.

Forgive me for expecting a little more than exclamation points and symbolism.

I'm not playin' around about it.

I didn't say much

when I posted the link, because this was 100% predictable based on the post-primary public comments Nutter has made about the 'crime emergency.'

I too am really anxious and interested to see what the plan is. Curious to see how much this is just using Ramsey as cover (he is the expert, so we should defer to his conclusions about what is effective), or if Nutter really did rethink and discard the ideas he had floated during the primary and now is leaving us mostly in Ramsey's hands.

I'm still cautiously hopeful, though I agree somewhat with Fran that a declaration of emergency that is seemingly devoid of content or action is sort of nonsensical just on the level of language and meaning.

It'll be real interesting to see how things change: someone from the Public Defenders in a central position in the city government, and a mayor and police chief who have histories of not endearing themselves to the police unions. Could be great, could be a disaster. But between that murder rate Nutter promised to lower and police shooting into a home on New Year's Eve and killing one innocent man, arresting another mistakenly, and grazing a nine-year-old with a bullet: there is no shortage of tests for them.

"a declaration of emergency

"a declaration of emergency that is seemingly devoid of content or action is sort of nonsensical just on the level of language and meaning."

I'd like to take this point a step further, and say that when you compound the fact that he just promised a reduction in the homicide rate of up to 50% while at the same time offering no details whatsoever, it's not only nonsensical, it's insulting - especially to the people who don't get to live on Wynnefield's nicer streets and who don't get driven to work everyday in shiny black SUVs.

I'm not playin' around about it.

So which is it?

Is it that you are afraid of the civil rights implications or is it "I CAN"T WAIT 3 WEEKS. DO! IT! NOW! I DON'T CARE WHAT!" because its intellectually dishonest to pursue both arguments at the same time.

MrLuigi, my cat, actually only types half as badly as I do.

As an intellectual liar

(I don't lie to other people, but I lie to myself in my own mind), I have a problem with both aspects.

I am concerned about the potential civil rights issues, and I am concerned that after so much campaign rhetoric, after so much time of being told that Nutter has a clear plan, this is what comes down.

It isn't a huge issue for me - but it just sparkles in my skeptical wandering eye. The use of the term "emergency" is very loaded. It was used quite liberaly throughout the campaign. It isn't a term that I think should be used lightly. Such terms should not be used as a political football - it demeans the seriousness of the problems and trivializes the difficulty of finding solutions.

I agree with Jen (as usual) when she agrees with Fran (kind of an odd phenomenon - since I usually dont' agree with Fran):

I'm still cautiously hopeful, though I agree somewhat with Fran that a declaration of emergency that is seemingly devoid of content or action is sort of nonsensical just on the level of language and meaning.

He only even named Ramsey a

He only even named Ramsey a few weeks ago. I honestly wonder if he can locate every "crime emergency zone" corner on map yet. Any operation of this caliber has to handled in very tight cooperation with the Phila PD which is in itself a massive bureacracy that does not turn on a dime.

Considering the massive controversy with the FOP over appointing a public defender who *gasp* did his job and defended an accused cop-killer as deputy mayor, Nutter is very strategic to make sure that he has things well coordinated with the Police Department before he does the public unveiling. It's smart to play it close to the chest.

For those of us in our civil libertarian bubble its interesting to look at how some police viewed the deputy mayor appointment.

MrLuigi, my cat, actually only types half as badly as I do.

You're missing the point:

You're missing the point. To be clear:

(a.) I am not at all saying or implying that civil liberties concerns should be thrown out the window.

(b.) I am not at all saying or implying that Ramsey (or even the mayor, for that matter) is somehow at fault for not having solved all of our public safety issues in three weeks.

What I am saying is that the mayor's declaration of a crime emergency and subsequent promise to reduce the homicide rate by as much as 50%, while at the same time offering absolutely no specifics about what he plans to do, is insulting. Simply put, directing Commissioner Ramsey to determine what is behind Philadelphia's crime crisis and compelling him to develop a plan to make Philadelphia safer are not specifics.

Remember that this is the candidate who positioned himself most extremely on public safety in the spring. Remember that this is the candidate who left his full-time job in 2006 to focus exclusively on developing his platform (which in theory would include, you know, soliciting feedback from key stakeholders on public safety proposals) and soon after released a position paper titled "Safety Now."

Please don't lump my dissatisfaction with the mayor's focus on poetry over prose out of the gate with respect to public safety with a belief that civil liberties concerns are not important. It's just upsetting that more people (say, The Inquirer) are not putting pressure on the mayor for specifics. Bottom line, it may have been day one, but he hasn't spent the last 10 years in exile.

I'm not playin' around about it.

Re: missing points

And you are rather profoundly missing my point that with FOP contract negotiations coming up shortly and the controversy surrounding the appointment of a Deputy Mayor for Public Safety who had recently defended a cop-killer as a public defender, it would be extremely impolitic at this moment for Nutter to roll out a big press conference with XYZ policy details without lengthy consultation between Ramsey, Nutter and Ramsey's chain of command working out details first.

The FOP was quite serious in their rebuke of Nutter's choice of Everett Gillison. You and I may feel like telling them to just get over it - we live in a country where the Constitution guarantees a right to competent legal representation -- even for accused cop-killers -- but those feelings of betrayal are quite real and still quite fresh.

It would irresponsible for Nutter to have a big policy announcement, particularly at this exact moment in time, saying "This is what I am going to have our police officers do tommorrow - only I have not consulted with the poor grunts who will actually have do the heavy lifting about the specifics yet."

Haven't you ever heard the expression "Patience is a virtue"?

MrLuigi, my cat, actually only types half as badly as I do.

It would be irresponsible

It would be irresponsible for Nutter to have a big policy announcement...

In the broadest sense of the word, declaring a crime emergency and issuing the order that he did hinted of policy. He also promised a reduction in the homicide rate of as much as 50%. Without details, both of these are irresponsible. We are probably in agreement here.

Patience is a virtue.

Actually, I thought it was impatience that was the virtue, but thanks for the nugget. We're really not fundamentally disagreeing, but here is where we part ways: the period between May 16th (before, in actuality) and November 7th is called shopping your thoughtful proposals around for substantive feedback. November 8th to January 7th - a full month - is called "ok, this is what I am going to push for" period, even if just in a general sense. Sure, your police commissioner needs to tactically dictate the whos and hows, but when I've got the pulpit and I promise big things and throw out more than a few not-so-poetic soundbites, I should have the responsibility to dictate a vision for the whats - I'd settle for a comment. Anything less (read: the declaration and the order) is an insult to our intelligence.

I'm not playin' around about it.

During that "shopping

During that "shopping thoughtful policy pieces" period, the outgoing Police Commissioner held a press conference where he in so many words told the assembled reporters he thought "stop and frisk" would set off riots around the city. This is not a Police Commissioner who could work productively with the incoming Nutter administration. Sylvester Johnson virtually campaigned against Nutter in the primary (despite the FOP endorsing Nutter).

I think you are greatly underestimating the degree to which implementing this policy safely and with respect for Constitutional rights depends on a certain amount of time in working out the details within the Police Department, before we the amateur policy wonks get busy tearing it apart to shreds. There is a certain amount of due diligence for a policy shift on this scale that should be held outside of the glare of TV lights.

Edit: we will have plenty of time to criticize the plan after Jan. 31 and of course the plan itself will be implemented very much under the glare of TV lights - which is a good thing. One part of the plan is actually getting the word out that by carrying an illegal weapon on your person you are exposing yourself to risk and the more media attention the better. Reinforced perception of a greater risk for carrying an illegal firearm is almost as important as shifts in deployment. When the time is right, being very public, very transparent will actually be to the Nutter administrations benefit.
MrLuigi, my cat, actually only types half as badly as I do.


And, I'm being serious here and, I hope not to regret this statement:

Perhaps it is the weather, but has Philadelphia seemed like a different city this week?

I talk to people from lawyers at me firm to clients to home-and-school moms to homeowners on my block, and they are all really optimistic about Mayor Nutter. It feels great! It could be the weather. But, I do not recall feeling this way about John Street (ever).

I'm so glad Knox didn't win this thing!

I am working to elect Larry Farnese to the General Assembly. Unless otherwise expressly stated, this and every comment or blog I post on YPP and any action I take hereon is solely attributable to me and not Farnese or Friends of Farnese

No street vibe for Street

I suspect that, when it comes down to it, John Street's biggest problem was... John Street. The guy is about as familiar w/the inner workings of Philadelphia government as anyone in the city, which is one of the reasons that he was such an effective City Council President. This made me optimistic that he'd be a good Mayor, + the perfect person to carry on Ed Rendell's projects.

Part of Street's problem, though, was his utter lack of interest in selling himself. He never gave a sense of caring at all what people thought of him, which was a major contrast w/the ultimate glad-hander in Ed Rendell. All the good which happened under Street- NTI's successes (perhaps limited, but they were there), clearing of abandoned cars, continuing real estate boom, + new employers coming into town- will be overwhelmed w/peoples' poor impression of the man himself.


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