Save The Fishtown Library Rally

Library Rally This evening, I headed over to the rally at the Fishtown Library, organized by AJ Thomson. It was a pretty incredible scene for something that happened on about 24 hours notice, through word of mouth, emails, flyers, etc. I am not good at crowd estimates, but lets just say that on a chilly November night, there were hundreds of people, demanding that Mayor Nutter spare their library.

(And, by the way, if you are from Fishtown, you are losing a fire engine, a library, and a pool? Nice.)

The anger and disappointment in the crowd was self-evident. Kids from neighborhood schools prepared letters to the Mayor, asking him not to close down their library. The more I stood out there, watching as people were forced to desperately scramble just to keep a damn library open, the more the whole thing seemed so damn ridiculous and sad. It is a really great message that we are sending to our kids...

The City I believe in does not give residents a tax cut while closing libraries, de-funding Fairmount Park, cutting back police and fire coverage, and shutting down public schools. Don't you think the people of Fishtown would rather their taxes be kept the same, rather than cut by 0.2%, if it meant their services kept open?

I will say it a million times between now and December: Keep our taxes the same. Save the City.

Thanks

Thanks to those who came out - including the media, which did a fine job covering our little event. We probably set a record for most books checked out of a library in under an hour.

Wonderful-and sign the petition!

Great event, AJ. You are fighting not just for your library but for all 11 slated to close and, really, for every branch in the city. If the Mayor and Council can close these 11, they will close others in the future, especially when the operating costs of the expanded library come on-line.

Just a reminder-please sign the on-line petition to save the 11 library branches and send an email to you friends asking them to do so as well:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savefreelibrarybranches/

Well, you guys voted for Nutter

I guess not everyone on this blog voted for Nutter, but most of you did. And now what do we have? Libraries getting closed. Most city pools getting closed. Tax reductions eliminated. Fire company consolidations. Parks budget slashed by 20%! And how about crime??? The Inquirer reported today that the 25% homicide reduction is not being made, and right now, the decrease is only 15% YTD.

So, I guess he wasn't the savior and promised one, like so many argued.

Now, of course, he inherited a lot of problems, but he made a ton of promises -- that aren't being kept. And how long until the office of sustainability or the arts and culture office need to be slashed? How long can all these $100K plus advisers stay on the bloated executive mayor's office payroll amidst this crash? How long until the city has back door tax increases like raising the cost of parking at a meter (and guess who parks at meters??) or just raising assessments on real estate taxes?

There were other options available in the race, but they were dismissed. And so Dwight Evans is still in Harrisburg, Knox is still in the private sector, and Congressman Brady is now "mayor" of Capitol Hill, instead of bringing gobs of federal money to Philadelphia as mayor of the city. The good news, is we'll need our friends in Harrisburg and D.C. to get in the bail-out line, and so we're lucky with what we have. Brady became one of the closest political advisers to Obama throughout the campaign, and is best friends with Biden and Emmanuel -- hopefully this will help out the city now that it needs it. He would also do anything to support his friend Mayor Nutter and his city.

I think people have to be wary of lifting up politicians beyond their ability to deliver. Nutter became the chosen one to the local progressive movement, and is now confronted with reality. If people are looking for the messiah, politicians are not a good place to start...a competent manger will do.

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