January 5, 2016
TODAY, PHILADELPHIA swears in not just Jim Kenney as the city's 99th mayor but, like all inaugurations, we usher in a new accounting of the state of Philadelphia at this moment in time. This accounting of strengths and challenges is important, helping to dictate what the new mayor must do. And yet, as inevitable as this account is, it is just as likely to be rendered irrelevant at any moment. After all, think of the state of the city at Michael Nutter's first inauguration: a budget surplus that was symbolic of the city's upswing, with population inching up, a series of ethics and government reforms turning the tide on corruption and bloated bureaucracy.
January 5, 2016 |
Philadelphia's five previous mayors impart their wisdom to Jim Kenney as he prepares to take office: William J. Green, Jan. 7, 1980, to Jan. 2, 1984. "What I would say to him is be scrupulously honest, totally free of conflicts. Surround yourself with very talented people fixated on what's best for the city as a whole. Always be fiscally responsible despite the demanding interests who will certainly threaten you if you are. No matter how far you've come, you can still learn.
January 4, 2016 |
AFTER 24 YEARS in office - 16 as a city councilman, eight as mayor - Michael Nutter will leave City Hall on Monday when Jim Kenney is sworn in as Philadelphia's 99th mayor. In this candid interview with Ronnie Polaneczky , Nutter talks about what it was like to raise his daughter, Olivia, while in office; how his wife, Lisa, made Pope Francis laugh; why he curses so much; and why he has no opinion about Chip Kelly. Here is the edited transcript: Q: You're from 55th and Larchwood.
December 28, 2015 |
On his first full day as mayor, Michael Nutter flung open City Hall's doors to thousands of Philadelphians who waited hours to shake the hand of someone they believed could become one of the city's finest mayors. By many measures, Nutter did not disappoint. After eight years of his leadership, the city has its lowest homicide rate since 1967, its highest credit rating ever from Standard & Poor's, and the rewards of a well-run government. It was frustrating to see Nutter too often choose taxation to stave off the impact of the 2008 recession, but his strategy kept the city on its feet and allowed it to hit its stride, as Center City's energy and prosperity began spilling into nearby neighborhoods.
November 18, 2015 |
A coalition of advocacy groups gathered outside City Hall on Monday to decry an anticipated city policy change that would renew cooperation among Philadelphia police, local jails, and federal immigration agents. The reversal, less than 18 months after Mayor Nutter banned such cooperation, is expected to be announced in the waning days of his administration, which ends Jan. 4. "We won't allow Michael Nutter to throw our communities under the bus in the eleventh hour," said Erika Almiron, executive director of the Latino rights group Juntos.
August 1, 2015 |
At the heart of the federal indictment unsealed Wednesday against U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah are Philadelphia's campaign finance limits, and the legal battle he lost more than eight years ago to overturn them during his unsuccessful run for mayor. Fattah had a plan as he prepared in 2006 for the 2007 race: Raise six-figure contributions from wealthy donors and, if challenged, use the courts to overturn the limits, which became local law in January 2004. The conventional wisdom in political and legal circles at the time was that those limits would not survive a legal challenge.
May 27, 2015 |
A LOCAL WOMAN made the New York Times last week. Happy Rockefeller - nee Margaretta Fitler Murphy, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy Bryn Mawr family and the wife of the late New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller - died at 88 on May 19, the same day ex-City Councilman Jim Kenney won Philadelphia's Democratic mayoral primary. A large chunk of the Times ' obituary on Rockefeller focused on a 1963 scandal that sent shockwaves through the political world: Happy and Nelson - two divorcees - got married.
May 21, 2015 |
IN THE CLOSING scenes of 1972's "The Candidate," Bill McKay (Robert Redford), victorious Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, pulls his campaign guru out of a victory party and into a quiet hotel room, with the press banging at the door. Leaning back against a desk, with a deeply somber expression, McKay asks, "Marvin, what do we do now?" It's unlikely that scene was repeated last night at Vie after former City Councilman Jim Kenney crushed beat five rivals to ascend to Democratic candidate for mayor with a small percentage of the total of registered Democrats, most of whom didn't vote.
May 8, 2015 |
MILTON STREET is not talking to me and it's not the first time he has stiff-armed a journalist wanting to profile him. He likes to talk to the press on his terms, like when embracing a coffin and singing. But this snub hurts because I'm his Facebook friend! And I could use a good laugh. Right now, he is ostensibly a Democratic candidate for mayor of Philadelphia. I've seen him on the endless treadmill of tedious forums where candidates regurgitate their (already known, and similar)
May 6, 2015 |
William Wooden is a Philadelphia resident and registered voter. With two weeks until the mayoral primary election, he has no idea whom he is voting for. He is not alone. Like most of a dozen people interviewed during the lunch hour Monday at Dilworth Park, Wooden didn't know much about the candidates - even their names. Wooden said he had seen the television ads for a female candidate who said she would sue the state for not providing enough money for the schools. That would be Lynne M. Abraham, the former district attorney.