February 26, 2015 |
Four years after agreeing to submit to federal court monitoring of its controversial stop-and-frisk program, the Philadelphia Police Department has made little progress toward curbing unwarranted stops that disproportionately target minorities, according to an analysis filed Tuesday by a group of civil rights lawyers. The report found that 37 percent of the more than 200,000 pedestrian stops made by police in 2014 were done without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity - down from 47 percent from in 2012.
February 21, 2015 |
Mayor Nutter said Thursday that his successor must understand the importance of preventing youth violence if Philadelphia is to thrive. "You know what year it is," he told a room crowded with educators, politicians, and youth outreach groups on Temple University's campus. "I will go. But the work, the effort, and the impact, must continue. Whoever comes next must understand how critically important, how critically vital, how impactful this work is. " The city has made some important progress, he noted: homicides are down, employment is up, and development is booming.
February 20, 2015 |
YOUTH VIOLENCE is a disease and it spreads like a virus, Mayor Nutter told about 75 people at a Temple University conference yesterday. Attendees included activists, educators and members of the mayor's Youth Violence Prevention Collaborative. "Violence is a public-health crisis," Nutter said. "It is a disease. We know how to treat disease. " Nutter cited a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to the city and Temple to set up Ceasefire Philly, an offshoot of a Chicago-based group that uses methods and strategies similar to disease control to stop violence in communities.
February 12, 2015 |
Sometime as early as April, Philadelphia's beleaguered pension fund will begin sending out $62 million in bonus checks to retirees. It will do so despite being woefully underfunded - it has less than 48 percent of its $10 billion in obligations - and sucking up an ever-growing portion of the city's overall revenue. It is required to make the payments as a result of legislation championed eight years ago by then-City Councilman James F. Kenney, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor in the May primary.
February 11, 2015 |
Having recently released reams of statistical data arguing the success of his administration, Mayor Nutter now has a poll showing that Philadelphia voters are already convinced. The poll, most notably, found that 57 percent of those surveyed approved of Nutter's performance in office, compared with 36 percent who disapproved. Nutter's pollster, Washington-based Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, termed the numbers "surprisingly high marks for an incumbent nearing the end of two terms.
February 9, 2015 |
Mayor Nutter wants Philadelphians to take a look at the numbers and see how their city has done over the last seven years with him at the helm. The murder rate has hit a historic low, jobs have trickled back into town, and the city is putting more money into its schools than at any time in 30 years. Experts eye those numbers and say yes, but consider: Crime fell nationwide, as did joblessness. The schools are running on bare-bones budgets, and Philadelphia still has the highest poverty rate among big cities.
February 3, 2015 |
When Mayor Nutter signed an executive order last year requiring certain contract workers doing jobs for the city to be paid at least $12 an hour beginning in January, it seemed like a smart political move, especially given the attention the matter has received from progressives and Democratic politicians, including President Obama. Several weeks into the new year, however, the city is starting to get pushback from some contractors, especially nonprofits, that say they can't afford the new wage scale without help from the city.
February 2, 2015 |
Mayor Nutter met his match Saturday afternoon in a game of chess, beaten by one of Philadelphia's best players - 12-year-old Candida Layla Wilcox. She didn't hesitate to say why Nutter lost. "He wasn't really controlling the center, so he didn't really think long and hard on his first couple of moves," said Candida, an honor-roll student at the cyber charter school Commonwealth Connections Academy. "After I pinned him in, I got him in checkmate. " It took her less than 15 minutes to hand the mayor his defeat.
January 31, 2015 |
Mayor Nutter, with a nod to the candidates running to succeed him, on Thursday laid out for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce a seven-year history of measured accomplishments and continuing challenges. Nutter's walk-on music - "Run This Town" by Jay-Z and Rihanna - served as a reminder that he holds the office for an additional 11 months. The two-term mayor used his final annual chamber address to tout economic development, citing $8.5 billion in construction projects completed, underway, or announced in the last year.
January 30, 2015 |
A BILL APPROVED by a City Council committee yesterday faces opposition from Mayor Nutter because it places tighter restrictions on whom the city can hire to represent defendants too poor to afford a lawyer. Introduced by Councilman Dennis O'Brien, the bill passed quickly out of Council's Law and Government Committee yesterday, goes for a first reading today and could pass by next week, creating a new set of rules for the hiring of legal counsel for the poor. O'Brien earned a victory in May when Philadelphia voters approved a ballot initiative that revoked some of the mayor's power in awarding contracts for indigent legal counsel.