Committee of Seventy Endorses “Resign to Run” Repeal

“If it helps disrupt the status quo just a little, then it’s worth your vote.”

Zack Stalberg, CEO of the Committee of Seventy, on Sunday offered the committee’s endorsement of David Oh’s ballot measure altering the city’s longtime “Resign to Run” rule, saying: “If it helps disrupt the status quo just a little, then it’s worth your vote.”

When the Committee of Seventy helped drive the adoption of the Charter in 1951, after decades of one-party, often crooked Republican control, good-government types argued that pols shouldn’t be allowed to advance their careers on taxpayers’ time – and probably with the help of their taxpayer-paid lieutenants. Opponents of a change in the resign-to-run rule still feel the same.

I am not siding with the politicians here. I have trouble sleeping when I do. But voters should consider the facts.

In the 63 years since resign-to-run was adopted, there have been very few truly competitive races for mayor. In part, that is because the rule discourages sitting officials from entering a bigger game, including somebody like Council Republican leader Brian O’Neill, who is one shrewd guy in a lackluster legislative body.

The question will be on the primary ballot next Tuesday, May 20. Philly Mag interviewed Oh about the measure last week.

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