Nutter Helping Spearhead Obama Trade Campaign

Photo Credit: Matt Rourke | AP

Photo Credit: Matt Rourke | AP

There’s long been speculation that Michael Nutter would go to work for the Obama Administration after leaving office. But it looks like the mayor might have a head start.

Politico reports Nutter is helping spearhead the Obama Administration’s campaign for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade pact that opponents say would give corporations unprecedented powers and rights internationally.

Nutter is one of several big-city mayors pushing the trade agreement on behalf of the Obama Administration Read more »

Obama to Deliver Beau Biden’s Eulogy

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President Obama, photo | Jeff Fusco. Beau Biden, photo | AP

 

President Obama will deliver Beau Biden’s eulogy at a Saturday funeral, officials have announced.

Biden, the former Delaware attorney general and son of Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden, died over the weekend after a battle with brain cancer. Read more »

Did Obama Help Produce Philly’s New Sick Leave Law?

President Barack Obama

Did President Obama help produce Philly’s new sick leave law?

That’s what USA Today suggests in a story that assertss the president has done an end-run around Congress to produce progress on progressive priorities. The paper notes that Mayor Nutter vetoed two versions of the bill from council — but that Philly is one of several cities to pass a paid sick leave law since the president called on municipalities to do so in his State of the Union address. Read more »

Obama Visits Camden to Talk Policing

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama is visiting Camden today, taking a close look at the policing operations of a city that appears to be becoming safer.

“The newly-established Camden County Police Department has gained national recognition for the strides its made in its use of community policing,” KYW reports. “During his visit, the president will tour the Real-Time Tactical Operational Intelligence Center at the police department’s headquarters.” Read more »

Obama to Support Efforts to End Conversion Therapy for Gay and Transgender Youth

obama state of the union gay lesbian bi transgender

The death of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn, who committed suicide in December after her parents forced her to attend conversion therapy, has initiated a lot of reactions, perhaps the largest of which is a whitehouse.gov petition that calls for an end to conversion therapy on gay and transgender youth. The petition has garnered more than 120,000 signatures—enough for President Obama to make a response and take action to forbid mental health practitioners from working to “repair” LGBT youth.

Read more »

50 Years After Bloody Sunday, a Push for Racial Fairness in Sentencing

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I caught up with State Sen. Vincent Hughes on Sunday afternoon by phone — he had spent the weekend in Selma, Alabama, joining the 50th anniversary celebration of the “Bloody Sunday” march that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, and was driving with former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to the airport to return home.

“Pretty powerful,” Hughes, the Philadelphia Democrat, told me. “Pretty powerful to stand on the same ground where, 50 years ago, people were beat in the head … just to secure the right thing, was just a powerful thing.”

“People took charge of their own destiny, and they changed the country in a meaningful way,” Patrick added. “That’s an important lesson about the power we have when we look up instead of looking down.” Read more »

Ramsey-Led Policing Commission Makes Recommendations

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, co-chair,  the President's Task Force on 21 Century Policing, listens to witnesses at the Newseum in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, co-chair, the President’s Task Force on 21 Century Policing, listens to witnesses at the Newseum in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The presidential task force on 21st century policing led by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has issued its “interim” report. Ramsey will hold a press conference on the findings this morning with Philly media.

NBC News reports:

In a report released Monday, Obama’s task force on police reform did not embrace proposed policies like requiring police officers to wear body cameras or linking federal funding for local police departments to requirements all of their officers undergo racial bias training.

The 11-person task force, chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, a professor of criminology at George Mason University, instead recommended less sweeping changes.

Its “overarching recommendation” was for Obama to create a so-called National Crime and Justice Task Force to suggest more ideas. The report also urged, as civil rights leaders have long demanded, that police departments collect more precise data about the race and other demographic characteristics of people who are stopped and arrested.

Read more »

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