The Daily News reports that at-large City Councilman Bill Green is trying to sell Republicans in Harrisburg on his candidacy to lead the School Reform Commission, now that chairman Pedro Ramos is leaving.
In a forward-thinking move, Philly FIGHT and city councilwomen Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Marian Tasco announced at a press conference this morning the development of a brand-new HIV clinic that caters to Spanish-speaking Philadelphians.
Jane Shull, executive director of Philly FIGHT, says FIGHT applied for a Department of Health and Human Services Special Projects of National Significance grant in February, receiving a response two weeks ago that the department would fund the project. Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez has contributed as, Shull says, “a strong voice for services in the community” — the starring role of ”rallying the troops,” so to speak. Read more »
We’d already told you that City Council had passed a resolution calling for Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States to be included in the curricula of Philly high schools. Now: The backlash. And you knew it was coming, because Zinn’s far-left revisionist take of American history as basically a looting operation by rich white guys is more than some conservatives can abide.
It’s easy to dismiss Council resolutions as meaningless, mostly riskless displays of showmanship, and most of the time they are. But the rationale behind the resolution introduced by Councilpersons Jim Kenney and Jannie Blackwell last week recommending that Howard Zinn’s populist reading of history, A People’s History of the United States, be required reading for history students in the city’s high schools, is hard to dispute.
Last night, a source told me that Paul Steinke was seriously considering a run for City Council in 2015. This morning, when I called the 49-year-old Steinke, who’s been general manager of Reading Terminal Market since 2001, he confirmed the rumor.
The debate surrounding the two competing methods for raising funds for city schools has been unexpectedly wonkish for City Hall. Nutter advocates the borrowing of $50 million against the proceeds from increased sales tax, and council president Darrell Clarke wants to sell off school buildings which he expects to reap something in the 9-figures. Other than accusations that Clarke’s numbers are a tad inflated, the point-counterpoint has so far remained a reasonable argument of arithmetic.
Except, as it turns out, it’s not, and we should have seen it all along.
City Council and the Nutter administration are still haggling over how to begin to hire back the thousands of teachers and staff members that were laid off to close a $300 million budget gap. Nutter and Gov. Corbett are proposing extending the city’s 1% sales tax to funnel $50 million to schools immediately. (And $120 million annually by 2015.) Council President Darrell Clarke has argued he wants to see half that revenue go to shore up the city’s pension fund.
Old people! Why are you always ruining everything? Starting tomorrow, Philadelphia’s trash-infested streets are about to get more trash-infested. Right now, the Streets Department will slap you (or your house, or your neighbor’s house, or whomever) with a ticket if you leave your trash on the sidewalk before 7 p.m. on pick-up day eve. Due to some lobbying by the almighty senior citizens’ lobby, which argues that it’s unfair to make our elderly take out the trash after dark–especially in inclement weather–City Council has approved a change that makes it okay to take out your garbage as early as 5 p.m, from October to April.
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Legendary former City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski passed away at 79 early this morning. She had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and was using an oxygen tank to mitigate the disease effects after an esophagus surgery she endured several years ago.
Having retired in late 2011, Krajewski served the 6th District since 1980, with her feisty, fiery nature garnering her the designation of a “legendary and approachable” political leader in the works of her successor, Councilman Bobby Henon.
Krajewski was known for the strong representation she gave her constituency, addressing everything from prison overpopulation to absentee landlords in her 30-plus year career. She is also the Councilperson behind the Community Life Improvement Program, an effort Krajewski was massively proud of toward the end of her career. [Philly.com]
When Vince Fumo was hauled off to a Kentucky prison, there were murmurs that one day we might miss him. And now, we do. It’s almost axiomatic that if Fumo were still in Harrisburg, the nuclear meltdown of our city’s education system wouldn’t be happening. Fumo was a politico who commanded the descriptors “ruthless” and “genius,” someone whose legacy has only grown over time until we now seem him as a guy who could throw a few officials in a room and come out with a saved school system and some extra economic development grant money.
But Fumo is under very spacious house arrest, and we don’t appear to have any representatives capable of the the kind of political Jedi mind tricks he was. So local lawmakers, desperately seeking some way, any way, to freshen our crop of faces in Harrisburg, have found an outmoded Charter provision ripe for abolition: The resign-to-run law. Its repeal is likely coming to a ballot box near you May 2014.
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