Nutter Joins Mayors Backing Obama on Immigration

Nutter

Mayor Nutter has joined with mayors of two dozen other large American cities to offer President Obama support in his efforts to reduce deportations of immigrants residing illegally in the United States.

Cities United for Immigration Action announced its existence today.

“The president’s action on immigration will strengthen our cities. It will keep families together, grow our economies and foster additional community trust in law enforcement and government,” the coalition said in a statement. “We are ready — and together we’re rolling up our sleeves to turn this policy into a better reality for millions of hardworking people in the communities we serve.”

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Task Force Recommends Paid Sick Leave for Philly

Saying it would “make a significant and honorable contribution to our quality of life,” a task force today formally recommended to Mayor Michael Nutter that the city pass a bill requiring Philadelphia employers to offer paid sick leave to workers. (See the report below.)

The recommendation had been expected since Mayor Nutter reversed course over the summer — after vetoing two sick leave bills — and said he would support such a measure, pending a report from a task force on the topic.

“I do not want to put Philadelphia at a competitive disadvantage. However, our city’s economy continues to grow and is stronger than it has been in a long time,” Nutter said in a press release accompanying the task force report. “It was the right time for a comprehensive review of the likely impact of paid sick leave employees, businesses and the entire city.”
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Paid Sick Leave Report Due Soon

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

When Mayor Nutter reversed course this year and said he was suddenly in favor of mandating that Philly businesses offer paid sick leave to employees — a policy he had vetoed twice in recent years — he didn’t just sign one of the bills he previously punted: He sent the idea to a task force for examination.

That task force is just about complete with its work KYW reports. But familiar divisions remain over the issue.

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Team Nutter on the City Hall Parking Lot

cityhallparkinglot

Philly Mag published a story this morning explaining the role of the Mayor’s Office in managing parking on the sidewalk/apron on the northern edge of City Hall. We didn’t have any comment from the Nutter administration then. This evening, we got responses to questions emailed to press secretary Mark McDonald on Monday (McDonald says he did not get that or several subsequent emails, and did not see the questions until after our story ran). Here they are in full.

Philly Mag: What is the administration’s policy on City Hall apron parking?

Nutter Administration: City Hall is both the seat of government and a large office complex. Apron parking is provided on a case-by-case basis, often related to visiting guests, deliveries being made, on-going building repair and servicing and instances where a person with a disability is accommodated. With limited space available, these requests are handled on a daily basis. There is also an authorized parking list, with a number of individuals who have had temporary parking while Dilworth Park was under construction. The Park has reduced perimeter street parking. Those with temporary apron parking will be reassigned to street parking when the parking lanes have been repainted and spaces are reconfigured.
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Here’s Who’s Parking on City Hall’s Doorstep



Update: Read the Nutter administration’s response to questions on City Hall parking here.

The new $55 million Dilworth Park has its critics, but I’ve become a big fan. It gives City Hall badly needed context, and the scale of the plaza creates a real sense of grandeur… right up until the moment you stroll past the Garces cafe and encounter the sad, parochial scene of dozens of VIP vehicles squatting on the northern apron of City Hall, as though it were a parking lot outside an Upper Darby laundromat.

Yes, city workers and officials have been parking on the apron for years (more on that later), but it looks like the traffic has grown heavier in recent months, or perhaps it just feels that way given the jarring juxtaposition that now exists between City Hall’s graceful, Global City-esque western approach, and the loading-dock vibe a few steps to the north.

I’m far from the only one to have noticed. Jonathan Poet, an editor at the Associated Press, recently dedicated a Tumblr to the City Hall Parking Lot. Urbanist warrior Geoff Kees Thompson cited the apron parking as an glaring example of “city leadership undervaluing and undermining its public space for the sake of the car.”

I think there’s more to it than that. VIP parking on City Hall’s front stoop reeks of entitlement. People find it enraging and insulting because it’s shorthand for oh-so-much: lack of concern for the city’s aesthetic appeal, the political class’ overblown sense of its own importance, general disregard for … you get the idea.

Let’s get to what everyone wants to know: Who is it that actually parks there?
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Philadelphia’s Christmas Tree Will Be Inside the City Hall Courtyard

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

In response to a question on Twitter, the Center City District confirmed that the City of Philadelphia’s Christmas tree will not be in the newly opened Dilworth Park just west of City Hall. It will be in the City Hall courtyard.

The Center City District says the city made the decision to put the three in the courtyard instead of next to the park’s new ice rink, which will open on November 14th. The Center City District plans to light the already-exising trees in Dilworth Park.

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