Nola.com reports on an Aspen Institute talk on Tuesday, where New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Philly Mayor Mike Nutter wrestled with the issue of race in America.
It appears 2014 will be the year 20th century civic ethics came to 21st century Pennsylvania. The same week that state House and Senate both indicated they’ll impose gift-receiving bans on their members, Mayor Nutter in Philadelphia signed a bill restricting gifts to officials here. “If any City Council or row office employees accepted cash or pricey gifts in the last couple of days, they could be in big trouble. The new ethics code gifts regulation – which bans cash as gifts and limits the value of gifts to city officers or workers at $99 – was quietly signed into law by Mayor Nutter on Monday. It went into effect immediately.” The state bans were prompted by revelations that Philly Democrats had accepted cash in an abandoned sting operation; the city ban passed, because, well it’s probably about damn time.
The Inquirer‘s Claudia Vargas gives the Philadelphia taxpayer a reason to feel good today: The mayor’s trip to Rome wasn’t paid for by the city!
But the source for the funds of that trip remains unclear, she writes today, and it doesn’t appear we’ll learn the source of the funds anytime soon. The mayor’s trip to Rome was underwritten by the nonprofit organizing the World Meeting of Families, held here — whether Pope Francis comes and rides SEPTA or not — in 2015.
But who funded that nonprofit? Some of the money came from the Philadelphia archdiocese, but that’s the only contributor to the nonprofit the Inquirer could get verified. Also, no one will say how much the trip to Rome cost. How much did that St. Joe’s Prep jersey cost, Mr. Mayor?!
Can you believe the mayor of Philadelphia went to the Vatican and gave the Pope a freaking football jersey?
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) March 27, 2014
Pope Francis actually got jerseys of six Philadelphia sports teams: The four major sports, a Union jersey — which is at least a sport that’s popular in both Italy and the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s native Argentina — and the St. Joe’s Prep football jersey above. Yes, the Pope now owns a Phillies jersey; he can dress like Macklemore.
Turns out Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett won’t get the private audience with Pope Francis today, after all.
AP reports: “Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and other public and corporate leaders and their spouses would be presented to the pope during today’s regularly scheduled public audience in St. Peter’s Square. There, (a spokeswoman) said, each would be able to present gifts to Francis if they have them, and speak “a few words” with him. She did not explain the change in plans.”
Mayor Michael Nutter is in Rome with a delegation — including Governor Tom Corbett and his wife, Susan — stumping for a papal visit to Philadelphia during the World Meeting of Families meeting here in September 2015. (Hopefully, he mentioned my bet with God to attend church every Sunday for a year if the Pope rides SEPTA, which I figure would seal the deal.)
Today, though, Nutter talked to the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome, attempting to get the Pope to visit Philadelphia. We have a transcription of his remarks. Sadly, it does not end with “XOXO, Philadelphia.”
I have the great honor and privilege to make a brief statement in support of our fervent hope that His Holiness might visit Philadelphia during the World Meeting of Families in September 2015.
As a loyal son of Philadelphia, born and raised in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, educated by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Transfiguration of Our Lord Elementary School and inspired by the Jesuits to be a man for others at St Joseph’s Preparatory high school, the Jesuit High School in Philadelphia, I am often called upon to discuss the exceptional qualities of my great city.
It continues after the jump.
Yeah, that’s right: Mayor Nutter will make his balletic debut in the Pennsylvania Ballet’s March 16th matinee presentation of Coppélia. Set in a nineteenth century village, Coppélia tells the age-old story of a man and his infatuation with a doll. It’s a little strange but a beautifully choreographed and uproarious comedy. And, for one performance only, Mayor Nutter will exercise his acting chops, playing the role of a lifetime, “The Mayor.” It’s just a walk-on role, but this should be good [read: weird].