L to R: Philadelphia student athletes Danny Rumph and Ryan Gillyard died 10 years apart of the same heart condition. | Photos courtesy of Marcus Owens and Twitter
Last April, 15-year-old St. Joe’s Prep student Ryan Gillyard collapsed while jumping rope at his football team’s conditioning workout. Gillyard had undetected hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic disease that made his heart muscles abnormally thick, interfering with that organ’s ability to pump blood.
When the Inquirer covered the teenager’s death four months later, it became clear that an automated external defibrillator — the portable medical device that could have delivered a lifesaving shock to Gillyard’s body — was available at the practice field where he fell, but wasn’t used during the emergency. “The reason,” the newspaper said, “was unclear.”
Ten years before Gillyard died, another star athlete with the same condition collapsed during a pick-up basketball game at a Mt. Airy recreation center. The building where 21-year-old Danny Rumph was shooting hoops didn’t have a defibrillator. On Mother’s Day 2005, Viola Owens watched helplessly as her only son passed away. It took 31 minutes for an ambulance to arrive on the scene. By that time, it was too late.
In 2013, with some help from the fire department, Owens installed defibrillators in all 150 of the city’s recreation centers. But many Philadelphians still don’t know how to use those devices, or how to administer CPR. More often than not, studies show, bystanders like Owens are powerless when the unthinkable happens. And what good are emergency response tools if few people know how to use them? Read more »
Photos by Matt Rourke/AP
“When I support a candidate, I fully support that candidate,” said former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter back in 2008 while standing by his endorsement of Hillary Clinton in spite of growing support for her opponent Barack Obama.
“It’s what I do when I get involved in a campaign. I campaign like I’m campaigning for myself,” he said.
Nutter wasn’t exaggerating. Eight years later, he’s still in Clinton’s corner and still campaigning with just as much vigor.
On Sunday, April 17th, he’s heading to Wilmington, Delaware for a Clinton organizing event. There Nutter will join Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams, along with several Delaware state representatives and senators to plead their case for Clinton. Her campaign said in a press release that “Nutter will be joined by Mayor Dennis Williams and state and local elected officials to highlight their support for Clinton and her plans to break down the racial, social and economic barriers that hold Delaware families back.” Read more »
Former Philly Mayor Michael Nutter blasted Bernie Sanders for Sanders’ comments that Hillary Clinton isn’t qualified to be president.
Sanders made his comments Wednesday at a rally in Philadelphia, and Nutter — long a Clinton partisan — quickly attacked Sanders on Twitter: Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from guest writer Mark Headd. He was the Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia from 2012 to 2014, and is now an open data evangelist advising municipal governments across the country.)
For the first time ever, Philadelphia has just made public — in easily usable formats — the salaries of every municipal employee, including elected officials. This data is now available for anyone to download freely from the city’s open data portal and will be updated quarterly.
No doubt about it — this is a major victory for journalists, good government advocates and open data enthusiasts in Philadelphia. But it’s also a victory for everyone who lives or works in the city. Here’s why: Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
For years, open data advocates have been calling on Philadelphia to publish the salaries of city workers. Today, they finally prevailed: Mayor Jim Kenney announced this afternoon that the city had put the salaries of all 30,000 municipal employees (including elected officials) on OpenDataPhilly. The information will be updated every three months, according to the administration.
“This is a major win for Mayor Kenney,” says Mark Headd, Philadelphia’s former Chief Data Officer. “This says to me that he is fully committed to open data.” Read more »
Jim Kenney | Photo by Jeff Fusco
(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from a Citified insider.)
There’s a difference between the truth and facts. Facts are plain, simple and elementary: He said X; she said Y. The truth is more complicated, more nuanced, and requires more intelligence and maturity to understand.
Here’s the truth of what’s happening with Mayor Jim Kenney and stop-and-frisk: He is not breaking his campaign promise to end the police tactic, as some have claimed. In fact, all the other mayoral candidates would be in the exact same position as he is now if they had won the election. Read more »
Fifty-seven percent of Philadelphia voters supported a soda tax last fall, according to a poll conducted for Jim Kenney’s mayoral campaign at the time. Forty percent opposed it.
That gives Kenney a head start in the public debate over the soda tax, right? Well, maybe. There are a few caveats to the results. For one thing, Kenney’s pollster asked voters whether they would back the tax as a way to reduce a financial shortfall in the school district. Earlier this month, Kenney proposed a soda tax to raise money for new initiatives, including universal pre-K, community schools and a major parks renovation — not to plug an education budget gap.
In other words, voters may respond very differently if they were asked today whether they endorse Kenney’s soda tax. But in what way? Would they turn their back on the tax, since Kenney didn’t propose it to fix a crisis? Or would they actually like it more, since Kenney wants to use it to pay for new, shiny programs? Read more »
Inset: Shelley Smith, via Twitter.
You might remember that in January the Kenney administration — suddenly stuck defending a stop-and-frisk lawsuit it didn’t want to defend — blamed a top aide in the Nutter administration for withholding necessary information during the transition to the new mayor.
NewsWorks, which ran the original story featuring the accusation from Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt against former City Solicitor Shelley Smith, has now added a “clarification” to the story that amounts to a full-blown retraction by Hitt. Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
What a difference a couple months makes.
When Mayor Jim Kenney delivered his Inauguration Day speech in January, he announced few new or detailed plans. When he gives his first budget address Thursday morning, things will be completely different: He will lay out a vision that is bold and far-reaching.
The big details have already been revealed: Kenney wants to sell $300 million in bonds to completely redo the city’s parks, libraries and recreation centers. He also hopes to create a three-cents-per-ounce soda tax in order to help pay for expanded pre-K, community schools, a job creation plan, the debt service for his overhaul of public spaces, and much more. The tax would also help bolster the city’s underfunded pension system somewhat.
But there are lots of other fascinating and important things about Kenney’s five-year budget plan that haven’t been announced yet. Here are ten of them: Read more »