Tuesday’s City Reads

Will the new GOP majority leader be a friend to Philly? And... what your neighborhood says about your personality.

Dave Reed

Dave Reed

Local Read: “New Pa. House leader isn’t the same ol’, same ol'”

There’s been talk in some political circles that maybe, just maybe, the election of Republican Dave Reed as the new state House majority leader is (relatively) good news for Philadelphia.

Reed grew up in a trailer park, and toured Pennsylvania in 2013 to study the effects of poverty and how to fight it. Does that mean he’ll be more likely to support policies that help Philly, the poorest big city in the country, than other state lawmakers?

John Baer has a solid profile of Reed and his hardscrabble upbringing in the Daily News. But it remains unclear how Reed will govern.

In a far-ranging interview, he addressed questions with a noncommittal style that gives nothing away while somehow offering promise to those seeking better governance.

On House Speaker Mike Turzai, who wants to sell off the state stores: “We’re good friends. He was at my wedding nine years ago. We don’t always agree on policy but we’ll work together and with the new governor.”

On pensions: “Reform has to happen . . . everybody has an interest in a stable, secure retirement system that taxpayers can afford.”

On a gas severance tax: “We should compare all state taxes to other states [with shale taxes] and determine the fairest way forward.”

Reed is a fan of Philly, at the very least. He told Baer, “I loved my time in the city [he lived in Penn’s graduate towers at 36th and Chestnut] . . . everybody who grows up in a city should live in a rural community, and vice versa.”

National Read: “What Your Personality Has to Do With Your Neighborhood”

A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines how different personality types cluster in different parts of London. The researchers also looked at how location affects residents’ happiness.

CityLab reports:

Extroverted types … cluster near the center city, though not in the concentration levels seen for openness to experience. Since extroverts want to connect to other people, it makes sense that they are attracted to denser neighborhoods with greater concentrations of meeting places like restaurants and bars. There is an absence of extroverts at the outskirts of the city. Two types—agreeableness and conscientiousness—are concentrated in outlying suburban areas.

The last map plots life satisfaction. Unsurprisingly, the map roughly tracks the distribution of wealth throughout metro London, with happier residents generally clustered in the most well-to-do neighborhoods and those with lower levels of life satisfaction concentrated in areas of greater poverty and those with higher concentrations of ethnic minorities. The study finds that neighborhood characteristics accounted for two-thirds of the variance in happiness across neighborhoods, indicating, as the researchers write, “a substantial link between sociodemographic factors and average life satisfaction of neighborhoods.”

Who do we lobby to get a study like this of Philly?