The Brief: Who’s Going to Give Jim Kenney a Job?

Plus two more burning questions about a Kenney candidacy and some Michael Nutter snark.

On the way where? Photo Credit: City Council Flickr page.

On his way where? Photo Credit: City Council Flickr page.

The Jim Kenney mayoral watch continued over the weekend, and what with snowpocalypse expected for the next two or three days, odds are his anticipated mayoral campaign announcement won’t come until later this week. Here are the questions we’ll be asking between now and then.

1. Who, if anyone, will give Kenney a job? The councilman has said that, in order to quit his council job as required by city law to run for mayor, he’d need a way to pay the bills. As Kenney put it in his typical unfiltered style to the Inquirer’s Claudia Vargas: “For me to run and quit, lose your income, have to find a job, and that’s kind of a joke, because you find a job where someone is going to pay you to run for office.” Has he found that job? And if so, will the employer pass the smell test? Or will the first stories about the Kenney mayoral campaign be dominated by who’s giving him a paycheck to run for office?

2. Who will be on the stage when Kenney announces his run? State Senator Anthony Williams had some A-list Philly politicos at his back for his campaign announcement, but Lynne Abraham, Nelson Diaz and (the since bailed) Ken Trujillo and Terry Gillen did not. Kenney will surely have some big labor leaders at his side, perhaps including John Dougherty. But who else will show? How many of Kenney’s council colleagues will turn out? You know who won’t be there? Ed “Jimmy is the flavor of the week” Rendell.

3. Will Kenney actually inherit Ken Trujillo’s campaign operation? Trujillo wanted Alba Martinez to step in to the void created when he abruptly got out of the race last week, but she declined. That makes Kenney Trujillo’s second choice at best. It’s clear that some former Trujillo operatives are moving over to Kenney’s not-yet-official-campaign, but that’s not quite the same thing as Trujillo bequeathing Kenney a full-fledged campaign infrastructure, to say nothing of the reported $400,000 that Trujillo has raised so far. Some reports suggest Trujillo will use that cash as an independent expenditure to help Kenney out. I’m far from convinced that’s going to happen. And if Trujillo and Kenney were to try something like that, I expect the city’s Ethics Board (which enforces city campaign finance law) would take an intense interest in the particulars.

Don’t Miss…
  • The Inquirer’s Chris Hepp previews next week’s release of mayoral 2014 fundraising totals. He expects, and so do I, that the figures are going to be waaaaay lower than there in the 2007 election.
  • Also, the mayoral campaign logos are terrible, just terrible.
  • In case you missed it, Slate’s story of a week and a half ago challenging the default narrative on gentrification is worth a read and highly relevant for Philadelphia. Writes John Buntin:

That gentrification displaces poor people of color by well-off white people is a claim so commonplace that most people accept it as a widespread fact of urban life. It’s not. Gentrification of this sort is actually exceedingly rare. The socio-economic status of most neighborhoods is strikingly stable over time. When the ethnic compositions of low-income black neighborhoods do change, it’s typically because Latinos and other immigrants move into a neighborhood—and such in-migration is probably more beneficial than harmful.

As for displacement—the most objectionable feature of gentrification—there’s actually very little evidence it happens. In fact, so-called gentrifying neighborhoods appear to experience less displacement than nongentrifying neighborhoods.

On Twitter…

Yeah, we wrote about that this weekend.