Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday bits

Up late with some kind of gas line disruption in the neighborhood (turned back on at around 3am), so a bit brain-dead today...
  • Brady not pulling the union support that everybody expected, with several unions deciding not to endorse. Brady is lobbying hard with the major AFL/CIO membership, and Doc is among those arguing for neutrality. Fattah and Evans are among the strong contenders for union affections.

  • An Inquirer article looks at Philadelphians' increasing concern with ethics issues in local government and current elections. [The article concludes with what each mayoral candidate has proposed in terms of ethics reforms.] Related questions about ethical priorities and practicalities are posed to candidates by the Metro here.

  • A state appeals court apparently just upheld Philadelphia's rights to regulate local campaign law. Could still be appealed to the state Supreme level. This seems good for local reform efforts, but YPP'ers are divided over what it all means.

  • Another YPP poster looks back on Mayor Street's Neighborhood Transformation Initiative and how much fell short of its goals. In a nutshell,
    The problem isn’t that NTI funds were allocated on the basis of personal connections but that our city's leadership chose political expediency rather than strategic investments to improve Philadelphia. Instead of supporting existing mixed income communities, over $215 of the $300 million raised was spent on demolition and land acquisition. Blight Free Philadelphia recommended against these actions--even before NTI legislation was approved--because demolition has been largely ineffective as a community development strategy in cities throughout the United States over the past thirty years.
    A few neigbhorhoods may have seen positive effects, but the program never really worked the way it was intended, especially in terms of neighborhood input.

  • PA State Treasury not so forthcoming with payroll records, contesting how much new "public information" laws really require.

  • More and more of the region is considering flood fees to help with stormwater management.

  • Neighborhood Networks has provided updated spiffy pages to introduce their endorsed candidates for At-Large and District City Council seats. (It's possible that there will be more endorsements made at the mid-April Steering Committee meeting, but this could also be the final set.)


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