Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Just thought I'd pop up again to post a link to this heartening essay: Want a safe place to raise kids? Look to the cities. A lot of things we urban parents think about, but others that tend to get overlooked. Go, city life!

Monday, February 07, 2011

New blood for the 1st City Council District?

Hornstein headshotHad an opportunity to meet one of the flurry of challengers to Frank DiCicco for Philly's 1st District (runs along the riverfront) City Council seat, Jeff Hornstein. He seems like a smart guy with a history of progressive activism (organizing for SIEU and public transit) and lot of good ideas, who thinks the time is ripe for a reform wave in Philly's City Council. Certainly, the retirement of 4 incumbents (!!) opens the doors for some new faces and presents an opportunity to elect some more reformers to join Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Bill Green (along with a couple other less committed or effective progressives, and of course Mayor Nutter) and start to run Philadelphia more like a modern city and less like a feudal holdover. Perhaps that prospect will wake the sleeping voters (and activists) and get some change in additional races.

I don't yet know who the most promising candidates in many of the District races might be, and we won't really know the score until a month from now, when the petition tallies are in, but Hornstein seems to be in a good position to challenge the incumbent in the 1st. DiCicco's support is at a record low, with virtually none of the Ward leaders willing to come out in support of him (in part because of the stink left by the DROP program, which promised a retirement). Meantime, Hornstein has secured some early support from a couple of Ward leaders and looks likely to get a heap of labor endorsements, both promising. More important, he speaks like a progressive and a potential leader, seems to run in circles and attract supporters that indicate he means what he says, and is well-informed on a wide variety of issues (from specific things that could be done with languishing sites on the waterfront to ways to improve affordable housing and even bring back jobs).

Am likely to help him get on the ballot, and will be interested to see how this race develops.