Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Go Mike Go!
By most measures and certainly in my humble opinion Philadelphia’s new mayor Michael Nutter has done an outstanding job of leading our city in his first few months in office. Does that mean that things have taken a dramatic turn for the better and our problems are now behind us? No, of course not. But in my view it does mean that that the man charged with leading our city is doing a good job of doing just that leading. By leading I mean that Mayor Nutter is setting a pace for what we can do and what our city can become as we glide into the second decade of this century.
Haven’t we recently made the news for the cowardly murder of a police officer and then subsequent video of a gross act of police brutality? Yes we have and in both instances our mayor and his chosen police commissioner showed the kind of leadership that keeps a city together and moving forward instead of once more breaking down into our own ghettoized camps.
Mike’s latest move is to grant a tax credit for those businesses willing to hire ex-convicts. Like most large cities Philadelphia has high crime problem coupled with overcrowded prisons. Most ex-offenders have a great deal of trouble finding gainful employment once they’re released and thus far too many end up right back in prison. Mayor Nutter recognized that there were some businesses who had stepped out on the limb to hire these men and decided to encourage them and others to do so. And the way the math is looking it may cost half as much to grant this tax credit as it does to house a returning inmate for one year. Now that’s what I call good, just and wise government. Does that mean that the mayor in particular and government in general ‘can solve all our problems’. Nope, not by a long shot. However I do believe it shows that government can do a good job in working with society’s other institutions to improve the quality of life for all.
Now if only hizzoner can land us a major sports championship. Patience grasshoppers…. patience.