Soda Rally at City Hall

They call themselves the Philly Jobs, Not Taxes Coaltion. Mayor Nutter's administration calls them "big soda."

By any name, they are the parties (mainly distributors, store owners and Teamsters) opposed to Nutter's plan to raise millions for city schools by imposing a two cents per ounce tax on "sugar-sweetened beverages."

With that proposal likely facing a do-or-die week in Council, the forces aligned against the mayor plan to turn out for "a major City Hall rally" on Tuesday at noon. The coaltion says more than 300 people will attend and more than 20 tractor-trailers will drive around City Hall "blasting their air horns to serve notice to Mayor Nutter that a Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax in any form is a job-killer."

That tactic echoes similar protests from tow-truck drivers and taxi drivers, who have encircled City Hall at various times for various causes.

Council members Jannie Blackwell, Brian O'Neilll, Maria Q. Sanchez and Bill Green are slated to attend, which means the mayor is going to have to find nine votes for his proposal from the 13 remaining members.

The mayor has been fighting back by saying the coaltion is assuming jobs will be lost if the tax is passed, while he knows that the schools will be forced to lay-off employees if they don't get some help.

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