THE WILDLY successful NFL draft proved yet again that Philly is capable of moving heaven and earth for a cause (in this case, the Art Museum for professional football).
Couldn't we do the same to solve vexing problems such as poverty?
This primary day, Tuesday, May 16, Philadelphians will have an opportunity to create the Community Reinvestment Commission, a dedicated private-public sector effort to meet our most pressing challenges.
By convening leaders from the worlds of nonprofits, private foundations, business, finance and government, we can have a better informed, more collaborative and more efficient approach to solving Philly's big problems.
A city as rich in resources as Philly is should not have double-digit unemployment rates in any neighborhood. And yet, we are as well known for being the "poorest big city" as we are for cheesesteaks.
As an example, why not bring leaders of our growing eds and meds sector together and challenge them to increase skills training and job opportunities in low-income neighborhoods? The Community Reinvestment Commission could provide a blueprint for our generous anchor institutions to make bold investments that create sustainable jobs and positively impact generations to come.
In order to spark economic activity in high-unemployment neighborhoods, we need a truly collaborative cross-sector approach to community investment. For a future in which Philly is better known for big events and cheesesteaks than for poverty, vote Yes on Ballot Question No. 2 on May 16.
Darrell L. Clarke, President, Philadelphia City Council
DA candidates change strategy on crime
Traditionally, candidates running for district attorney of Philadelphia have always promised to be "tough on crime," to warehouse criminals in prison for as long as possible and to send murderers to death row. This strategy proved successful for former District Attorney Lynne Abraham. Having served as Philadelphia's DA for 19 long years, the controversial Abraham - dubbed "the deadliest DA" by the media - campaigned on the platform of being "one tough cookie" who could get the job done. She ultimately won four elections.
This primary election season, however, candidates have taken a much different approach. In the wake of numerous police shootings of unarmed citizens in Philadelphia and across the country, candidates have taken the unprecedented step of promising to protect the rights of citizens, strengthen communities, stop unfair prosecutions of low-level drug offenders and to end mass incarceration. Previously, no candidate running for DA would have dared to make such promises, as he (or she) would have been considered weak and unfit for the job.
Let's hope that the promises made by these candidates are sincere and that they're willing to deliver because a change for the better is long overdue in Philadelphia!
Rob Boyden, Drexel Hill, Pa.